The music player you wish you had in the early 2000s

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Apr 11, 2024

Project update 8 of 9

Our New Forum, PCB Revisions, Case Improvements, Firmware Features, and Other Developments

by Jacqueline L

Hello again!

It’s been about a month since our campaign ended. What have we been up to?

Our current priority is completing a pilot production run of about 50 units. This will give us confidence in our suppliers and manufacturing partners, and help us identify any early issues with how we’re intending to produce our larger batches. Much of our time over the last month has been spent preparing for that run.

The rest of this update will cover the work we’ve been doing in more detail, but first…

Come Join Our Forum!

I’ve set up a basic little forum for gathering Tangara enthusiasts. Come along and say hi! It’s at https://forum.cooltech.zone. We’ve already got some really exciting stuff happening there, including:


Towards the end of our campaign, I managed to squeeze in another revision of Tangara’s mainboard PCB. This was a fairly conservative revision that was mostly aimed at improved manufacturability, EMI performance, and ESD protection. However, I did manage to fit in adding a direct connection between the device’s DAC and the SAMD21. A few people had mentioned wanting to use Tangara as a USB DAC, and this change will make that use case a lot easier to implement.

I’ve already received, assembled, and tested the new revision, and it looks good. I’ve gotten a few different quotes for the pilot run of PCBs, and will be placing an order soon.


We weren’t totally happy with our previous SD card holder design, so we’ve been iterating on it to come up with something that holds the SD card more securely, whilst also being easier to machine or 3d print.

We’ve also been working on a small, easily-printed cage to hold the battery in place inside the case. We previously planned to use some kind of adhesive or tape to secure the battery, but we didn’t like the impact that approach had on being able to remove and replace the battery.

We’re also working on finalising technical drawings of the new case design, which will help ensure that the production cases are manufactured accurately and consistently.

Bits & Pieces

There’s a long tail of other small components that go into making each Tangara: everything from fasteners, to the printed manual we stick in the box, to a tiny Allen key so that folks don’t have to source their own T6 driver to open their device. I’m spending a lot of time finalising specs and suppliers for each of these things, and will be getting pilot samples of each soon.

Firmware Improvements

Finally, in amongst pre-production work, we’ve also been continuing to make steady progress on Tangara’s firmware. Highlights from the past month’s changes include:

The next big features on our roadmap include an on-device file browser and better accessibility support.

See You Next Month!

That’s all we have for now! So far production is on track, but obviously it’s quite early days. Look forward to seeing how our pilot run is going next month, and in the meantime please do check out our forum!

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