This is the first report in a series about how preparation for campaign fulfillment is progressing. I was busy trying to check the BOM and finalize discussion with a few manufacturers that can provide PCBA (module assembly) services. But since the complete kit goes beyond just a set of assembled modules, I have to find sources for the other bits and pieces, all of which need to be delivered within the scheduled time and necessary quantities. In short, I ended up with a list of eleven suppliers, the two most distinctive of which are ITEAD Studio from China that I believe many of you already know, for handling the PCB and PCBA, and Varisom from Portugal that I already used as a reliable source of affordable customized metal enclosures.
Here is a short report of what else has happened:
Bare PCBs version r5B12 just arrived from ITEAD Studio, so I can start hand soldering one set to make sure all changes introduced with the three stretch goals are working as expected.
A nice thing about the ITEAD Studio PCB service is that you can get a certain number of PCBs for free if your project is open source - a natural fit with the EEZ Open philosophy.
A prototype of the new enclosure arrived few days ago. So far only a newly introduced display mounting frame needs some modification. Another issue that shouldn’t be a problem to rectify is resizing the printed artwork to better align with the holes in the enclosure.
Note that the Kensington slot compatible security cable shown on the picture of rear panel is not included with the kit.
Samples of the Arduino Due, USB cable, and TFT display arrived from a Hong Kong supplier. The TFT display is 3.2” and has the proper display controller, but unfortunately has a different pinout and physical dimensions! The supplier has agreed to try again before I proceed with a big order.
The new cardboard transportation box is now ready. Also, a local wire harness manufacturer delivered the first samples. There were some issues with pin counting but they have been resolved. Wire harness production will start soon.