Components arrived, PCBs ordered
A week ago I received a box full of goodies:
Most of the parts pictured are ZeroPhone-specific, and some parts are either extras or parts I ordered for myself =) The bag in the bottom center is full of 18650 holders, all three models pictured. Tape with white squares are the coolest BIOS chip holders ever, that I was trying to find for ages until I finally did find them for very reasonable price on TaoBao. Next to the laptop bag you can see a tape of 50 ESP-12 modules, and the bag next to it is full of Arduino Pro Minis. Ziplock bags in the center, to the left, are full of pushbuttons - the biggest of those bags has 750 buttons, and the plastic tube has 30 MCP23017 ICs. And, of course, there are 25 screens and 20 GSM modules - the latter I didn't have problems with, but screens just keep breaking on me.
Today, after I made all the board corrections (mostly related to "components arrived and they're incompatible with boards I'e designed"), I've uploaded 2 different panels to DirtyPCBs - full of both ZeroPhone boards and my personal experiments.
ZeroPhones that I'll be sending out will consist of 4 boards:
The Li-Ion board is for a simple reason, I still haven't decreased power consumption significantly and, while I'm going to turn off everything that I know affects power consumption, there's still a lot of what I know - that weird board with lots of exposed copper, right on top of the keychain on the front board, is voltage/current sensor breakout which is going to help me actually run benchmarks on power consumption.
There are also 3 mod boards:
- Audio buffer mod - to filter Pi Zero PWM audio output, making the sound less noisy (presumably, haven't tested it yet)
- SPI BIOS-like chip flashing board - for all kinds of BIOS experiments you'd want, without resorting to obscure Chinese BIOS flashing dongles
- ATMega ISP programming board - for easier experimentation with all sorts of ATMegas and ATTinys
I have ideas for some more mod boards:
- IR transmitter/receiver board - LIRC-compatible
- I2C EEPROM boards - for tinkering with various EEPROMs
- I2S audio mod board - to integrate Pi Zero and GSM audio together
- Audio amplifier add-on - for using small loudspeakers with Pi Zero PWM audio
As I already mentioned, the assembled ZeroPhones will be shipped to 1) reviewers, such as Hackaday, Crowdsupply etc. 2) project contributors and people who have pre-ordered ZeroPhones in order to start tinkering.
Now, after writing some more worklogs and answering all the emails, it's software time.
I do have two important questions:
- Do you have any mod board ideas?
- I have 5 ZeroPhones that can be sent to reviewers. Do you know of any bloggers/YouTubers who'd be interested in making a review of a ZeroPhone?