First the bad news; due to a slight delay in PCB fabrication and assembly, it is now looking like shipping will be slightly delayed from the campaign goal of 1/19. We currently expect to ship around the end of January.
Other than that, this update is full of progress and fun production images. As I said previously, we’ll be keeping you all informed as we progress through the steps below.
Production of PCBA:
Fabrication of production test & flashing fixture (done)
Building of cables (in-progress)
Flashing, testing, and kitting of Hub & Kits (in-progress)
Finish documentation (in-progress)
The production run of enclosures is complete and units arrived here at Capable Robot back in December.
120 enclosures and covers prior to assembly
This photo shows about 1/2 of the production order of enclosures. Each case has 8 M4x15 torx screws (T10 head) which attach the front and rear covers to the main body of the enclosure. When you multiply 15mm of 0.8mm pitch threads, by 8 screws per case, by 200 cases — you end up with a lot of revolutions of a torx driver.
So, an adjustable torque screwdriver was purchased to reduce assembly time & hand strain.
This screwdriver is a used Mountz K350, and the reaction torque is absorbed by an adjustable microphone stand. Not quite the intended purpose of the stand, but we find it works quite well and is far cheaper than reaction arms designed for industrial screwdrivers like this.
Folks who ordered the USB Hub in Kit form may be happy to learn that the auxiliary IO cable — which includes the serial port, 2 GPIO, 3.3v power, and ground — will arrive with labels on the 0.1" header end.
Photos of lots of the same thing are fun, so here are some!
Labelled IO cables and other parts for kitting
Kitted cables, ready for final packaging
A comically-large box of bubble bags to wrap USB Hubs in
Speaking of final packaging, this how the USB Hub, power supply, USB cable, power cable, and kitted cable pack will be shipping to backers:
Programmable USB Hub Kit in shipping box
The "bed of nails" programming and test fixture from Merifix is fully assembled, wired, and ready for the upcoming PCBA shipment. This fixture allows for:
All production boards will go through this fixture for software programming and functional testing.
Thanks to each and every one of you who has helped us get here! Without your support, the Programmable USB Hub would not have become a reality, and we are so grateful!