A fully open source ESP32-based PoE+ board with a mikroBUS™ socket and two handy add-on shields

Nov 21, 2022

Project update 7 of 8

The Espoir campaign ends soon!

by Marc-Antoine L

Hello friends!

Espoir’s campaign ends this Thursday, November 24th, so these are the last few days to support the campaign. I’m really excited to go through these last steps with you. It has been a formidable adventure and learning experience, but it wasn’t too rough either. I’m happy the machines and I managed to reach the production rythym I was aiming for after a few weeks (30 minutes per PCB). Anyway, don’t miss your chance!

Updated schematics

I have updated the schematics (accessible via the docs or the campaign page) to reflect some small changes I made during fabrication. Overall, nothing too serious: we adjusted some resistor values and modified the silkscreen, including the RoHS logo I forgot to add last time.

Packaging and shipping

I have yet to finalize official labeling, but I figured I could share with you what to expect when you receive your orders.

The rest will soon follow, I’m also going to need a bigger box!

When the campaign ends, Crowd Supply and I will work diligently to finalize the paperwork before I send the boards over to their fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics. They will then take care of distributing the PCBs to you, dear backers!

Next steps: the necessary and the wishlist

Unfortunately, the NCP109x Power over Ethernet controller never came back in stock, and its lead time is now over a year. I must therefore adjust and redesign the PoE controller section of the PCB for future orders and projects (don’t worry, all current backers have a board secured). Some PoE controllers include a flyback controller, so depending on what’s available, it might also be a good opportunity to fix the noisy flyback regulator. The fix is quite simple, too.

Flyback regulators typically operate in either of two modes: DCM (fixed current, variable frequency) and CCM (fixed frequency, variable current). The current design uses DCM, which has the unfortunate (and unforeseen) effect of lowering the frequency to below 20 kHz at low loads, which means we can hear the transformer’s vibration. Choosing a CCM mode regulator will remove that problem for good.

Many of you also contacted me about having "more of this" and "more of that", so I’m thinking about making an upgraded version (Espoir++ (?)). If you wish Espoir had a little bit more of something specific, send me a message!.

Don’t forget to stop by our campaign page!

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