mrail wrote:There's a few of things I would love to see on version 3.
That's what everybody says.
Thing to remember....a "Rev. 3" if it ever happens would be very close the exact same hardware we have now. All you'd get are "tweaks". Any replacement parts would almost have to be drop in replacements for what is there now. With that in mind...
First, I would love a spot to solder a header to supply power without using the USB connector.
One presumes you mean the micro-USB power connector, a standard connector. (I get amused when people suggest barrel connectors...for which, so far as I can tell, there is no real standard....but you're asking for header pins...)
You do know that you can power a Pi through the +V and ground GPIO pins, don't you? That provides the functionality you're asking for right now.
It would be nice if we could supply it with a 12 Volt power source.
That would require a MUCH better voltage regulator...and that would (likely) cost more.
Second, most computers these days have built-in microphone.
Really? None of my computers have built-in mics. Many of them have mic inputs, but no actual mics. Since USB mics or mic adapters exist...there is your path to mic input.
Could we have a header that would allow us to connect a 2 wire microphone? No need to spend money on a connector.
Can you point to *any* analog inputs on the PI? You are asking for an analog input. I don't even know if the BMC2835 has a way to handle such an input.
Third, with the lack of built-in wifi or bluetooth, we quickly need to connect a USB hub. I would like to package the PI in a small self contained box. How about adding a second stack of USB connectors or perhaps a header to connect an optional USB board we could mount to the enclosure?
If you want to build a case with USB hub already in place, feel free to do so. I've seen a rig like that, and while it was quite nice, it's not something that I need--or would want to pay for. (My need for USB hubs is...minimal since all my usual uses for Pis use a wired network connection.) I would point out that there exist RJ-45 to WiFi adapters out there. They're a bit pricey ($25 last time I looked), but they do exist. That would give you WiFi without needing a hub.
Forth, speaking of enclosures, the distribution of the connectors makes it awkward to mount it so we can make the connectors accessible. I know it's very hard to make miracles with this small real estate . I may also not want all connections to be available on the outside of the enclosure. Again, I'm back to the darn headers. But, with headers, we get total freedom. Maybe we could have a version without any connector. We could just use headers on that version. Yes, I know, it could drive pricing up if there's not enough demand.
Two points here... First, for the primary intended purpose of the PI, just handing someone one with nothing but headers would probably kill nearly the entire education market. It would make the Pi and "electronics project" rather that a "learn to program project". If you don't want connectors, no one is preventing you from de-soldering them.
The manufacturing issue is that what's keeping the price down is that 19th century development "mass production" (first implemented, so far as I know, by Marc Isambard Brunel to make blocks for the Royal Navy). The idea is to make whole bunchs of *identical* objects to reduce the cost of each one. If the production lines are split to make "normal" Pis and "connectorless" Pis, some of the advantage of the mass production assembly line is lost...and the price of both versions goes up.
FYI...if you really, really need an audio in, there is at least one board out there that has a "line in" plug.