VisionFive 2 + iconic Haiku case

Opening a new thread here to discuss designing a 3D printed case with CPU bars reminiscent of the BeBox connected via GPIO on small RISC-V boards.

I believe cheap hardware like the VisionFive 2 may be a great opportunity of having an iconic Haiku computer just like the BeBox was. It could be cool as a personal project but also something people could buy (if somebody builds them!) to support the project.


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@atomozero mentioned this BeBox like Raspberry pi case

While I love these nerdy CPU bar I never owned an actual BeBox and I must say I never thought it looked that beautiful or iconic like say an Apple Cube or a Bondi Blue iMac G3 still do. I wouldn’t want one as decoration in my living room. So I wouldn’t really want to replicate this exact design. Not to mention copyright issues.

For a long time people discussed having some officially supported hardware for Haiku but it was always difficult because new computers are expensive and old ones are very diverse. And Haiku shines on small and not necessarily too powerful hardware.

There’s an opportunity now with these cheap RISC-V boards. For 100$ + accessories you can get:

  • a computer that runs an open CPU design that will last
  • get a unique recognizable case
  • show to the world how well Haiku performs on light hardware

Along with being fun, this could count as some form of “marketing”, by promoting the Haiku unique with something people can recognize. Who knows maybe someone would want to sell them for a profit to help the foundation.

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One little problem is that VisionFive 2 have 4 cores, but BeBox have only 2 LED indicator strips.

If we are to build the VisionBox we could use 4 led strips ? But since you have one at hand, is it big enough for a case with enough space, or would it be more like a bigger rasperry pi case ?

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I definitely don’t want to clone a BeBox so yes I’d definitely add four led strips.

I think we could start from something like this:
https://www.printables.com/fr/model/525095-starfive-visionfive2-case

Then grow it upwards to become the “HaiKube”:

  • make it a perfect cube for a better look
  • pick a specific color that will be recognizable

The additional space would leave space for 4 front LED bar and a large sink (and maybe a fan as I guess that’s necessary ?).

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I think I’ll start by photoshopping something inspiring first and come back post it here and see what’s actually possible.

Going deeper into fantasyland for the HaiKube on how to use the small cube vertical space;

  • integrate a small usb speaker with an aluminum rotary volume control (using GPIO again to talk to software)

  • integrate a microphone (for that day in the future when it runs homeAssistant) :slight_smile:

Another design approach instead of having 4 led bars and then needing 12 when these get more cores would be to settle on a cheap LCD screen like this.

So you just draw four bars or 12 bars horizontally

The advantage is that as an integrated ESP32 it could:

  • display immediately a nice Haiku logo before booting

  • communicate via serial with main board

  • possibly even show booting icons (as steps are received via serial)

  • be independent of OS crashes (notify if serial communication stopped)

  • supports touch to send feedback to haiku

  • have some builtin widgets and charts so Haiku can send some simple numbers over serial (network traffic, cpu usage etc)

It would require some additional Arduino coding of course but it’s all very cheap hardware and could really make it a special object as opposed to just a random plastic box.

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I definitely think there is merit to all this… makes me want to own one. I like the whole LCD screen acting as a multiple interface/display. A properly designed box/case could really set the mood for this system… for some reason I keep thinking a darker blue (translucent?) shade. Dunno why, tho. Maybe I’ve got a bit of that “BeBox image” stuck in my head or something? :grin:

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Inspiration: https://www.artstation.com/marketplace/p/D7780/mini-silicon-graphics-indigo2-raspberry-pi-case-for-3d-printing

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Make a (small) case & use a RPi inside it, (need to create an ARM version of Haiku though).

As above, but use a RISC5 board, (again, a RISC version of Haiku needed).

Create a small case for use with a micro ITX board, (most likely to be successful). :wink:

I agree the same concept design could have various sizes and only retain common appearance and connections (esp32+lcd screen). It could work with small board but also mini ITX boards.

Damn I wish I had the skills of Nina here to make such a perfect box :

That’s a direct clone of the NeXT cube of course and we should stay away from anything resembling anything copyrighted if the goal is for many to build / buy it as a creative commons model.

I like the idea of a cube mostly because it is a pure harmonious shape and also doesn’t require costly industrial design.

I don’t think that geometric primitive is copyrighted… yet :slight_smile: I also wouldn’t go to a black color as this is too generic and too NeXTcubey.

That being said since it would have a black screen on it having a black surface is the best way for the screen to fit in if we want it to display the boot icon sequence and logo in a good way. Either that or the screen background stays by default of the color or the case.

I have been imagining a black cube with a touch of that iconic yellow tab. Maybe on the on / off button or volume rotary encoder.

IMG_1459

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Please give a hint if a site rersides on CloudFlare …

… I would NEVER attempt to try to open it !

Those NEVERENDING inspects my browser’s “security” and NEVER STOPS to restart inspecting, AFTER I clicked as I’m a human … at least in Webpositive ALWAYS. and sometimes in Web as well.

Thanks to avoid me getting longer frustrated on Haiku …

I don’t know which link did this ? I am writing this on my phone and I really noticed nothing. Sorry if I did something wrong.

Ahoy,

If you watch carefully you will find at my post at the right corner above … for whom in the thread I sent the request – aka to whom I replied.

Of course, basically, it is a request for anyone also :))

In Discourse you can send reply
→ to one post – at the bottom of a specific post (like I did in this case previously and now actually as well)
→ to the opening post – at the bottom of the thread of this post

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If you are willing to do your own hardware, you can use an output switch.
For example a MCZ33996EK from NXP allows you to control 16 low side output which can drive up to 16 LEDs. With the CS (Chip Select) signal you can drive several of them. SPI1 has 3 CS for a total of 48 LEDs.

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I thought I’d share this thread on the same subject Help for bebox replica - #26 by caleb

Definitely interested in this, even the RPi4 case modified for the Starfive 2 would be cool. I have to say I don’t find it very likely that there would be any issues with doing such a case when it comes to design patents (should have expired if there ever were any), trademarks or copyright. Not like it is going to be that similar when the form factor and type of system is completely different and it would have Haiku branding instead of Be. Not to mention Be is hardly an active brand…

Always thought the Raspberry Pi case color scheme is somehow Be-like and would work well for Haiku too. A Pi400 would have been fun to have running it but now I’m eagerly waiting for a VisionFive 2 to arrive.

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I imagined two options.

The first one has bars similar to the Bebox, but mirrored to have four instead of two.

Or, a complete change: an X with the four bars like a St. Andrew’s cross on the top side of the case when viewed horizontally, not vertically like the Bebox.

As long as you dont’ put a Be or Next Logo on it you are in the clear probably.

Be, Inc doesn’t appear to have ever copyrighted the case, and any trademarks or patents would have expired. Acess Co. still has the Be trademarks and is updating them… so steer clear of those logos and icons etc…

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I made a small mockup of what it coud look like. Using a cheap LCD screen ESP-C6 (you can get these for 7 dollars) instead of physical leds. This assumes the boot system writes some data via serial to the screen during bootup to show progress. Later the screen can be used by apps for custom info display.

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