One of the common feedback i've been hearing is that the device is still a little too big to fit on a cat, and I understand. One of the reasons for this is that the PCB hasn't gone through iterations yet, I was playing it safe and aiming to get a MVP done. There are a number of improvements I have identified and I will list them here for people who are interested in knowing about what's coming.
- Use a eSIM or SoftSim: The current nano-sim takes a lot of space, it needs the ESD protection IC, the SIM tray and the SIM card itself, not only adding to the space but also the cost. Nordic released their plans to support SoftSim in Q1 of 2024 so that's promising. If SoftSim doesn't work; an eSIM is a no brainer for the next revision.
- Consolidating the antennas: The nrf-9160 shares it's radio front-end between the GPS and LTE; meaning the only one of the modules can be active. Hence, we can consolidate the antenna into one and use a RF switch to connect the antenna using appropriate matching network to LTE/GPS as appropriate. Something like this:
- Replace the DWM3001C: The Qorvo UWB module is expensive and big. This will be replaced with now available Type2AB. This reduces the cost by half and the size as well. Win win.
Improvement tracked here: issue #5