DLT one - A Damn Linux Tablet!

Modular Open Source Hardware Tablet that is easy to hack and can run a standard Desktop Linux Distribution (or Android)

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Proper Linux Tablets unfortunately just dont exist and certainly not ones that are also open hardware.
I want hardware that does not lock me into a specific OS or cripples other options by the lack of drivers. I'm also sick of the lack of modularity and repairability of modern hardware.
So I will create the following.

A basic system for a modern and highly performant portable device (e.g. Tablet) in the 7-10" form factor.

The electrical and mechanical design will allow for a multitude of form factors in the future, basing on a shared approach on how to interconnect hardware, so reuse between form factors will be possible.

These newly developed standards for modular portable devices will be open to everyone and the same goes for the design of the Tablet that is being developed here.

For more details please read my project logs and the detailed description below.
The development started with the HaD Prize 2019 and you will be able to follow every step of it.

How it addresses the Hackaday Prize:

Current mobile hardware is very closed and monolithic. Making repairs really hard and modifications or upgrades impossible. I want this to change as I don't think this is very sustainable and keeps smaller companies and users out of the market.

I want to create a highly modular, upgradable and modifiable tablet and with that also a standard for open mobile computing where you need to think about new concepts for modularity as the old standard from PCs and Laptops don't really work anymore.

I want to enable more companies and enthusiasts to create their own niche products without the need to re-invent the wheel every time and re-use the work from others.

This will be achieved by defining a mechanical standard for creating cases and an electrical standard that defines interconnects, pinouts and behaviour. This should enable the re-use of peripherals through different motherboards, housing different SoC's, from all kinds of performance spectrums and keeping the cost of replacement and repair down to a minimum and enabling very quick development of new features/peripherals for the ecosystem.

Some project logs going into details:


For years I've been wanting to create a tablet like device based on a SoM (System on Module). Doing something from scratch, routing DDR3 RAM, eMMC etc. didn't seem realistic to me, this is not only really hard but also very expensive. So SoM it is, which comes with the additional benefit of user upgradability if the SoM manufacturer stays true to their pinout with successor products, which they usually do if the SoM is in any way meant for an industrial market.

Back then I started out with the Raspberry Pi compute module but the more I thought about my specs the clearer it was to me that it just wont cut it.
I wanted something that can run modern applications, something that is actually very usable and is not just a cool thing on paper.

The past years I've been looking around for affordable SoMs that offer enough performance to be viable, until now there were either cheap outdated SoMs or ones that mainly target the industrial market and are too expensive.
In recent months there is finally an interesting selection of SoMs out there.

Technexion/Wandboard released the Pico SoM product range and the Pico Pi as a dev board. They range from 72-150$ For 150$ you get a fairly decent ARM SoC with 4K video support, 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC and 802.11 AC WIFI and Bluetooth 5.0.

Essentially the basic specs for a modern tablet.

The other SoM that just popped up recently is the Nvidia Jetson Nano. Very capable SoM with similar specs but lacking WIFI. Though the GPU is much more high-end than the iMX8M Quad.

Another very important part is the Display. Until now I never found a satisfying product that had a good picture quality and resolution. It just feels wrong to use a 800x480 display in 2019.

For some reasons there are really great IPS displays popping up all over the place from 1.8" to 13" there is something in every category and all of them can be considered to be "retina" displays. If I want to make a tablet I don't want it to feel like tech from 10 years ago.

So the goal is to make it good or go home :)

What this project will then essentially entail is to design a carrier board for one the two SoMs (though I want to see if I can keep it generic enough to allow for different SoMs in the future) and create a mechanical design that will fuse display and carrier in a visually pleasing way while maintaining the goal of hardware modularity end reusability.

... Read more »

  • Licensing

    Prof. Fartsparkle4 days ago 4 comments

    I just noticed while watching this video from Thomas Sanladerer that I haven't really talked about licensing yet and that licensing can get icky quite fast. I only talked about it being "open source hardware" but without any further details that can mean a lot of things.

    First of all there are actually two projects here, there is DLT, a tablet that I'm making and then there is a yet to be named electrical and mechanical standard that I'm developing at the same time which DLT implements. This standard will enable anybody to create a compatible product or just parts for DLT.

    I want the standard to be as open as possible, the only thing I will probably require is credits but that's it, other than that, do what you want with this! Licenses that I have in mind for this are either MIT or a license better suited for hardware like CC-BY-4.0 (the more likely candidate). So even closed source commercial applications are totally fine.

    For the tablet I'm a bit torn. I want to hold a bit of control over what happens with it, mostly to avoid any malicious use of the hardware, intended or not intended. If someone just starts out producing this tablet without me knowing they could change pretty much anything and people buy it expecting the same product. I do not want to inhibit commercial use all together of course, I'm really only concerned about unsolicited copy cat manufacturing and the problems that come with it.

    So I'm currently leaning towards a CC-BY-NC-4.0, if you modify your DLT I don't want to force you to share those changes, feel free to use it in an industrial context and develop your proprietary tech around it but I don't want you to build it yourself from scratch and sell it to others. If you do want to do that, make your own design based on the spec! Which I think is actually kind of nice because it forces other companies to start using the standard and create their own thing if their ambitions already go so far that they want to self manufacture, making the ecosystem larger, which is really all I want.

    I find it very hard to choose a license in these cases because it's this very black and white, yes or no kind of deal even though there is a lot of commercial use that I want to allow (actually the majority of all possible commercial use).

    The only solution that I could come up with so far is to add a notice that I will gladly award you a license that allows you to commercially use it as long as it is within these terms that you don't sell copies or direct derivatives of the product without my explicit permission.

    The downside of that is that others are technically bound to my 'good will' and I don't know if that is such a good thing either.

    If you know a better solution or license, please let me know :)

  • Mechanical Design rev. 1 completed

    Prof. Fartsparkle09/16/2019 at 22:19 0 comments

    I spent the last 3 days re-designing the mechanical design with the learnings from the mockups so far.

    This was much faster done than I expected. I think the biggest reason for the speed up was that I just knew what I was going to make, there was no guesswork or long thinking periods necessary, just implementing what was already in my head. Apart from showing you the 'new' Design, with this project log I also want to give you some insight into my process.

    I do the mechanical design in Fusion 360 which has great integration into Eagle where I can change PCB designs and they are reflected in Fusion and back. This allows for a really rapid development. It's dreadful that this is not yet possible with Open Source tools but I think the free hobbyist and education licensing for both tools are very liberal considering the industries they reside in. So at least the access is not behind a paywall.

    I'm focusing my prototyping on the modular case version as the monolithic case is very user case dependant and actually a lot easier because there is nothing to specify. This is something that may not seem like such a big deal but designing something not only for a single product but also thinking about creating a specification around it can at time be the most time consuming task of this whole project.

    Everytime I do something I have to think about in what ways you might want to do it differently and how I can do it in a way that does not inhibit other uses than my own. I probably spent half a day in total on the pinout for the eDP FFC connector, a lot of thought process went into that, what voltages, should I provide, how much current draw should I allow, which extra peripheral could be necessary etc.

    This is similar for the mechanical part, albeit a bit easier because there are much less variables to consider.
    The peripheral blocks will need a lot of consideration and I don't think what I have now is the final version but it seems like a very sensible first step. Now I have something to test on and see how my assumptions hold up and how versatile the specifications are when I start making more peripherals like a headphone jack or SD card reader.

    At the moment a peripheral block has to be 8mm in height, and either of 20mm or 40mm width and be mounted by M2.5 screws. No part of their assembly is allowed to exceed the height limit. You may violate this spec and use a monolithic back plate design with the appropriate cut outs but it would not be compliant with the specs.

    This height works well enough for most "legacy" ports ( in the mobile world at least ) like full size HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-A. I want to support these as I see a lot of demand for them for the customer base that I see for DLT.

    I also like the idea of having a low profile standard, similar to PCI-e slots. This I see at 5mm at the moment as it would support all peripherals that are being used in the mobile world, that being USB-C, Micro USB, SD card slots and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This will shave of another 3mm which is quite a bit when you are talking about mobile devices.

    With the full height standard I'm currently at 16.8mm of total thickness, it's not awesome but I'm still very satisfied given that its a fully modular design, it's a very reasonable thickness not far from 2012 era monolithic hardware and still feels nice in you hands. For low profile this would be 13.8mm which is actually pretty close to even many modern tablets (that are not made by Samsung or Apple). Not that I want to compete with the consumer tablet market but I think a certain drive to "not too thick" is important.

    I added a small bezel around the touchscreen to protect the edges and let it protrude a bit over the edge to protect against accidental tablet facepalms.

    Here are some quick renderings, I didn't bother to fill up the edges with spacer blocks and only did one of each but you get the gist.

    All parts are ordered and should arrive by end of this week or early the week after....

    Read more »

  • Roadmap

    Prof. Fartsparkle09/13/2019 at 22:02 0 comments

    I want to quickly outline what I want to do in the coming months and what milestone I want to reach.

    Given the news that I made into the Hackaday Prize Finals I will have to speed up some of the development as I feel the current state is not yet conveying my intentions well enough.

    What I will try to do in the next 2.5 weeks:

    • Finish design of mounting plate and have it milled or laser cut in aluminium.
    • Model the plastic piece that comes between display and mounting plate. This is quite important for aesthetics. This will have to be 3D printed, either in SLS or SLA.
    • Finish 2 more face plates so the most important peripherals can be broken out, I will print and possibly paint these myself as that is very doable on the Form 2 that I have access to.
    • Design a back plate and have it printed or milled. Preferably also a monolithic back plate but maybe I 3D print that on the FDM, this is mostly to show that both is possible, monolithic and modular design.

    This is a lot to do for this short amount of time and I'm not sure I will get it all done in time but I will try.

    Next up would be finally rev. 3 of the motherboard, this will happen after the prize deadline, there is no way I can finish this up in this short amount of time with all the other tasks, PCB design might be done by then but getting the PCBs and soldering it up will take another week.

    Most importantly this revision will feature the reverse mounted Jetson Nano SoM, which would technically allow the first fully self contained prototype. Given I also make a basic li-ion charger module but if I don't go with USB-PD in these first tests this is very straight forward.

  • Feeling a bit stuck

    Prof. Fartsparkle09/13/2019 at 21:42 0 comments

    I haven't been very productive in the past few weeks. This was mostly due to me being a bit frozen with my eDP issues. I'm hesitant to move forward with the PCB design before this issue isn't fully understood.

    Getting the display to work is quite important to me and right now I'm not able to debug why the seemingly same circuit, layed out with the same guidelines I used previously is giving me these issues. At the moment I'm reliant on Nvidia's support as I have no real starting point for debugging the issue atm. The pace picked up a bit on their side and after a few weeks of silence the hardware team on their side couldn't identify any real issues. The software team on the other hand found some odd behaviour in the link training. Link training is a feature of DisplayPort that consists of finding out the correct signaling strength and receiving display timing data from the display (similar to the EDID readout step in HDMI).

    When it tries to establish a link the SoC does not try to up the voltage swing of all signal pairs but only for the first one. So most signal pairs stay at the lowest setting of 400mV, the first goes up to the maximum of 1200mV. This can mean two things, either there is a bug and because it does not raise the voltage swing for the other signal pairs it just fails over and over because it only touches the first pair. The other possibility is that everything is great with the other pairs at 400mV but something is very wrong with how the first pair is routed and the attempt of the driver to fix it fails, which atm seems unlikely but who knows.

    What is so frustrating about this is that I know what to do next and have a pretty good plan to bring this project to where I want to see it but I'm held back by this odd ball issue and I can't do much about it.

    I'm focusing on the mechanical side for now which can mostly be handled without advancing on the PCB design. I might still start with the newer PCB design as the production module for the Jetson Nano SoM is finally available which I had to wait for because the pin out changed there in relation to the pre-production devkit module. This new revision will feature the much needed reverse mount to the aluminium mounting plate which means I can finally get rid of this big silly heatsink.

    In the next post I want to outline quickly what step I want to take in the next months to give you an overview of the development roadmap that I have planned so far.

    On the bright side, I came around testing the fixed USB PCBs and all is well now :)

    Here it is happily talking to an Adafruit Metro M0.

  • Peripheral Bezels

    Prof. Fartsparkle08/13/2019 at 21:58 3 comments

    These are a solution to the fully customizable tablet version. If you read the project log about manufacturing I talked about having two different back cover plates essentially. One that is monolithic and neat, only usable for a fixed pre-selected set of peripherals.
    The other would be the hacker, maker, researcher option that lets you fully customize position and amount (and kind) of peripherals, making it also easy to add you own custom hardware.

    The issue I had to tackle was how do you achieve this without having open sides or requiring 3D printing from the customer.

    This is the solution I came up with (pictures below). Each peripheral will have to choose a bezel size. I haven't decided how many I want to include in the mechanical standard yet but it will probably be around 2 size options. They will only be allowed to differ in width, not height. Height is fixed for every element.

    To close of the space between peripherals we have spacer blocks, they come in the same widths as the bezels, so if you have give amount of spacer blocks you can always make a closed side surface, even if you add your own peripheral, all it has to do is adhere to this mechanical standard.

    The raster length is always a multiple of largest block width. The corners help define this, without them you will run into issues with different screen sizes, so the corners will always extend into each side of the tablet until they form this fixed raster length. That way you can adapt this to any screen size up to a certain minimum size given by the block width.

    Finally some pictures of the prototype prints that I made for illustration. This will of course look much much nicer with injection moulded pieces and an aluminium mounting plate instead of clear acrylic :)

  • Mounting plate mock-up

    Prof. Fartsparkle08/07/2019 at 22:14 2 comments

    I made a rendering of this before but I now laser cut a mock-up out of acrylic (the real deal will be aluminium).

    It's purpose is mostly to test out how well the positioning of the peripheral works out and to experience any issues when working with a real display and PCBs. It's also the first illustration of the whole modular peripherals idea.

    The result was quite promising. I also realized that I could slim down the thickness of the shim layer which raises the mounting plate high enough so it can sit just above or on the back of the LCD. I had concerns because there is always a part of the LCD that is thicker than the rest where the connector comes out (usually all covered up with black tape). I can just leave a cut-out there as the touch screen offers enough supporting area and lower the overall height of the shim. Here a picture of the whole mock-up assembly.

    Placing the peripherals worked pretty well! The hole raster on the edge (and to a degree in the middle) is all threaded 2.5MM holes in a 5mm pitch. This gives nice even distances of 5mm increments for both positioning as well as hole placement on the peripheral PCBs.

    Here a few close ups of some peripherals

    It is crucial that pure SMT components are used for this. With hybrid components like this HDMI connector below, you need spacers to raise them enough, those spacers are a bit too much but still, it will always add a 1-2mm to the overall thickness of the assembly.

    This hopefully illustrate how the whole modular peripheral concept is supposed to work. This is of course an early stage but it shows where it is supposed to go.
    As you can see there is always a slight offset from the edge for each PCB. This space is intended for the faceplate that each connector will receive and will make for closed side surface, even with a modularized back instead of a pretty but fixed injection moulded back.

    I will print mock-ups of these face plates in the coming week. So the next update is hopefully showing those off.

  • Problems with revision 2

    Prof. Fartsparkle08/07/2019 at 21:58 0 comments

    Unfortunately the new revision had quite a few issues that I was not expecting. Revision 2 was largely a form-factor change, the circuitry was tested with the SBC style PCB in the first revision.

    So what changed? Mostly that peripheral and most of the circuitry went on their own little PCBs and are connected via FFC to the mainboard which now has a much more reduced circuitry, that brings costs down for the mainboard and you only pay for the peripherals that you actually need, this also enabled a free positioning of the peripherals but more on that in the next update.

    Back to the mainboard. When I powered it on with Ethernet attached I got no device showing up in the network unfortunately. When I attached the serial console I got at least a boot log so things were actually running but it seemed kind of flaky, I often didn't get a login prompt at the end of the boot process. At the time I was thinking I was having power issues but in retrospect I think this was just a bug in an older version of JetPack (the OS for the Jetson, a modified Ubuntu).

    I turned to the schematics and realised that the pinout on the Ethernet FFC connector was shifted by one pin to the right...
    The same happened to the USB which I tried next with an Ethernet dongle but had not luck either for the same reason, pins were offset.

    I was really puzzled about how that happened until I realised that the tabs of the connector which carry no signal were on the same side as the actual data pins on the schematic. When I mirrored the pinout I just mirrored it and applied it to the connector again in reverse order. The issue was that I included the tabs in that process and assigned them a signal instead of the GND connection...

    Oh well, fortunately not the most important peripherals for now and I learned a (circuit) life lesson.

    The eDP and HDMI connector pinout were fortunately all good, I took a bit more time on those and didn't rush them out in day like the other peripherals.
    Unfortunately they didn't work either. At that point it got quite frustrating, I went from a 100% working revision to a 10% working revision.

    I quadruple checked everything, first thing I found was that I missed the eDP hot plug signal, it got renamed in the whole moving process. This was quickly fixed with a bodge wire. At that point the Jetson tried to establish a connection with the display and did seem to communicate but always failed during the link training process which establishes certain ground rules with the display for how the connection will be handled. The equivalent to this in HDMI is the EDID readout with the addition here that there is also some negotiation about the amount of signal lanes to use and other timing related things.

    I did not get any further with this unfortunately. I tried wrapping my FFC cable in copper foil to shield it. I used shorter DisplayPort cables. Nothing worked. I got contacted by a person from Nvidia that also already helped me before with design resources, so hopefully I will get some more insight there of what might be wrong. Again, the circuit did not change, its all the same.

    HDMI was a similar situation, EDID read fails but fortunately the Jetson goes into a default resolution for the HDMI for some reason if it can't read the EDID and this gave me a picture! So that at least hints that its not an impedance issue introduced with the FFC cables.

    Why does the EDID read fail? I do not know, I checked the circuitry surrounding the I2C signal level translation but could not find any issues introduced with the move.

    It is interesting though that both fail at a similar stage, the EDID readout / link training.

    I tried the actual eDP PCB which connects to the eDP panel instead of a DisplayPort display. Unfortunately no difference, here I get even a stranger behaviour, the Jetson does not boot at all. When I unplug it and reset it is booting fine again. Hot-pluging it 'works' it atleast doesn't crash the system and yields similar edid / link training error messages as with...

    Read more »

  • Revision 2

    Prof. Fartsparkle08/07/2019 at 21:25 0 comments

    I've been busy the past few weeks.
    I held back a bit with this update as I wanted to get certain things finished and some things debugged first (which wasn't successful yet).

    You could follow along with my daily struggles on twitter if you are interested in more regular updates. I use this blog more for the condensed version every couple weeks.

    The boards arrived a while ago from JLC, again in matte black which now comes at no extra cost which is quite nice! I know PCB business cards are a bit dated by now but you could get them now in glorious matte black for 2$ which is just insane...

    They were also supportive and sponsored a large part of the order which I think was the largest PCB order, in terms of different designs, that I've ever done...

    Here a shot of all of them together.

    I got to populating the mainboard first, here a few shots of before and after reflow.

    Got quite a few shorts which was annoying but nothing that the soldering iron couldn't fix.

    Except for this little fellow which gave me quite a headache before I discovered it. It was shorting 1.8V with 3.3V...

    And another shot of an HDMI peripheral board as well as Ethernet (not really considering Ethernet for a final version but its great for debugging)

    So how did it go you may ask? Not very well unfortunately. More on that in the next post (which will come out in just a few minutes)

  • Manufacturing and the target audience

    Prof. Fartsparkle07/08/2019 at 23:17 4 comments

    A topic I haven't talked about in too much detail yet.

    Its something I'm constantly thinking about whenever I change something in the design. The tricky part is that I want to reach two main target audiences which require somewhat conflicting mechanical design.

    The first one being the general open source crowd, no matter if they are interested in hardware or not, there is quite a lot of interest from people who are interested in Linux and open development. They mostly want to see a tablet that comes close to a polished commercial tablet, from the feedback I've got it seems they are fine with something thicker but it didn't seem there was a ton of interest in fiddling with hardware or getting something that works but looks ugly. Small to mid sized industrial companies are also pretty interested in something like this, they would require a more rugged case and are also fine with thickness but also require a finished and polished product that is well integrated.

    Catering to this crowd is actually not hard, you require a few injection moulded pieces of plastic (I try to keep it as simple as possible, so far I see about 2-3 large pieces of plastic) and make a design that is constrained and tries to squeeze the hardware into any space there is to yield a tablet that looks nice and tidy, just as a tablet would look like that you bought from the usual Manufacturers. Sure there will be a few iterations until it comes out perfect but injection moulding is a well understand process and can be done in any quantity now a days. There is polyurethane casting for prototyping and small runs of 10-100pcs.

    Next step would be injection moulding with an aluminium tool, they are a lot cheaper to manufacture than the high-end steel ones and yield y few hundred to maybe 1k pieces and if you are going really big you can scale up to steel tools and produce several 10k-100k per tool ( I pulled those numbers out of my nose but this is the range I remember).

    The issue is that I can't design the mechanical parts so that they are only feasibly manufacturable with injection moulding.

    This is because I have a second target audience that I personally find most exiting and is what drives me personally. It's the hardware hacker crowd, the educational crowd, the mid-size company that wants 10 super specialized tablets that integrates their own weird oddball hardware.
    Those people want to modify the hardware, they want to experiment, they want to make their own spin-off.

    For this audience I need to think about hack-ability. It doesn't mean they don't want a somewhat good looking tablet, but extendability is key here.

    This is one reason why I design the electronics in a very modular way, no peripheral is fixed, everything is changeable. Don't need HDMI output? Then don't get the HDMI PCB. Need it 2 years later? Just buy it for a small amount and add it to your tablet, no need to buy a whole new thing. This not only allows upgrading to some degree, it also allows for great repairability which is something pretty much everyone likes.

    Now there is a catch here, how do I add an HDMI port to a case that doesn't have an opening for it?
    This why I decided to design the case in the following way. There will be a display assembly that consists of LCD, Touchscreen (the two will not be bonded for repairability) and a plastic 'spacer' that creates a frame around the LCD. This assembly is then acting as a flat surface where the aluminium plate will be attached to.

    This plate will have a sort of pegboard pattern of 2.5mm threaded holes where the electronics can be attached to, this allows for free placement of all peripherals and the motherboard. This plate can be easily manufactured in lots of different processes, its thin enough to be done in a sheet metal process, using water-jets or lasers, or more expensively, on a milling machine.

    The tapping will be a bit more expensive than just having threads in a limited amount of places for a fixed set of peripherals but this...

    Read more »

  • LCD and Touchscreen combo

    Prof. Fartsparkle07/07/2019 at 20:46 0 comments

    I got a nice 8.9" eDP LCD and a fitting touchscreen with a glass cover in typical tablet style, they only got white in stock, I would prefer black for future tests but it works well for first tests. Touchscreen was working perfectly in Ubuntu out of the box.

View all 20 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Asher Gomez wrote 09/11/2019 at 01:00 point

@Prof. Fartsparkle Congrats on making the top 20! Let's hope that you can make it to the top!

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 09/11/2019 at 10:50 point


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Asher Gomez wrote 08/09/2019 at 23:21 point

Since I like naming things with acronyms I would have ended up naming this "MOSH-T" now that I think about it.

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fdufnews wrote 09/13/2019 at 17:36 point

Not a good idea.

In french speaking countries

MOSH-T is said mocheté that translates into ugly

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bylaws wrote 07/12/2019 at 15:45 point

It could be an idea if you are using usb c to use dp over usb c. l4t has native support for the cypress CCGx Type-C controller but not sure if that can be easily brought

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 07/12/2019 at 18:44 point

That sound interesting. Finding the right solution for PD is a challenge so far.

Do you have link for those kernel modules?

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Asher Gomez wrote 07/10/2019 at 20:44 point

Another question, will this be sold on Tindie or any other platform?

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 07/11/2019 at 22:50 point

No plans at this point, its very early in the development process. The first thing will probably be kits for self assembly but no ETA for that, I'm estimating that it will take a good year to get to that stage as I'm developing this in my spare time.

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Asher Gomez wrote 07/10/2019 at 19:24 point

This is made for running full-fledged 32-bit Linux right?

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colton.baldridge wrote 07/10/2019 at 21:07 point

The Jetson Nano has a 64bit Cortex-A57 processor, so it should run 64bit linux without issue.

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bsdwatch wrote 06/20/2019 at 05:48 point

Nano docs have been released, I could collaborate with you, as I have full desktop Nano images built with Yocto, and well there is a Armbiian build and well Nvidias own Ubuntu.

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jimmyplaysdrums wrote 06/18/2019 at 20:53 point

Can't wait to see how this evolves! 

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Asher Gomez wrote 06/18/2019 at 18:29 point

Coming along real well! Can't wait to get my hands on one!

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Peter S. wrote 06/15/2019 at 07:50 point

Cool, gimme !

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Mhowser wrote 06/14/2019 at 23:44 point

I hope this doesn't die off like the Neo900 did...

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devxxl wrote 06/13/2019 at 12:40 point

I've built one with Jetson TX2 a year ago, it works, IPS 1920x1080 screen, many usb ports, HDMI input for image recognition, classification and all sort of other stuff... tested up to 44C under direct sunlight at Abu Dhabi, CPU complex reaches up to 85C, has Li-Ion for stability. good luck with your experiment.

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Kevin Kreiser wrote 06/13/2019 at 02:24 point

how were you thinking of handling the heatsink for the SOM or just cooling in general? it seems like the "OEM" heatsinks are all way too big to squeeze into your case (just eyeballing it). will active cooling be needed in such a tight environment? keep up the good work!

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/20/2019 at 21:47 point

I hope to avoid it, I will post an update soon that goes into details regarding thermal design but essentially I want to reverse mount it to the large aluminium frame outlined in the mechanical design project log.

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bylaws wrote 06/08/2019 at 12:58 point

You might want to consider using a bq24192 charging ic, it is well supported by the l4t kernel and provides an otg 5v vbus supply if needed. This can be paired with some USB PD chip if you want fast charging.

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/20/2019 at 21:45 point

Thanks for the tip, I was looking through TI portfolio already but have a hard time deciding on a charger, they have a ton of options..

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kwapiszon wrote 06/07/2019 at 11:12 point

Pine64 will be gread, but fpga will be greatest.

Small fpga are extremely nice glue for joining arm procesor and for example second arm procesor or x86 procesor or other fpga.

Power ware important. FPGA get small power and can emulate console/dos/zx spectrum etc.

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Juan Rial wrote 06/07/2019 at 08:25 point

The i.MX 8M is what Librem is using for their Librem 5 Linux phone. I know you already went with another SoM, but perhaps their git repos are worth checking out, should the Jetson Nano not work out.

Anyway, once that phone is finally launched, a tablet becomes low hanging fruit for them. I guess we'll see a Librem tablet pretty soon as well. That means you can probably leverage their software efforts to improve the user experience of the DLT One. :)

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/07/2019 at 10:51 point

Is their hardware open? I couldn't find anything last time I looked.
The i.MX8M is not dead for this projects, its just something I will look into at a different point when I got a working version going with the Jetson.

The Jetson Nano got a far better performance though, its one reason why I went with this first. The power users will be a lot happier with this than the i.MX8M. The i.MX8M is much more battery friendly though and a bit more power efficient, which is reeeally important for the small phone formfactor. I have a lot more thermal lee way with my 7-10" form factor.

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Juan Rial wrote 06/07/2019 at 11:12 point

From their FAQ at

- Will this be an “open hardware” design?
=> Our intention is to have everything freed down to the schematic level, but have not cleared all design, patents, legal, and contractual details. We will continue to advance toward this goal as it aligns with our long-term beliefs.

So basically, that's the intention, but I don't think they have released anything yet. Then again, the thing isn't released yet either, they're still tweaking the hardware.

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david.boosalis wrote 06/07/2019 at 07:25 point

Great project. I could see it filling a rather large niche for a   embedded  small touch screen  device. If it could support the Yocto build system I think it would be golden 

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/07/2019 at 10:52 point

It is supported by third party efforts:

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BTPankow wrote 06/07/2019 at 02:19 point

Cool project! Where did you get the Jetson Nano hardware documentation? I’ve been looking all over for it, it seems like a neat piece of tech.

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/07/2019 at 10:53 point

I had to sign an NDA. They will release that in a few weeks though, the current dev kit and module will change accoding to a forum post by Nvidia so its probably best that the current deprecated documentation isnt public.

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JavaScriptDude wrote 06/07/2019 at 01:53 point

Is it possible to add a kill switch so if you want to go totally gene hackman (ala the conversation) by being able to disable the camera's, microphones and maybe another to kill switch for bluetooth, wifi (nfc).

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Nicolò wrote 06/06/2019 at 19:31 point

Glad to see that I'm not the only one that create footprint upside-down Doh!

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Prof. Fartsparkle wrote 06/07/2019 at 10:55 point

It turned out it wasn't the footprint, I just forgot to connect the AUX gnd in my schematic. DP is actually working now, will post an update soon :)

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Renaud Lepage wrote 06/06/2019 at 18:49 point

A tablet with a Jetson Nano chip?


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