Components and Assembly and Travel, oh my!
It's been almost a month since the last update, and a lot of progress has been made, so it's time to update everyone on where their rewards stand.
The last update showed the panels as they were in the format of the design files. Well, they've completed fabrication and were successfully delivered to the assembler, Small Batch Assembly (SBA) in Virginia.
In addition to the panels arriving at SBA, all the parts were ordered and I carefully labelled them with the appropriate reference designator (R1, R2, C4, etc) so that they'll be loaded correctly onto the pick-and-place machine. Then I sent all those parts off to SBA as well.
Now I'm going to go out to SBA myself, on Monday, to document a bit of the assembly process for all of you! Bob at SBA says it looks like we'll have a chance to go through the assembly of the Display Add-on while I'm there. It probably would have been better if I could have waited a day or so to fly, but I had to go when my Delta frequent flier miles said I could go.
More Content Daily
With the finer points of fabrication and assembly beyond my touch now, it's allowed me to focus on returning to the course work for the Education Shield. Nine modules have gone up since the last update, including all the I2C Basics Tutorials and the first two Temperature Sensor Tutorials. It will be a little difficult to keep writing content while I'm in Virginia, but I'll be back at it when I return. My goal is to have the majority of the content done by the end of February.
One Small Problem
I identified a problem I let through on the Display design. The pin header at the bottom, which I had intended to deliver with a right angle male pin array, had the holes drilled too small, because I picked the wrong footprint in KiCad. Totally my fault, and I didn't notice it until after the panels had been delivered to SBA. The solution I've come up with, is to use a right angle female header instead, which you can use with an 11 pin male header to join it to either your Arduino or a breadboard. It just adds that little bit of extra space, unfortunately. I tested it and it's very stable, and I'll be including the male header to use as an adapter for everyone that selected a Display level reward.
The breakout boards that represent the discrete subsystems of the Education Shield have been successfully tested. Unfortunately, this was where I identified the incorrect footprint, because all the boards had drill sizes .020" too small for the pin headers. I made do with something called "machine headers" instead, to make sure the rest of the circuits work, but I'll have to make sure to incorporate that change into all the breakout boards. Beyond that, each and every one of the boards worked flawlessly.
Web Store Coming Soon
I've done a ton of work on getting a web store up and running. It's now fully integrated with the look and feel of Rheingold Heavy, and nice product pictures have been taken. It's not live yet, and I'm not quite ready to release it to the public, but it's coming soon, and will have Education Shields, Displays, Breakout Boards and more available. I feel it's important though, that my Kickstarter Backers receive their rewards before anyone would receive the equivalent through the retail site.
You are the reason I'm able to do this in the first place; you are my priority.
I'm going to be going to Germany from February 24th through March 18th, where I'll be meeting with some hacker spaces, makers, and hopefully fabricators and assemblers. If you're near München, Berlin, Mannheim or Der Schwarzwald and would like to meet up, send me a note!
As always, feel free to send me any questions or feedback you have!