I want to make a post about dongles. Most of you have heard me talk about the prototype and the uDongle (ugly Dongle) the bare-PCB experimental looking control of the openSX70 options.
It basically consists on a selector wheel with 16 options, two on/off switches and a 3.5mm jack for flash sync. We don’t need to stick a weight! Some might even think that the uDongle looks kind of cool, some might think that is confusing and too bare.
I have always wanted to to build a nice case. Thanks to Clement Grosjean, this has actually been accomplished! and it looks amazing.
But I think… why there has to be only one dongle? So I openly encourage folks to desing concepts a cases for the dongle.
That is the value of open source, people with a common goal pitching ideas: and some concepts are amazing, like Jan de Paepe that came up with the idea of a ultra-minimalistic concept.
From that sketched this:
And then this is going to be my prototype:
This is the Fusion360 model exported out of Eagle Cad. Keep in mind that the width of the PCBs is wrong, the connector must be .8mm, the big PCB I guess should be around .8 to 1.2mm.
Sometimes I do a cheesy cardboard mock-up, in this case is 2X scale. I wanted to make the connections more or less right.
This is another mock-up:
But then the multi-talented Marco from AnalogThings suggested the idea of a dongle not connected to the flash but fixed to the body of the camera:
From that idea, I thought that we could try to avoid using the flash connector and send the flat cable from under the camera. I made a crude prototype to test the concept, and modified the main PCB to send the 1-W signal without the flash connector.
Here are some pictures of a mock-up:
What is nice about this concept is that it does not use the flash port, and it has the USB and dongle functions all in one. It has to be tested the idea of the flat cable under (next to the bellows). And how this can be put in an enclosure.
So I am thrilled of how far we have gone so far, and I can assure you that this is only the beginning: there will be amazing news that I cannot reveal now.