• First steps for the Keyboard controller

    WooDWorkeR03/25/2018 at 21:56 0 comments

    A very important part of the PIMP project is the Keyboard. Without a keyboard, no notetaking capabilities.

    The Blackberry Q10 keyboard has a basic keyboard matrix and needs 5 pins for the rows and 7 pins for columns.

    The first iteration of this controller is build with an Arduino Nano. Later I may change to a cheaper Microcontroller like STM8, EFM8 or a SAMD10.

    The Prototype

    The firmware is pretty easy. Scanning the keyboard matrix, checking for button changes and then writing the pressed keys to the serial console. Of cause, there is a little bit "magic" in between to check if keypresses are actually printable characters. And because we can we also care for the keyboard backlight.

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  • Solder once, Beepout Twice

    WooDWorkeR11/16/2017 at 17:07 1 comment

    Thought Experiment: You solder a very tiny connector to an breakoutboard to try beep out the thing you connected to that connector. You find a few connections but for Farad sake you can not find others.

    You totally must have broken some connections on the disassemly of that board, so you buy a few more components. Would you also check your Connector on that breakout board if that has all the connections you think, beep out all 28 Pins?

    I did all this without checking the soldered connector. So i found all the missing connection for the Diodes where on PINs that where not really soldered on the Connector Breakout. I checked then with thin wire direct on the FlexPCB connector and there where all my missing connections.

    I present you the Blackberry Q10 Keyboard Backlight Pinout :D

    The resistor on this circuit seem to be in the ballpark of 1 Ohm. I tested the LEDs with 3V and they seem to like this voltage, 2.5 is minimum but also very dim

    Things i learned: 

    • Solder once Beepout Twice all your connections, every pin
    • Soldering 0.4mm is Hard

  • Blackberry Q10 Keyboard (destructive) Disassembly

    WooDWorkeR10/25/2017 at 22:42 6 comments

    So, i found the Q10 Keyboard for my project and JoeN from the EEVBlog Forum also already did the work to reverse engineer the Keyboard matrix.
    But as i know that this keyboard can also be backlit i wanted to to get the backlight running.

    At first i tried just the good old try all the pins with all the other pins in Diode testing mode - and i did not really get much out of this. So as Dave Jones always says: “Don't turn it on, take it apart”, i then took it apart.

    I found a lot of nice metallic tactile domes for the keys, a few Resistors AND 4 LEDs.

    Now that i had access to the LEDs i was testing them directly with the diode test mode of my DMM and there they are White LEDs with 2.5v diode drop.
    Then i beeped out the connections of the diodes and got a really strange back to back front to front arrangement.

    But while removing the flex pcb from the metal back i ripped of one of the resistors, and as i only have one keyboard left, i’ll wait for the next Aliexpress shipment of 6 of them to take another one apart and find the missing connections.

    But i found the grounds and one LED connection for that connector. Hopefully i’ll find them all when i can take another one, more carefully, apart. If anyone has any tips on what this strange LED arrangement is please tell.

    JoeN Connector Pinout + my findings

    GND   28     1    GND
    ROW7  27     2
          26     3
    D1-   25     4
          24     5
          23     6    ROW1
    ROW6  22     7    COL1
    ROW5  21     8    ROW2
    ROW4  20     9    COL2
    COL5  19    10    COL3
    ROW3  18    11    GND
    COL4  17    12    GND
          16    13    GND
          15    14

  • The maximum Build

    WooDWorkeR10/02/2017 at 13:36 5 comments

    While thinking about this little project there might happend some featurecreep. But i will put all the Ideas for this little Gadget into the wild, so other will maybe give tipps for even more features.

    • Hardware
      • Output
        • Display
          • LCD or OLED
          • eInk (maybe as backpack for showing pager information)
        • LED
        • Vibration Motor
          • page like functionality
      • Input
        • Blackberry Q10 Keyboard
          • maybe a stm8 based keyboard controller to not use up all the main MCU pins
        • NFC Tag Reader/Write
        • Buttons
        • Rotary Encoder
      • Other
        • Realtime Clock
      • Main CPU/MCU
        • ESP8266
          • not enough pins?
        • ESP32
          • could be main MCU or also just wifi coprocessor
        • STM32
          • no build in WiFi
          • could try to code in rust-lang
    • Batteries
      • would love to have 2 to 3 days of usage
      • Charger via (micro)USB(-C)
      • 18650 (Between 1 and 3)
    • Storage
      • SD/microSD
      • create eeprom cartridges?
        • need to find a small/cheap pcb edge connector for this
    • Connectivity
      • WiFi
        • ESP8266/ESP32
      • LoRa(like)
      • 433MHz
      • Protocolls
        • CoAP?
          • IKEA Lamps
        • MQTT (read/send)
        • CalDAV
        • NTP (sync the realtime clock)
    • Apps
      • Writing/Notetaking
        • Sync via WiFi to Nextcloud?!
      • Calendar
      • Clock
      • Pager
        • MQTT based?
        • Send in 433MHz spectrum?
          • maybe encrypted
      • Maybe more via gameboy like cartridges or bin files from sd card

  • Q10 Keyboard Adapter (My first hot air experience)

    WooDWorkeR09/29/2017 at 10:12 1 comment

    Solderpaste arrived

    Hotair Station arrived

    So no i only need to to this, can't be that hard? Am i right? Solderpaste, mhh, i think more is better! (Spoiler: no it's not)

    But in the end i got a working a adapter board to develop my Breadboard PIMP :D