On Tue, 1 May 2012 18:06:23 +0200
Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <h...@goldelico.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> we have developed a prototype for a 80 button QWERTY keyboard PCB
> that could eventually be connected/integrated into the GTA04. It
> should fit into a specially designed battery cover so that you can
> easily stow it away if not needed. Such battery covers could be
> produced individually through 3D printing solving the issue of
> manageing and stocking 20 different key layouts.
> But watch yourself how we think it can look like:
>       http://youtu.be/WM94%5fR5eKcc
> There is also a new video showing a comparison with some other
> keyboards:
>       http://youtu.be/wGASnE1zGh4
> Pleas tell us if you like this idea and what you would like to pay
> for such an extension unit through the Wishlist function of our shop:
>       http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%3AKeyboard

This looks like quite an ingenious solution for adding a real keyboard
to the both the GTA04 (and possibly the GTA02 as well?). Kudos!
> Two issues are still to be developed:
> a) how to reliably connect it to the GTA04 PCB (soldering copper
> wires or a FFCs is a little difficult so it should have a tiny,
> flexible but robust B2B cable).
>     Maybe, we can use a micro-USB socket or similar (we need to
> connect 6 wires). This may also need a redesign of the GTA04 board
> (for a nice plug)

I see a few issues with the way the design is showcased in the videos.
Mainly from durability and practicality standpoints. I love the concept
but I think it could be improved with a few tweaks. 

It appears from the videos as if your current method of operation would
act like an inverted laptop hinge. Is this assumption correct?
Hopefully this would still allow access to the battery compartment
while attached but it would require a very robust detent to support the
weight of the phone especially during use. This also appears to be a
weak point for durability as well.

I'm glad you're thinking about expanding the phone and you've clearly
given thought to being able to detach the keyboard/battery cover easily
by incorporating a plug.

> b) design a 3D printable case with key-caps that is robust enough

I suggest using a scissor mechanism where the keyboard slides out

> If you want to support us for developing this idea, please give us a
> kickstart donation.
> Nikolaus
> PS: the keyboard driver for the TCA8418 is already part of Linux 3.3
> - and has been backported to the 2.6.32-kernel. This has been tested
> to work on a BeagleBoard XM.
> http://git.goldelico.com/?p=gta04-kernel.git;a=commit;h=f19d5c430458bbce8955bc9e04dd161f6a80347d
> It just needs platform data in the board file:
> http://git.goldelico.com/?p=gta04-kernel.git;a=blobdiff;f=arch/arm/mach-omap2/board-omap3gta04.c;h=8a7e4b0803920f635e7101bfbd5a60b6b84b1107;hp=3e49efef2de0b42cd419a46a9cd45448fd04a44c;hb=4b2de3db742abce9212c1af2cc576e2a3a64b0d9;hpb=1d7c6b5f043661621ec374d96c3c4a4454f9bb7b

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