A portable hardware kit for experimenting with pneumatics
Oct 14, 2019
Sincere apologies for the update hiatus, but I have good news. I’m starting the final assembly of boards!
Final board assembled and tested
The above image shows the first fully assembled Programmable-Air board from the mass manufactured batch.
I currently have all the final PCB’s with SMD components soldered in stock at home. All through-hole components and accessories are in stock as well. I have used these components to assemble a couple test boards and they are fully functional. So the remaining step of final assembly and testing is required. I also have to design and print a getting started guide card. I’m hoping to complete this in the next two to three weeks, shipping to Crowd Supply at the end of October, with shipments to backers going out a couple weeks after that.
The fancy SMT machine used to pick and place the SMD components on Programmable-Air boards
Reasons for delay
Even the best laid plans don’t survive an encounter with reality, especially when it comes to hardware! Here are some of the things that went wrong in the past few months and delayed production-
The PCB production factory was hit by a typhoon early in September and took some damage. They took a while to recover from this.
I made a mistake in exporting the final gerber files for production, because of which the PCB's had to be remade after the first production batch.
Finally, because of a production oversight, all the 10K resistors were populated with 100K instead. Someone just placed the wrong reel in the pick and place machine! I spent two full days just reworking these resistors :/
The pressure sensors I was using went out of stock for a while and I had to wait for the stocks to replenish.
I realized that the tiny colored buttons I'd been using are very uncomfortable to use for prolonged time. So, I had to change to a larger switch, and find vendors for colored switch caps.
I changed the supplier of air pumps to Aiyima. Their pumps are much higher quality, but the angle between the solder pins and the air input tube is different from my previous pumps. The PCB had to be redesigned to accommodate this.
I thank you all for your patience as I learn manufacturing through trial and error. I have a few interesting projects in the works as well, which I’ll add soon after shipping the kits.