[Arm-netbook] RK3399

Pičugins Arsenijs crimier at yandex.ru
Tue Jan 23 18:46:07 GMT 2018

First of all, sorry for the wrong "Subject" of the
last email! I'm guessing I should switch off "digest
mode" on this ML =)

> I wanted a small eoma pc card notebook. That is
> why I obtained the asus 7inch eee pc 4g.
> When I got the notebook, I took out the
> mainboard because I wanted to see how
> much space is in the cabinet.

There's plenty of space, indeed, that's why
modders liked it! Those old Intel systems were
big and power-hungry - requiring 3 large chips
and active cooling, then, slowly but surely, Moore's
law caught up and we are where we are, where
even our CPU has another CPU inside it =D

> As I mentioned, I wanted to convert the notebook
> to an eoma pc card notebook. Because shipping
> of the pc card keeps being delayed I have not
> done more about it. I mentioned the rk3399
> mainboard, because it maybe would be an
> option if the pc card does not get made.

First of all, by the time we get this done, or
half-done, some computer cards should be
available, at least for us =) Then, using a
computer card is clearly a more sustainable
and future-proof solution. However, that doesn't
even matter for now - let's start with something
that will work with both EOMA68 and RK3399
devboard, so we have a backup option!

> Yes, but we have to set some references.
> I am not skilled on electronics. I will have to
> move on instructions.

That's understandable - I'm willing to spend time
walking you through the processes, at least initially =) 

> Costs may spiral. I am not going to accept
> that. If I am asked to buy a 100usd device, I
> will answer no. If I am asked to buy a 50usd
> device, I will likely answer no.

The mainboard should be the most expensive
device of them all, whether it's a computer card
or a RK3399 mainboard - this one is not
something we can avoid. Other parts shouldn't
cost any close to that.

> If we in a low priced way can get to use the build
> in display, that is what we should do.

Absolutely. Sourcing a display that has the
same size but different interface, then sourcing
cables and making our own adapters could be

> My notebook is an asus 7inch eee pc 4g. I do
> not know the precise name of the build in
> display.

They should all be the same - we'll do some testing,
too =)

> About wifi card, I have small usb ar9271 wifi
> cards. They work on debian 9 64bit main. Saying
> the source software is available. We should
> use an usb ar9271 wifi card.

That's a good option, too. However, using SDIO for WiFi
(instead of USB) could help us offload the USB bus,
which is good for usability (have you heard all the RPi
ramblings about RPi USB? it's not even quarter as bad as
they make it sound, and this might actually be worse.)
Regardless, it shouldn't be hard to support both options.

> About sound. I have an usb soundcard. It works
> on debian 9 64bit main. 

> About sdcard reader. I have usb sdcard
> readers. They work on debian 9 64bit main.

Yep, that's the good part about SD card readers
and USB soundcards - they don't usually have
many problems, and don't tend to need
proprietary firmware.

> About storage. My information is, the pc card
> will have an sdcard port on the pc card for
> storage.

That SD card slot, as I understand, will be used
for the system drive - so, an expansion slot would
be useful.

> Turning the keyboard into an usb keyboard is an
> important move. I suggest we make turning the
> notebook's keyboard into an usb keyboard our
> first step.

Agreed! My question is - would you be interested
in a videocall of some sorts? We could start right
off by drawing the PCB, I can show you the basics
of KiCad.

> About a battery supplying power. I suggest we
> wait until we have a notebook, which will
> run on a power supply.

This is, undoubtedly, a good plan for a start, but
it's important to remember that we'll eventually need
battery power, and plan it in from the beginning - if
we don't, that might cause problems down the road.
Regardless, I'll take care of this =)

> Maybe this modification of a notebook is of
> interest for other people. We should use this
> email list.

 If nobody else minds, then let's do it!

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