After much ado, the production PCBs are here! Worked like crazy today to get everything ready for cranking up production this weekend.
And unit #002 put together for testing
Also made some heatsinks – enough for 50 pairs. Didn’t take as long as I thought it would, once I got the system figured out.
Also decided to go for cutting the wire, since I was on a kick. Each zip tie holds the wires for 5 pairs. The in/out wires will be soldered to the boards as loops, then cut to length and terminated after encapsulation to protect the ends. Here’s 50 pairs-worth of wire cut out:
Tried out the potting system, worked pretty well, but there will be a learning curve. Lots of wasted goop on the first try. Vacuum system worked well though.
So here we go, the first official pair off the line… Drumroll please:
Don’t worry, the real ones will be prettier! I mixed up the wire lengths on the first one, and then crimped the connectors backwards (out-in and vise versa) so had to cut off the connectors and ended up with short stubs. These will most likely be destructively tested.
Emboldened by this success I decided to just jump in and bang out the remaining 25 or so units left to build for the preorders and batch 1.
An easy way to speed up production is to split a complex process into small steps and do all of the same step at the same time, probably as a combination of deveohpling muscle memory as well as reducing the number of different tools required. Downside is, should you make a mistake, it is likely to be repeated many times. After going through all steps serially with unit #002, and stuffing #003, I decided to do the next 5 in parallel.
Only 4 pairs fit in my vice at a time, but by the time these were finished I found it faster to skip the vice all together except for soldering the wires, where they have to go in one at a time anyway.
Crimped connectors on #003A to check the process, and it tested good, so off to do the rest at once.
Hopefully be done with assembly today and can focus on potting this week. I just hope I can pot each one in less than the 2 hours it took me to do the first one (above).