Apologies for the delay in getting another update out. We've been waiting for final revision of cables and the hub to come in from the East. Had a couple of minor setbacks, but I didn't really want to update before we had an actual working prototype! If you want more minor updates, you can follow us on twitter @modmypi - we poke out a picture every now and then
The good news is that it works! I'm much happier with the cable runs; it's all a lot neater, and the hubs are spot on.
The next stage is a bit more testing on the electronic side. First indications look good though.
We've had some feedback from a few potential customers wanting a larger PSU e.g. 4A+ The problem is that we start treading into territory that means we have to build a bespoke hub PCB. At the moment, the hub we're using it a modified unit currently on the market, which does the job very well. We've already modified it to take a 2.5A PSU, but that's really the top of its comfortable range. This will easily power the Pi, WiFi Dongle, USB IR device & a HDD (for XBMC), or a bunch of controllers for a gaming platform etc. so as far as I'm aware it'll be more than suitable for the majority of applications. We've also tried to blow it up by directly wiring in a couple of motors, and couldn't even get the Pi to restart, so it's definitely capable. It's also a mass produced part, which means we can offer it at a reasonable price!
You're looking at adding an additional £10+ to the price for something bigger and bespoke, which isn't impossible but will require a lot more time to develop. However, the great thing about the design is that you can always whip out the original kit, and replace it with what's required. So, what we can do is offer the original package, and then potentially offer an upgrade kit for those that require it in the future. This isn't in the pipeline, but it's an idea and something we can work on.
What's next. . ?
More testing electronically. We still haven't managed to blow it up (with some serious trying), so I'd like to try harder to get some realistic limits in place.
Waiting on a bunch of HDD enclosures to make sure we have a range that fit in the bracket, and some HDD's from our supplier so we can offer them as bundles for the XBMC users.
Don't want to jinx it but;
The Raspberry Pi Foundation
have agreed to look over the product and potentially endorse it (if they like what they see), so we're working them them here. Hence the inclusion of the logo in the top recess. That recess is also the right size for a half size breadboard, and any companies that want self branding can plop a sticker over it. Smart huh!
Another update in 1 - 2 weeks once we've had various partners and testers look over it. We'll then be moving forward with the product via a short Kickstarter. The set up costs are prohibitive for us to simply say go! But, we'll be happy to move forward with it once we've secured a few orders. We'll be offering the kickstarter units at a nice discount, to thank everyone who's kindly donated their time and ideas to getting this project off the ground, so we'll try and make everyone aware of it when it goes ahead!
We're also working on a 'flat' window, for those that have no need for the raised window. This one will be designed to sit flush with the top of the case, making it less hacky/techy and even more lounge suitable.
Bare/GPIO Breakout/PiFace/Adafruit LCD Kit