Good news: the boards from dirtypcbs.com have arrived and look great. I also got all the components for the 11 boards. Why 11? I ordered about 10 (they call it a protopack) and was lucky enough to get 11. Thats dirtypcbs.
Last week I also upgraded my hobbyist Eagle license to a proper Premium LS license which means I can now legally start selling stuff. So I’m basically ready to ship the first kits.
Today I assembled one of the boards and it at least looks great. All the footprints are correct and it was a pleasure to solder. Now what I want to do is to run some tests with it just to make sure it works as intended. I didn’t change much since the last version but I want to be sure first.
About the kit
There’s one thing I want to be absolutely clear about. At this stage of development the wind meter is not yet ready to be deployed. While I think the hardware is final now, a lot more work is needed to get the software ready. So for the time being this kit is intended for people who want to join the development and testing. I’ve done most of the low-level, register-fiddling stuff but much remains to be done at a higher level. I know there are a lot of people out there with much more experience in signal processing than me and I’m looking forward to work on this challenge together. And a challenge it is. But the PIC32 still has plenty of RAM, Flash and CPU time left to try out new ideas and approaches until we find one that works well.
The kit contains the board and all the necessary components. Details can be found in the BOM linked on the overview page. Once assembled it should look precisely like on the photos on this page. But as the name suggests, it comes as a kit, i.e. as components that you have to solder yourself. Most components come in relatively large SOIC packages but there are a few smaller MSOP and SOT-23 packages as well. They can all be soldered with a conventional soldering iron and strain solder just like I’ve done today.
The microcontroller is not yet programmed so you will need a suitable programmer. Microchip’s PICKit3 (USD47.95) is the obvious choice here. This is also what I’m using and matches the board’s pinout. All the software (MPLAB X IDE and XC32 compiler) are available for download from Microchip free of charge.
Taking pre-orders now
I’ll start taking pre-orders now but as mentioned I won’t ship the kits until I’ve done some tests with my own board. Once that’s done I’ll let you know and if you’re still interested by then I’ll give you my PayPal details and ship the kits.
Some have mentioned that they already have some ultrasonic tranducers and/or want to try some specific model so you are free to order your kit with or without the transducers.
There’s no online shop or anything like that so just use the contact form on the about me page.
Now it starts getting interesting. I’ll quote all prices in USD, EUR and CHF. Choose what’s cheapest or most convenient for you.
- Kit without transducers: USD 70 / EUR 63 / CHF 69
- Kit with transducers: USD 95 / EUR 85 / CHF 93
The prices above include worldwide shipping. The kits ship by Swiss Post Priority Mail in a padded envelope. I’ve used this service before to locations like Brazil or India and never had problems. However, there are no tracking numbers.
Any other questions? Just ask.