Evolution II: The Trainspotting

May 23, 2009
Posted by: gruso


Following on from the recent display of Pandora’s primary colours (har), we now have some very texty elaboration on which board revision is which. If wading through the spicks n’ specs isn’t your thing, jump to the end for a clue or two about the status of all things. Over to MWeston:

ver 1.0 – rev1 – blue – TEST – no wifi/bt, just a test board to get things rolling, learned a lot here and then rev2 changed a whole whack of things to be much, much better

ver 1.1 – rev2 – red – NEAR FINAL PROTO – wifi/bt, batt connector, basically ready to look like a production board but had errors and needed holes moved to line up with final case design

ver 1.2 – rev3 – green – PRE-PRODUCTION – added battery fuel gauge for better battery control and longer battery life, this is another test board that was supposed to be the same board going into production but Notaz and I found some quirks in the OMAP3 chip (such as GPIO’s only being GPI’s!!!)

ver 1.3 – rev4 – ??? – PRODUCTION – sort of still pre-production but also small run production board (starting soon on a run of 100 test boards to master reflow process which seems to be getting pretty good now). I just need to know that nothing else is bad on rev3 before building these and organizing software efforts to verify this is taking longer than desired.

ver 1.4 – rev5 – ??? – PRODUCTION – there will either be an identical repeat of rev4 and rev5 won’t exist or this one will be to tweak mask openings to help solder balls melt better at reflow temperatures and belt speed selected. The plan is to have this right on rev4 already.

It’s pretty safe to say that the Pandora board that ships to customers will have been incredibly well tested and we expect to start the second batch without changing a thing. Every single Pandora will have a complete functional test and 24-48 hour burn in cycle. This thing is way too late in shipping to customers, but when it is done, it will be a solid little product you will have fun with over the balance of your summer. Maybe there is some comfort in that. I don’t know. πŸ™‚

BTW: U18 and U22 are the nub controller chips. We only put those on a few boards to test the new firmware. There was no point putting them on every board until the tests are successful. Rev4 adds programming pins with a “bed of nails” setup so that firmware can be re-flashed on the fly. The chips themselves are capable of self-writing but the company that codes the nub algorithm isn’t willing to put the engineering time into adding that code and testing it thoroughly for us (and I don’t have access to their source code). The programming pads will be there for us to reprogram the chips right up until the day parts ship to customers, should that be necessary.

And a final droplet from Craig:

Actually it’s not long at all now, everything is waiting for the word ‘go’. We just have some final wifi tests to complete, I know I know, tests tests tests, but this needs to be solid.




  1. So the green is the current one. That comment from Craig is exciting! Nice.

  2. Already looking at apps to download and emulators to put on it.

    Cheers for the best news I’ve heared in ages guys πŸ˜€

  3. Go.

  4. Go.

  5. Go πŸ˜€

  6. Just send me that email saying that my Pandora has been shipped! …and I will be a happy man…

  7. Don’t go πŸ™‚ People have waited this long, no need to rush things and risk mistakes just to shave a few weeks off the shipping date.

  8. DON’T RUSH IT! There’s probably still a few little niggles (and possibly worse) hiding, so better to take your time.

    Don’t want to screw it up at the last hurdle. People will quickly forget the delays if it works, but they will crucify you if there are still problems.

  9. cool

  10. Odd though, the green ones doesn’t have indents on the right and left.

  11. green FTW!

  12. lol

    thats all

  13. Will this mean that in a future batch there will be better pandoras?? i guess not,im waiting from the first batch…

  14. Lets hope it’s GoGoGo before HoHoHo πŸ™‚

  15. Nice info, thanks!

  16. Interesting, thanks.

    Qualityf first, shipping second (or, well, payment first then quality THEN shipping, but you know what I mean).

    I’m still using my original XBox – heck, I still have working BBC Micro computers (a model B and a Master 128). I’d rather PAndora just worked and worked and worked than was found to have Jaguar-like flaws in hardware and sunk without a trace. I can easily see me using it still in years to come if it’s as robust as I hope it will be πŸ˜€

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