EspoTek Labrador: Five Powerful Lab Instruments. One Tiny, Open Source Board

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Apr 10, 2017

Reliability vs. Performance in the Power Supply

The issue with the power supply mentioned in the last update has been fixed, and the power supply now cannot overheat.  The new design files will be sent to the manufacturer tomorrow morning and everything will continue as planned.

Unfortunately, this has come with a performance hit.  The nominal power output has been halved, from 1.5W to 0.7W, and the maximum output voltage has been dropped from 15V down to 12V.  I tried several workarounds, but none of them seemed to do a lot.  A complete redesign of the board would rectify the performance issue, but frankly that’s a very slippery slope to go down and we’ve already had enough delays.

Of course, 0.7W is not a lot of power.  But then again, neither was 1.5W.  That’s why there is the power supply extension header on the board.  Using this header, you can hook up Labrador to an external voltage source and generate much more power - in excess of 5W.

For those that need to use a power supply with a bit of oomph, rest assured I will design a board to supply well in excess of the original 1.5W through the extension header.  I know the cynical folks out there will see this as an excuse to sell more hardware, so to clarify: said extension board will be completely open-source, designed using off-the-shelf, through-hole components and tutorials will be provided that show how to build it yourself. I’ve even changed the shape of the header slightly so that it’s easier to connect up to homemade perfboard circuits.

This way, both reliability and performance can be attained, without causing any further delays.

~Chris

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Product Choices

$5

Support the maker movement!

You will be simultaneously helping the Labrador project and maker movement grow. For every $20 raised through the “Support Now” button, a Labrador board plus microUSB cable will be sent to an organisation promoting STEM education and/or the maker movement.


$29

Your very own Labrador!

You will receive a Labrador board, fully assembled with headers. All you need is your own microUSB cable and you’re ready to go! No soldering required.


$725

Class Set

25 fully assembled Labradors, 25 MicroUSB cables, 25 breadboards and a selection of components to get your students started: there will be resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, op-amps, 555 timers, and LEDs! Perfect for teaching a class the fundamentals of electronics.


$2,000

101 Labradors (we ran out of Dalmatians)

A huge pack of Labradors! Perfect for universities. Comes with 101 fully assembled Labradors, 101 microUSB cables, 101 solderless breadboards, and free shipping - a savings of over 40% compared to individual units. Hand these out like candy to first-year students and then watch their interest in electrical engineering grow!

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Credits

EspoTek

A new, Aussie startup created by a new, Aussie engineering graduate. Our aim is to bring technology to the world that allows everyone to create new things. Labrador is the beginning of this.


Chris Esposito

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