MWeston talks cases & keymats

April 10, 2009
Posted by: gruso

If you read EvilDragon’s recent interview, you might have had some questions about exactly where we’re at with the case design. MWeston droppped into the forums to fill in some of the blanks.

New CNC’d cases should be done in a couple of days if the predicted build time is still accurate. I’m trying to get my own UPS account set up so we don’t have to play “musical chairs” with the shipping anymore. That will probably shave a week off of delivery time if these things can come right to me!

By the way, these ones will be clear so that I can monitor the hinge action, cable rotation and the fit of components inside while the whole thing is together. πŸ™‚

keymap – ED can show that to you when he feels ready. He has the actual image files that went to the manufacturer.

keymat – the molds were supposed to be done this week but they are coming back at us with more questions about things they want to change, things we can’t change like trying to move the position of holes! Maybe it will be done next week now 😦

I think [full stress testing] is best left for the molded cases but I did try to bend and flex the CNC cases and they’re pretty solid. As I think I mentioned before, the Pandora case seems a bit thicker than what you get with most portable electronics because we are inexperienced and would rather make things too strong rather than too weak. My website has been updated to reflect the specs of the CNC case testing and all this thickness has a little effect on the weight unfortunately. The CNC case turned out to be quite a bit heavier than the FDM ones.

I believe the case could take some accidental drops on the corners because of the shell’s strength but I’m not ready to sacrifice the prototypes until I can consider them disposable next month.

All quotes taken from this thread.



  1. PS. Just a brief comment on comments. Opinions are fine, but some of the ranting/trolling is getting a little tiresome. There’s been no reason to moderate the comments so far, and hopefully there never will be. We’re all in the same boat here. Peace, yo. πŸ™‚

  2. I wondered why things wheren’t happening as quick as the roadmap to do. Suppose it can’t be helped but I just wished we’d be nearer to mass production now than what we are. Anyhow cheers for the update MWeston lets hope iy’ll be smooooth sailing when the new case comes back πŸ™‚

  3. A clear Pandora. Awesome.

  4. cool, I would like a clear case πŸ˜›

    ooh, maybe next month might be a hint πŸ˜‰

  5. *looks at his clear GB classic*
    Me wants a clear Pandora 😦

  6. yawn

  7. Yeah, need an atomic purple pandora like the original gameboy

  8. needz clear case

  9. No plain white gameboy == No original/classic gameboy.

    Colored version came far late on πŸ˜›

    Anyway Gameboy sucks, 2 years ago I bought a Nomad and I rock. Lol.

  10. “My website has been updated to reflect the specs of the CNC case testing ”

    Anyone knows his webpage?

  11. I’m very worried about how the cable goes through the hinge – seems like it could be both difficult to fit (for mass production) and possibly prone to damaging the cable. I also worry that the screen cable may work-loose from the motherboard connector.

    I say this simple because half of all Psion PDAs had screen cable problems, and they were never fixed (so there are very few such second-hand Psions that work, and usually those have been repaired).

    My bet for greatest cause of Pandora failures is the screen cable (near the hinge), or the cable disconnecting. I just hope it is only a few percent, rather than a double digit percentage.

  12. @ Mithrildor: MW’s site is here: http://www.openpandora.ca/

    Just a spec list really… not even sure what he changed, just the weight I guess.

    @ Chris H: The Psions were notorious for their poor LCD cable design. One model even had a hole inexplicably designed into it. Open the PDA enough times and the repeated stress would tear it. Thankfully, these issues came up on the forums a year ago and the team was inspired to research all the crappy ribbon designs from the past, with the aim of learning from everyone else’s mistakes. I guess we won’t know how successful they were until we’ve all had our Pandoras for a while, but we at least know that they’ve done a lot of homework.

  13. Will they make another CNC case after this one to keep delaying? Tired of this. They ought of made the CNC cases clear or ordered one clear, one black, one white instead of three white before. Mweston should have a UPS account already. Huh?

  14. Wow … 335g. I never paid attention to the weight (if it was mentioned in the main OpenPandora page) but that is quite a lot to hold in your hands, especially if you have RSI problems. Anyone remember what the previous estimation was?

    Also come on, show the keypads already if they’re set in stone. What’s the worst that can happen, mass uprising by the fanbase πŸ™‚

  15. DS is 275g, PSP is 280g. It’s only 45-50g heavier than the big-shop competition (16% – 18%), and that may be an artifact of the CNC material over the FDM.

    Even so I’d rather deal with a -little- more weight if it means the device is protected better. Since Pandora promises to replace my DS and my Palm in day-to-day carrying, it’s still lighter than my current pocket-load.

  16. Can’t help but feel that if ED and others had said “these minor tweaks to the case /may/ delay us further, we’re not sure yet” rather than the rather poorly worded “No, the case issues we’ve highlighted will definitely in no way whatsoever hold things up”, then people might be getting angry a little less around here.

    Still, par for the course, etc.

  17. /me goes weight my Game & Watch

  18. http://whenisthepandoracoming.wut.bz/

    updated in real time!

  19. Does anyone know if this case is for the MK3 Board or for the old one?

  20. Surely the latest case will be for the Mk4 board?

  21. MK4 Board???
    Isn’t the MK3 the final?

  22. The final, mass production version is Mk4.


    Pretty sure MWeston has the only MK4 (obviously not a mass produced one). So the new CNC will suit what he’s got.

  23. It’s been so long I’d forgotten about that post. What’s the status on the order? Are they being built yet? Testing?

  24. […] MWeston talks cases & keymats Posted by: gruso If you read EvilDragon’s recent interview, you might have had some questions about exactly where […] […]

  25. Where’s the difference between te MK3 and MK4 board??

  26. Jannik – there is no difference in the specifications if that’s what you’re asking. Each prototype revision from Mk0 to Mk4 has just been part of the design process. With each revision they’ve adjusted the component layout, mount points, that sort of thing. All mass production Pandoras will have a Mk4 board.

  27. Sry that was not the point I meant.
    I simply asked if there were differences (Layout, Holes whatever).

    Btw, there are difference in the specs πŸ˜‰ (Ram Upgrade from MK2 to MK3)

    MK2-> Old Board with 128 mb Ram
    MK3-> New Board with 256 mb Ram (can work without a battery)
    MK4-> Mass Production Board with adjusted holes.

    is that right?

  28. Ah I see what you mean. You’re right about the RAM change of course. πŸ˜€

    I -think- the Mk4 revision involved moving a hole or two. Also, when ED built his white CNC prototype, he mentioned that there was a component in the way that prevented the case closing properly. That’s about all I know off the top of my head… some forum trawling might be in order.

  29. Dunny said : “Can’t help but feel that if ED and others had said […]”

    YES! This is my biggest complaint with OpenPandora. They never give us the bad news straight up. If they mention it at all they use some tortured wording that, while technically true, gives the impression that the ship-date will not be pushed back.

    This builds us up for perpetual disappointments where we’re told that they’re still “on schedule” but mysteriously the ship-date keeps pushing back.

    If this new CNC case will push the schedule back by a week, or three weeks, then tell us so in plain clear language.

    I’m sure that Craigix is worried about people getting discouraged and canceling, but he’s shooting himself in the foot. We’re smart enough to figure out on our own that the schedule is slipping. It’s just making us angry that we’re never being told straight.

    Admittedly, they’re getting a little better about this, better than they were back in the December/January era.

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