gta02-core vs. new case design

joakim at joakim at
Tue May 19 22:10:15 CEST 2009

Werner Almesberger <werner at>

> Someone suggested on the gta02-core Wiki page that the case design was
> still open. In fact, the idea is that gta02-core used exactly the same
> board shape and placement of connectors as GTA02v7. I hope we can move
> Bluetooth to the main PCB, but that's a change that wouldn't affect the
> case.

If moving the connectors and changing the case would be possible heres
some simple observations of mine:

- Having usb and power button on the side of the case makes it hard to
  mount the device in car and bike holders. My android g1 were the connector
  comes out of the short edge of the phone is much easier in this

-  since the battery has too low capacity for many usages, it would be
   nice if the case could alternatively fit a larger battery. I have a
   larger battery for my android g1 that replaces the original, with a
   new snap on back plate.

- if the design gets easier by removing the external gps connector, that
  might not be so bad. I have both a small usb gps receiver and a small
  external gps antenna that fits the freerunner. They have the same
  form-factor and price, so if you really need an external antenna maybe
  you could just as well get a external usb gps device.

- i like the roundish freerunner case aestetically, but for trying to
  build physically with the device, like fitting larger batteries to it,
  making it a part of another device, etc, it sucks. It would be much
  easier with a simple rectangular case, like the buglabs one.


> However, while designing a new case is out of scope for gta02-core,
> that's not to say that ideas for a new case would not be worth pursuing
> in general.
> If someone wants to give the GTA02 case a facelift, that could be used
> as well with gta02-core boards. Possible changes that are compatible
> with the GTA02 board include:
> - reduce empty spaces and redress some of the corners
> - reduce the thickness of the bezel
> - change the mounting of the board and reduce some of the perimeter
> - add spaces for extensions
> - use different materials
> - remove components (e.g., GPS external antenna) and adjust case
>   accordingly
> - redesign components (e.g., GSM antenna) and adjust case accordingly
> Also, a "proof of concept" design prototype doesn't necessarily have to
> be fully functional. E.g., if your design would need a different
> battery, you can make a prototype with an external power supply. If the
> big GPS antenna gets in the way but you know a smaller antenna one
> could use, remove it in your prototype.
> And you don't have to worry about mass-production. Obviously, a good
> design would be done such that it can be mass-produced (so shapes that
> cannot be separated from the mold without destroying it wouldn't be so
> good), but there are many alternatives to injection molding. You could
> even just mill a case out of a block of aluminium (but don't forget to
> leave some spaces for plastic inserts to let the RF out :-)
> - Werner
Joakim Verona

More information about the Gta03 mailing list