so having all the right angle buttons on the back with the Pi, had its issues. Thankfully not all of the buttons technically need to be mounted on the back. The Start and Select buttons can be sneaked down at the bottom left and right of the screen, which means we can spin the Pi round and have clear ports!!. At the same time, i thought i would try some smaller Piezo transducers, which could flank the screen rather than being behind the screen. All this will help reduce thickness and make a better TinyPi :)
The board design was pretty much nailed, I just added a touch more design flourish and then it was done
The boards were made by @oshpark and as usual came back flawless
so i fired up the soldering iron, and while i was waiting, just had a look at how it all fitted together, and oh no!!
I did not check where those ports were!! As this is just an early prototype i carried on and made it work. Trimmed some of the usb socket metal and things just about went together.
although nobody is using that usb port!!
It just goes to show that you should always check your designs before you splash the cash!! At lest it went together ok ;)
I wanted to build on the work of TinyPi, but also improve upon it. The main goal of the original project was to go as small as possible. While this does give targets and bragging rights a plenty, it also has an impact on the usability of the device. Because the pi sits flush against the back of the pcb, and the screen takes a massive hunk of space, there is then minimal space for the controls.
Moving to the landscape layout, but keeping the screen portrait (they look terrible any other way) meant that there was a touch more space to play with. This space meant that the power switch and the battery connections could be moved to get rid of the wires that poke out on the original design.
While I was making changes, I decided to ditch the 5 way navigation switch in favour of 4 actual buttons, allowing the d-pad to be created. While searching for low actuation force buttons, I found some which looked very much like the buttons used in a Gameboy advance SP. These seemed ideal for my needs, affordable, small, easy to solder, and if it's good enough for Nintendo, then I'm sold!
In the same area, I spotted some right angle buttons that also look very similar to Nintendo ones, and decided I could monopolize on the extra bit of PCB available from the screen rotation, to add 'shoulder' buttons. While I was at it, the start and select buttons could be moved out of the way too.
So the new board was designed, and sent off to oshpark for making