Jumperless Has Exploded

A project log for Jumperless

a jumperless (solderless) breadboard

kevin-santo-cappuccioKevin Santo Cappuccio 10/10/2023 at 01:320 Comments

So, apparently YouTube has deemed my Hackaday Prize entry video worthy to show to basically everyone ever. 

Well, half of everyone...

C'mon ladies and User-specified people, don't make my analytics look like a drawing of a dick. Jeez, we really need to work on getting more women into engineering, if you're a non-male reading this who isn't into engineering (seems unlikely given we're on Hackaday), it's really super fun, I promise.

Anyway, now the Jumperless is backordered for a while

So now this isn't so much an engineering thing as much as a manufacturing/logistics project. Which is also pretty interesting so I'm going to write a bit about it here. This should also be posted on Manufacturingandlogisticsaday.

I have 50 coming in next week, which when I ordered them seemed like a lot. Now I'm working on getting an order together for 500, and I told them to hurry so I can hopefully get them in before Supercon. 

The unknown variable is the spring clip manufacturer, Shenzhen Fulimei Technology Co. LTD. Their lead time is usually around a month, but they've been very helpful and awesome to deal with so they might be able to rush it a bit. Each board uses 80 clips, so for an order of 500, I'm going to need 40k of these things, it's crazy that I've been having to use engineering notation for real life objects lately.

I was originally having these made by JLCPCB, and they always do great work. But they're kind of too big to be bothered with finals assembly stuff. So I turned to Elecrow. The reason I went to them was because we had already swapped boards, they reached out to sell the Jumperless in their store as a partner seller, and they had given me a couple TFT display boards to review. So I could just look at the board they sent and the manufacturing seemed pretty legit, and they could grab a Jumperless to make sure it looks like the ones from JLC.

I was kind of worried about quality, those LEDs on the Jumperless have pads that are soooo close together, so the reflow has to be perfect. Normally you'd just turn the LEDs 90 degrees and they have a lot of clearance, but I wanted the long rectangular lens to line up with the slot in the clips. 

I learned how touchy this was when I ordered the first batch from JLC. It was interesting that the main 4 layer PCBs were fine, while the 2 layer wishbone boards had a bunch of shorts. It seems like they build the more complex boards to higher standards, which makes perfect sense. And they had no places to probe for shorts on the wishbones.

Here I am trying to reflow these back to life unsuccessfully

Yes I melted the hell out of the lenses, I shoulda used a hot plate, but they were trash anyway. So I just redesigned this board with the LEDs rotated 90 degrees, which is the correct way.

The point of all this, it's sketchy to switch suppliers, especially when you just YOLO a bunch of DRC violations. Let's hope they're good, but I have a lot of faith in Elecrow. Any board assembly house willing to take sandpaper to a bunch of clear LEDs to diffuse them for me clearly takes some pride in their work.

I know what you may be wondering, will I have a bunch of these available at Supercon? The answer is hell yes.

I have 7k spring clips right now, so worst case, I'll have them ship me a bunch of kits and you can assemble them yourself in The Alley.

The advantage of dealing with me in person is that I'm a total softie who genuinely hates money, so if $300 is a lot to you and you seem cool, it's very easy to get me to give you one for free. Just use this verbal discount code, "Hey, I want one of these but can't really afford it." Boom, now you're a bonafide social-engineering hacker.

To the Hackaday Prize judges or anyone else committed to reading all the text of this project, I'm sorry you had to read through my extremely long-winded ramblings. As a reward for getting through it, here's a picture of my dog (Quark will be at Supercon, so save up some belly scratches for her.)

Okay fine, here's another more recent one.