05/01/2019 at 13:50 •
I found an interesting site with an utterly thorough teardown of the Advisor: https://goughlui.com/2016/01/15/tech-flashback-motorola-advisor-pocsag-5121200bps-pager/
I am going to use this info to help me create or repurpose an Advisor-style case. To begin with, I want to create a dummy interface in Adobe Illustrator that I can use to design my interface. What does every button do? What will be displayed on the LCD?
I took an image from that site, cropped it to the edges of the beeper, made it 81mm x 55mm (the dimensions of the Advisor) and then made a rounded square that size. I wanted the corner radii to be authentic and ended up going with 3mm. However, I noticed the bottom radii are different, a smoother and shallower curve. At this stage, however, it doesn't matter!
05/01/2019 at 13:08 •
I'm trying to stay motivated to keep working on this project. It's something I can actually use, and it would appeal to me to make it look like Cereal's beeper. Breaking the project down to some broad steps:
1. Decide scope -- what will the controller specifically DO? For instance, will it have infrared to control legacy electronics? But it will also need to interface with wifi-controlled smart home equipment.
2. Prototype with generic hardware -- use an UNO or something like that and just get a handle on the basic components. I don't want to buy the final hardware until I'm sure.
3. Write the software. Get the generic setup to work.
4. Decide on an enclosure. This one is going to be tough. I imagine I'll be 3D printing, though it's possible I could find a cheap pager at a store and repurpose the case. However, I can't move forward with the hardware until I decide.
5. Design the hardware to fit inside the beeper's dimensions. Buy the actual components and assemble them. I think there's likely to be a PCB involved, specifically to hold the buttons, but maybe everything would attach it to it.
6. If not putting it in a beeper shell, I need to design(!) and print the case specifically for the component stack to make it perfect.
This is kind of a lot but it feels good to get started writing it down!
04/11/2019 at 12:26 •
I'm ogling the tri-color eink display https://www.adafruit.com/product/4128 that goes along with Adafruit's Feather controller. That sounds like a promising lead toward developing this project. From the Adafruit site:
Product Dimensions: 61.3mm x 40.4mm x 6.7mm / 2.4" x 1.6" x 0.3"
So clearly the proportions are off. I'm too lazy to look up or measure the real pager's proportions but it looks wrong. But I'm OK with that. I'm assuming I would be 3D printing the casing at some point, rather than repurposing an original, so ultimately it doesn't matter what the front looks like. (Other than wanting it to look like Cereal Killer's yellow Advisor.