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NP-41 Emulator (may be)
08-31-2015, 01:16 PM
Post: #41
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(08-29-2015 12:23 AM)Benoit Maag Wrote:  Chris,

just an idea: do you think one of the big component distributors (I guess I am not allowed to quote names here) might be interested in joining you for a 2,000 pc order of such displays? After all, they have access to a worldwide market and may be confident they can sell 2,000 HP-41C type displays. One of these distributors also has a project club - this may be a good platform to promote the display and projects made with it, possibly including your new HP-41C?

Benoit
I would doubt it be possible on such a specific glass. You won't even find the more generic glass that goes on evaluation boards (like the Launchpad I used in the mock-up video). And those distributors can't deal w/ a hobbyist like myself.

One thought will be to pair w/ the DIY shops, seeedstudio, elecrow that can works w/ designers to sell kits, etc. Not sure how much risk they can take on similar projects, but I shall try this as an option. Thanks.


(08-31-2015 11:46 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Further info:

The 600 yuan set-up cost is from a company which requires a minimum order quantity of 5000.

According to another company, the set-up cost is 1200 yuan with a minimum order quantity of 500. Unit price is about 7 yuan. (The unit price is just an estimate since the company needs to do the design and drawing to see the actual cost... and you have to pay the set-up cost first to know the accurate unit price XD)

Yes, I also saw offers from Taobao that boasts very low tooling cost, and lower MOQ. Taobao offers are way lower than Aliexpress offers and payment is an issue though. Most shops requires the chinese version of paypal (zhifubao or their bank alliance card / account) to do business.

In the end, for the handful I had contacted, the advertised offers are the "best case" scenario for a job. I.e. static or 4-mux (simple routes), "watch" size design (little ink, little glass), zebra contacts (no pin cost).

I am not ready to try Taobao sellers as they are mostly setup for local Chinese shoppers and I will need some kind of proxy which sounds trouble for custom projects.

I understand the process and related cost for a custom product and I won't imagine it could be done for a few hundred dollars. What I think I can afford is up to US$1k all around, tooling + whatever number of units (say 50+) that lands w/ it. I think it may be reasonable / doable for some smaller factories but not the larger ones (you can see their average transaction of $10,000+ in their alibaba profiles)

If anyone is in Shenzhen and be able to advise please do so. In the meantime I am continuing w/ the COG version while poking some more small LCD glass manufacturers and hope they are of the right setup for this.

Thanks and good to hear inputs from everyone.
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08-31-2015, 01:51 PM (This post was last modified: 08-31-2015 01:52 PM by Waon Shinyoe.)
Post: #42
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(08-31-2015 01:16 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  Yes, I also saw offers from Taobao that boasts very low tooling cost, and lower MOQ. Taobao offers are way lower than Aliexpress offers and payment is an issue though. Most shops requires the chinese version of paypal (zhifubao or their bank alliance card / account) to do business.

In the end, for the handful I had contacted, the advertised offers are the "best case" scenario for a job. I.e. static or 4-mux (simple routes), "watch" size design (little ink, little glass), zebra contacts (no pin cost).

I am not ready to try Taobao sellers as they are mostly setup for local Chinese shoppers and I will need some kind of proxy which sounds trouble for custom projects.

Well I'm in Zhejiang so it's my pleasure to offer any help. (Communication, payment, shipment, etc.). (Errrr but I'd rather accept bank transfer instead of PayPal... You see... Zhifubao is totally free while PayPal charges exorbitant fees...) (My father's company account can accept dollar)


(08-31-2015 01:16 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  If anyone is in Shenzhen and be able to advise please do so. In the meantime I am continuing w/ the COG version while poking some more small LCD glass manufacturers and hope they are of the right setup for this.

One of my friend, also a member of this forum, Andy Lilitha, is in Shenzhen. But he is in Junior Three now so I doubt if he is available these days... The good news is that he may know those small electronic factories well.
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08-31-2015, 06:06 PM
Post: #43
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(08-31-2015 01:51 PM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  
(08-31-2015 01:16 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  Yes, I also saw offers from Taobao that boasts very low tooling cost, and lower MOQ. Taobao offers are way lower than Aliexpress offers and payment is an issue though. Most shops requires the chinese version of paypal (zhifubao or their bank alliance card / account) to do business.

In the end, for the handful I had contacted, the advertised offers are the "best case" scenario for a job. I.e. static or 4-mux (simple routes), "watch" size design (little ink, little glass), zebra contacts (no pin cost).

I am not ready to try Taobao sellers as they are mostly setup for local Chinese shoppers and I will need some kind of proxy which sounds trouble for custom projects.

Well I'm in Zhejiang so it's my pleasure to offer any help. (Communication, payment, shipment, etc.). (Errrr but I'd rather accept bank transfer instead of PayPal... You see... Zhifubao is totally free while PayPal charges exorbitant fees...) (My father's company account can accept dollar)


(08-31-2015 01:16 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  If anyone is in Shenzhen and be able to advise please do so. In the meantime I am continuing w/ the COG version while poking some more small LCD glass manufacturers and hope they are of the right setup for this.

One of my friend, also a member of this forum, Andy Lilitha, is in Shenzhen. But he is in Junior Three now so I doubt if he is available these days... The good news is that he may know those small electronic factories well.

Waon, if you frequent Taobao and would like to help "poking" potential suppliers, here is the specification I used when asking for quotes. I know Chinese but have few uses of it for the past 15 years so it is difficult for me to do search / communitions w/ Taobao sellers. OTOH aliexpress shops are OK w/ English.

1. New Design
2. Dimensions about 66mm x 16mm, see attached drawing.

. digits looks like this, 14+3 segments.
. the whole display is like this, as in the calculator, note the 'G' and the 'RAD' are 2 icons. The 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 are also independent icons.
<<< attach drawing that you uploaded >>>

3. Connection: PIN, 0.1"
4. LCD Mode: TN Positive
5. Polarizer Type: Reflective
6. Temperature Range: Indoor -10 to +60
7. Type of Application: Calculator
8. Quantity: 1st batch 100, may have 100-200/yr afterwards.
9. Shipping Information: Toronto, Canada.

The controller I am using (a TI MSP430FRAM MCU w/ LCD segment driver), w/ controls

6-Mux, 6:00, 1/3 Bias, 3V.

If you can find potential manufacturers that might take smaller orders ($1k inclusive for 50-100 units), I can start the process of working out the details.

Thanks and if anyone has other leads / suggestions, they are all welcomed.
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09-04-2015, 08:47 AM
Post: #44
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Goooood news!

I found one company which accepts MOQ of 300 and the set-up cost is 800 yuan!
I think it's perfect! And it's based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.

Their website: http://www.hzds-lcd.com/index.html


Another company pointed out that it's not suitable to use TN screen. I don't know much about that, but they suggest to use HTN or STN. Also I wonder if the screen type is 6Com 43-pin?
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09-04-2015, 02:39 PM
Post: #45
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-04-2015 08:47 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Goooood news!

I found one company which accepts MOQ of 300 and the set-up cost is 800 yuan!
I think it's perfect! And it's based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.

Their website: http://www.hzds-lcd.com/index.html


Another company pointed out that it's not suitable to use TN screen. I don't know much about that, but they suggest to use HTN or STN. Also I wonder if the screen type is 6Com 43-pin?

Great, thanks Waon.

HTN, STN will offer better viewable angle and contrast. HN is the cheapest. We might ask and see the cost differences.

The segments as I make out are 12 digits x 18. The 18 segments are the 14 of the character, plus 2 dots and 1 comma, plus the logos at the bottom. There are 216 segments, or 36 x 6. So there should be 42 pins.

The MSP430FR6989 that I intend to use does not have enough segment pins to drive at 4MUX, so have to use 5+MUX and 6MUX works best for mapping. Ideally you want to use lesser multiplexing to conserve power. I would let the factory to decide on the number of pins (whatever is easier for them to do layout) as long as it's 0.1" / 2mm standard.

What would be think would be the best approach? You can PM me with contact info from hzds-lcd and I can join your communication w/ them for more details? If so, please use email option (not forum message).

Did they mention / indicate the per unit price for a batch of 300? I hope it will not break one of my limbs.
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09-06-2015, 02:36 PM
Post: #46
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Oh I forgot to tell... The price per unit is 4.5 yuan. Still quite reasonable. We talk on QQ. I hope you have one XD...
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09-08-2015, 02:54 PM
Post: #47
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-06-2015 02:36 PM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Oh I forgot to tell... The price per unit is 4.5 yuan. Still quite reasonable. We talk on QQ. I hope you have one XD...

OK I will go and figure this QQ out. I knew someone who had used it before. Will PM you once I got this setup.

The price sounds amazing. Even if we only manage a 50 unit commitment, I think we can absorb the cost. (5x300+800) = 2300, say leave some room for the logistics (ex. shipping, TN change to STN, etc) so say 2,300 x 1.5 = 3450 Yuan = US$500. May be US$10 per unit. Not sure if this will turn out to be deflated. But well worth a try.

My plan is to pre-paid for tooling cost (say 800-1000 yuan) and commit to get 300 units at around 5 yuan (no pay yet). Confirm spec, wait and get samples (2 months?), prototyping driving the sample glasses (1 month) and placed order. If prototyping fails, will need to make adjustment and pay more tooling.
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09-21-2015, 06:41 PM
Post: #48
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Add me to the list, please.

This is a great project and I would love to own either a prototype or a version 1.
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09-22-2015, 09:51 AM
Post: #49
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Here we have the screen. Smile
Via Waon Shinyoe


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09-22-2015, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2015 11:05 AM by Waon Shinyoe.)
Post: #50
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Here is a comparison of the original 41C screen and the newly built one:


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09-22-2015, 11:11 AM
Post: #51
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-22-2015 11:00 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Here is a comparison of the original 41C screen and the newly built one:

Wow, impressive!
So, where can I order a couple of these displays?
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09-22-2015, 11:27 AM
Post: #52
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-22-2015 09:51 AM)Zweb Wrote:  Here we have the screen. Smile
Via Waon Shinyoe
Great news !! I can't wait for the NP-41 ...
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09-22-2015, 12:19 PM
Post: #53
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-22-2015 11:11 AM)Harald Wrote:  
(09-22-2015 11:00 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Here is a comparison of the original 41C screen and the newly built one:

Wow, impressive!
So, where can I order a couple of these displays?

Now we have only several samples. I will ship the samples to Chris.

We haven't put it into mass production yet. But it won't take too long.
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09-22-2015, 01:01 PM
Post: #54
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-22-2015 11:00 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Here is a comparison of the original 41C screen and the newly built one:

Wow! Taller digits but excellent all-round.

Can't wait for a newborn 41! :)

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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09-22-2015, 01:05 PM
Post: #55
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
I just ordered PCB. It will be 4 weeks before I get them. I expect similar timeframe for Waon to ship the LCD samples. I can't afford very fast shipping as you know the LCD is taking a big chunk from my budget. (and thanks to Waon, the custom LCD can happen).

The prototyping PCBs will be fat and short (68x100mm) to save cost, if the length goes over 100mm, there will be an additional $40 charge. So I will keep the dimension small for now.

Since this is the 1st prototyping, many things can go wrong, so don't expect an immediate success. I just hope to keep the trial - error cycles to a minimal.

I will keep you posted on the progress and I welcome your comments / questions / suggestions.


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09-23-2015, 07:36 AM
Post: #56
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Really cool project and you are progressing so fast!

Budget is already reserved to get such a kit when it becomes available :-)
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09-27-2015, 12:51 PM
Post: #57
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Here is layout of the STM32 version of NP-41 calculator!
First trial, may buggy, but should work.


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09-27-2015, 10:17 PM
Post: #58
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-22-2015 11:00 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Here is a comparison of the original 41C screen and the newly built one:

Beautiful ! - it even looks better than the original (more neutral colors and better contrast)
I would be interested in buying a few if available (say 5)
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09-27-2015, 10:58 PM
Post: #59
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-27-2015 12:51 PM)Zweb Wrote:  Here is layout of the STM32 version of NP-41 calculator!
So, you and Waon are working on a Nonpareil port and calculator hardware based on a microcontroller of ST's STM32 family, whereas Chris is working on a hardware based on Texas Instruments' MSP430FR6989, both to emulate the HP-41C in the end?

Greetings,

Matthias


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"Programs are poems for computers."
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09-27-2015, 11:16 PM
Post: #60
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(09-27-2015 10:58 PM)matthiaspaul Wrote:  
(09-27-2015 12:51 PM)Zweb Wrote:  Here is layout of the STM32 version of NP-41 calculator!
So, you and Waon are working on a Nonpareil port and calculator hardware based on a microcontroller of ST's STM32 family, whereas Chris is working on a hardware based on Texas Instruments' MSP430FR6989, both to emulate the HP-41C in the end?

Greetings,

Matthias

Yes, exactly.
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