Functional Pip-boy 3000 Mk IV from Fallout 4

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

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  1. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Thanks a ton for the Holotape models Zap! I also went with the android build, but much simpler with room for input controls via an arduino later. I used a cheap smartphone from tracphone wireless and my collector's edition with LED's added, a functional miniaturized transistor radio, and a compass needle (actually works and looks quite nice) in place of the functional rad counter for now. The android device was rooted and modified heavily to look and operate just like the pipboy in Fallout 4, including a custom boot screen and scan line across the screen. Custom app appearances and layout, it worked out very well actually. The built-in power button turns everything on and off as well which was quite the build nightmare. I also ran a fully functional usb through the Pip-Boy and housed it to sit as it should coming out of the white casing in the back. I'd love some help and advice on the possible addition of functional knobs down the line but we'll get there later. Future plans include the Holotape deck with a model of the "Grognak Ruby Ruins" or "Zeta Invaders" Holotape games to go inside the deck. Maybe an led embedded in it for looks or whatever.

    Fantastic work on your build so far zapwizard and good luck going forward! I haven't posted any pics or build notes through the last few months out of pure hectic scheduling with university and a lack of desire to do so haha. When it's all done though I plan on posting pics and maybe a basic build sheet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  2. Jake Joke

    Jake Joke New Member

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    zapwizard Thank you very much for all the advices, as soon as I can I will order all the necessary from Adafruit and start my build. I hope that those programmers will help you with your project, but I know that after seeing your impressive work they will surely be happy to help.

    Hi LoneWanderer, I'm trying to build an "almost-fully-functional" Android based Pip-Boy too! Would you mind if I ask you for some help?
    Are you using the Bethesda companion app or have you changed all the appearance of your smartphone's layout? What files and apps did you use to do it? Would you share a guide and images of your work? Also, what Arduino device are you planning to use for the physical input?
    Sorry if I'm a little annoying, but I'm really glad to have found a thread like this, with enthusiastic people like you guys! I'd be happy to offer any assistance or advice if needed, especially when I'll be effectively working on my build.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  3. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Hey man yeah no problem, so I'm going to put a quick pic thread up today for you and whoever else is interested in it. I'll throw some details in there today about what features it has and all that, but probably not a full build sheet yet. Check back and I'll have a link to it for you, or just watch the prop thread today :)
     
  4. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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  5. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hey folks, look at what just arrived in the mail, my first holotape 3D print!

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    First off, to understand why I use SLS printing you have to understand the scale a bit. Here is the holotape next to a quarter. I think most people are envisioning a holotape as being as large as a cassette tape. (For those of you a generation behind, a cassette tape is that thing you say Starlord loading into his walkman in guardians of the galaxy) Instead you have to think of the holotape as the size of a mini-cassette tape

    The tiny details that are present in the CAD model simply would be rendered invisible when printed on a FDM printer. Due to the fused powder nature of SLS printing, some details get fused together, but are still there in a ghostly form. These little details can easily be added back in by using a needle file.

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    And it is fully functional. I used a needle file an exacto knife to clean up a few spots, but the door snapped into place and moves. I am so happy it worked the first time!
    (Sorry for the dry skin, I am not a hand model...)

    A word or warning and a tip:
    Until sealed with a clear coat, SLS nylon parts absorb moisture and any dirt from your hands. I wash my hands with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils before working on the parts.
    It can also be very hard to work with the tiny parts when sanding and filing. If you put them onto a microfiber cloth, they stick to it almost like velcro and making working on the parts far easier. I then used the cloth and a tooth brush to clean up the parts and remove any loose powder.

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    As you can see here the detent feature which fixes the position of the potentiometer works great.
    I don't have the hardware yet, or the circuit board finished, but this shows shows it will work as designed.


    I will probably keep this piece unpainted. I will order a 2nd when I start ordering the rest of the Pip-Boy.

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    [​IMG]

    I also ordered a solid, single part version of the Holotape.

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    You can download the 3D model buy looking a few posts above.
    If you want to support the project, please purchase the Holotape from my Shapeways store. Visit the project run post to get the link to the store.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  6. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Nice! Did you sand down the holotape at all before painting or is that just straight up how it printed off?
     
  7. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What you see above is straight off the printer. The orange part is pre-dyed by Shapeways. I haven't smoothed it or painted it yet.
    I used a needle file to restore the shape of the press fit parts. (The sliding door and wheels)

    SLS parts end up with a fine sandstone like texture. The parts are solid nylon, you can sand them smooth without fear of sanding through a thin side wall.
    Nylon sands to a smooth glossy finish. You can also apply a thin layer of clear coat, and then sand that to keep the smallest details. I like to use matte clear coat for this.

    This prop makes a great test for the print quality that I can expect on the rest of the design. The snap-on door was particularly risky and tight tolerance, but it moves perfectly.
    The two wheels required some filing to make them fit into the potentiometer. That was expected, as I made it with zero tolerance. Too small and they would easily fall out or wobble. You can always remove material, so better to error on that side.

    I will drill the hole for the pin using a 1mm drill bit. I am getting close to ordering all the hardware for the Pip-Boy. The order won't be cheap however due to the minimum order quantities involved. For example the 1mm dowel pin used to hold the wheels together costs only $0.11...but you have to buy them in packs of 100, costing $10.56. It is similar for the screws. The screws are plastic-tapping type, and the pin is too small.

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    My holotape design is 60mm wide, if you wanted it to fit well with the the larger Pip-Boy Edition, then it should be about 70mm wide.
    I still have my prop-edition design in CAD, I may redo that design a bit larger for those who want it as a desk prop and never will insert it into a Pip-Boy. In that case I would scale it to look closer to what you perceive in the game. Would anyone be interested in ordering that?
     
  8. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Well I take it back what I said about the scale for the Pip-Boy edition. When I place the Holotape onto my Pip-Boy edition model it actually fits perfectly. Any bigger and it would be too long.

    I still think I will design a easy build version which has separately assembled and moving parts, but takes optional simple electronics that anyone can put together.
     
  9. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Okay, I finished building a tweaked "Prop" version of the Holotape design, this is the one to order until I get the rest of the Pip-Boy built.
    This version comes with 3D printed screws, which can be used to assemble the Holotape. (Beta feature), you can still use real metal screws.
    It can also be upgraded with a LED, switch and battery to act like a simulated holotape.

    Please purchase the Holotape from my Shapeways store. Visit the project run post to get the link to the store.
    I have ordered it today, it takes up to two weeks to arrive, I will post photos once it arrives.
     
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  10. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    This is awesome! So which version should I print to eventually place in my collectors edition yet to be built holotape deck?
     
  11. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The "Prop" version is the best version to buy. You can assemble it using just the 3D printed parts (or add some real screws). You can also add a battery, switch and LED to make it light up. I designed the spindle to snap together, instead of requiring a special metal pin.

    The "Functional" version basically will become part of the Functional Pip-Boy design. Until I get the PCB for it designed, you can't assemble it properly, and the potentiometer has nothing to connect tor.

    The "Solid" version is basically for someone who wants a hole bunch of tapes in a stack. The screws aren't as detailed, and you can't separate the parts to paint them individually.
     
  12. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Today I had a near disaster...but trying to fix that disaster actually resulted in a pretty easy technique to color the parts.
    You can paint SLS 3D printed parts, but as I mentioned earlier, the Nylon is actually very absorbent. The orange portion of the model is dyed, not painted. I hear you can dye SLS parts using RIT T-shirt dye.

    Well I got impatient and wanted to apply color to my Holotape. You see my wife is a card maker and scrapbooker. Due to my parents also owning a ScrapBooks store for over a decade my wife has accumulated quite a collection of supplies. I due through her three boxes of markers and came up with three which I felt would match the Holotape colors.

    The markers are: Sharpie Orange, BIC MarkIt Cloud Nine Grey, and Copic E53 Raw Silk.

    Painting the Solid Model (lower part of the photo) turned into a disaster. You see drawing on SLS nylon with a marker is almost exactly like drawing on paper. The marker ink will spread out. At first this seemed helpful, it would seep into the nooks and crannies of the 3D print, but it soon resulted in muddy edges. The part also absorbed a LOT of ink, making applying it thin impossible. Do all the colors ended up far darker than I wanted. As you can see the orange turned almost red. (The orange part for the upper, functional model, was already dyed orange.)

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    However, not all was lost! Remembering that you can remove Sharpie Markers with denatured alcohol...I headed to my garage.
    I took the functional model apart and cleaned each piece with the alcohol. The alcohol removed 90% of the dye, leaving just the right amount behind. This worked perfectly on the functional model as I could separate the parts. The solid model however didn't clean up so well, and I had to remove almost all the dye. I have now removed the solid model from my store, as I don't think it is worth the headache to paint it.

    I searched my bin of misc screws and came up with three tiny screws that fit the Holotape. I then cut up a shipping label and added the label to the front. I feel the colors are pretty darn close on the to the game model. And considering how small the tape it, the details are all still there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  13. barry99705

    barry99705 New Member

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    Just for giggles. Photographing shiny black objects is a pain in the *...
    Printed in black petg at .1mm layer with a .4mm nozzle. I'm actually amazed you can tell it's a phillips screw! Didn't think that would come out. The label recess on the bottom didn't come out very well, but I was expecting that. Petg doesn't bridge worth a *, but it prints as nice as pla, and is stronger than pla.
    IMG_20160302_212902.jpg
    IMG_20160303_073222.jpg
     
  14. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am amazed the screw detail came out. On my solid model the screw detail wasn't very well defined. For the Prop version I exaggerated the details on the screw so that it hopefully prints out better. But I still like to use real screws when possible.

    The FDM version isn't that bad really, considering how tiny the model is. If you scaled it up by 1.5x or 2x it probably would be useable as a prop.
    The SLS model may cost more, but the amount of post work is considerably less. I enjoy filing and sanding the small details. I loathe filling, sanding, filling, sanding, painting, re-sanding to get a smooth surface. I once designed a 3D printed mount for a car-computer tablet. It would have cost $140 to get SLS printed, so I chose to pay $80 to get it FDM printed. I used one of the hub 3D websites. The first model arrived with every single hole filled solid. I spend hours re-drilling and filing to get the mounting details back into the model. It was so bad they re-printed the model for free, but this time they printed it with paper thin (literally) walls, so any attempt to sand thing smooth resulted in blown out surfaces. I spent more hours filling and sanding the second model. Only to give up and use the first model since it was built solid. My work getting a 3D printer may change my mind, but I am sticking to my guns on the SLS print for the Pip-Boy.
     
  15. GhostMinion

    GhostMinion Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Something I found kinda funny last night. The game holotapes are smaller than the other misc. holotapes. Not sure which one is "right", but it caught my eye and I got a giggle. Figured I'd share.


    2016-03-02_00001.jpg
     
  16. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    I also noticed this haha, not sure why they didn't scale then correctly to all the other ones but oh well. Going forward on my game tape replicas I think I'll just keep them all regular tapedeck size haha.
     
  17. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    The game ones are probably the correct scale for the Pip-Boy. But since people need to actually see the holotapes to pick them up, they scaled those up large enough to easily find.

    To try to see if I wanted to alter the scale before I made my prop version; I laid out the Holotape, Yardstick, Comic Book, Subway Token and Clipboard all together. If I used the yardstick as a measuring device, then the Holotape would be nearly 4" wide. (The entire Pip-Boy is 6.25" to 7" wide)
    Standard Comic Books are 10.25x6.6". The comic book in-game is too small. And finally the clipboard is also too small.

    Basically, almost nothing in the Fallout universe equates to real world dimensions. They scaled objects solely on what looked correct in the scene. It's really too bad since most of the objects are based on real-world designs. But games do this all the time, I have made several game modifications, all based on re-creating real-world locations inside the game engine. The Source Engine needs almost all objects scaled up by 25% in order to look correct in the game. In Unreal everything has to be about 10% larger than you would expect. The only game engine that used real-world units for everything was the CryEngine. In the CryEngine meters are the actual game units, and the equate to real-world units. The mass of an object is measured in grams. You could use real-world math to solve the in-game physics. This is probably why they has such good physic simulation in Crysis compared to the janky physics in so many other games.
     
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  18. GhostMinion

    GhostMinion Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm glad you mentioned the scale and dimensions of common objects. A lot of people I believe are confused by that very fact. Another good example (from Fallout 3, mind you) is the Vault Tec lunchboxes. They are not the same dimensions as a real lunchbox, being more square than rectangular. So, using these objects to "scale" other objects won't really work like some might hope it will.

    Your picture makes it pretty clear. It's obvious, looking at it the way you layed it out, that the clip board is not the correct dimensions to a real clip board.

    A good example that it's not always the scale that's the problem, and that the the game model's unrealistic dimensions can play tricks on an unwary maker.




    Anyways, sorry. We were talking about holotapes..............:lol
     
  19. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Today I designed the Vault Door Pip-Boy Remote Link interface. For those of you following along who haven't played the game; the Pip-Boy has a removable cable that the game character can connect to a control terminal. This terminal allows the player to open Vault Doors in the game.

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    The remote link interface has a set of concentric rings which are back-lit. The panel is riveted to a larger control panel, which I am not modeling.

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    The intent is to design something that can be made as a companion piece to the Pip-Boy, but also serve a real-world function.
    I already designed the communications cable on the Pip-Boy to terminate with a USB connector. So the remote link terminal will have a mating USB connector.
    You could use this same prop without the Pip-Boy as a Fallout themed USB extension.

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    If you want to have it as a prop and keep it game accurate, I designed a insert without USB.

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    The remote link uses a circuit board to hold the USB jack and LEDs. The exact number of LEDs is yet to be determined, so I will provide pads to add up to 12 LEDs.
    The LED will be powered from the USB +5V. The only other addition may be a switch to turn the LEDs on and off.
    Real metal screws and rivets will can be used to provide a more authentic look,

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    [​IMG]

    Rubber feet can be attached if you want to use it on a desk. There are also two keyhole hangers. These can be used to mount it on a wall. If you want to get really fancy they are positioned to allow you to mount it to a low-voltage wall box. Perfect for that one guy on the planet with his own Vault-Tec vault door. Connect the USB cable to your own private security system and use a USB crypto-key for the ultimate in security...anything is possible with Vault-Tec.

    Tomorrow I will make a 3D rendering to simulate how the LED will illuminate the plastic.
     
  20. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Hey hey man not too shabby! I always thought those concentric rings on the panel for the pipboy uplink were just illuminated by light glare but I like the LED idea! It'll give a nice uniform clean look unless you wanna weather it. As always great job mate.
     
  21. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  22. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a gamer, and had no idea what a Pip-Boy was; but after reading through this research and design thread, I am totally blown away by the top notch work you have put into this replica. The functionality looks like it will be amazing. I can't wait to see it all come together - even without being fan of the game!
     
  23. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Very cool progress so far!

    I never thought of using the yard stick in the game! I'm guessing it's in scale with the other items so I wonder if you can get accurate measurements that way?
     
  24. Gixxerfool

    Gixxerfool Active Member

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    Since you're using a 5 volt circuit for the rings LEDs maybe have it light with the USB when plugged in?
     
  25. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Duncanator: I always try to make my projects into learning exercises. I also like to take things a step further than most. It has worked out well for me over the years, providing skills which led to different jobs. This project is more about what if I approached a game prop the same as a actual consumer product design. It's an engineering exercise to try to solve each in-game design feature using real world mechanics and electronics. (Without breaking the game accuracy when possible)

    Sluis Van Shipyards: Read the text of the yardstick post. Effectively nothing in Fallout 4 is at a set scale. Objects get scaled to what an artist likes, and don't compare to each other well.

    Sluis Van Shipyards: Well I can make them light up any time the Remote Link is connected to the USB of a computer. If i wanted it to light up only when a Pip-Boy or other USB is connected to it's jack, then I would have to add some more complex detection circuit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  26. lovelyandy

    lovelyandy Well-Known Member

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    this entire thread is the best thing I've ever seen.:D
     
  27. ApophisV

    ApophisV Active Member

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    Foto 08.03.16, 10 45 23.jpg

    Oooh, look what came in the mail today! :love

    I really love it, if only I could leave work early today to get home and assemble this!

    Thanks for your awesome work! :)
     
  28. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool! I keep mine on my desk at work next to my Nuka Cola caps.

    Since you won't have the PCB inside, you can just hot-glue the spindle in place. The prop version I published later doesn't have this same issue. However they are taking their sweet time with my own order of that version.


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    Short text update on the overall project in general:

    I have finally decided once and for all to switch back to the BeagleBone black. The Udoo Neo simply isn't going to work out of a whole host of reasons I have covered previously.
    With that decision made I can more forward with more of the project. Now I am working to get the 640x480 LCD screen wired up to the BeagleBone and Ubuntu, if for some reason that doesn't work out I will use the 320x240 screen.

    This means that the in-game functionality will have to be something programmed after the actual build. Instead I will focus the project more on creating the real-world functions of the Pip-Boy. This is actually harder than just in-game functions. I am trying to come up with a list of "Must-have" real-world sensors to include in the Pip-Boy. However, each sensor requires some software development, requires a circuit to be designed and adds cost.

    Lore friendly list:
    -PIN Diode Gamma Ray Detector, in other words a Geiger counter.
    -FM Radio, Real radio, require adding a audio mixer circuit
    -Compass sensor-Heart Rate sensor, This could detect user's health. However, this has to be attached directly to the skin to work.
    -GPS
    -Battery charger with meter-WiFi, Easier said than done, but required to allow for GPS maps to load.

    Sensors or features I really want to put into the design:
    -Bluetooth, This is easier said than done, but could allow for connection to a phone or external sensors.
    -Weather sensor , Temperature, Humidity and Pressure.
    -Real-time clock, Saves the time when the unit is off.

    Reach for the moon Maybe sensors:
    -10 DOF sensor, (Orientation, Acceleration, Magnetic and Pressure)
    -Ambient light sensor (Has to be physically exposed to outside light)
    -Non-contact temperature sensor. This has to be physically exposed, and with the pod being USB now, there isn't a good place for it.

    I can order a prototype boards with almost any sensor you can imagine from: http://www.mikroe.com/click/sensors

    I am really split on how much to design into the Pip-Boy. My geek side wants everything possible no matter how long it takes, my practical side wants to just make it do exactly what it does in the game and nothing more. And while some of you will say "Make that stuff optional or modular", that is far easier said than done. To make anything an optional or modular feature actually requires that you design some compatibility in the first place.
     
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  29. GhostMinion

    GhostMinion Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just my two cents, but would love to see it go the practical way. :)
     
  30. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    At this point I gotta ask why not just get an android and cannibalize it for your "brains" and the LCD screen? It has most of the functions you want and you could easily fit everything you wanted via rooting and reprogramming the android device like lore friendly colors, themes, layout etc. The gps will be included, the radio will digitally function, you can add button functionality with the dial simply enough with the Arduino like my build, and of course you can add and interface things like the Geiger counter to work with the android I'm sure. It just seems like a lot of this would be quite easily solved by using some existing builds like the android PCB and then going to town on modifying it, then of course you have super easy in-game functionality with the official app too.

    Just my .02 at this juncture! You've done some spectacular planning and engineering for the Pip-Boy thus far, but it almost seems like it's getting overengineered in areas ya know? I agree with GhostMinion go practical and get the features you want without all the extra cost and hassle if there's a better option.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  31. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    First off I appreciate your feedback, and for following the project so closely for all this time.

    When I first started the project I researched for hours trying to find a candidate device to cannibalize for its brains and screen.
    I setup a spreadsheet with about a dozen candidate devices, but I couldn't find any devices which has a 4:3 3.5" to 3.7" LCD screen. (Everything was 16:9). Even if I found a device that fit, the screen is most likely not on a ribbon cable, and couldn't be re-located, forcing the whole phone to fit behind the screen. Most devices have lots of extra length past the phone. This would break the game accurate shape, and push it into Pip-Boy edition type scaling.

    I haven't found any android compatible PCB which has everything needed. The Udoo Neo was so promising, it's only major issue electrically was they used a LVDS screen interface and custom connector. But they haven't released hardly any useable software, I think they hoped to release the device and that their customers would do all the work and post it to their forums. So far people have only been able to get the bare minimum feature working. While the BeagleBone has been on the market for years and I can find all the information will need.

    At this point I want to get back into full swing on the project, and I think GhostMinion is right. Get the bare minimum features working. They will be hard enough. Even with the minimum features the build is still far more advanced than what Adafruit or anyone else has built previously. (Okay NASA did pretty good on theirs)

    Also, part of this project is to over engineer everything, sort of as an exercise for my own learning. My goal was and still is to design the Pip-Boy as if it were really made by Vault-Tec. I didn't want to wire together 15 different circuit boards and cram it into an enclosure, which is so commonly done on Pi builds. I have already done too many hobby projects in the past that required tons of hot-glue and dremeling. Take my most popular project: My Ammo PC. One of the first gaming PC mods ever made which was a complete transformation, making it unrecognizable as a PC. The front panel looks cool as hell. The backside of that panel however is literally a rats nest of wires and hot-glue.

    I think I will simply get cracking on getting one item at a time to work on the electronics. If I do my design right, I can add features in stages. When I first started with the Beaglebone using Python and Ubuntu I was able to get sensor data working the same day I got the board.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  32. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Hey man fair enough! You definitely got your own capabilites to work with as we all do, and so far its been going pretty well! What is the scaling difference on the pipboy collectors edition as opposed to the in-game model out of curiosity? They looked nearly the same to me personally, the CE maybe being a bit bigger but not by much. Or am I way off?

    haha I just figured I would throw that option in for ya to confirm it works. Because for me it has all the features of the in-game model with the buttons I want as well as easy accessibility and having the benefit of looking the part perfectly from their factory mold, as well as allowing me to build a relatively straight forward, if not extremely challenging at times, working prop. As always though man, good luck going forward and lemme know if you need any help or anything!
     
  33. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Pip-Boy edition has a few changes compared to the game. Most of them seem to be simply to fit in a phone, or make it easier to manufacture. It has a deeper screen to set the phone deeper into the enclosure. The selection knob is also moved up towards the front, also to clear the phone inside. The Holotape mechanism doesn't go far enough back. The selection wheel doesn't protrude from the corner, it is almost flush. Some of the overall curves and shapes are muted compared to the game. But for a $60 prop it's great.
     
  34. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

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    Aaahh gotcha, all very minor things to me personally. When I compare the in-game model to my collector's edition I don't notice any differences except mine is new looking and the game's in old and beat to **** haha. Some details I obsess over, like the correct metallic sheen on the heat sinks. God those things have been driving me crazy..
     
  35. m9365428

    m9365428 New Member

    Trophy Points:
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    Ok so its been a few weeks since I read the post and I may have something of use (now that the android boot isn't an issue). I completely forgot about one of the kickstarters I backed until i got an email yesterday and it may be of use to you.

    C.H.I.P. The $9 Computer
    1GHz processor, 512MB ram, 4GB on-board flash memory
    Built in B/G/N wifi, bluetooth4.0, native LCD support 4.3-8"
    I2C, SPI, UART, and 8x GPIO ports
    will run on a single cell Lipo 3.7volt battery for hours (in Pocket Chip aka: 4.3" 470px x 272px screen w/ resistive touch run time of about 4.5 to 5 hours)
    Dimensions: 40mm x 60mm (1.5" x 2.3') [think thats smaller that the board your looking at right?]

    This board is currently on pre-order and backer kits are shiping over the next 3 months. Pre-orders should start shiping within the year.
    If the low amount of ram is an issue the developers say it is posible to swap the 512MB ram chip for a 1GB chip but you must be confident at doing small breadboard soldering (solder paste and a heat gun).

    If I'm right and this board is smaller than it could reclaim some space for you and it will not require a step transformer to run on small batteries. Plus it has an on-board charger circut for the batteries it is connected to as well as being dirt cheap.

    http://getchip.com/

    Hope this info isn't too late to help. Personally I think the non-official versions or the Pip-Boy app that will run on other platforms will work better once the developers (hackers love you guys) figure out all the protocols.
     
  36. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I did look at the CHIP a while back. At that time there wasn't any good documentation, it seems to have an amazing amount of documentation listed. It has pins to drive a Parallel LCD screen. It looks very promising, and is a bit smaller. But I will put it into the wait and see category.

    The BeagleBone Black runs off 3.3V (unless I need to use the USB host), so no up converter is needed for normal operation.
    At this point I need to get cracking on the prototype electronics. Wire up the LCD screen and get some basic stuff running. Before I can do that I have a lot of work to do in my office to get setup to work on electronics.
     
  37. MisterLamont

    MisterLamont Jr Member

    Trophy Points:
    92
    Wow. This is incredible man! And your CAD skills are impressive. Subscribed :D

    I'm sure you've said it but this is getting long :p What program are you using?
     
  38. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @MisterLamont: First off, thanks. I am using Solid Edge for all the modeling. Not to be confused with Solid Works. Solid Works is great, but Solid Edge is a higher end program.

    Okay, this turned into a long-winded sales pitch, but it really has been the best CAD software I have ever used.
    Solid Edge has a feature they call "Synchronous modeling", and it really it night and day compared to other CAD programs, as far as modeling power and speed.

    Dating back to the first AutoCAD; most CAD programs require you to first make a 2D sketch. Then you could extrude or cut that sketch to make your 3D model. Most CAD programs did this in a step-by-step history tree. They build the model one sketch at a time. If you had to change some portion of the model, you have to literally go back in time in the model tree, make an alteration to the sketch, and then try to have the CAD software re-calculate all the other sketches that came after that. Often this would break downstream sketches.

    In the past few years, programs like Solid Works and Creo tried to get away from 100% history based modeling, but they still have one foot stuck in the past, requiring sketches and history-based modeling for many of their core functions.

    Solid Edge can be run in a traditional sketch/history based mode, but the real power comes when running in synchronous mode. Basically, you draw a temporary sketch to setup your shape, and then extrude or cut it like with any other CAD software. However, the resulting 3D model isn't tied to the actual sketch in any way. Instead the 3D model just exists on its own. If you want to alter some hole size, or dimension you can literally just select the dimension tool and alter it on the 3D model. The software calcualtes any required changes like tangents or symmetry automatically using constraints and rules. The end result is that you can make models almost like you were sculpting, while still maintaining dimensional accuracy. It become far easier to model exactly what you need, and less a fight with the CAD software to get an end result. It would have taken me at least ten times as long to model the Pip-Boy in another program, and I would have hesitated to re-build the model. (I have rebuilt it from scratch 3 times on this project)

    Also, for the sake of honesty here are the programs I have used in the past:
    -Solid Edge: Amazing to use.
    -Solid Works: Used it in school, I hear it is great but still has quite a few limitations.
    -Pro/Engineer: In a Grinch voice: "Hate, hate, hate....Double Hate!....LOATHE ENTIRELY!" Seriously I skipped over a few job offers because they listed it on the application.
    -Creo: Hate it, just Pro/E re-skinned with a few useless add-ons. Ditto on the job listing thing above.
    -Alibre: It's okay for the price, used it for many years, but it has lots of limitations.
    -SketchUp: Love it, but SketchUp is a polygon modeler, not a solid modeler. I use it for game modding and architecture. It is great for what it is made for.
    -Blender: Never could really got into this one, used it mostly to tweak and convert game models.
    -trueSpace: My first program, and it is what got me interested in CAD design.

    For those interested in Solid Modeling on a budget check out the free AutoDesk 123D. @ThePropBox has showed me that you can make some amazing stuff in it.

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

    Project update:

    Sorry for the slow-down lately. Same excuses though, working on my house and other time-sensitive projects. However the Prop Version of the Holotape has shipped, I will have that put together in the next week or so.
     
    ThePropBox, B Wo and RacerMachX like this.
  39. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey everyone, I just completed my build for the Prop Holotape. This version can be assembled using only the 3D printed parts, or with extra screws and electronics.

    You can order the 3D printed parts from my Shapeways store. There is a small markup on the parts which helps move the rest of this project along.
    This mini-project will give you an idea of the level of detail that the rest of the Pip-Boy project will include.

    The parts in the photos are direct 3D prints. No sanding, or filler needed. Just dye/paint and assemble.

    Click here for the project run page, as well as order details and assembly instructions.




    25821118621_20fb54f535_c.jpg

    25283353454_4526aba07c_c.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    [​IMG]
    (Rendering!)

    I got a bit carried away today with completing the Holotape design. For those who haven't played the game, there are five mini-games that come on Holotapes.
    These effectively look like old video game cartridges. What I did was design a new piece to replace the orange component. This piece is 0.5mm thinner on three sides, in order to accept the application of an adhesive label.

    Now if you want to build a game version of the Holotape, you just order the "Label ready" component. You can order it in white and dye it, or try and see if you want to use one of the shapeways pre-dyed colors.

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also designed artwork for each holotape. I extracted the in-game texture for each tape. The in-game texture didn't included a backside, so I made one up. Carefully matching the existing themes. I also applied a halftone effect over the whole thing to simulate a cheaply printed design.
    Print the images at 49.6mm wide in order to scale correctly to the Holotape

    Note, the middle text on each is flipped to keep in line with how the label looks in-game.

    Collect all five!

    ------------------
     
    Vrogy and B Wo like this.
  41. LoneWanderer

    LoneWanderer Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    242
    Amazing work man! I'll definitely be using those game labels on mine, also btw for Automatron there will be a new holotape game coming out! Excellent work on the tapes sir :D
     
  42. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341

    ----
    Hey everyone, first off please vote for my project by visiting the DragonBoard Contest page and clicking Vote.
    ----

    No login is needed. You can vote once per day this week only, and each day they are giving out a DragonBoard 410c to the top projects. Now, onto why I am asking you to vote:


    I have recently talked about why I decided to move away from the Udoo Neo. I was going back to the BeagleBone Black because it seemed to be the best supported product I could get. However, there are still some drawbacks to the BeagleBone Black. Namely I have to add on separate circuits for WIFI, Bluetooth, GPS, Audio Input/Output Speaker amp, and FM Radio.


    Well a few weeks ago I came across the DragonBoard 410c from Qualcomm. It was announced a year ago and shipped in September. I have no idea how I didn't run across it in what I thought was an extensive search for capable single boards.


    Here is the major feature list:
    -1.2Ghz Quad Core Arm A53 processor (Much newer and faster than the single core 1Ghz A8 in the BBB)
    -Supports Android 5.1, Debian Linux and Windows 10. It even comes with Android Pre-installed.
    -Integrated WIFI, Bluetooth, GPS and FM radio. So that checks off almost everything I need at once.
    -Built in Microphone with Analog audio Input/Output and Speaker amplifier.
    -Doesn't use any exotic connectors that come from a single company in China (looking at you Udoo Neo)
    -Slightly smaller than the BBB
    -MISI DSI Video interface


    This board seems like a no-brainer to use. Still, I came up with a list of the pro's and con's of switching from the BBB:
    -The board is $75 versus $50. However there was far more than $25 of circuitry to add GPS, WIFI and Audio to the BBB, so that is a wash.
    -It uses 1.8V logic, instead of the more common 3.3V logic. However level shifters for this are simple.
    -It needs 8V to operate. So I will have to add a battery boost circuit. The BBB can run off of a 3V lithium ion battery, however to get USB and WIFI working I would have needed a 5V boost circuit. Also the Rad Meter gauge needs a 9V signal. So again, this is a wash.
    -Finally, there is the MISI DSI Video interface. I had never heard of MISI DSI before. The 640x480 LCD I want to use I bought because it has a Parallel RGB interface, which is what the BBB also has. So the first thing I did was look for DSI to RGB converter chips. They exist, but are not readily available or well supported. I am currently in talks with the LCD manufacturer, as the control chip used on the LCD does support DSI, but it was wired for Parallel RGB. It also may be possible to wire the LCD using I2C.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
    Neuromancer likes this.
  43. GhostMinion

    GhostMinion Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    2,306
    Just voted for you bro. :thumbsup
     
  44. Btechnician

    Btechnician New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hey man B technician here. I just want to say that I've been absent from following your project because well you know how life gets. But now that I'm finally back on my feet and I see that you are still continuing this project I am more than excited and more than patient please take your time on this you're doing a great job I hope to be supporting this project very soon now that I've got a job that will allow me to do it. I know this might have been a while ago but I'm glad to see you and your wife are recovering well from surgery. Keep up the good work!
     
  45. JMSupp

    JMSupp Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    361
    Voting early, voting often!
     
  46. ThePropBox

    ThePropBox Active Member

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    313
    Good god Joshua this is incredible... just voted for you!! Good luck! :)
     
  47. Strongbow

    Strongbow Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    635
    Pretty damned awesome. I put in my vote!
     
  48. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey folks!

    Thanks for voting! Initially, I though I hadn't made it high enough to win, but today I got an email asking for my details. So it looks like I will be getting my hands on a DragonBoard 410c.

    The DragonBoard is amazing. It has a processor faster then you will find in a Samsung Galaxy A5. It comes with ready to use builds of both Ubuntu Linux and Android. And they have full documentation ready to go. My only issue is figuring out how to convert the DSI video to Parallel RGB. If I can get a hold of the Toshiba convertor chip, then it should be a straightforward circuit. They used this chip in the Raspberry Pi LCD, but since I am not a 10k quantity customer, I will have to figure out how to get my hands on some of the chips. (I haven't been able to find a DSI display which is 4:3 aspect ratio and between 3.5" and 4" in size.)

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    The DragonBoard outside dimensions are not much different than the BeagleBone, where the big difference comes in is how thin it is.
    The board only sits 7mm above the motherboard. This is half the height of the BeagleBone and Udoo. This allows me to orient the board sideways in the Pip-Boy, without hitting the arm band.

    The BeagleBone board would have required soldering on a battery and USB connector due to the bad positions of those connectors. The DragonBoard will allow to connect a right angle USB cable without any modification to the board. All-in-all it is much more efficient and easier to integrate.

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

    I have been working hard on the project, and right now I have a bill of materials which includes all the hardware, but none of the custom electronics.
    Currently the BOM total is $694.99. That does NOT include any shipping costs, and all the yet-to-be designed custom electronics. This is off-the-shelf and 3D printed parts only.
    So my $700 to $1000 cost estimate still stands. I have done a lot to lower the total number of unique components. Early in the design there was over 30 unique pieces of hardware, now there are only 18. I am almost ready to order the whole BOM, except for the 3D printed components. That will wait until I have a working LCD screen on my desk.

    Just as an example the Samsung Galaxy A5 price is $350, and I am pretty sure they will make a few million of those, so 2x or 3x the cost for a very low quantity custom build is that bad.

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

    At this point there are two items to solve before I can say the CAD design is done:
    -Needle for rad gauge.
    -DSI to Parallel RGB convertor chip.
     
  49. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Make sure and fill out the interest form here: http://goo.gl/forms/W9lJS47VpR
    Currently, I have 140 responses, I expect that only a fraction of those who replied will actually follow through on the kit build.
     
  50. zapwizard

    zapwizard Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    [​IMG]

    So I may have found a cheap solution to my need for a high-resolution, 3.5", MIPI DSI LCD display. The iPhone 4S!
    The iPhone 4 was one of the first phones to use a MIPI DSI LCD display. It is 3.5", 960x640 pixels, 3:2 aspect ratio (Close enough to 4:3), and has a 4-lane MIPI DSI interface.
    In theory this is just what the DragonBoard requires.

    This guy proved that the LCD screen can work with external video input. (He stopped development a year ago however)

    The display, with attached glass is cheap on eBay. The catch is I want just the LCD. Most of the screens on eBay are sold with attached glass. The LCD is bonded to the glass using a UV adhesive, but the glass itself isn't actually required to use the LCD or touch-screen. I found plenty of "glass only replacement" videos on Youtube that demonstrate the screen works after the glass is removed. But I can't seem to find a source for just the raw LCD, without glass. You can find just the glass on eBay. As you can see above, the iPhone 4 is too large to fit with the glass attached.

    My options are to buy a LCD and remove the glass (not easy), or to attempt to perhaps cut the glass using a diamond cutter. The funny part is there are shops selling jigs to help remove the glass adhesive.

    For now, I will order the LCD, and related connectors. I will have to build a breakout board to find out if this crazy idea will work.
     

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