FCDEV3B V2 boards are here

Rafael Diniz rafael at riseup.net
Sun Jan 13 11:03:38 UTC 2019

Just fixing a type error: "...of Rhizomatica I express..."

On 1/13/19 9:00 AM, Rafael Diniz wrote:
> Hi Mychaela,
> This is very good news - wonderful! In the name of Rhizomatica T express
> our gratitude for the donation - thank you!
> Rafael Diniz
> Rhizomatica
> On 1/12/19 7:59 PM, Mychaela Falconia wrote:
>> Hello FreeCalypso community,
>> I am overjoyed to announce that our FCDEV3B V2 boards are finally here:
>> last night I have tested the first batch of 8 boards which I picked up
>> from Technotronix on Thursday.  Here are the findings:
>> Yield: out of the total of 8 boards in this batch, 5 are good and 3
>> have defects.  Out of the 3 defective boards, one has perfectly working
>> RF but is unable to talk to the SIM in the socket, while the other two
>> have RF defects: one has totally dead RF (both Rx and Tx, all 3 bands),
>> the other exhibits a bad Rx path for the low band, but the rest works.
>> In the case of the board on which only the SIM interface doesn't work,
>> we have previously encountered the same symptoms in one of our earlier
>> FCDEV3B V1 batches, and replacing the SIM socket made it work, hence I
>> am going to try the same on this board.  In the case of the two boards
>> with different RF defects, I will have a discussion with Technotronix
>> about failure analysis.  But even if we are not able to fix any of
>> those 3 defective boards, we still have 5 perfectly good ones from
>> this batch.
>> V2 changes: unlike our previous FCDEV3B V1 boards, these new V2 boards
>> have perfectly working sleep while keeping our high-capacity Spansion
>> S71PL129NC0HFW4B flash+pSRAM chip!  Thus we now have proof that my
>> innovative (not from TI, not from OM, not from Pirelli) flash reset
>> circuit change is working as I intended.  With my recent changes to
>> the firmware we have regained flash chip type autodetection, thus we
>> can now populate either this big Spansion flash+pSRAM chip or the
>> smaller Samsung flash+RAM chip that was used by Openmoko and have the
>> same fw build work with both, but for our development boards we are
>> keeping the big version for the obvious reason: large flash and RAM
>> capacity is very handy for development.  If anyone ever pays for the
>> development of a commercial FreeCalypso modem module in a small SMT
>> form factor, that version can use the smaller memory capacity more
>> appropriate for a production modem.
>> Out of the 5 defect-free boards in this batch, the availability is as
>> follows: one board I need to keep for myself, one more board is
>> earmarked for Rafael (Rhizomatica), and the other 3 are now available
>> for commercial users at the regular price of $500 USD each.  If the
>> latter 3 boards are not bought quickly by the people I have in mind,
>> at least one of them will be reallocated to FreeCalypso marketing
>> outreach purposes: I would like to offer a free board to anyone from
>> the ofono developer community who would be willing to get our FC modem
>> product family properly supported in ofono.  Aside from the 3 defective
>> boards which may or may not be repairable, I still have 3 unpopulated
>> PCB panels, enough for 12 more boards before needing another PCB fab
>> run - but I will need to do a thorough round of failure analysis with
>> Technotronix before we assemble that next batch.
>> The next steps for me are:
>> * I need to add the new sleep mode configuration I mentioned before,
>> the one that enables big and small sleep, but not deep sleep, for
>> those users who would rather not be burdened with making their host
>> interface software sleep-aware, and who are willing to live with
>> greater power draw in return for interface simplicity - engineering is
>> all about trade-offs and compromises.
>> * I need to test one of those 8 ohm 0.5 W speakers I bought from
>> SparkFun and see if they perform as well as the similar-looking
>> unknown-origin speaker that was donated to me by a member of my local
>> LUG.  If these SparkFun speakers work well, I'll be able to recommend
>> them as an official choice for FCDEV3B lab bench setups, otherwise I
>> will have to go back on the hunt for a suitable speaker.
>> * I will need to write a sleep-aware userspace implementation of the
>> GSM 07.10 MUX (which our FC modem supports) to serve as an exerciser
>> for this feature of our modems, and add it to our FC host tools suite.
>> * Once all of the above are done, I will need to make an updated
>> version of the user's manual for the FCDEV3B, and only then the
>> current iteration of our modem product development will be considered
>> complete.
>> * After all of the above, I will need to get back to the project of
>> bringing up my BeagleBoard-xM and interfacing it to our FCDEV3B, for
>> the purpose of exercising digital voice over MCSI and making it work.
>> If anyone else has a need for this digital voice interface and has
>> something else (othen than BB-xM) to connect to it for testing, feel
>> free to beat me to it!
>> Hasta la Victoria, Siempre,
>> Mychaela aka The Mother
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