My new Seaboard "Continuum"... :-)

...and how to do so...
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KVRAF
5867 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:17 am

Hey,

thought I should show this in case others are interested too:

The Seaboard "Continuum" :party:
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SeaboardContinuum.jpg
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All the time I had the Seaboard Block I hated the keywaves and the rubber surface.
I just didn't like to touch it and found it weird to play.
The slimy stuff inside bulges and prevents easy sliding, the waves were in the way more than helpful to me...

This year at the Superbooth in Berlin I finally tried out the Haken Continuum.
So far I had always avoided it, since I knew I would probably like it but don't have that kind of money.
And indeed, I fell in love with it right away - WOW!
There was a surface that WANTED to be touched! :hug:
But the price is out of my range and the Coninuumini felt too tiny and limited for the still rather steep price.

Back from Superbooth I played with the Seaboard a bit more.
No way I'll ever like this....

Then today I stumbled over this video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAN98p7a4AY

Hm - interesting. So the sensor is just those two layers of plastic foil with some contact stripes on them and totally independent of the slimy upside!...
Hm...

Those guys are just messing around trying to open it, but if you remove the rubber stuff on the bottom, you get 10 screws and the unit opens easily:
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SeaboardBlockUnderside.jpg
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This is the bottom of the case:
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SeaboardInsideBottom.jpg
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And this is the upper part:
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SeaboardInsideUpper.jpg
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Now what strikes me the most about this last image is, that Roli always claimed that the battery can't be changed. When I look at this it is quite clear, that it would be absolutely simple to do in 2 minutes. The only thing in the way is that rubber stripe covering the screws at the bottom, but inside, there even is a dedicated connector and all there would have been needed to make this easily serviceable is a non-glued fixture for the battery.
And a battery slot accessible from the outside would be just as trivial to implement!
This is planned obsolescence for you. :dog:

Now I didn't want to go about removing the upper rubber part the way those guys in the video did.
I lifted the corner of the rubber carefully and - with the knowledge of how it's laid out internally - tried to pry the slimy stuff (it really is more like jello) off the foil holding the sensors without damaging it and succeeded to lift it, leaving some jello behind.
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SeaboardSlimyInsides.jpg
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There is a doublesided tape around the outer edge that holds the jello down on the foil.
This holds really well but I was able to pry it away and with it all the remaining jello.
I didn't take a photo at that point, but here you can see what the sensor looks like:
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SeaboardSensor.jpg
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The sensor alone can be played, but is discontinuous, since the gaps between the contacts are quite large - the rubber and goo functions as a kind of pressure-bridge - so you get stuttering while sliding around without some kind of cover.
So I tried different materials on top, thought of some thicker rubbersheet with some cloth glued onto it, but then I stumbled over an old netbook cover in my closet, made of a kind of neoprene. Black outside, but inside actually dark red! Almost like the Continuum :-)
The size was just large enough to cover the Seaboard Block.
It has some marks on it since other stuff was lying on top for a long time, but I hope it will relax and become plain after a while.
It's also not easy to cut, so the outer border is uneven, but I'll maybe put some black trimming around it, once I'm sure this is the way to go.

And this is a surface that is actually quite nice to the touch.
Playability is really good, not as sensitive or smooth as the Haken Continuum of course, that plays in a completely different league, but I am very happy with it so far.

Haven't decided how I'll do the markings for the keys, will probably go for something rather minimal, maybe just guitar-like dots?

So yeah, there you have it, a DIY-option for people who do not like the goo and the waves. :tu:

Disclaimer: My warranty is already up, the battery already mostly dead, Roli too, so I'm in no way concerned about future repair options. YMMV. Do this at your own risk! ;-)

Cheers,

Tom

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SeaboardRightCorner.jpg
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SeaboardCenterCorner.jpg
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SeaboardLeftCorner.jpg
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"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

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KVRist
155 posts since 12 Apr, 2020

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:30 pm

what a great way to re-purpose a piece of broken gear!
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Rad Grandad
34985 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:26 pm

Thomas, thank you :)
Words are a barrier to help-seeking and a motivator for making discrimination acceptable.
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If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

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KVRAF
11538 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Post Sat Oct 09, 2021 8:55 am

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5867 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:27 am

Hehehehe, great you guys like it :-)

In the meantime I 3D-printed a thin black frame to get a nice clean border around the top (my last design project needed a lot of 3D printing for prototyping, so I now have two machines).
Not sure yet how to affix it - superglue would be the simplest, but then I'll never get it off cleanly again... It's too thin for mechanical means like screws...

When I turned it on yesterday, it somehow "crashed" or froze internally after about a minute and turned off.
I went into this with the possibility of it being the end of the device (which worked perfectly before BTW.), but still I was a bit pissed, since the day before everything had worked without any change in between.
I poked around a bit, checking all the connectors etc. without finding anything. Put it back together and it all works again.
Will have to see how it holds over time...
In theory it should just work :-)

I also tried to disconnect the battery completely, and interestingly, the unit then does not work at all, adding to the above rant about planned obsolescence. I don't use it with battery or bluetooth ever, so I thought I could just disconnect it...

Oh and another BTW: The neoprene is relatively thin, so one can still feel the sensor-ribs a bit with higher pressure through it and there is a very slight sound wobble when sliding from uneven pressure, so I may test some other material like thin rubber sheet under the neoprene to even it out more.

Will take photos if I find a way to get the frame attached. Should look pretty slick then...

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

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KVRAF
11538 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Post Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:08 am

Maybe hot glue? Or some spray adhesive, like Super 77... both of those will give a firm grip but you should be able to remove them without too much residue on the plastic. Or double-sided tape might work.

The most frustrating thing is to have a problem that goes away without explanation. It always makes me anxious that it will happen again at a more critical moment. :scared:

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5867 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:33 am

Hahaha - exactly. Unexplained problems are nagging away in the background... ;-)

Hm, will have to try those ideas, thanks!
The Frame is 3.5mm high, 1.6mm thick where it touches the Seaboard and 4mm wide on top, so really fragile. I have a very thin double sided tape here, but that may not be strong enough. Hot glue is a bit clumsy for this - and the frame may melt too - ATM it's PLA, but I could also try PETG... :-)

I also thought about a more enclosing frame, since I have only one Seaboard it wouldn't matter...

Will have to ponder a bit,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

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KVRAF
7342 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:39 pm

Seriously, thank you! Despite agreeing with everything you’ve mentioned about what’s wrong with the wave keys, I am used to them. I will go this route once the rubber starts to peel off on its own too much, which it will soon enough.

Now I have something positive to look towards when that happens. Very cool.

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GRRRRRRR!
12581 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:00 pm

ThomasHelzle wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:17 am
All the time I had the Seaboard Block I hated the keywaves and the rubber surface. I just didn't like to touch it and found it weird to play.
Really? I absolutely love the way it feels and I find it very playable.
This is planned obsolescence for you. :dog:
It would be if you actually needed the battery but you don't, the Seaboard will keep working if the battery dies. So rather than planned obsolescence, I'd say they were just trying to keep costs down.

If you didn't like the keywaves, why didn't you just buy a Lightpad or two? Lightpads are awesome.
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