TinyDuino in Production!
The TinyDuino is in production, thank you all for your support to make this happen!
We really pushed to start shipments by the end of November, but we had some delays in getting all of the components in. Namely we had a delay of about 3 weeks in getting in the main Atmel microcontroller from our vendor, but we now have everything in and are producing boards. It’s been incredibly busy around here to get the set up and running (I still can’t believe we only starting moving into the new office only about one month ago), but we’ve got all the main pieces in place and running. We plan to ramp this up over the next week and get the majority of the main boards complete in the next few weeks.
I took a quick video on my phone tonight (sorry for the shakiness) of the line in operation, showing several of the boards being assembled.
The panel shown in this video has the six main TinyDuino/TinyShield boards on it, the TinyDuino processor board, the three prototyping TinyShields, the USB TinyShield, and the LED TinyShield. In all, there are 36 boards on this panel. There is a different panel for the TinyLily boards.
The first step of the operation is to apply solder paste to the panel, which is done using a solder paste stencil and a stencil printer. The printer that we have is a semi automatic printer that is completely air driven, and gives very precise control over the solder paste operation.
After the solder paste is applied to all the pads on the board, the board is taken to the Pick and Place machine which puts the parts on the board. After assembling the board, it’s taken to the reflow oven. The oven we have has 7 temperature zones and a large conveyor, and allows for precise control to properly reflow the solder paste into solder. The peak temperature that the oven is programmed to reach is 255C, since we are using Lead Free solder for all the products.
After the boards come out of the oven, the next step is to flip the board over and repeat the process again for the parts on the back side of the board.
Then after all the surface mount parts are complete, the through-hole components (just the battery clip for these boards) are put on by hand.
We then ultrasonically wash the boards to remove any of the flux and any other contaminants that are present.
Then each board is tested for functionality and to make sure that all the parts are soldered correctly (ie no opens or shorts on the pins) and the microcontroller is programmed with the Arduino bootloader. Then the boards get packed up to be shipped out to all of you!
The quality of the video isn’t the best, we’ll definitely take a better one in the near future to give you a clearer look at your boards being made.
We plan on starting shipping the initial orders next week, starting with TinyDuino board orders, and about a week later TinyLily board orders. Shipments will be based on when you placed your Kickstarter pledge, so the people that pledged on day 1 will get their TinyDuino boards first.
Once we start shipping, we’ll make another update with a more accurate schedule. We’ll also plan on sending out a confirmation email when your order ships.
Thanks again for your support, and special thanks to all those who helped get us up and running, and keep us running on a daily basis – my lovely wife Katrina, Roy S, Tom G, Jen S, Jimmy C, Tim B, and Rick N!