It took quite a while for the PCB to arrive from China. Who knew China is that far away from here. The overall build quality of the PCB seems okay but I noticed a little problem. The board was a little bit bigger than what I had in my head and I added too much features for such low-power hardware.
It was probably due to the fact that it is my 4th board (noob alert) and I am still struggling to get my dimensions well. Also because I was a little too ambitious. At the end, I decided to
- Reduce the number of buttons drastically and allow tweaking of parameters via Wifi/BLE.
- Use ESP32 Wroom 32 for the next revision as they seem small enough for what I intend and I have(finally) experience soldering and troubleshooting them.
- Include a LNA and SMA antenna on the board without compromising its size. Probably a removable antenna or something similar.
- Make a repeater with better specs and to reduce the transmission time and power required by LoraSleeve.
- Find a way, if I can, to implement my own RFM96W on board. This does not seem very likely but who knows.
One important reason for switching to ESP32 Wroom 32 is its availability on Aliexpress compared to Esp32 Pico D4. And Aliexpress (3 weeks) seems to ship faster to my place than Lcsc (still waiting).
I am definitely not wasting 40 pieces of PCB (39 is okay). I will definitely populate at least one in the coming week ( when LCSC finally comes through) and will get started on the software.
I will make a log about the new schematic and layout soonest.