I'm so glad I happened to start a netflix subscription before starting this project. I now have all 50 nodes hand populated, reflowed and tested. Doesn't seen like much, but that equates to about 3000 components over the course of all the nodes, not including the custom chargers too.
Luckily I could binge listen to iZombie while making them, I managed to get populating a board down to just under the time my reflow oven takes to do a cycle, so I got a quite nice production line going where I could take a 30 second break to stand up and have a drink between nodes.
Behold! (most of them)
I had about a 90% pass rate, most of the failures were due to me slightly miss-placing the driver chips or applying slightly too much solder to the last bit of the stencil, but my return improved as the batch went on.
Now they are all made I'm now going through them, recording their ID's (obtained from their mac addresses) and calibrating their feedback to the adc for battery voltage sensing and setting this in their config. Once that's done they will be ready to give one final firmware flash and popping in anti-static bags for transport before moving to the site.
The largest job left if to make all the 50 housings that the modules will sit inside and illuminate. Time to prepare my sewing machine!