Piunora

by Diodes Delight

A tiny-but-mighty open-source carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4

View all updates Aug 13, 2021

Mass Production Has Begun

by Timon

A lot of things have happened since our last update.

Manufacturing Status

The good new first: mass production is under way as of last week. So things have not been delayed too badly. Production will take about 4-4.5 weeks. I will then get a few units shipped to me for a last inspection on my side before approving the final shipment to Crowd Supply for distribution to backers.

Silkscreen Issues

The issue with the silkscreen quality was mostly resolved. For technical reasons, the PCB fab can increase the top-side silkscreen quality only a little bit. On the bottom side, though, they applied some extra soldermask to fill in grooves from vias and traces. So everything is now clear and smooth on the back of the board, and those distortions are a thing of the past.

I decided to not delay things further by trying to tweak the top side further. Everything is readable, and that’s the most important thing. (The majority of Piunora’s silkscreening is on the back anyway.)

Below, you can see some photos of the revised silkscreen-printing method. All in all they are beautiful PCBs, I’m very happy with the ultra matte-black finish:

Production PCB - Top

Production PCB - Bottom

Final Assembly

I also received the final assembly from my manufacturer. While nothing essential has changed, I have researched a lot of drop-in replacement parts due to the component shortage, so I’ll be testing those just to be sure.

SIM-Card Connector Footprint

Maybe you spotted those extra little pads near the upper, right-hand corner of the bottom side of the PCB? That is a footprint for an optional SIM-card connector. Adding one will allow you to use Piunora with a WWAN card such as an LTE modem!

I left this as an optional feature for hackers because it’s too much of a hassle to support officially. (To begin with, you can only use it by bridging the M.2 USB solder jumpers to connect the USB host to the M.2 port. USB is needed for almost all WWAN cards.) So, while you’ll have to solder the SIM-card connector yourself, the footprint is there to make things a little easier for the adventurous. And don’t worry, I will provide part numbers and possibly a soldering guide for beginners.

Should this prove to be a popular hack, I can imagine offering a specialized version of Piunora, in the future, that is optimized for this use case. Increasingly, modern WWAN 5G cards (and some 4G cards) support eSIM, which does not require a SIM-card connector at all. So that might be another path

Packaging

Pre-production Piunora board

The latest boards have also been packaged up, as a test, so I made a little unboxing video of a Piunora Pro. I have decided to go with kraft paper packaging, which is made from recycled materials, has no plastic films bonded to it, and is fully recyclable. Below is more or less what you can expect when you receive your Piunora in the mail:

About the Author

Timon

timonsku  ·  timonsku


$18,042 raised

of $15,000 goal

120% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$39

Piunora Pro

A compact, feature-rich CM4 carrier board


$30

Piunora Lite

Perfect if you need the slimmest possible form factor. Includes all features of Piunora Pro except for the camera connector and the PCI-e M.2 port.


$14

M.2 B-Key 2280 Extender

Expands Piunora's M.2 port to accommodate full-length 2280 peripherals. Keep in mind that such devices are quite a bit longer than Piunora itself, so they might look a little awkward hanging off the end there. But, if you have a cool idea that depends on a 2280 M.2 accessory...this is the product for you.


$42

Raspberry Pi CM4 (Lite, Wireless, 1 GB RAM)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

Something for your Piunora to carry.

This CM4101000 variant of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is a System on Module (SoM) containing an ARM quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, 1 GB RAM, 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, and supporting power circuitry. Does not include eMMC flash.


$52

Raspberry Pi CM4 (8 GB eMMC, Wireless, 2 GB RAM)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

Something for your Piunora to carry. The Piunora microSD card does not work when using eMMC CM4 variants.

This CM4102008 variant of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is a System on Module (SoM) containing an ARM quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, 2 GB RAM, 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, 8 GB eMMC flash, and supporting power circuitry.


$15

Heatsink for CM4

You can operate the CM4 without a heatsink just fine, but if you have some extra-heavy computation to do, then a heatsink can help prevent thermal throttling of the SoC. Includes a mounting footprint for a 30 mm fan (not included) should you want to integrate it into an enclosure or take your CM4 to even greater extremes of computation. Also includes a set of stacking pin headers to accommodate expansion boards.


$10

microSD Card

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

Boot media for the "Lite" (CM4101000) variant of the CM4. We recommend 64 GB or smaller.

An industrial-grade memory card with extended endurance.


$7

RPi CM4 Wi-Fi Antenna Kit

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

An omnidirectional 2 dBi gain 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi antenna with panel-mounting hardware and an approximately 7.5" (19 cm) cable to connect the antenna's SMA connector to the CM4's U.FL connector. It is "certified for use with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4".

Credits

Diodes Delight

An open source hardware company and consultancy


Timon Skerutsch


Makerfabs

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PCB Fabrication & PCB Assembly

See Also

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