Manufacturing hiccup

It’s inevitable, isn’t it – you’re freewheeling along perfectly happily and then you get a puncture.

As you’ll have noticed, there’s been a bit of a delay in shipping the first batch of Raspberry Pis out to people. This is because of a hardware parts substitution that was made in the factory by accident: specifically, where we’d specified jacks with integrated magnetics in the BOM and schematics, the factory soldered in non-magnetic jacks. No magnetics means no network connection. We’ve known about this for four days now, but we haven’t been able to tell you about it because it meant we had to do some further tests to make sure that nothing else was affected.

Magjacks

An illustration of where the factory went wrong - one of these jacks has integrated magnetics and the other doesn't. Which do you think is which? (I'll leave the answer in the comments later when you've had a chance to guess. Don't be misled into thinking there's information in the colour of the connectors.) It's actually very hard to tell unless you look at the insides of the part, either by doing what Gordon did and using pliers to take it apart when he realised something was wrong ("tin opener method") or...

Top view, x-ray

…by taking an X-ray. The jacks in this image are not necessarily in the same order as the ones in the spot-the-difference image above - I'm not making it that easy for you!

Side view non-mag type

This is a side view of the sort of jack we didn't want on the board. Pete Lomas, who designed the Raspberry Pi hardware, unmounted this jack from one of the boards we got back from the factory and X-rayed it for us.

This jack has integrated magnetics. You can see from the X-ray that it looks very different internally from the non-magnetic version above.

Happily, it’s a very minor problem to fix (desolder the dud jack/solder on a new one), and the factory is nearly done working on replacing them on the first set of boards. This means that the first tranche of boards should still go out to customers as we were expecting. There may now be a slight delay in later batches if there’s a problem sourcing enough magnetic jacks (we’ve got teams hunting them down already); all the stock of jacks we believed we had in place and ready to turn into the ethernet ports on your Raspberry Pis turn out not to be the correct part, so we’re having to start again and move through the negotiating/ordering/delivery cycle as fast as we can. Our partners at Element 14/Premier Farnell and RS Components are working hard to help us cater for this, and to expedite supply of the Raspberry Pi.

We are very, very sorry. We know you want your Raspberry Pi as soon as possible (and many of you are being inhumanly patient, having followed us since we launched this website eight months ago). We’ll keep you updated with how manufacture is moving; this is, in the scheme of things, a minor problem, but it’s still a bump in the road and we know that we rely on your goodwill to keep things moving forward.

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