Functional Pip-boy 3000 Mk IV from Fallout 4

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by zapwizard, Aug 19, 2015.

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  1. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    SLS 3D printed Nylon is solid, although all Nylon does absorb moisture, but the material is effectively as waterproof as any other plastic.

    However, making something like the Pip-Boy water proof is a VERY tall order. Some of the knobs can be sealed with O-Rings, but that also makes them prone to binding up. But the scroll wheel knob couldn't be waterproofed and still turn a gear. The LCD screen can be made water-resistant to light rain with a simple adhesive gasket, but it can't be made waterproof due to the waterpressure against the large surface area of the screen. The tactic button uses don't have enough force to overcome a gasket, and you won't find small waterproof or even resistant buttons. The speaker vent would have to be covered with plastic and wouldn't work well. Finally there is the matter of the gaping hole where you arm goes through, the simplest way here would be to try to seal the the person's arm, but again there is the bottom latch seam which would be difficult to seal up.

    ------------------------------

    Project update, no images:

    Currently I am working on the tedious task that is researching, and selecting electrical components. I am starting with the most difficult part, which is the LCD. The circuit which can drive one LCD screen doesn't necessarily work on another. Different screens have different ways to get the data to the screen. Then there is the task of voltage boost converters which take the 3.7V from a lithium polymer battery and boost it to the 19.2V that the screen backlight requires. Add to that modeling connectors and creating schematic symbols and you have a lot of time just preparing to design the schematic.

    I have started using KiCAD to do the schematic and PCB. It seems this year they have fixed a lot of the grips that kept people from recommending it in the past. Why am I not using Eagle? Because my main board is bigger then microscopic 100mm limit that Eagle Free allows. I also will most likely need four layers for the PCB. I considered using Design Spark as it is also free, however I got stuck for hours just trying to make the most basic part footprints. Apparently, in DesignSpark you can draw a line, but you can't edit it easily. If the most basic task was impossible I wasn't going to try the harder stuff in it.

    The next hardest task will be the gauge motor, it requires a stepper motor controller and its own voltage boost to work well. Stepper's are not something I have worked with in the past. So I am researching and learning as I go.

    This is unfortunately the slow part of the project without any pretty renderings to show you all. I am expanding the bill-of-material estimate as I add major electronics parts. It is nearing $1000, but when I build my prototypes it will cost me at least $1500 to build the first one. $200 of that alone is left over costs in minimum order quantities.

    With that said, I have added a Paypal donate button to my website if anyone is interested in helping fund the prototype build.
     
  2. Iananan

    Iananan New Member

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    First off, this is incredible, and you're doing a great job.

    Re waterproofing, have you thought about something like liquipel? That way you won't have to worry about water getting inside, as all the insides would be hydrophobic. There are companies that you can send devices off to and they will treat them for you
     
  3. ApophisV

    ApophisV Active Member

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    Time to invent a force field, isn't it? ;)
     
  4. DanielWGK

    DanielWGK New Member

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    You mentioned gearing down a pager motor. They make those already, just so you know. Pololu has two options, actually: 26:1 and 136:1. You would need an encoder or potentiometer of some sort to determine the position.

    I'd suggest you aim for an LED backlit LCD vs a CCFL backlit LCD. CCFL backlights are terribly inefficient.

    As for waterproofing, you could simple seal the boards themselves with epoxy and worry about individual component waterproofing case by case.
     
  5. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @DanielWGK, Those are indeed small geared down motors. I didn't find any that small in my search. However I think the gauge motor I selected will work well. It is designed exactly for driving a gauge needle and holding its position.

    The LCD I selected is LED. The 19.2V required for the backlight is because most LED backlights use a series of LED strings. In this case the backlight is two strings of six LEDs wired in series. At 3.2V per LED that works out to 19.2V per string. (3.2x6) The boost circuits for these LEDs are effectively already written out in reference designs. I will use a similar boost circuit to drive the lamp and gauge backlight LEDs (which also will be a series of LED strings)

    The liquipel stuff is expensive as far as I have seen, $90 for a tablet. The NeverWet stuff is also expensive and leaves a hazy coating on everything. If someone wants to seal their kit after they get it that is up to them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  6. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    @zipwizared

    I would like to start off by saying that I have done quite some research on you and I am a fan of your work. I too was upset when I found out that the pip-boy was just a phone holder. when I first saw the pip-boy I thought that maybe there was a device that plugged into the phone so then the knobs would react to the phone. I dreamed of doing this my self but I have no experience with this kind of project. When I was researching your work, I began to get very excited that your a fallout fan and are doing the pip-boy very good justice.

    That all being said I am behind you 100%. If the pip boy was to ever become a thing you would be the man to do it. I know that people have made pip boys b4 but they usually have a Raspberry Pi or they can't put their arm through it. With your permission i would like to share your project with those on Reddit and on Twitter. I feel others would get behind you on this project.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  7. jellis359

    jellis359 Jr Member

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    This is starting to look so good I'm beginning to think you should alter the appearance in some way so Bethesda doesn't step in claim it somehow.

    Sent from my C811 4G using Tapatalk
     
  8. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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  9. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @Btechnician,

    Thanks for the compliments. Go ahead and share away, it was posted to both r/Fallout and r/F04 early in the project, but a bump doesn't hurt. I have seen the Raspberry Pi models and while they at least have a screen, they require a lot of external parts to work. My friend's Pip-Boy 3000 which is sitting on my desk right now was fully self-contained. He ripped apart a old windows phone and crammed the guts inside. He at least re-routed the USB and audio, as well as switches. It barely works now as the battery connection is loose. I sort of want something that feels like it was made by Vault-Tec themselves.

    @jellis359, There is a danger of course with any project like this that Bethesda can step in and ask me to stop making this. I hope instead they will find super cool and decide to support the project directly. (You hear me Bethesda, I love you!) After all they had their chance to make a real Pip-Boy. While I still think the Pip-Boy edition is one of the coolest, and frankly low-cost collectible editions of a game, they could have done better. Or at least got the color of the LEDs to match the game.

    I am building my own unit no matter what. They can try ripping it off my arm when I am done. As for any possible kits, I have stated that I am not out to make any profit on this project, the kits will mean each creation will be unique. With the cost and skill level required for the kit I don't expect many genuine takers.

    ------------------------------

    Project update:

    Work is progressing on the electronics. I finally clobbered enough data from about a dozen different BeagleBone to LCD screen schematics to piece together what I think will work for my LCD. (Each brand/model of LCD is a bit different). I am also planning out the rest of the schematic as a block diagram, I will post the block diagram here once complete.
     
  10. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    @zipwizard

    With your friends permission could you post a pic of his pip boy. But if that is bad thread etiquette then its ok.

    Also ceep up the great work balancing something like this between work and home must be a challenge.and lastly I tried to go check out your donations page by pressing the button but nothing happened for me. I'm on a cellphone doing all of this so I don't know if that's a problem
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  11. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He (Mr.Red) had bought the Pip-Boy 3000 alarm clock. He then took a phone apart.
    The LCD bezel is foam, which has gotten dirty a bit over time. (He has worn his Pip-Boy while playing a themed paintball game)
    The phone guts are crammed behind the screen. On the back is the power button, USB and headphone jacks. The front buttons work but I forget their function. I was barely able to get it hold enough charge to boot. It is a few years old. He will probably be helping me build the prototype. His Pip-Boy at least showed me that that 320x240 isn't too bad for a 3.5" LCD. After all most smart phones were this resolution for many years, and the Pip-Boy interface is made to look old-school anyways.

    Also, I fixed the Donate button earlier today, it should be working. I received my first donation an hour ago. It will help a ton to get parts ordered for the prototype.
     
  12. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    Credit to Mr.Red great work on his project. Glad to see some one who has some pip-boy experience helping you with this. I truly believe that this is going to be the next greatest thing! And we all get to be here for the ride.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  13. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    That redwood battle station do!!
     
  14. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    @zipwizard

    when you are finished gathering up all of the electronic components and finding them could you possibly post a list of them and the prices?
     
  15. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @Btechnician

    Perhaps after I get the prototype built I will release the BOM. I otherwise plan on being open on the costs, but not detailed enough for someone to create a commercial knock-off version.
     
  16. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    Agh, good thinkin Lincoln! Thank you for the insight. I'm just as excited for your project as I am the game!
     
  17. jellis359

    jellis359 Jr Member

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    What language does beaglebone use? I wAnt to do this with my udoo.

    Sent from my C811 4G using Tapatalk
     
  18. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The BeagleBone Black can run Linux, Android and even Windows embedded. So most anything you can do on Linux you can do on the Beaglebone. Python is of course very popular and is capable of interfacing with all the various pins. My design will require the BeagleBone black, it won't work with a Raspberry Pi, Arduino or Udoo. The BeagleBone Black is a proven platform. I don't put any faith into kickstarter boards until they have been on the market for a few years. There are simply too many who try and fail to meet their lofty goals.

    -------------------------

    Project Update:

    [​IMG]

    Above is the block diagram for the Pip-Boy electronics. This is just to help me plan out the electrical connections and what circuits I need to add to the schematic.

    As you can see the BeagleBone Black is the heart of the system. The BBB has more than enough pins to run the whole system. It even has eQEP input which can be used to read the rotary encoders without any additional circuitry.

    Because I will be running off a 3.7V Lithium-Polymer battery, many of the LED circuits will require boost circuitry. The motor will also require a boost circuit, as it operates best at 9V. The motor isn't actually a stepper motor, it is an Air-core motor. The drive works similar to a step motor however. Basically the air-core motor is a magnet suspended between two coils. You energize one coil to turn the motor one direction, and another coil to turn it the other. By using both coils at the same time you can fix the motor in a certain position. The motor is dampened, which hopefully means I can update the position, then turn off the motor to save power.

    The Audio Codec I selected has a built in 1W amplifier, enough to drive the 0.7W speaker. It also have multiple inputs and outputs. This means that I can add the FM radio back into the circuit without needing a additional chip. I did more research on the FM radio chip, and it can use multiple antenna configurations. I can use a 100mm long wire wraped around the inside perimeter of the Pip-Boy as an antenna. So I think I will try to add the FM radio back into the feature list. The audio codec also has a microphone input, and so that will be added as well. The codec already has Android compatible drivers, however I expect it will still require a custom program to control all the audio mixing and routing.
    The headphone jack listed on the diagram will probably end up hidden inside the armband, similar to the external power jack.

    The GPS module I have found costs only $11, and has a on-board antenna and minimal external circuitry to work.
    The WIFI module is the only item I want to optimize more. A USB module is cheap and easy, however I don't know if the USB jack turns off when running on battery, or just lowers to 3.7V. So I am researching Wifi capes to see what modules they use and how they are connected. Note that I want full WIFI networking, not just a WIFI connected serial bus.
     
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  19. Voltaire Surge

    Voltaire Surge Member

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    sounds like you have everything planned out perfectly o.o
     
  20. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    Whaaaaaaaat GPS and full WiFi are you cereal!!
     
  21. Raveyote

    Raveyote New Member

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    I have two questions concerning the design of the pip boy. First, is it within reason to be able to print the main chassis in something more durable then plastic, such as steel (Which would be really heavy) or other materials like aluminum or such. Are there any assemblies that would make this particularly difficult (IE plastic welds, unusual mounting points, etc?)

    My second question is more in regard to the cassettes, after all there are 4 pins, so in theory you could make a non standard usb connection through those four pins. In essence, you could make the cartridges usb devices or thumb drives thus fulfilling their function as a data storage device and also able to fulfill the function of an object that triggers a particular response, buy simply going with a remarkably small usb storage card (Like less then 512mb that many security professionals use as a encryption key for laptops) the only major downside is the added complexity to an already complex project.
     
  22. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Raveyote

    You could print it in a metal material, however metal 3D printing would require lots of alternation and post-printing re-work. Metal 3D printing is done in one of two ways: Printed in a plastic/resin, then molded and cast. Or printed using a metal powder and binding agent, then put into a oven and baked. Both methods have shrinkage involved and are not very precise. The cost of 3D printed metal is also at 10x the cost of plastic. And the 3D printers for this materials can't print something as large as the Pip-Boy.

    Many of the parts in the design could easily be cast after a 3D printed master was made, however these parts are also the cheapest to 3D print. They don't add much to the overall cost. The primary component is the front face, it has all the internal mounting holes and other features which can only be reliably created with a SLS 3D printer. There are mounting holes at 90 degree angles to the face, under-cuts and other features which make even flexible casting difficult. The primary issues is casting these parts can have issues with shrinkage, which makes the items like gears looser. The CAD model would have to be altered to adjust for the casting.

    The Nylon material I am using is a material I have worked with quite a bit in the past. It is very strong, even at 2mm thick. It is solid, so you can sand or drill the surface without worrying about hitting a internal void. You can dye, or prime and paint the surface. You can polish it to a smooth mirror finish. The Nylon is also self-lubricating, which makes all the moving parts work together better. The parts come out very precise, and don't need any secondary machining to work as a gear or moving part. The most I have had to do is re-drill out a hole to make a pin fit in easier. I have even 3D printed built-in threads as small as M6 into a part and had a metal nut successfully thread onto it.

    ----------------

    In regards to the cassette idea, I gotta say that is a great idea! But I have to think of the advantages/disadvantages.
    I could easily find a small MicroSD card to USB adapter that could be wired up inside the holotape. The MicroSD card could protude a tiny bit out the back of the cassette so you can pull it out and update it. The MicroSD card could then actually hold the audio/video file that is to be played back. Or a text file could be read and trigger an action on the Beaglebone. It makes the holotapes less fake, but it may also be overkill, since you won't be finding any of these in the real world, or swapping them with a fellow Pip-Boy owner.

    Here are the complications:
    There is only one USB jack on the Beaglebone. I plan on using that for WIFI, just because the modules are inexpensive and android ready. Adding a non-USB WIFI module is possible, but far more complicated. Even with the single USB port, I don't have physical room for even the tiny USB WIFI modules, so the USB jack will have to be de-soldered, and a header put in its place just to wire in the WIFI.

    Adding a 2nd USB port requires a USB hub. Yes, hubs are cheap. However even an off-the-shelf hub simply won't fit, no matter how small. A USB hub integrated circuit that I put onto the motherboard is possible, but also adds cost and is power hungry. Remember when running on a battery I only have 3.7V (at full charge) available. USB typically requires 5V. I have seen some people who have gotten USB devices to run off 3.3V, but it really depends on the connected device.

    In the end I have to balance out what features make the Pip-Boy functional as a game interface, versus what functions would make it more like a real-life Pip-Boy. Originally I had aspirations to add all sorts of sensors to the Pip-Boy.

    Here is the original list of ideas which me and my friend came up with, and why they were rejected.
    Sensors:
    -Skin temperature
    How: IR sensor pointed towards arm.
    Reason rejected:: IR sensors cost $15, or require a tiny expensive to solder BGA chip. Padding may block signal.

    -Relative humidity (Weather sensor)
    How: Sensor IC. (~$3)
    Reason rejected: Board space, and requires a custom made app.

    -Barometric pressure (Weather sensor)
    How: Sensor IC (~$7)
    Reason rejected: Board space, and requires a custom made app.

    -Accelerometer (Detect a hit to the player.)
    How: Sensor ID (~$3)
    Reason rejected: Board space, and requires a custom made app.

    -Magnetometer (Digital compass)
    How: Sensor ID (~$3)
    Reason rejected: I may add this in if the Android native GPS apps can read the data, otherwise same issues as above.

    -Heartrate monitor (Player health)
    How: Green LED and light sensor wrapped around player's wrist.
    Reason rejected: This method is how the low-cost finger heartrate sensors work at a hospital. But for it to work on your wrist you need custom processing. Watch companies barely got this work this year using a custom made sensor and processor. It is out of my reach for this project.

    -Full-size Geiger counter
    How: Copy the spark-fun geiger counter circuit. ($110)
    Reason rejected: 500V a few millimeters from your arm. Expensive. Takes up a huge amount of board space. Pin-Diode detector is low-cost and is still a real Gamma ray detector. Even with the Pin-Diode detector, you need to put a radioactive sample within an inch to even detect Gamma rays, so it's really on staying in the Pip-Boy for bragging rights.

    -Air quality sensor:
    How: Multiple sensor chips ($15)
    Reason rejected: Expensive, requires custom app.

    At $1000 (current estimate), the Pip-Boy is already very expensive to build. There are three primary uses for this replica prop:
    1) Bragging rights. And being able to say "Yes, it really works. Yes, it can detect Gamma radiation, Yes, every knob works."
    2) In-Game. Increasing the immersive effect of the game. Being able to use the companion app and Pip-Boy to cause an effect in-game. Even this may require a custom app to alter the behavior of the companion app. (For example if the companion app doesn't have any keyboard input)
    3) During cos-play. Being able to pull up your Pip-Boy and pull up a map or your surroundings and navigate like you do in game. Putting in a holotape and hearing an audio log play. Both of these also require custom apps.

    Adding even more to the design would be cool for #1, but I think its already complex enough to impress any Fallout fan or geek.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  23. Raveyote

    Raveyote New Member

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    Thanks for answering my questions, I'm curious to see the finished product. Also out of curiosity what are the most expensive elements to fabricate?
     
  24. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    21323136391_55d52166b3.jpg
    Raveyote

    Most certainly the most expensive single component is the front of the enclosure, simply due to its size. Shapeways quotes their pricing based on both the cubic centimeter of material used, as well as the cubic centimeter of machine space your model takes up. I pre-nested all the parts and quoted them all at once. As shown in the image above. This makes the parts quote come out to $416, which is 42% of the current estimated total cost. Once I get closer to actually ordering the 3D printed parts I will try different configurations to quote. It may be cheaper if they are all laid out flat, or ordered in smaller groups. It takes quite a bit of time to work out all the various possibilities. From what I read on Shapeways, they prefer parts to be grouped together for one project when possible. So far they have also been the lowest price for SLS by far. Their prices have also dropped quite a bit over the past year. Three years ago I ordered a 3D printed wedding topper I designed for my Niece, it cost $150, today that same part shows up on their website for $31. A 3D printed Nexus 5 mount I designed cost $230 in January, today is is listed at $170.

    The circuit designs are still in progress. The major components are the BeagleBone ($55), LCD ($48), Gauge Motor ($27). But the actual circuit boards themselves (no components) will add up to over $100, even if made cheap overseas. The PCBs will require some assembly of the surface mount components, this costs quite a bit for small runs. Then there is all the various connectors, wires, and other components. These all are cheap on their own, but add up quickly. So it is actually hard to pin down the most expensive part until everything is tallied up.

    ----------

    Small project update:

    Adafruit had a great offer to get Eagle PCB Make Personal edition, and a BeagleBone for $180. The retail price for Eagle Maker is $170, so that was like getting a BeagleBone for $10. Not a bad deal. I know earlier I said I was going to use KiCAD, but I would rather have used Eagle as most of the libraries I am referencing are native to Eagle. So I have a Bealgebone, and IR sensor on the way. This will get me started.

    One item which has been very difficult to get an optimal solution is all the various LED backlights I have in the circuit. The LCD screen uses a string of LEDs, there will be three LEDs for the Rad guage, and three for the Radio dial. So far I haven't been able to find any three channel LED controller which has separate brightness control over each channel. I may end up with three separate circuits.

    I do think I found a good solution for the lamp on the back of the Pip-Boy. Adafuit sells these things they call Neopixels. They are LEDs with build in controllers. I thought they only came in Red/Green/Blue. But they do sell a warm-white version. They are very bright, they are a bit expensive at $0.50 each, but they don't require any additional circuitry to work. I have ordered a few to try out. If they work out well I may be able to use them on the gauges as well.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  25. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    The first step in going from virtual to real: The first batch of prototype parts have arrived! I also just realized this project is a reversal of my previous gaming projects. My last few major projects were taking real-world locations and making them into virtual game maps.

    I would like to thank the generous person who donated to the project, as it helped get things rolling.

    The LCD is the major item. Once the BeagleBone Black arrives I will be working hard to get the screen up and running. All of the components are tiny, I guess I should have put in a quarter for comparison.

    The black item at the left is the selection button. It has a large throw and very satisfying snap at the end. The item below it is the Holotape spring connector. Next are the blue potentiometers which will read the signals from the various knobs. The green item above them is the rotary encoder which will read the scroll wheel.
    The orangeish round item is CdS photo sensor. Next to that is the speaker, and then the push-buttons for the Power and Light switches. Finally the power connector, and white lamp LEDs.

    ------------------------

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't wait to fire up the amber push button switch. The color is bright and diffidently will fit with the retro electrical look of the Pip-Boy. This weekend I will test the bright warm white LED's, and see how well their light diffuses through a few millimeters of nylon.
     
  26. Voltaire Surge

    Voltaire Surge Member

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    this pleases me
     
  27. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    This is absolutely amazing and the speed of the progress just blows me away. I'm glad to see you are getting much support!!! Donation of mine coming soon :)
     
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  28. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    The Beaglebone Black has arrived. It took a bit of time to get everything up and running. I am not much of a programmer, I constantly have to look up examples and syntax. But I managed to read the data from the non-contact infrared sensor and feed it out to the console. Apparently my office is pretty warm at 27c (80f), but hey it's Texas and I have a 300W room heater running in here. (900W if I am gaming). The 32 degree readings are from me passing my hand over the sensor. The sensor has a wide field of view and averages out the values it reads. I can put a tube over the sensor to narrow the field of view.

    The python script is amazingly small. The Adafruit I2C library and Beaglebone are doing most of the heavy lifting.

    I need to order more parts before I can get the LCD screen up and running. Since most of the components I am using are surface mount, during the prototype process I will be using pre-made breakout boards when possible.
     
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  29. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

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    you should put a quarter in the pictures for measurement just for giggles
     
  30. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    A quick project update:

    One item that I wanted from the beginning of the project is a high-res LCD screen. I did extensive searches for retail available LCD screens and only could fine 320x240 screens. As mentioned earlier in the project log, I didn't want to use a un-supported off-brand LCD screens, or one ripped out of a phone.

    Yesterday, I finally found a 640x480 3.5" LCD screen which is supported by a U.S. company. CrystalFontz may be a name familiar to some old-school PC modder's. They made some of the first USB character LCD screens used in PCs which had fan controllers and stats visible. In either case, they sell a 3.5" TFT LCD screen. They also have a good set of reference schematics. The new LCD screen is also a sun-light readable display, which means the Pip-Boy will be visible even outside.

    The screen costs quite a bit at $119 for one, but twice the resolution will be worth it. The old screen was 320x240, which while readable, isn't fun to work with. There is also a risk that the companion app won't even support that resolution. 640x480 is a common enough resolution that it should work. The image above is a 640x480 pixel screen shot of the Pip-Boy Mk4 interface. Shrink that image down to a small 3.5" LCD screen and it is should be very sharp.

    The only catch is that the screen is only available with a restive touch-screen, which means a matte finish instead of glass, but hey the screen on the Pip-boy shouldn't be too shiny anyways.

    I am now working the new display into the design, and will be ordering one to test out soon.
     
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  31. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    I think the downgrade to a resistive touch-screen and loss of the glass face is more of a drawback than the 320x240 LCD screen, personally.
     
  32. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I want to keep the glass also. They (Crystalfontz) is looking into a capacative touch overlay that another customer uses, it could then be added to their non-touch version. Most touchscreens are just adhered on top of a normal LCD display anyways. This type of support is one reason I select U.S. companies, even if they are selling a screen from an overseas company. They have already done all the vetting and testing.
     
  33. Voltaire Surge

    Voltaire Surge Member

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    sounds like a proper screen size would be a bit more worth it, and it would help out in the sun with the matte finish
     
  34. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    If you look at the daylight comparison on the Crystalfontz product page the improvement is marginal and still wouldn't be very usable in direct sunlight.

    That sounds promising. I just think it would be a shame to comprimise on the glass display when every other aspect of this project is being realized in such extraordinary detail.
     
    Voltaire Surge likes this.
  35. Voltaire Surge

    Voltaire Surge Member

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    so u can get the right screen size, and then put a glass screen over it that makes it work like the other one?
     
  36. GilliGen

    GilliGen Active Member

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    This my sir is freaking awesome, can't wait to see ther rest of this project, good luck with it :)
     
  37. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Small update:

    I got Android working on the BeagleBone. So far I have GPIO input/output tested and working. Nothing too special. The day job is busy this month so progress will be slow for a while. I am not sure if I will even do a build before I know the companion app can run on the BeagleBone.
     
  38. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Working on nothing but software gets tedious. I am having to teach myself Android programming, as well as brush up on my Linux skills which I haven't used in years.

    So today I took a break and designed a stand for the Pip-Boy. It is modeled after the stand that comes with the Pip-Boy edition. The stand will have four press-in rubber feet. (No adhesive crap). The arms which hold the Pip-Boy are custom fit to the 3D model, so it will slot into the same spot each time.

    To create the label artwork as a true vector drawing; I first took a close-up image of the Pip-Boy edition, and cropped and perspective corrected the label portion of the image.
    I then brought that into CorelDraw for reference. I first found some high-res RobCo and Vault-Tec logos and converted those to vector art. The font I used is Monofonto which many have said is the Font used on the Pip-Boy GUI. It pretty closely matches the font they used on the label. I tweaked a few characters and spacing to make the final artwork.

    These types of industrial aluminum labels are something I am familiar with. However they often cost quite a bit to make in small quantities. They are made by exposing a photosensitive black material to UV light, then washing off the material, leaving the aluminum behind to create the silver text. I even know the company here in Austin who has been making these labels so long, that they have aluminum labels on the Apollo moon landers! However, these labels are made by exposing a large sheet with multiple labels and then cutting them apart. I think I can approximate the look of this label by painting a sheet of aluminum, and then laser-etching the lettering.
     
  39. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well I ran into a road block on the project. But this is why I design and prototype before stating a full build.

    I mentioned that I got Android working on the BeagleBone, and it indeed does run. However it is pretty darn slow when it comes to android applications. The BeagleBone runs Linux pretty well, and can even run games like Angry birds on Linux pretty fast. However, apparently very little of the hardware acceleration is enabled in any of the Android builds.

    At this point I have three options:

    1) Skip the in-game companion app aspect of the project, and just make a Linux based, functional real-world Pip-Boy. (Geiger, temperature, Radio, GPS, etc...)

    2) Keep the Beaglebone and hope that the companion app won't require much horse power. (Unlikely as it will probably use lots of 2D and 3D rendering for the GUI)

    3) Find an alternative/faster Android compatible single board computer.

    Currently, I am pursuing option 3. As jellis359 mentioned earlier, the Udoo Neo is an option. I had rejected it since it is an un-released Kickstarter project. But I have done more researching into their previous boards, and it looks promising. The Udoo Neo is still a single-core processor, but it is a bit faster than the BeagleBone. Udoo has also said their Android build will be made to run the device, including the hardware accelerators. I would have to wait for the Udoo Neo to open up for non-kickstarter orders. Currently they say they are shipping end of October. I would also have to scale up the whole Pip-Boy a small amount to fit the Neo inside. I would scale it up to be as big as the Pip-Boy edition. Currently my design is ~20mm smaller in overall length. I guess I will know more about the Companion app and the Udoo Neo in a both after both of them are released.

    I have run across a few other single-board "Android compatible" devices on OEM websites, but so far all of them a closed source, and not available in retail quantities.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
    xombie4885 likes this.
  40. jellis359

    jellis359 Jr Member

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    I should be getting mine through kickstarter soon. id be happy to donate it for the cause :)
     
  41. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    jellis359
    If I could at least borrow it to see how well Android runs on it that would be great. It may turn out to not be much faster.

    Both processors are 1GHz, and both claim to have 2D/3D Accelerators. The Neo has a A9 processor, which (according to Cortex) is 50% faster. All these specs of course rely on highly optimized software. The BeagleBone would probably work if the Android build was re-built, but I just don't know that much about Android and compiling to do it.

    I am warming up to the Neo also due to the on-board WIFI and Bluetooth. Adding both of those functions to the Beaglbone is turning out to be a major chore. I can easily add a USB WiFi module. However, it would only work when 5V external power is present, and takes a lot of power. The Adafruit module says you need a 2A adapter to run their reliably.

    On complication the Neo does add is the LVDS LCD interface. I would have to convert the interface to Parallel RGB to run the small LCD screen. It seems possible, as the 7" LCD they used has a parallel interface. Their probably used an adapter board.

    A few years ago I was at Maker Faire Austin, and Texas Instruments had a booth showing off Angry Birds on a 7" touchscreen. It was running amazingly fast. At the time I guess I assumed that Angry Birds was running on Android. But it could just as easily been running in Linux.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  42. DanielWGK

    DanielWGK New Member

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    You could check out Odroid's offerings for a single board computer. Just an idea
     
  43. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    DanielWGK, I have seen their boards. They are too large and power hungry. I managed to get Android 4.4 to run on the Beaglebone, one with Accelerated graphics even. I downloaded the APK and OBB files for Fallout shelter. It will launch to the point that it asks me to create a vault, but then locks up while loading. It seems my hopes rest on the Udoo.

    I tried scaling up my design so that the overall width of the Pip-Boy is 170mm, instead of 150mm. This more closely matches the Pip-Boy edition. I got the 170mm dimension by comparing the size of the iPhone 6 in the released photo. Because it scales up proportionally in 3D, I get load more space inside. However, the 3.5" LCD screen then looks too small.

    Here's the rub: Once you go larger then 3.5", it is nearly impossible to find a 4:3 aspect ratio LCD screen. The largest I have found is a expensive, and rare Sharp 3.7" LCD screen.
    There is a very popular 4.3" LCD which was used in the Playstation Portable, just about everyone carries a version of it. I even used it years ago in a in-wall touchscreen product. However with a aspect ratio of 16:9, it is actually exactly the same size as the 3.5" LCD when you crop off the ends to fit the Pip-Boy. In fact if you put a iPhone 6 into the Pip-Boy edition, you will get a similar size screen.

    So it looks like I will need to get more creative about getting the Udoo to fit. I may try scaling up a smaller amount, from 150mm to 160mm. The catch is it takes hours to work through the model and scale things up, simple because I already have so much of the fixed size hardware and electronics in place. Everything has to move and be tweaked for the new size.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  44. DanielWGK

    DanielWGK New Member

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    I forgot their other boards are bigger. I own an Odroid-W which is a super miniature version of the RPi.
     
  45. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @MAnth asked if I could share my vector art version of the Fallout Logos with him. So I am posting them here also.

    These are made from scratch by overlaying shapes over images I found online. I tried a few raster-to-vector conversions but they always came out soft looking. There is also a vector art version of the stand label from a few posts up. The Pip-Boy logo was a challenge as I couldn't find any high-res reference for it.

    Send me links to any cool stuff you make using them. I personally want to make my own messenger pag to transport the Pip-Boy. I want a canvas bag similar to the Brotherhood of Steel bag, but with RobCo and Vault-Tec logos. (I don't want the synthetic fabric Vault-Tec bag listed on the store currently)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Google Drive Link
     
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  46. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Hey folks, while I work on other aspects of the project I had my computer churning out more geek porn renderings of the Pip-Boy design.
    (Again, these are renderings showing my ideal goal, and not photos of the finished project.)

    Much of these features were shown earlier, but I will be linking to this post from the front page for those coming into the project late.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    I finished re-working the whole CAD design. I increased the size of the Pip-Boy by 6%. This makes it 160mm long, or about 10mm shorter than the Pip-Boy edition released in the Pip-Boy Edition. This larger size allows me to fit the Udoo Neo.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    The greater internal volume also allowed me to complete one more game accurate detail which was lacking. The holotape cassette holder in-game has an extra little bend at the back. With more space inside I was able to angle the tape properly and add that detail. I also tweaked the selection wheel position to be closer to the in-game shots.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    Here are the new holotape designs. The four little lines on the back are a PCB which interfaces with a spring connector inside the Pip-Boy. Through these pins the holotape can provide a unique ID signal to trigger a command in Android. Allowing the tapes to playback audio or video files upon insertion.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    I have tweaked the latch and magnetic holding design. Also shown here is the detachable sensor pod and lamp.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see what the Pip-Boy may look like in low-light, with the lamp turned on.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    The sensor pod/lamp is made with a series of 20 LEDs, 10 per side. At the end of the board is the non-contact IR sensor. This sensor input will drive the Rad gauge, allowing you to scan an object to see how "hot" it is. A pin diode rad gauge will also drive the rad meter, but if that ever goes off to a large degree you may want to check with a doctor.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    With the main 3D printed body stripped away you can see just how many components are required to put together a functional prop.
    Metal shafts has been used instead of built-in plastic, this makes for smoother, long-life function.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the Udoo Neo in green. Udoo selected to put things like I2C and the LCD screen onto cabled connectors, so these will be a challenge to get connected to the motherboard.

    -------------------------------------

    [​IMG]

    No detail has been spared.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  47. zookone

    zookone Well-Known Member

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    Looks awesome
     
  48. DanielWGK

    DanielWGK New Member

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    You're absolutely my hero. I love the quality of your design.
     
  49. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So Bethesda has released some artwork previews from their book, including a image of the Pip-Boy.

    So far only a few changes needed: Screws on the back of the holotape holder, and a few other small tweaks. Once the game comes out I am sure I will end up with a few more changes.
     
  50. DanielWGK

    DanielWGK New Member

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    Are those about 2-56 sized flathead screws?

    I kind of love the early design. I might have to take some inspiration from that one.
     

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