mikegrimwade
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:10 am

I'd like to see a future version of the Pi available as a barebones board where instead of the connectors (USB, RJ45, HDMI, Audio etc) it has PCB headers allowing people to easily add (or leave out if not needed) their own off-board sockets which could then be enclosure mounted. This would mean that the Pi could be used in almost any standard off the shelf enclosure that would accomodate the board.

This is mainly as I'd like to use something like this for my Pi ....

http://www.maplin.co.uk/slim-e.....res-219552

However as the Pi has connectors on all four sides mounting in this particular enclosure could be tricky.

Great work though and really looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on one.

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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:38 am

Unfortunately that would require a board redesign, and since the market for something like that is pretty small, and indeed not the target audience, it's unlikely to happen. That said, if as we hope the board design is made public, it shouldn't be that difficult for someone to design an alternative. The problem would be sourcing the SoC in small quantities.
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Lynbarn
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:45 am

It would be (relatively) straightforward to unsolder the fixed connectors and replace them with flying leads, or alternative connectors, so that the case you could still be used.

BlueClogger
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:45 am

Alternatively you could unsolder the sockets and replace them with trailing leads where needed. You'd need a desoldering pump or braid to avoid overheating and things getting stuck.

Phil Spiegel
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:12 am

Simpler still would be to make/buy/use short "extension" leads to your ultimate case"s port locations – thus keeping the assembly costs minimal: standard Pi, and separate cabling of unique lengths required for your chosen case.  Low maintenance cost with easy swapout!

Longer term maintenance costs are a useful consideration in designing a final product.

Okay it "adds" cost in extra connectors … but they are the cheaper option.

There might be some added statistical unreliability due to extra connectors – but on the other hand, separating the R-Pi from the mechanical shocks and stresses of the customer connecting to the ports is avoided … taken up by the flexible leads.

mikegrimwade
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:36 pm

Lynbarn said:


It would be (relatively) straightforward to unsolder the fixed connectors and replace them with flying leads, or alternative connectors, so that the case you could still be used.



This is certainly what I'll be doing when I get my first board. Just have to make sure not to fry anything in the process.

mikegrimwade
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:40 pm

Phil Spiegel said:


Simpler still would be to make/buy/use short "extension" leads to your ultimate case"s port locations – thus keeping the assembly costs minimal: standard Pi, and separate cabling of unique lengths required for your chosen case.  Low maintenance cost with easy swapout!

Longer term maintenance costs are a useful consideration in designing a final product.

Okay it "adds" cost in extra connectors … but they are the cheaper option.

There might be some added statistical unreliability due to extra connectors – but on the other hand, separating the R-Pi from the mechanical shocks and stresses of the customer connecting to the ports is avoided … taken up by the flexible leads.


This is definately a solution but not a very elegant one. With the average protrusion of connectors like the audio and hdmi jacks I'd be looking at a much enlarged footprint.

pik0
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:40 pm

Lynbarn said:


It would be (relatively) straightforward to unsolder the fixed connectors and replace them with flying leads, or alternative connectors, so that the case you could still be used.

This is certainly what I"ll be doing when I get my first board. Just have to make sure not to fry anything in the process.


Ugh!! Don"t unsolder the connectors. You run the risk of damaging the main board and make it much harder to do a board swap should the Pi ever die. Just get short cables and extend to an existing case for all the connections you need. Much safer route to go…

Piko

Viscacha
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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:38 pm

I would take it one step further and make it a CPU board with a card edge or lots of pins bringing it somewhere between a Beaglebone and a Raspi. But the foundation has nothing to gain by making such a board (being 100% hacker/dev market) so it would need to be a community effort and to do that it would seem likely you might choose a different ARM CPU that is easier to buy in the lower quantities such a niche market would dictate. Using similar requirements to the beaglebone (no POP, no <0.5mm pitch, no more than 4 layers and ideally populated one side only or 100% surface mount) would also help mean local smaller fab houses could make it for reasonable prices.

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Re: Barebones Pi

Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:48 pm

And once you start going to those levels of detail, you may as well just buy a premade board - they do exist.
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Jessie
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:49 am

If you don't like the stock connectors, there are always cutting wheels for Dremels.  They take them right off.

mikegrimwade
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:09 am

pik0 said:


Lynbarn said:


It would be (relatively) straightforward to unsolder the fixed connectors and replace them with flying leads, or alternative connectors, so that the case you could still be used.

This is certainly what I"ll be doing when I get my first board. Just have to make sure not to fry anything in the process.


Ugh!! Don"t unsolder the connectors. You run the risk of damaging the main board and make it much harder to do a board swap should the Pi ever die. Just get short cables and extend to an existing case for all the connections you need. Much safer route to go…

Piko



Hey it's no fun unless you invalidate a warranty in the process. Sure there is a small risk to the board but this can easily be minimised. Plus its a $35 board, so what if it does get fried? I'll just order a new one. Once tested and put in an enclosure I'm prettty sure the only swapping out that may be required would be the SD card. Live a little and take risks, the best results are nearly always acheived by taking risks.

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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:27 am

Viscacha said:


I would take it one step further and make it a CPU board with a card edge or lots of pins bringing it somewhere between a Beaglebone and a Raspi. But the foundation has nothing to gain by making such a board (being 100% hacker/dev market) so it would need to be a community effort and to do that it would seem likely you might choose a different ARM CPU that is easier to buy in the lower quantities such a niche market would dictate. Using similar requirements to the beaglebone (no POP, no <0.5mm pitch, no more than 4 layers and ideally populated one side only or 100% surface mount) would also help mean local smaller fab houses could make it for reasonable prices.



Then it wouldn't be a Raspberry Pi either.


It'd have a different CPU with (probably) different capabilities
It'd have a non-standard I/O layout
It'd be more expensive (what volume would you expect?)
It wouldn't have this community.


There's no reason why someone wouldn't take that idea and run with it, but it'd get submerged in the wash of prototyping boards that are already available.  What you're saying is that you want a Beagleboard at a RaspPi price.

Someone just has to put together a company and get it off the ground.  Right?

Yes - thought so....
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drjohnsmith
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:31 pm

Ok,

so what sort of quantities of the chips do we have to look to ?

I have a few companies that would love to use begal boards in their designs,

but are too expencive to sell on,

custom boards, yep I have a few companies that do them, but they ar ein to the many 10 of thousand,

what about the market for boards with the pi capabilities, but available to the OEM market ?

OK, who do I need to talk to about what to get this rolling ?

jamesh
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:22 pm

If you want to make you own board using the SoC you are going to need a very large order to get Broadcom interested (100k or more perhaps). It's simply not cost effective for them to sell in smaller quantities - The Raspi gets a good deal because a) Eben works there and fought for it, and b) It's a charity. The company as a whole is simply not set up for small quantity sales.

There is no problem with using a Raspi board in commercial devices.
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Lynbarn
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:30 pm

mikegrimwade said:


pik0 said:


Lynbarn said:


It would be (relatively) straightforward to unsolder the fixed connectors and replace them with flying leads, or alternative connectors, so that the case you could still be used.

This is certainly what I"ll be doing when I get my first board. Just have to make sure not to fry anything in the process.


Ugh!! Don"t unsolder the connectors. You run the risk of damaging the main board and make it much harder to do a board swap should the Pi ever die. Just get short cables and extend to an existing case for all the connections you need. Much safer route to go…

Piko


Hey it's no fun unless you invalidate a warranty in the process. Sure there is a small risk to the board but this can easily be minimised. Plus its a $35 board, so what if it does get fried? I'll just order a new one. Once tested and put in an enclosure I'm prettty sure the only swapping out that may be required would be the SD card. Live a little and take risks, the best results are nearly always acheived by taking risks.



Besides which, the Raspberry Pi (Production version) comes with no GPIO headers fitted, so there would need to be some soldering, and assuming desoldering isn't that much more of a risk than soldering (probably less, in my experience), there should be little risk of damage.

nelson
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:16 pm

could solder 10-20 headers in the time it takes to desolder 1, and is a lot less dangerous has you are only heating each pin/pad for like a second to solder and a lot more than that to is required to make the solder flow enough to suck it away, specialy with rohs solder

edit: not my day keep making stupid spelling mistakes

pik0
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:16 pm

The RP is a four layer PCB. It"s much harder than you may realize to desolder from such aboard with no damage. The risk/reward doesn"t make sense here since getting connector extensions exist for all port types. Keep it simple. Bugs live in complexity.

Piko

nullstring
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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:42 pm

JamesH said:


Unfortunately that would require a board redesign, and since the market for something like that is pretty small, and indeed not the target audience, it's unlikely to happen. That said, if as we hope the board design is made public, it shouldn't be that difficult for someone to design an alternative. The problem would be sourcing the SoC in small quantities.


It wouldn't require a board redesign just to leave the through-hole connectors off.. which is what would be the most helpful.

I'd just like to note that I would happily pay ~$45+ for a Model B without the throughole connectors. It takes alot more than $10 of work to remove them..

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Re: Barebones Pi

Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:36 pm

nullstring said:


JamesH said:


Unfortunately that would require a board redesign, and since the market for something like that is pretty small, and indeed not the target audience, it's unlikely to happen. That said, if as we hope the board design is made public, it shouldn't be that difficult for someone to design an alternative. The problem would be sourcing the SoC in small quantities.


It wouldn't require a board redesign just to leave the through-hole connectors off.. which is what would be the most helpful.

I'd just like to note that I would happily pay ~$45+ for a Model B without the throughole connectors. It takes alot more than $10 of work to remove them..


But it would probably cost more than $10/board for the Foundation to push this sort of thing through production - effectively a new production run of very low numbers.
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XAPBob
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Re: Barebones Pi

Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:35 am

Surely it's just a case of grabbing a handful of boards off the lines before they get these pieces soldered on - I'm assuming that not everything is soldered in one station...

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Re: Barebones Pi

Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:30 am

BTW for those considering desoldering the connectors is the ethernet connector one with integrated magnetics or do you have seperate magnetics on the board?

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Re: Barebones Pi

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:00 pm

Looks to me it's integrated - traces appear to go straight from the chip to the connector.

But don't rely on that - I'll be able to tell you more when I get one in my hot stickies.

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Re: Barebones Pi

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:11 pm

XAPBob said:


Surely it's just a case of grabbing a handful of boards off the lines before they get these pieces soldered on - I'm assuming that not everything is soldered in one station...


I'm afraid not. PCB are fully screened, then populated by the Pick and Place machine, then straight off to the oven.
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Re: Barebones Pi

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:22 pm

Then the is the logistics of packing and shipping then separately. Next receive and store them separate. Then sell them separately etc. etc.

The only way to keeps things dirt cheap is it to keep it dirt, dirt  simple.

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