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Teensy 3.5 & 3.6 - Powerful Microcontrollers For Making Awesome DIY Electronic Projects
Teensy 3.5 & 3.6 - Powerful Microcontrollers For Making Awesome DIY Electronic Projects
Teensy 3.5 & 3.6 - Powerful Microcontrollers For Making Awesome DIY Electronic Projects
3,173 backers pledged $186,151 to help bring this project to life.

Thanks, Rewards, Production Prep, Software, Test PCBs

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Thanks!

Thank you for backing this project.  I've been working on this board for quite some time, unable to really show anyone until now.  It's really awesome to finally get to share and see such a great response!

Already we're up to 1194 backers, with an average of 2 boards per backer, in just a couple days!  Hopefully we'll get to 1572, the number of people who backed Teensy 3.0 in 2012.  Like then, we set the funding goal fairly low so we wouldn't be preoccupied with it, and because we're already very committed to making this board.  This great early response makes launching the product into production much, much better.

Rewards

Robin and I feel strongly about not adding stretch goals & rewards.  I know this is common practice on Kickstarter.  But so are delays.  We're committed to keeping this project moving on schedule and shipping your rewards on time, so we're going to practice restraint and not expand the project's scope.

Robin will be adjusting the limits on the reward levels, if any get close to running out.  The total of all limits is based on the number of chips we can get, so there's flexibility to adjust if any reward level needs more.

The top 2 reward limits are based on items in very limited supply.  The most constrained are the preproduction boards.  A small number of these are being saved for my work on the test fixture.  When that's completed (I'll be posting updates), we'll make those available as few extra top-tier rewards.

The ethernet shield is also in very limited supply.  These are hand soldered, so we just can't possibly build a large quantity.  I hope to make these available as a regular production product at a later date, likely in early 2017.

I want to be clear about the early state of software development for this ethernet shield.  Right now, there's only an ARP+Ping test I wrote, and several benchmarks Manitou published.  Manitou's results show we can look forward to really awesome performance.  But at least for now, there simply isn't a mature library usable for most projects.

The regular (but slow) Arduino Ethernet library works, of course.  I tested it with the Teensy 3.6 beta board and a WIZ820io module.  If you're planning a project where you want ethernet to "just work", that's probably going to be the best path for the near future.

Production Prep

Robin has been working on preparing for production of these boards.  The 6 layer PCB fabrication is the pacing item.  She already placed a large order for the PCBs, and many of the components.  Much of this is purchased on credit and the bills will become due at the time Kickstarter funds this project (2 weeks after it closes).

We've also been working with our assembly vendor.  They're here in Portland, Oregon USA, only about a 15 minute drive from us.  That's incredibly valuable, since we can easily meet in person.  I went over there a few days ago to look at a special fixture they had made for applying the solder paste to Teensy 3.2, and I adjusted the position of the holes in the PCB's panel to fit.  They've confirmed scheduled time to build these boards in late September, which of course is critically important for rewards to ship on time.

Software

On the day we launched this Kickstarter campaign, Arduino.cc released Arduino IDE version 1.6.11.  Talk about timing!

Yesterday I updated Teensyduino and published version 1.30-beta3 for testing.  While we've been best testing Teensy 3.6 for months using a customized board.txt file, this is the first Teensyduino version to include it by default.  Here's how it looks.

If you're curious whether a specific Arduino sketch or library is likely to work, just install this into your copy of Arduino, and then click Verify.  If you do find anything which doesn't compile, please post a message on the forum's beta test thread, and I'll try to look into it.

Test Fixture PCBs

Yesterday late in the afternoon 2 packages arrived from OSH Park.  I'm always excited when those white & purple envelopes arrive!  I spent this morning soldering them up.

The first board is meant to plug into the SD socket, so we can test to make sure all 8 pins work.

The connector mates with a flat flexible cable.

The 2nd board is the main controller for the text fixture.  This is actually the 2nd revision of this board.  I'll post a detailed update about the test fixture within the next week, but at this moment we're still waiting on another OSH Park package...

One small detail that worked out very nicely is the 45 degree angle on the micro SD insert.  This is a challenging shape to make with tab routing, because the router bit that cuts the outside edge of the PCB has a fixed radius.  I designed the PCB with this funny-looking little 90 degree notch, in hopes the radius will fill it in and blend with the 45 degree edge.

The net result turned out pretty close to the shape of a real micro SD card.  After sanding the edges smooth, it fits very nicely into the socket.

Comments

Throughout this campaign, I'm aiming to post an update every 2 or 3 days.  Coming up soon will be a pretty detailed look at the test fixture.  I'll probably write more about the technical details of the new peripherals in these chips.  Of course we'll also have updates on the project's status as things develop.

If there's specific things you'd like me to cover in these updates, please leave a comment.

Umair, Raymond, and 31 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 26, 2016

      @David - Yes, more synthesis features are definitely planned for the audio library. At this moment the waveform synth can be programmed with an arbitrary waveform, which gets DDS scaled to any frequency (but you have to pre-filter to prevent Nyquist aliasing). You can use the envelope object to shape it to something like a musical note. But that's a fry cry from proper wavetable synthesis where several differently bandwidth limited waveforms are automatically used depending on the octave of your note (no aliasing), with a different sample for the attack phase of the note that seemlessly transitions to the repeating waveform, and built-in LFOs to automatically modulate the amplitude and phase increment (for tremolo & vibrato)... all implemented efficiently with the M4's DSP extensions, so you can have many of them playing simultaneously. This is one of many audio applications I've been wanting to support for quite some time and I've put quite a bit of thought into how I'm going to implement it in the audio library, now that we've got more memory and CPU power available to really do it well.

    2. Missing avatar

      David Perbal on August 26, 2016

      Hi Paul,
      What a nice surprise to discover these two new boards.
      I'm in for two 3.6 boards, really excited with these 6 UART as I need 4 MIDI OUT ports and 2 MIDI IN for a project.
      I would also love to see the possibility to play a sample at different pitches (I already have the audio board but I don't know how to do that), to make my own musical sampler (play a sound with all the notes on my keyboards, also polyphony).
      Best regards from France

    3. Asbjørn Mikkelsen
      Superbacker
      on August 26, 2016

      @Paul yeah, I moved to the $216 pledge instead now :)

    4. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 24, 2016

      @Asbjørn - At this moment there's still 12 of the Special Developer Pack rewards, which include one of these ethernet shields, fully built and tested. Also expensive, but maybe if you share the reward with friends who want some of the other boards, it'd work out well?

      If you really want to build it yourself, with a little work I'm sure you can find those same parts or close substitutes at European distributors.

      Remember the LAN8720A center pad needs to be soldered. The chip will not work if only the outside 24 pins are soldered.

    5. Asbjørn Mikkelsen
      Superbacker
      on August 24, 2016

      Cool regarding putting the Ethernet Shield on OSHPark, Wonder if anyone in US would assemble some partskit? (shipping from digikey to Norway is somewhat expensive)

    6. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 22, 2016

      Sorry, I don't use Eagle (yes, there are other CAD packages) so no Eagle files to share.

    7. Jon Raymond on August 22, 2016

      @ Creator
      Thank you for sharing the the Ethernet and Micro SD card adapter projects on Oshpark. Is it possible to include the source (Eagle?) files along with the gerber files in the zip folder. Onehorse (Pesky Products) does this and it has been very helpful when I needed to tweak a design for parts I have on hand already.

    8. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 22, 2016

      Here's quick answers for a couple questions I missed earlier.

      @darren - I believe one of the beta testers confirmed the FlexCAN library works with the first CAN port. It still needs to be updated to support the 2nd port. This is on my TODO list...

      @Gustav - Whole board current on Teensy 3.6 is approx 73 mA when running at 180 MHz, and about 49 mA when running at 120 MHz.

    9. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 21, 2016

      The pin descriptions are on the main page.

      Please check out this discussion on the forum for dimensions and ideas for making circuit boards.

      https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/34808-K66-Beta-Test…

    10. Missing avatar

      Mervin Koops on August 20, 2016

      Awesome this is going to be my first venture into ARM-land, can't wait.. already planning to use one in my current project when it gets here :)

      One question though: Are there pin-descriptions (mostly wondering how to correctly supply power without the USB) and dimensions for the 3.6 available? i'd like to put headers for a teensy on my current PCB in advance

    11. Paul Stoffregen 2-time creator on August 20, 2016

      Yes, I absolutely can make the Ethernet Shield available for DIY building. Here you go:

      https://www.oshpark.com/projects/Y2JckjhM

      Please understand the LAN8720A requires its center pad to be soldered. It's the only ground connection, so the chip will not work if you only solder the outside 24 pins.

    12. Missing avatar

      spadae on August 20, 2016

      Could you offer the Ethernet shield as a DIY kit?

    13. Missing avatar

      spadae on August 20, 2016

      Could you offer the Ethernet shield as a DIY kit?

    14. Gustav Öst on August 20, 2016

      Curious about power consumption of the chip and the whole board with regulation, power LEDs etc.

    15. NialP
      Superbacker
      on August 20, 2016

      Great work.
      I love the Teensy family and regularly use Teensy LC's and 3.1/2's (including a couple of OSH Park editions - I also love OSH park and am excitedly waiting for a purple envelope to arrive currently)
      Its going to be great having the onboard Micro SD card reader, as it is something I use regularly through the official SD Card adaptor for large data storage for various applications.

      I am so glad to see a project creator who feels the same as me about stretch goals and the delays and issues they tend to cause. Thank you for making that decision not to offer up loads of add ons and changes to get people to pledge more cash, its the best way to keep a project on track and on time.

      Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing the final boards as well as the updates on production as you move along.

    16. Missing avatar

      John Beale on August 20, 2016

      A great update... as I would expect. As many of us know, Paul's project planning, expertise, and bottom-line ability to deliver are head and shoulders above most of the HW stuff you see on Kickstarter!

    17. Missing avatar

      darren on August 19, 2016

      Is the existing flexcan library from 3.2 compatible or will this be neeeding changes?