After three days of...
- taking precise measurements of every micro USB, slider switch or tact button in the house;
- filling out proper manufacturer part numbers for every single component down to the last 0.8 pF capacitor;
- browsing lcsc.com to find out that those exact part numbers are either out of stock or 'not recommended for new designs' and then replacing them;
- making several important changes to the schematics and the PCBs on the fly (yay fiducials!);
- finding out the exact reason why those 32MHz crystals are positioned upside down in the library and then flipping them;
- hunting for the common anode on the RGB LED (and then providing screenshots with red arrows pointing out where exactly the common anode is on the PCB);
- briefly contemplating replacing all black chip packages with white ones (don't ask);
- calculating the actual prices of all components on the board;
- and then almost despairing to find out that the .pos file is in the wrong format (minutes before submitting the order);
...we finally sent uECG (and the bases) into production. This has been a few days ago (actually, Wednesday night) and they're still under review so far. Granted, it's only the first fifty devices (each), but that'll be enough to send to our Indiegogo backers and have the rest in stock on Tindie.
There are many articles on the web about the wonders and horrors of PCB production, and almost all of them have one thing in common - that there is no single 'right way' to do it. Just as an example, every manufacturer has a different concept of how their dream BOM should look like. And, most importantly, the .pos file - the one that says where your components should be positioned on the board and how to place them...
In a sense, preparing production files is fun. It is also hard, exhausting, and time-consuming work (especially the 'find the correct MFN' part). It is also insanely motivating - we're producing our devices, finally! No more manual assembly! And then, at some point, it's over and you check, double-check, and triple-check everything. You upload the files. Hit 'submit'. And then you wait. That's exactly what we're doing right now (waiting), and it's probably going to take a while.
But we're finally did it! And now that we did, it's time to focus on stuff we put on hold - like writing project logs, picking up other projects (ours and otherwise), and thinking about long-term life goals. Plus, things will be happening soon, so we'll try to keep you updated more often!