Sending out ZeroPhones; assembly experience

A project log for ZeroPhone - a Raspberry Pi smartphone

Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone (that you can assemble for 50$ in parts)

ArsenijsArsenijs 09/18/2017 at 03:030 Comments

...I've sent out 3 ZeroPhones before this week, just sent out three more packages and, if I'm lucky, will send out 2 more tomorrow or the day after. These phones are for case designers and other contributors - I'm not yet sending them out to reviewers, simply because it's a tad too early for that. SirCmpwn joined our IRC and expressed interest in working on alternative UI implementations - so I remembered I have just the thing:

This is pretty much the ZeroPhone front board, without GSM audio parts- it can simply plug on top of a Pi Zero (it's best if Zero is in some kind of case). It's good for developing UI and apps, working on ATMega firmware, as well as just using it as a simple interface for your Pi - with the screen, buttons and audio jack, what's not to love? So, for application development, if I have to send somebody a ZeroPhone and I don't have back board part or a Pi Zero, I can just send this board to allow to start development and then, later, send the rest! I wonder if people will be interested in these during the crowdfunding.

So, I've been assembling and testing these phones - what I've learned, experienced and started doing differently?

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I'm going to add more points to this post in the next couple of days, as I remember more and more things.

A kind-of-a-testing-jig I'm already using:

It's good because 1) I can easily test out back boards before I solder the Pi Zero on 2) I can also send boards without Pi Zeros if I'm out of Pi Zeros for some time, like it is now - I'd be happy to send out a couple more ZeroPhones, but I ran out of Pi Zeros and I don't have time to order one (I'm leaving Latvia for 8 days  the day after tomorrow), so I'm desoldering Pi Zeros from my previous projects =( Later, I'll also post some more testing jigs that I've made!

Oh, and I'm writing a small Python script to automatically download newsletters I make and upload them to the archive. So, instead of 10-15 minutes, it should then take about 1 minute, so it's not as much of a blocker as now, when I've got two newsletter editions that are still not in the archive.