[Arm-netbook] Crowsupply update

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Mon Jan 8 14:57:26 GMT 2018

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68

On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 2:28 PM, Neil Jansen <njansen1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 4:32 AM, Hrvoje Lasic <lasich at gmail.com> wrote:
>> did you ever think about in investing in small PNP machine (or just small
>> oven plus some hand tools), like being able to produce small batch in house
>> and test it qucikly?
> No, this would be a horrible idea, I speak from experience here.  If the
> end-product had a few parts (Arduino-ish, BOM < 30 parts), if the smallest
> passives were 0603's and if the smallest IC's were SSOP's, then yea it
> MIGHT be doable.  But the EOMA68 board has BGA's and (I'm guessing) 0402's
> and likely some 0201's?

 deliberately no 0201s.  you can't pick them up.

>> do you have any idea how reliable www.openpnp.org project is currently,
>> for
>> example to meet your specs on board with soem available hardware?
> I know the author of that program personally, I hired him and paid him to
> work on that program for a few months as we tried to make a small desktop
> machine that could do solder paste application and reflow in addition to
> pick and place.


> It's not exactly easy for me to say this either, because my dream was to
> make a machine for projects like EOMA68; to make the development cycle
> cheaper and quicker.  I failed in that regard, and honestly nobody out
> there has really nailed it to the point where you could start churning out
> single board computers with BGA's an tiny parts and get close to 100%
> yields, in a DIY setup.  It's sad but that's the reality that we live in.

 the whole point of doing the computer cards is that the base units -
the Housings - *can* be done with 0603 and 0805 components, on 2 layer

> For the record, while I vehemently disagree with LKCL on other matters like
> 3D printing and funding via bitcoin mining,

 well, if you have any ideas which stand a chance of fulfilling the
goals that have been set i'd like to hear them.  i didn't hear from
anyone when i asked, several times, for help with sponsorship,
contracts or anything else, so i had to make my own decisions.

 if people don't like that, tough: they should have responded sooner.
i can't wait for people: i have to actually make *decisions*.

> I do completely agree with his
> decision to get a few boards produced and tested before doing a complete
> run.  Even with all the review, there are still plenty of possibilities for
> show-stoppers.

 the 2.7.4 board is the fallback.  it'll be... without an HDMI
interface.  that's just the way it'll be.

> The only suggestion that I would make -- and it's a big one -- is to send
> Mike (at the factory) a full test rig that is capable of verifying that an
> EOMA68 card works properly.

 yehyeh. i'll have to go over to shenzhen to get one set up, and work
with his engineers to make it really, _really_ easy to fit the Cards -
and Micro-Desktops - into the rig.  fixed (locked-down) cables, rails
/ slides to put the PCBs in so that the connectors go straight in,
that sort of thing.

 the less time the better.

> This is an essential step of every production
> run, and I'm honestly surprised that in the update LKCL is planning on
> doing that himself. which pushes the schedule out to the right by another 3
> days.  This test rig would merely be a little board that the card plugs
> into, with HDMI monitor, keyboard, and some testing software to test the
> memory (Memtest86+), hard drive, peripherals, etc.  Once production is
> going, the factory will need to be testing them anyway before they leave,
> this would be a good opportunity to test them, yet I saw nothing about that
> in any of the updates or email traffic.

 i've mentioned it... half a dozen times over the past... 18-24
months.  in several updates and several times on the mailing list.

> Even if this is something that
> LKCL personally does not have time to work on, surely someone in the forum
> could take on this task.

 that would be really handy.

> So how were you planning on approaching the
> factory testing?  If you've got it all figured out, then why isn't it going
> to be used for the next immediate run?

 because i do the testing here, one at a time, here.  take micro-sd
card, take the PCMCIA header i've wired a 5V USB connector to and a
UART, plug it in and go.  otherwise i have to pay mike or one of
mike's engineers to do it.

> And if you've not had time to get
> to it at all yet, why not let someone on the mailing list work on it?

 nobody's offered!

> I can certainly give a lot of advice in this department.  Hardware and
> software testing of embedded modules is not only what I do at my day job, I
> had a lot of experience while living in Shenzhen in how to make test
> fixtures for embedded products.  I've got advice on how to make them
> bilingual so that they can actually be used in the factory by non-English
> speaking test technicians, and lots of other advice.  Just let me know.


 well, the guy who mike employs, he's extremely good at making
mechanical rigs and stamps and so on.  he can easily put together
something that ensures that the workers don't damage the boards during
testing as the PCB will go into the rig "in only one physical way and
with one physical move".

 software-wise i need something that does nothing more complex than
mount stuff on a micro-sd card, show boot messages on both screens,
and maybe has 2 keyboards plugged in (one into each USB socket) so
that they can bash some keys and see that crud comes up on-screen for

 going beyond that... testing I2C, UART and the GPIO.... *sigh*...
that involves writing some software.


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