EOMA68 Computing Devices

by EOMA68

An Earth-friendly way to easily upgrade and fix your own computer

View all updates Jul 07, 2016


by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

I thought it would be nice to do an assessment and give you some insights into how we came up with the pledge levels. The pledge levels have been based on a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of 250 units. Ordering PCBs and components is odd: there are fixed setup and teardown costs which don’t change no matter how many PCBs you get made, and the components that are soldered to the PCBs can come in reels of 2,500 or trays of 100. Ordering a partial reel is so time-consuming and inconvenient it’s just not worth it. All this basically means the smaller batch sizes are much more expensive per unit than larger batch sizes: ten times the cost is not uncommon. The problem is nobody would buy a \$50 computer if it cost \$500. That’s where crowdfunding comes into its own.

A simple crowdfunding campaign would have a single device with a single PCB, so the accounting is pretty easy: get some quotes, work out the costs, set the minimum campaign funding goal, and go. Here, however, we have four completely separate devices available and you can mix and match what suits your needs. We have people talking on the forums for example about getting two separate Computer Cards, setting one up for work and the other for play, and being able to switch over when they want, which is fantastic, because it’s exactly what was envisaged when the EOMA68 standard was first devised. They’re really looking forward to the hand-held Games Console being developed by Manuel and his team, for example.

In setting the pledge levels, we basically had to do some educated guesses, and, based on the numbers so far after one week, it looks like we’ll be okay. Taking the current ratios of pledges and assuming they are a guide to the totals when the campaign ends, we would have just over 500 Computer Cards, 140 Laptop Housings and 275 Micro-Desktop Housings. Though 140 Laptop Housings is a lot less than 250, the good news is that the PCMCIA socket (one of the critical components where we’ve negotiated a price based on a MOQ of 250 units) is shared between both the laptop and desktop housings. That leaves the battery (\$8), 4.3in LCD+CTP (\$8), and the main LVDS cable to the 15in screen (\$12), which again we’ve negotiated MOQs of 250. That’s about it: everything else we can get in smaller quantities. So…. adding those up, it’s around \$28 per laptop. A shortfall of around 100 units (140 instead of 250) would mean finding \$2,800, and given that the Computer Cards could be cheaper than we expected because a run of 500 has significantly lower NREs (Non-Recurring Expenses), that \$2,800 shouldn’t be a problem.

I find it really fascinating that nobody has ever attempted anything like this before - not just the embedded modular computing aspect, not just the libre aspect with RYF Certification, but that literally no other crowdfunding campaign has ever attempted a modular multi-device launch before, either, and I’m very grateful to the team at Crowd Supply for taking this on and giving me the opportunity to be of service to you, our backers, in an ethical way. I have to say, it’s kinda cool and slightly nerve-racking at the same time.

As always, please help us out by backing the campaign, telling others about it, and sending us feedback.


About the Author

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

 Planet Earth. Usually.

$237,697 raised

of $150,000 goal

158% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices


Libre Tea Computer Card

An EOMA68-compatible computer card with an Allwinner A20 dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of NAND flash pre-installed with the Parabola GNU/Linux-libre operating system. We expect the Libre Tea Computer Card to receive the Free Software Foundation's Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification before the first units ship.


Practically Perfect Computer Card

An EOMA68-compatible computer card with an Allwinner A20 dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of NAND flash pre-installed with the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.


Numero Uno Computer Card

An EOMA68-compatible computer card with an Allwinner A20 dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of NAND flash pre-installed with the Devuan GNU/Linux operating system.


Getting Ahead Computer Card

An EOMA68-compatible computer card with an Allwinner A20 dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of NAND flash pre-installed with the Fedora 24 GNU/Linux operating system.


Micro Desktop Housing for Computer Card

This is a Micro Desktop base unit and power supply unit with a beautiful laser-cut stack of 3mm plywood panels that creates an aesthetically attractive tiny base unit for your Computer Cards. Excludes Computer Card, keyboard, mouse and VGA monitor.


PIY Laptop Housing Kit for Computer Card

This Print-It-Yourself (PIY) kit includes all the parts, cabling and boards (main, power, and controller, assembled and tested), and battery, charger, keyboard, LCD, and CTP-LCD for trackpad that are needed to build a complete Libre Laptop once you 3D print the enclosure from the freely available GPLv3+ licensed plans. Excludes Computer Card.


PFY Laptop Housing Kit for Computer Card

This Printed-For-You (PFY) kit has everything needed to create a full EOMA68 Laptop, including a 3D printed set of casework parts, bamboo plywood panels, tested and assembled PCBs, cables, battery, charger, keyboard, LCD, and CTP-LCD for trackpad. Available in a variety of colors and materials. Excludes Computer Card.


Completely Assembled Laptop + Computer Card

A meticulously hand-assembled and fully-tested laptop. Includes your choice of EOMA68-A20 Computer Card and 3D-printed casework.


PCMCIA/EOMA68 Breakout Board

One PCMCIA/EOMA68 Breakout Board with one surface mount PCMCIA header, and tracks to some convenient 2.54-mm-spaced through-holes. Added by popular demand, for access, tinkering, development work, testing, etc.


Pass-through Card

A simple card that takes in HDMI and USB and passes them on. Turns a Laptop Housing into a portable, battery-powered dock for your smartphone, USB-HDMI dongle computer, and tablet, or a second screen, keyboard, and mouse for your existing laptop or desktop PC.


USB + HDMI Cable Set for Standalone Operation

Includes a Micro HDMI Type D cable and 3-way USB-OTG Host-Charger cable tested and known to work with EOMA68 Computer Cards. These are the cables you need to run a Computer Card as a standalone device without the need for a housing. Also useful with the Micro Desktop or Laptop Housing to add a second screen and extra USB port.



We make the modular, upgradable, Earth-friendly EOMA68 laptop.

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton


Christopher Waid


See Also

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