Kit version of the PinePhone?
#1
Hi all,

I was wondering whether there was a "kit" version of the PinePhone that allowed the user to customise the hardware?

Specifically the customisations I'm looking at:
- SMA connection for external cellular antenna: in spite of being on one of the "better" carriers (Telstra) here in Australia, sometimes I'm in places where reception is not great
- enlarged battery (presently I get about 2 days stand-by on my ZTE T83, I'd like to expand this)

I also thought it'd be cool to do something unique case-wise: maybe using thin pine sheets for the front/back cover with clear acrylic in between edge-lit from inside with notification LEDs.  It'd be a literal "pine" phone, and I think could be made to look good and really sell the concept of an end-user customisable smartphone platform.  A custom enclosure also means I can accommodate the larger battery and external antenna connection much easier too.

Regards,
Stuart Longland
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#2
According to the schematics in the wiki the connector for the main cellular antenna is JSC.
https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/PinePh...ifications
The JSC cable connects the main board to the USB board, The main antenna is at the bottom of the phone. The AUX antenna is in the top corner opposite the camera. The AUX is just spring contacts, no coax connector.
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/deta...J4/3528186
They make a JSC to SMA/RP-SMA pigtail
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/deta...A/12822390
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/deta...A/12822385
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#3
(04-27-2021, 05:53 PM)8bit Wrote: According to the schematics in the wiki the connector for the main cellular antenna is JSC.
https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/PinePh...ifications
The JSC cable connects the main board to the USB board, The main antenna is at the bottom of the phone. The AUX antenna is in the top corner opposite the camera. The AUX is just spring contacts, no coax connector.

Ahh okay, so definitely doable.  Obviously I'll have to think carefully about the mechanical aspects of the set-up, but in principle it's a possibility.

The AUX antenna being spring contacts isn't a show-stopper, and in some ways, having the AUX antenna inside the phone may be a better place for it anyway.  When I was reviewing the Kite, I had the original stick-on 4G antenna connected to the AUX port and the SMA jack hooked up to the main, and that worked well: the little stubby antenna it came with was in a handy spot, and with a bit of case design could have been made to rotate into a "pocket" up the top of the phone in places where good coverage existed.

I think due to cable length constraints the AUX antenna wound up being just behind the battery (not ideal from an RF perspective), and from my understanding it's better to get AUX and main antennas as far separated as possible, so I might need to think about a small PCB and coax run to move the AUX antenna down the bottom and have the main up top to make the SMA connection accessible.

Are there mechanical drawings showing the PCB dimensions and connector/socket locations up somewhere?
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#4
No dimensions but the placement is in the drawings. https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/PinePh...ifications
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#5
(04-27-2021, 04:02 PM)Redhatter Wrote: (snip)
I was wondering whether there was a "kit" version of the PinePhone that allowed the user to customise the hardware?
(snip)
With the same reasoning, for those of us who got an upgrade board I think there will be demand in the near future for the 'other' parts to rebuild another 16gb pinephone from the perfectly usable system board we are replacing.
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#6
(04-27-2021, 09:44 PM)biketool Wrote: With the same reasoning, for those of us who got an upgrade board I think there will be demand in the near future for the 'other' parts to rebuild another 16gb pinephone from the perfectly usable system board we are replacing.

Or make something else. https://blog.pineph.one/2021/04/franken-phone.html
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#7
(04-27-2021, 09:54 PM)8bit Wrote: (snip)Or make something else. https://blog.pineph.one/2021/04/franken-phone.html

Looks cool; but I already have a few R-pi 0s and pi 0 Ws which are cheaper and better suited to the task.
I also know a kid who wants a pine phone.
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