The Quby Game Console for Four Players

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  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-12 - 17:33:15
    Although I originally planned on sending them unfinished, I figured it wouldn't kill me to paint the bezels a single color and stain the top. It wouldn't add that much time to the total job (we're talking 3 or 4 hours total, I'm guessing, including getting them cut and shipped). So I was perhaps being lazy in saying that I'd send them unfinished. Hence, I gave you the above option (even though I didn't go the whole nine yards to offer five-color detailing).

    As for getting things cut locally, that's certainly an option. If you can find 3 mm-thick stock, then you can use the outer dimensions that I provided in that sketch above. But you'll still need to decide the dimensions and placement of the cutout. Of course, if your material stock (MDF or whatever) is a different thickness (i.e., not 3 mm), they you'll have to adjust those dimensions that I posted.

    If you go to a commercial laser cutter there, I wouldn't be surprised if the cost is about the same as what it would cost me get them cut here and ship them abroad, as I think US firms have higher overhead costs (and expectations). Again, I'm willing to bear the costs in return for the efforts you guys have put in. But if you can go to a Maker Space, then perhaps you can get things done on the cheap and learn something in the process. It could help you with your next project.

    I'm okay regardless of what you guys decide. I just felt bad that you were dissatisfied with the original design in terms of the bezels and wanted to make you "happy campers." I mean, Mike's day-one Lunar Lander game used all 15 lines and 40 columns, and your Monsta looks and plays better going edge-to-edge. Pity I didn't design it for those uses from the beginning, but hindsight is 20:20. So my willingness to make new bezels is also based on that. After all, you guys are my first real customers (not that I've advertised) and the only ones that are programming for the console.
  • The main reason I mentioned trying to do it locally is that it would be easier/quicker/cheaper to do iterations to get the size exactly right.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-12 - 17:48:12
    True. I've gone through some iterations myself over the course of this project. But honestly, aren't the current bezels almost there? They just need a few millimeters taken off on each of the four sides of the cutout, especially on the right and top of the cutout. And you said that it wasn't a deal breaker if a little silver from the metal bezels was visible (so you could even oversize things a bit). Anyway, working with a laser cutter shop can be a good experience if you decide to go that route. But my offer still stands if you're interested.
  • But my offer still stands if you're interested.
    Thanks! I'll take a look at mine tonight to see if there is a single size that will work for all four of my screens.

  • Or works well enough for all four of them. Remember, you might be able to adjust the screens a bit in the head frame with a shim or similar. Okay, I'll sign off for now. Nice chatting with you.
  • Or works well enough for all four of them. Remember, you might be able to adjust the screens a bit in the head frame with a shim or similar. Okay, I'll sign off for now. Nice chatting with you.
    Yeah, it's quite late for you. Have a good night and thanks for your offer of help!

  • David Betz wrote: »
    Or works well enough for all four of them. Remember, you might be able to adjust the screens a bit in the head frame with a shim or similar. Okay, I'll sign off for now. Nice chatting with you.
    Yeah, it's quite late for you. Have a good night and thanks for your offer of help!
    I'm not really sure how to measure for this since I can't see the frame when the bezels are installed but by measuring the viewable portion of the screen it looks like the opening should be 157x89. However, if the opening isn't really centered then that won't work. Maybe it's best to make it 158x90 and hope too much of the metal frame doesn't show through. Or better yet, maybe we'd better just forget this and I'll take off the bezels if I need to use the entire screen.

  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-14 - 07:50:44
    Well, I used two different metal rulers to measure, and about the largest opening I'm seeing is 156x88 mm. And that actually extends beyond the active area (pixels) of the screen into a narrow black border between the active area and the metal borders. So, I think going beyond that would be asking for trouble (meaning, expose the silver metal bezels).

    Now in addition to the size of the opening, I'll need at least the offset from the top and left, keeping in mind that the MDF material is ~3 mm in thickness. From looking just now, it appears that the offset for the opening could be about 27 mm down from the top of the MDF bezel (24 mm from the top of the wooden frame) and 28 mm to the right of the left edge of the MDF bezel (25 mm to the right of the left edge of the wooden frame).

    That's without getting into fractional millimeters for the lengths and the offset. So, to make a preliminary sketch for our discussion, I went with an opening of 156x88 mm, along with an offset of 27 down and 28 to the right. I just modified the old sketch to come up with the one, wherein I crossed out the old figures so you could do a comparison.

    But based on what I'm seeing on my console, the opening may not need to extend down so far (i.e., 88 mm might be too much) because there seems to be a larger black border after the active pixels at the bottom. But anyway, based on what I'm seeing, 88 mm for the height of the opening is about as large as things can safely go without getting into the silver metal bezels.

    But my comments and the sketch below are just to aid our discussion. I'll go with whatever you say. If you want the opening bigger (or smaller) or want to change the offset, then fine. Anyway, for the sketch, I've assumed that the overall dimensions of 209x143 mm for the bezel are fine. I think the width is fine, as the cap slips on without being too snug or having too much slop. But, for example, if you want it to extend down a millimeter further at the bottom, we can certainly do that, although an MDF bezel height of 143 seems just about perfect for my bezel cap.

    Anyway, if possible, I'd like to get this settled by the end of this week. It's possible that Mike won't have a good opportunity to measure things and give his input (as he's mentioned being super busy). If he doesn't chime in, I'll just go with what David says. Then, I'll get two sets of bezels cut and ship them to David. And David has already indicated his willingness to forward a set on to Mike. So that should take care of things.

    So, we now have two sets of dimensions on the table in these bezel negotiations. Let's try to zero in on the final dimensions. Please note that your dimensions should add up to 209 mm horizontally and 143 mm (or maybe 144 mm?) vertically. Sorry for the indecsion on my part in making the decisions for you. This is my first "product recall." But if I don't hear anything from either of you, I'll probably just go ahead with what I've described and pictured and call it a day.

    Edit: I'll probably go with square inside corners, too, unless you guys say otherwise.
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  • I'll go with what you recommend since I don't really have a way to do more accurate measurements. Obviously, the ones I did weren't that good.
  • That has us trimming two millimeters on all sides of the opening except for the top, for which we'll trim three millimeters. That's probably as good as we'll be able to get things using the same dimensions for each side. And we'll go with square corners, I guess. Although rounded corners for the opening would probably look better, they might partially cover text in the corners. I'll wait about 12 hours to provide more time for input before I commit to these dimensions. As they say, "Speak now or forever hold your peace."
  • Sounds good. Thanks!
  • I'm getting ready to draw this up for the laser cutter. And in looking at things on my console again, I'm having second thoughts. When I physically lift up the bezel cap 3 mm, I can see a sliver of silver metal bezel along the top of the opening on two or three screens. As such, I'm thinking about going with 28 mm for the top instead of 27 mm, making it the same dimension as on the left and at the bottom. That means I'd have to steal 1 mm from the opening, making it 87 mm high instead of 88 mm. Although a ruler can span 88 mm from the bottom to the top of a screen between the top and bottom portions of the silver metal bezel, that includes the black border all around that has no active pixels. So maybe 87 mm is okay. Another option would be to steal the 1 mm from the bottom of the MDF bezel, making it 27 mm instead of 28 mm, which would allow keeping 88 mm for the height of the opening. But I probably won't do that unless you guys want me to.

    In summary, for this new plan, in millimeters, we're looking at 28/28/28/25 for T/L/B/R, respectively, with an opening of 156x87. By the way, that makes the bezel the same measurement on all sides (28 mm) when you factor in the 3 mm that gets added to the right side by the neighboring bezel (25+3=28 mm), but that symmetry didn't motivate my thinking. Now, the down side of this new plan is that, if one is sitting up straight or has a long torso, the 3 mm thickness of the MDF bezel *might* partially block the top portion of the top line (line 0), but that might be a good as it could block any exposed silver metal bezel along the top edge instead. But any silver metal along the top edge could still be visible when viewed more straight on. So, I think it's best to shoot for not having any silver metal at all exposed along the top, regardless of viewing angle. I'll toss this thinking out there for comments while I start drawing things up.
  • Whatever you think is best is fine with me. That includes telling us to go jump in a lake. After all, we knew about this when we bought the consoles. There is really no requirement that you address this at all but I'm thankful that you've offered.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-14 - 16:51:26
    Okay, thanks. I'll go with what I described in my last post (see the updated sketch below). Actually, if seeing some exposed silver metal bezel was of no concern whatsoever, then your proposed dimensions for the opening would obviously be better. But the current plan aims for the best of both worlds: maximum screen exposure while minimizing the risk of exposing the silver bezels. Well, for better or worse, this new plan is simple: We're simply increasing the size of the opening 2 mm in all directions while keeping its center in place. Doing that adds a total of 4 mm horizontally and vertically to the opening, taking it from 152x83 to 156x87 (on the same center). This new bezel set will be my Christmas gift to you: "Silver bezels, silver Bezels; It's Christmas time in the city." But hopefully, you'll get it in time for Turkey Day. Let's keep our fingers crossed that these changes with get the console out of The Land of Misfit Toys.
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  • I hate to press my luck but are you also sending a top panel? As I mentioned a while back, I don't care if it has an opening for the snack bowls.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-14 - 17:24:25
    Yes, you'll definitely need a top piece that is 3 mm thick. Not only does it help considerably in holding the bezels together once everything is glued but also its 3 mm thickness vertically aligns the four MDF bezels with the LCD screens. It might be hard for you to find something "exactly" 3 mm thick to use as a top, and, again, it really helps hold the bezel cap together (something to do with triangles being strong). And trying to cut out the violet colored top of the existing cap would be a nightmare, as MDF material has a tendency to tear or flake off, among other difficulties. Besides, you may want to keep the existing bezel cap intact as a backup.

    Actually, I just finished drawing things up. Out of a half sheet of MDF, I can get 9 bezels and 2 tops. That's 4 bezels and a top (a full set) for both you and Mike, with a single leftover bezel for me to play around with. As I've drawn things, both of the tops have the big opening for the snack bowl (I made no changes there). Again, cutting the openings for the snack bowl won't add much cost to the whole job. But if you don't want the opening for the snack bowl for whatever reason(s), then let me know now/soon and I'll eliminate it (while keeping the opening in the other one for Mike).
  • The top hole is okay with me. I just suggested that I didn't need it if it was going to make the job easier or cheaper.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-14 - 17:47:46
    Okay, got it. On another note, shall I go with the Quby paint scheme (golden-yellow bezels and a brownish stained top)? Alternatively, I could paint the top yellow, too. I kind of tried that once for Quby, but it sort of made Quby look like a school bus = too much yellow, as QB1 has a flat top without an opening. But it might be okay for QB0 (your console), since there is a large opening for the snack bowl, and the dark brown laser-cut edges break things up a bit. So that's two options to choose among. Or I can just leave things unfinished if you prefer the natural look or want to paint/stain things yourself. However, I would think that it's best to paint or clear-coat the MDF at some point to give it some protection, particularly if using the snack bowl. If you do choose for me to paint/stain things, you can always paint (but not stain) over it.
  • Whatever is easiest is fine with me. Yellow on all sides is okay. Having the top brown is also okay. I guess you're right that it should be painted so if you're willing to do that I'll go with whatever you decide for colors.
  • Yellow bezels it is then, with a brown top. The backs of the pieces will be untreated.
  • Yellow bezels it is then, with a brown top. The backs of the pieces will be untreated.
    Sounds perfect! Thanks for your generosity!

  • @JRetSapDoog,

    I am very thankful that you will do this, and I am fine with your measurements. I am also fine with square corners.

    For me it is just about readability of the currently too much clipped characters.

    I am currently 'upgrading' a Network consisting of Windows 2000/2003 servers and XP clients to (yay) Windows 2008 servers and W10 clients and moving all the security from local accounts to a active directory. This team-work with the local Admin and me (I am in the US, the network is in Germany) is quite nerve racking since we have to do this on a live system.

    But we are almost done, one W2003 Webserver is left and I need to move the Mailserver to a different machine, so hopefully on Friday night the move to AD and killing of all older machines will be done.

    Then we need some time to fix some issues related to 32/64 bit windows and older software not supported anymore (like dbf-files..), but my work there is almost done.

    I will have to dismantle the console anyways because I have to somehow get a switch between the P30 on the PropPlug connector and allow for RUN-Mode (with the IR Pin connected to the PropPlug) and PRG-Mode (with P30 connected there). While at it I will also try to add a power switch and a reset button.

    I do not see any value in the IR function but having a working Fullduplex connection while running all 4 screens is simply a must for the expansions I am planning.

    You should consider this for the Quby too.

    A usable serial connection with all screens working does not just allow for debug as @David Betz tried to use it. I envision some interesting uses like Blutooth or WiFi modules for networking between the Qubies, and/or some software running on a PC. Or connecting a P2D2 module to it via serial, or even a RasPi?

    All serial driver I know of on the P1 can use any Pins so using 25/31 instead of 30/31 is supported.

    Enjoy!

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.
    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.
    Press any key to continue, any other key to quit

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 787
    edited 2018-11-15 - 05:28:04
    I am very thankful that you will do this, and I am fine with your measurements. I am also fine with square corners.
    Hi, Mike. Thanks for the feedback. And if I don't hear from you to the contrary, I'll assume that you're okay with the yellow and brown color scheme.
    I do not see any value in the IR function but having a working Fullduplex connection while running all 4 screens is simply a must for the expansions I am planning.
    Sounds like a great way to repurpose the IR line. As for my inclusion of IR, it certainly wasn't essential, but I thought it might be nice to have to be able to control/set the quad-screen clock without needing to attach a keyboard, though I never got around to coding the clock program to work with a remote. However, the Game Menu program does work with a remote, so one could use the remote to choose a program that didn't need the keyboards, such as, for example, a slide show program, wherein one wouldn't have to haul around a keyboard if on the road. Another possible usage of the remote would be for using the console as a quad-screen scoreboard, such as when playing ping-pong, wherein the score could be updated via the small remote. Those are some uses that might appeal to non-programmers, which was the main audience that I was hoping to target. But in that I haven't yet tried to target a general audience, I would have been better off targeting programmers. So, P25 could have been brought out.
    Or connecting a P2D2 module to it via serial, or even a RasPi?
    Or perhaps better yet, put the P2D2 inside the console. For the next version of Quby (if there is one), I'm hoping to have a carrier board that can take either a P1- or a P2-based module, you know, interchangeably. I've partly designed a PCB that could be the carrier. In fact, I was just working on it today in my free time, during which I happened to notice that the two lines labeled Vcc on the P2D2's schematic are (now?) labeled as +5 in the "latest revision" photos. I believe that is a change, which perhaps has something to do with accommodating USB functionality power via USB. I hope that I can still feed power to the P2D2 module through those (though I was planning on supplying about 5.5V, knocked down from 6V3). Of course, initially, the plan would be to drive the carrier board with a P1 module (not designed yet), as it'll probably be quite a while before I can get my hands on a populated P2D2 (i.e., with a P2), if ever. Still, the prospect of the added memory, speed and pins is enticing.

    Regarding speed, I figure that the P2 will be able to run an interpreted bytecode language like Spin somewhere between 20 to 40 times faster than the P1 does. In that Spin on the P1 is roughly 40X slower than assembly, that would make Spin2 programs run like P1 assembly programs. Although the P1 is doing just fine for the kinds of programs I/we have written and the ones I envision, it would be nice to have the added speed (just in case) and the additional memory. So, for now, I'm kind of in a "holding pattern" with regards to making a decision about promoting Quby. I'll probably continue to hold off on promoting it until I decide whether to make a version with the processor on a module. With the processor on a module, a P1-powered console could easily be upgraded to a P2-powered one (without needing to toss out the PCB with all the PH2, USB, SD and other connectors. Well, all of that is only tangentially related to your comment, but I thought that I'd take this opportunity to share.
    I will have to dismantle the console anyways because....
    Anyway, Mike, thanks for "surfacing for air" and using your antenna. Sounds like you've really got your hands full there. Good luck on getting that security stuff moved over to Active Directory and on getting all the other changes done. It sounds like you're over the hump and on your way down. Hope you can stick the landing. Don't overshoot the runway. Oh, and good luck putting your game console under the knife, as it were, and making all those changes. Don't leave any sponges inside the patient.
  • I got the bezels and tops for the new caps cut. It's said that "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." And things went a bit astray here. Fortunately, overall, things turned out pretty well. However, the silver metal LCD bezel shows on the left edge of the opening and also a little bit along the bottom.

    As you can see in the attached pictures, the left side of the MDF bezels should extend inwards between 1.5 mm to 2.0 mm (but 2.0 mm would be too much for a couple of the screens). And the bottom portion of each of the MDF bezels should probably extend inwards somewhere up to 1.0 mm. I think things are okay along the right and top sides of the opening.

    I'll make you a deal: I'll pay to get new bezels cut again with the above adjustments if I don't have to paint/stain them (the tops are fine and won't need to be re-done). As you can see from one of the pics, the caps look pretty nice in the natural color of the MDF, though maybe one could brush or spray on a clear coat of some kind (but test first). I think the natural color contrasts well against the laser-cut/burnt edges.

    Now, I've just got things rubberbanded together for these photos, but I think it's a close approximation of what things will be like when the pieces are glued together. But I can't guarantee that your results will be as good as these, as there are differences from console to console and even from side to side. But I think we're zeroing in and the results should be good overall (though, again, you might have to adjust the alignment of an LCD or two).
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  • I don't care if the metal shows a bit.
  • Yes, I was sure that you would answer (and not answer) that way. Anyway, I've come this far, so I might as well finish the job. I'll get them re-cut, probably tomorrow. And then I'll paint/stain them as I indicated earlier. So, if you don't want them painted/stained, do let me know. Hopefully, I can get these mailed out by the beginning of next week. Thanks.
  • Yes, I was sure that you would answer (and not answer) that way. Anyway, I've come this far, so I might as well finish the job. I'll get them re-cut, probably tomorrow. And then I'll paint/stain them as I indicated earlier. So, if you don't want them painted/stained, do let me know. Hopefully, I can get these mailed out by the beginning of next week. Thanks.
    Whatever you do is fine. Thanks!

  • Got the bezels re-cut. I'm satisfied. This is about as good as I can get things. The latest ones work well for all four screens on my console. One thing to keep in mind is that the bezels are 3 mm in thickness. So some slight blocking is possible when not viewing the screens straight on (most bezels are thinner where they meet the screen). As shown in the sketch, I went to fractional millimeters this time, using 28.0/29.7/28.6/24.8 for the T/L/B/R sides, respectively. The outer dimensions didn't change, but the opening is now 154.5x86.4 mm.

    In the process of re-measuring, I noticed that the bezel cap can rock a bit towards the bottom. That is, there is a bit of play after it is slipped on the wooden head frame. Perhaps that partly explains things being off on the left side for the first set I had cut in which about 1 mm of silver metal bezel was exposed on the left. Anyway, dealing with physical materials can be tricky stuff. The bezels look great on my console, but your mileage may vary. In addition to the sketch, I've attached a pic showing one of the latest bezels (which is rubberbanded in place with three others and the top). As you can see if you look closely (though I've reduced the resolution considerably before uploading), there's a bit of a black border all around the red pixels of the active area, which is rather ideal alignment.
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  • Perfect!
  • Despite my initial reluctance, I elected to go with the five-color paint scheme after all. Spray painted them on the roof of my building late this evening using my phone as a flash light. Had to fight the wind, but the paint job came out okay. With designing, cutting and painting done, I just need to pack them up and get them to the post office. I took a pic for fun; I love seeing those gorgeous colors juxtaposed.
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