clockworkpi

Hardware/Build Feedback

Ordered my gameshell from Amazon, and they asked for feedback, which I sent - and I thought it might be worth mentioning some things here in case the devs are interested for their next revision. You may agree, or disagree, but this is my 2 cents.

Build time was maybe an hour; component quality was pretty high. I was a bit surprised that the modules themselves needed to be built - I had assumed, incorrectly, that the modules were pre-assembled, my bad. If someone is uncomfortable with tiny wires and building/rebuilding to troubleshoot, this may not be their cup of tea. A good set of snips and razor and something to poke with is mandatory.

The Ikea-type instructions were adequate, but lacking. Some things - like the orientation of the speakers - required close inspection and would be easy to get wrong, as they’re not keyed in some way to prevent backwards insertion. It would have been nice to not get to the last page and realize that to use the lightkey module you had to use the lego back (or break out the Dremel and Kragl, I guess).

Is there a way to re-order specific parts? I could see doing weird, demented stuff to the case.

The keyboard module is weird - why are the keys not captive? The D-pad falls right off until it’s kept in place by the outer shell. The hinged design of the module itself made this one odd to assemble; and since I don’t ever see taking it apart, a more normal click-together design might be easier for people.

The cabling is tight - the speaker cable in particular just reaches, with zero slack. Just a half inch more would have made things easier, especially given the plugs for the cables are often fairly deeply set inside the actual modules - that speaker module wire is taught.

It’s a bit puzzling that the SD card slot is buried inside the unit - an odd design decision. I’d just Dremel that out, but it’s behind the cable routing as well, so a quick hack fix isn’t ideal. I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere “you don’t really need to swap it often”, but that’s an excuse, not a reason to bury it, especially since it’s labeled and you can see it thru the clear case.

Anyway - those are fairly nitpicky, but I figured feedback was better than none. If it helps make a better next-gen gameshell, it’s worth it.

Time to go play with it. I will comment on the software later (but so far, I am very favorably impressed).

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