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Small HDMI screens are  expensive. Native HD ones are astronomical. We want to drive the price down "Raspberry Pi" style.
Small HDMI screens are  expensive. Native HD ones are astronomical. We want to drive the price down "Raspberry Pi" style.
Small HDMI screens are expensive. Native HD ones are astronomical. We want to drive the price down "Raspberry Pi" style.
2,523 backers pledged £261,250 to help bring this project to life.

Test driving the 2nd iteration driver board

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I can finally announce that we have received a driver board. Iteration 1 didn't work well enough for our suppliers to send to us, so they went straight into iteration 2. In consulation with Realtek, the chip manufacturer, it was decided to enlarge the board slightly to avoid what looked like interference issues. (It's a bit of a black art, so I'm told.)

Driver Board Received

Dave received an iteration 2 board on Tuesday morning of this week (15th April) and instantly tweeted a few photos. 

https://twitter.com/Cyntech1/status/456018654627627008

Iteration 2 HDMIPi driver board
Iteration 2 HDMIPi driver board

Dave Sent One Straight to Me

I'm in Poland for the Easter holidays, so Dave instantly FedExed me one of the two boards he received. I got it on Thursday (17th April) and have just started testing it. Here's what it looks like...

Iteration 2 HDMIPi driver board
Iteration 2 HDMIPi driver board

Here's a comparison with the V2 'off-the-shelf' board. Ours is bigger because we've added sound, an extra HDMI port, an extra power in port, a USB 'Pi power port' and an additional USB interface for possible future use (e.g. touch etc.) We've also got the menu control buttons on the board instead of on a separate board. Note that the final board will have neither the VGA connector nor the middle USBA port on it, but will have the pads for one if you wish to add it yourself.

HDMIPi iteration 2 driver board and our off the shelf original V2 proto
HDMIPi iteration 2 driver board and our off the shelf original V2 proto

Video

I Made a Little Video showing it working

Quick 'First Look' Tests

So far I've tested both HDMI ports, sound output, and the ability to run both screen and Pi model A from a single power source - the USB power in port and a 2 Amp supply. That's all working well.

A quick shot of LXDE before I tweaked the colours
A quick shot of LXDE before I tweaked the colours

But there's a lot more to test, including a complete run-through of the menu system, and Easter is looming. I fly back to UK next Wednesday (23rd). I'll compare notes with Dave at the end of next week and we'll take it from there.

The most important thing though, is that it works :)

We're Not Going to Rush

Several of you have been absolutely rampant for an update, and if you've been watching the comments section, you'll see that I have leaked out bits and pieces of information there in response to anguished queries. But I was determined not to issue another "nothing much to say" update. If you want the latest information, you can usually find something in the comments section or on @HDMIPi at twitter.

I will still endeavour to send out an update, either when there's some important/interesting news, or once a month. But we hope there won't be too many more monthlies :)

We want to do this properly and we want it to work. The modifications, which came up during the campaign, have caused some delays. Anyone who's done a hardware project before will know this was inevitable.

You may not realise this, but you can't change the reward target dates once you've started a campaign. Kickstarter prevents this. Otherwise we would have needed to add at least a month or two.

Of course we're sorry that it takes a long time, but we are trying to bring you the best product we can, at a price that nobody else has yet matched. (And it's somewhat doubtful that they will until LCD prices drop radically.)

Still Testing

Depending on how well testing goes, we may have to go another iteration, or we may approve the board. Once we do approve the board it will be around 8 weeks before we receive the screens, hopefully less.

That's it for now. Testing has only just begun. There may be another testing update after further work has been done.

For now, we'd like to wish you a Happy Easter. If you don't celebrate Easter, have a nice week-end.

Alex and Dave @hdmipi http://hdmipi.com

Calvin Martini, Dominic Bush, and 24 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Steve G on May 8, 2014

      Board passed [Y/n]?

    2. Alex Eames - RasPi.TV 7-time creator on April 20, 2014

      @seatrue It's purely a risk-management issue. We aren't willing to order the screens until we are really sure we have a driver board that can do the job. We previously thought we might do it in parellel, but when it comes to writing out a 6-figure cheque of someone else's money, caution is advisable.

      Although now I have this board, I'm a lot happier that we will be able to deliver what we have promised, there's still some stuff to test and most likely a few rough edges to smooth. :)

    3. Missing avatar

      hyperdraft on April 19, 2014

      Hi Alex, great work! Thanks for the update.

      Just wondering, no pressure, why you can only order the screens once the final board layout is approved? What's holding you back from ordering them now? (Just wondering about this from an engineering enthousiast point of view)

    4. Mark Pearson on April 18, 2014

      Thanks for a great update Alex, it's really good to see solid progress as well as attention to detail. We really appreciate the care that is being taken to get this right, as well as incorporating as many enhancements as possible.

    5. Alex Eames - RasPi.TV 7-time creator on April 18, 2014

      Thanks everyone for the supportive comments.

      @James Mastros the white connector is for programming the microcontroller as far as I know. I think the RFU USB port is meant to be fully wired up, yes. But I haven't looked closely at it yet.

      @Geary the board has stretched slightly in the 'width' direction. It's longest side (length) is the same as before, so this shouldn't make much difference to the case design. It certainly shouldn't change the overall size.

    6. James Mastros on April 17, 2014

      Thanks for the update! It's lovely to see what looks like quite substantial progress.
      Re the RFU USB port on the left, does "future use, possibly for touch" imply that it's fully wired up for data, not just power? What is the small white connector on the right? I'd guess it's for add-it-yourself-later internal speakers, or possibly for programming the microcontroller?

    7. Missing avatar

      Michael Busby on April 17, 2014

      Great news on the board, hope all the testing goes well, thanks for the update

    8. Missing avatar

      Gareth Watson on April 17, 2014

      Excellent report, liked the video!
      It all looks very cool!

    9. Roger Sharp on April 17, 2014

      Thanks for the substantial progress report.
      Yes - we are all itching to get our screens, but later and amazing beats soon and disappointing - every time.

    10. Jamie Whitehorn on April 17, 2014

      Great update.
      And I agree with everyone else - don't rush it. It going to awesome :-)

    11. Missing avatar

      Jean-Claude Ben on April 17, 2014

      Great job.
      Thanks for the news

    12. Mike Smith on April 17, 2014

      I agree - don't rush, we want the best possible product, not one that has just been cobbled together to get it out of the door quickly! Keep up the good work.

    13. Missing avatar

      Geary Thomas on April 17, 2014

      Is the larger board going to cause a case re-design ??

    14. Calvin Martini on April 17, 2014

      Fantastic! Thanks for the update!

    15. Gary Littlemore on April 17, 2014

      Great stuff guys, well done and thanks for the update. :-)