The Core just got better! Plus, survey info
Hope your July is going well so far. We’ve got a long update for you, so I’m going to jump right in:
NEW AND IMPROVED CORE!
The Core has gone through an update with a number of improvements including improved RF design, improved power performance, an RTC crystal, an RGB LED, and a user LED. The detailed changes are documented on our Github release notes, and we’re continuing to improve the design as we work with our manufacturer on Design for Manufacturability (DFM).
And there’s one big change: there are now two versions of the Core! You can now select a Spark Core with a chip antenna or a u.FL connector.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE: CHIP ANTENNA VS. U.FL CONNECTOR
The Spark Core we shared on Kickstarter used a chip antenna, which is a teeny weeny antenna on the circuit board. It’s the little blue thing.
But many of you asked for another choice: a u.FL connector. A u.FL connector looks like this:
The u.FL connector lets you plug in a wide array of external antennas, so you can improve the range for your particular application. It’s not for everyone, because it requires a bit more work and purchasing an antenna, but if you're planning on stretching the limits of the Core, you might want this.
Many of you may not be familiar with these alternatives, so my advice is that if you aren’t sure, choose the chip antenna. It just works. But for those who are debating, here are the pros and cons of your two choices:
- Works out of the box
- Cheaper, because you don’t have to buy anything else
- Longer range
- Lets you build a product with a metal enclosure (using an external antenna)
- You can choose what type of antenna you use
- NOTE: Does not include an antenna! You’ll need to buy one separately.
TIME TO MAKE YOUR CHOICES!
We will soon be sending out Kickstarter surveys to ask you for the following information:
- Shipping addresses
- Phone numbers (we need this for dealing with customs; don’t worry, we won’t call you)
- Your selection of Chip Antenna vs. u.FL connector for each of your Cores
- Selections for each of your Shields
A few things to note as you fill out the survey:
- Some of you increased your pledges to order additional Cores, Shields, T-shirts, and RC Car Kits. This isn’t included in the survey because we can only ask simple multiple choice questions. We’ll be following up with a separate email to confirm your selections.
- Your address might change between now and delivery. If it does, please email us at email@example.com. We will send a follow-up email shortly before delivery to confirm your address.
- Surveys will be going out on Monday; if you don't receive anything on Monday or Tuesday, check your spam filter and email us if it's not there.
Will arrived in Shenzhen on June 28 to oversee everything related to sourcing and manufacturing. We’ve selected our manufacturing partner, and we’re now working with them to purchase components and prepare for our pilot run. Look forward to Will’s video documentary: Journeys of a tall man in China.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION IN OUR COMMUNITY
177 of you have created accounts on our forum and created 263 posts so far. Special thanks to our most active contributors: @rockvole, @dominikkv, and @BDub. Check out some of the most active discussions:
Spark Core Projects?
Custom Shield - Indoor Air Quality Monitor
That’s it for now! Please do take a few minutes to fill out our survey. We’ll be back in three weeks with another Kickstarter update and hopefully a report on our pilot run.
Stay cool (or for our friends in the southern hemisphere, stay warm) and have a great week!
Zach and the Spark team
u.FL connector picture: By Afrank99 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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VITAL CONNECTION: 10 Cores + All 4 Shields + everything from the SPARK MAKER KIT above. This is the way the Spark platform was truly meant to be used. Multiple projects talking with each other, to the physical world, to the internet, and even to you! The possibilities are basically infinite.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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