MiSTer in Pi-top case

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_MiSTer/wiki

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Sorgelig
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MiSTer in Pi-top case

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:46 pm

I think, it would be interesting to fit MiSTer into Pi-top case: https://pi-top.com/products/pi-top-original
So, you will have Amiga, Spectrum and other computers in one notebook :)

The link points to original(older) version of Pi-top. It's more suitable as it has cables for all connectors. New version is more sleek but uses precise physical dimensions of Pi and thus will require a lot of modifications. Original Pi-top should fit without modifications at first sight.
And it has black version! :)

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby keito » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:15 pm

Ok yes this is a nice idea! I saw someone post an RPI3 setup specifically for booting uae4arm and use as an Amiga Laptop, they had the green version. It would be very very cool and appealing to me to have a MiSTER in the old black unit that you mentioned.

So I guess at some point I might have to give this is a go, really need to see the case first hand to see how the build might work but should be relatively straight forward, even with wifi/lan it would be still be nice to be able to access the SD-Card slot of course, will look into this further later :)

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:29 am

Originally i was fan of idea to install MiSTer inside Amiga 1200 Kickstarter case. As always with kickstarter campaigns it delays a lot.

So, i found this Pi-top case and it looks even better since you have display integrated. So, I've decided to give it a go and ordered the case.
By the way, since it's old version of case i expect it to out of stock at some day. Currently it's available from original manufacturer and some 3rd party sites such as RS-online and Digikey (but with higher price than original). Not sure how long it will last. New version of Pi-top will be hard to match with MiSTer and it's available only in childish acid green color.

What makes me worry is resolution of Pi-top display - 1920x1080. Although i believe it supports lower resolutions, providing original FullHD is preferable to avoid second scaling. For unknown reason i couldn't see FullHD on my small monitor from MiSTer. Not sure if it's problem of MiSTer or my monitor doesn't support FHD.

They also have Pi-topCEED. It's a good alternative for those who prefer to use external (may be wireless) keyboard. It looks pretty similar to old Pi-top in terms of Pi placement and should be also MiSTer friendly. The good point in Pi-topCEED is display resolution 1366x768 which is perfect for MiSTer.
And it's twice cheaper :)

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby coughlanio » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:02 am

Sorgelig wrote:Originally i was fan of idea to install MiSTer inside Amiga 1200 Kickstarter case. As always with kickstarter campaigns it delays a lot.

So, i found this Pi-top case and it looks even better since you have display integrated. So, I've decided to give it a go and ordered the case.
By the way, since it's old version of case i expect it to out of stock at some day. Currently it's available from original manufacturer and some 3rd party sites such as RS-online and Digikey (but with higher price than original). Not sure how long it will last. New version of Pi-top will be hard to match with MiSTer and it's available only in childish acid green color.

What makes me worry is resolution of Pi-top display - 1920x1080. Although i believe it supports lower resolutions, providing original FullHD is preferable to avoid second scaling. For unknown reason i couldn't see FullHD on my small monitor from MiSTer. Not sure if it's problem of MiSTer or my monitor doesn't support FHD.

They also have Pi-topCEED. It's a good alternative for those who prefer to use external (may be wireless) keyboard. It looks pretty similar to old Pi-top in terms of Pi placement and should be also MiSTer friendly. The good point in Pi-topCEED is display resolution 1366x768 which is perfect for MiSTer.
And it's twice cheaper :)


Do you think it's possible for MiSTer to support 1080p at some point?

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:11 pm

please do not overquote! There is no reason to quote whole my message just to write a several words.

FullHD is possible, but pixel clock 148.5MHz is kind of extreme. Especially for large cores where higher clock is additional source of instability. Core should be compiled with highest possible HDMI clock as default. Currently cores compiled with 74.25MHz HDMI clock which equals 1280x720@60. With some assumptions it's OK to rise HDMI clock and even 108MHz for 1280x1024 works. But rising 148.5MHz will produce video artifacts. Thus core has to be compiled with 148.5MHz as default.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:16 pm

Well, 148.5MHz is too high. It will add metastability to most cores which i don't want.
I think, for FullHD TV it's better to choose 960x540 resolution which is exactly quarter of FHD and should not add artifacts of second scaling.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:03 am

Here we are:
20180119_125332.jpg


DE10n fits inside almost without problems. I only had to remove the metal shield of battery because it requires some standoffs to prevent short circuit on GPIO. And with standoffs ethernet connector prevents closing the door. Metal shield can be returned on its place after deciding final DE10n placement, after that i plan to make cutout in metal shield (or may be change its form instead).

20180119_125537.jpg

As you can see the door can be fully closed. And thanks to transparency, on-board LEDs are visible through. What important part currently missing is speaker. I've bought their pi-top speakers. They are supposed to use output from HDMI. But the placement is to be decided. Most likely speakers will be disassembled and fit in completely different places.

Now about bad thing: display support only SINGLE resolution 1920x1080 :( So the HDMI-LVDS board is primitive direct converter.
So, i need to think how to overcome it. I have one idea - will try.
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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:08 am

Some additional notes: The best SDRAM placement for this case is horizontal inward if you use included standoffs to fasten DE10n. Extra slim preventing the door to be closed very little. I will try to fasten DE10n without standoffs - it should be able to fit.
Need to think about fan placement. Probably slot type is the best one. For such case.

On the right side of case there is a big hole. With some experience in 3D modelling, it's possible to make a correct filling with USB/Ethernet connectors.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:17 am

It seems display doesn't care about pixel clock, so any clock is OK. Thus you can use 1920x1080 with lower clock like 110MHz.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby kolla » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:06 am

Sweet!
Just need to find a way to get the Amiga networked with Linux side, and you have a nice and usable FPGA Amiga laptop :)
-- kolla

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:55 am

pi-topSPEAKER v2 requires external source of i2s audio. Also it doesn't allow co-exist of 2 speakers. So v2 version won't be compatible with MiSTer.

v1 according to cryptic information on pi-top site/github work from SPDIF source provided by pi-topHUB v1 and internally converts it to i2s and then outputs to its speaker by TAS2505. v1 speaker also supports co-existing of up to 3 speakers (using integrated switch).

Most likely v1 speaker will be supported - just need to connect i2c bus to LTC connector (same as RTC board) and send proper config for speakers. Volume can be controlled by i2c which will be done on ARM side independently from cores.

Now i have 2x v2 speakers doomed to lay unused (trashed another $40), and i had to order v1 speakers on rs-online. Hope their site info reflects exact version they ship. I don't want another 2 rubbish v2.

Original pi-top site sells only v2 speakers.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby alfishe » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Laptop-o-mania is getting strong with MiSTer! =)
Directly from adafruit, meet - my instance of gray pi-top original.

Image

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby alfishe » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:02 pm

kolla wrote:Sweet!
Just need to find a way to get the Amiga networked with Linux side, and you have a nice and usable FPGA Amiga laptop :)


As per post on Facebook - it was implemented on MiSt with RPi Zero bonnet. RPi served the connection on linux side and then mimic modem using UART. So Minimig core was seeing external modem.
Ideally, zorro ethernet emulation... but I'm personally too far from such deep knowledge both from Amiga driver standpoint and from hardware. Maybe... some day...

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby alanswx » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:23 pm

It seems like we should build a daemon on the linux side that can do serial, and forward it to ppp, etc. How does the Amiga core present the serial port on MiSTer? Should we forward it over SPI, or is there a better way?

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby alfishe » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:54 am

alanswx wrote:It seems like we should build a daemon on the linux side that can do serial, and forward it to ppp, etc. How does the Amiga core present the serial port on MiSTer? Should we forward it over SPI, or is there a better way?


... or... we shouldn't develop anything and just get UART support for minimig core somehow =)
https://kerpanic.wordpress.com/2015/07/ ... ial-cable/

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby kolla » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:58 am

alfishe wrote:
kolla wrote:Sweet!
Just need to find a way to get the Amiga networked with Linux side, and you have a nice and usable FPGA Amiga laptop :)


As per post on Facebook - it was implemented on MiSt with RPi Zero bonnet. RPi served the connection on linux side and then mimic modem using UART. So Minimig core was seeing external modem.


Er, not quite, Minimig core just sees a serial port and you use it just like a serial port on Amiga. For example to run PPP over null-modem connection to a Raspberry pi. Nothing "sees" any modem here :)
-- kolla

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby kolla » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:31 am

alfishe wrote:... or... we shouldn't develop anything and just get UART support for minimig core somehow =)
https://kerpanic.wordpress.com/2015/07/ ... ial-cable/


It's already there, the Amiga chipset in Minimig implements a serial port, and has done so since forever. The question is, where is it terminated on the MiSTer? Can it be brought somewhere?
-- kolla

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:24 pm

Minimig UART has no output on MiSTer, although the module itself is there. My plan is to intercept UART send/receive and route it to Linux side where similar to RPi service will be used.
I'm just busy by other things currently. I never tried to use RPI-Minimig for internet so i still need to explore how it work.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm

While Chinese manufacturers went to their endless CNY vacation, i only can simulate the boards for PiTop case:
pitop_aio.png

This will be the main daughter board. Since the space inside the case isn't big, i need to make it compact.
I know, some users like to see all-in-one daughter board :) Bit don't take me wrong - all heating problems are there, and this design requires turbine kind of fan. So, the daughter board itself is used as air pipe. The exhaust of fan will be connected to the front, where hdmi and power connectors are. So, the whole construction will be slim.
There will be another board connected to pi-topHUB to access I2C(battery) and SPI(brightness) interfaces. Although i've placed audio amplifiers on this board, most likely they will be moved to that board connected to pi-topHUB as i think it will be more convenient and won't stress the power circuit of DE10-nano.
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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:27 pm

This board is serial interfaces and audio connected to pi-topHUB i've mentioned above:
pitop_audio.png


I will leave audio options on both boards - so it will be up to hobbyist where to put the audio amplifiers.
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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Cebion » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:03 am

You did a really great job with this modification so far.
Do you think you could resolve the heat problem without a turbine? :P

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:14 am

DE10-nano requires active cooling in closed space.
So, at least slow rotating turbine fan is required.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:17 am

The design is mostly finished. I've got PCBs and already assembled them. The only PCB remaining to get and assemble is USB HUB.
I'm starting to publish the info on Wiki.
Soon i will add the pictures.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Cebion » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:33 am

Awesome, can't wait to see them.

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Re: Pi-top case for MiSTer

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:06 pm

Some real life photos of the whole construction.
20180308_161232.jpg

20180308_161423.jpg

20180308_162749.jpg

20180308_163011.jpg


USB hub board will get new revision with minor adjustments and console USB pass through.
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