Pre-Christmas Crazy times – Expansion of production capacity with three new Samsung machines

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Probably many of you wonder why we are so silent recent months and nothing new is posting on the blog. The reason is quite casual – we are overwhelmed with work!

Starting from September something odd happens. Our OLinuXino customers went in crazy mode and we start getting almost twice more orders than usual. All who have been dealing with production know that to double capacity needs time.

This is the reason for the delay with iCE40HX8K-EVB, A64-OLinuXino, TERES release – there is simple no free window on the SMT assembly machines and testers to may run them, the machines are busy with OLinuXino and SOM assembly.

The small orders are shipping on time i.e. in 1-3 working days, but all bigger OLinuXino and SOM orders for 50+ boards are now shipped with a bit of delay as we have quite backlog for these boards.

We apologize to all our established customers which do wonder why the orders which we usually shipped to them in 1 week before, now are shipped with delay of 3-4 weeks.

We assure you that we do everything humanly possible to ship all orders ASAP.

To add little more crazyness the three new Samsung machines arrived two weeks ago. We wanted to build new space for them and working more than year on this, but the lazy and ignorant Bulgarian administration still didn’t issued us permit to start building, so we have to install them in the old building where we run out of space.

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One SM471 and  two SM482 with printers, loaders, unloaders, conveyors, packed in 20 wooden boxes were unloaded from the containers:

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Immediately we start to break walls, extend doors, and other funny things so the big machines may enter the building.

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We did same 1 year ago when our first Samsung came, but shortsighted decided to rebuild the walls with intention the new machines to be installed in the new building, without taking into account how long and difficult the building permit is to get in Bulgaria.

Now the three machines are installed and testing, but as you guess they will not run alone, so we will need new employees to train.

New Year – new luck we say here, I hope things will go back from crazy to normal mode in January!

EDIT:

Some words about the machines SM471 is the Samsung fastest and greatest from SM series. It has two heads with 10 nozzles each and dual rail conveyor which allow two different boards to be assembled at same time. With maximal performance 75000 csp (which you never reach on real boards). The machine can place down to 01005 components which are with size 0.4 x 0.2 mm (400 x 200 microns)!

SM482 is flexible mounter which can place both small and big components, we already have one such machine and it performs very well. The listed maximal speed is 28000 cps.

Each SM482 machine comes with full set of 8, 12, 16, 24, 32 mm feeders and tray changer which can hold up to 80 trays with components.

Both SM471 and SM482 support the new splice-less tape feeders which can be load even with component stripes without need to have initial empty cells on the tapes.

GNU/Linux Install fest in Plovdiv @ Olimex on December 10th

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We will host for a first time GNU/Linux install fest.

If you have problem with some device or driver or don’t know how to tweak your Linux distribution, or just want to chat with other people who use Linux – come to us on December 10th, 11.00-14.30 o’clock and meet Linux experts who will participate this event and get free advice and help.

Where to find us? Here is Google Maps Olimex Ltd location. And here is picture of the map, the green dot is the Olimex Training building where the GNU/Linux install fest will take place:

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Looking forward to meet you there.

Here is the link of the event in Facebook.

A20-OLinuXino-MICRO works hard inside Open Source Rover Octanis project in freezing Antarctica!

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One year ago we got request for sponsoring 5 pcs A20-OLinuXino-MICRO for Octanis project from group of students at EPFL, who are making an open source rover (http://octanis.org/rover) that will go to Antarctica.

Their goal was to use A20-OlinuXino-MICRO as a communications base station with LoRaWAN and to use it for onboard image processing of their stereoscopic camera images.

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Needless to say the magic words “open source rover project” closed the deal :) We shipped the boards in December 2015 and yesterday got e-mail that the rover operates since February 2016, but he was moved to Antarctica in November and will stay there till February 2017.

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You can track the rover position right now at http://octanis.org/constellation/

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On GitHub you can see their 3D parts CAD files and all firmware running on the rover. You can reproduce this project with 3D printer.

 

 

 

FOSDEM 2017 is approaching, are you ready for soldering workshops and playing with TERES-I DIY Hacker’s friendly OSHW laptop?

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FOSDEM is the biggest event in Europe about Open Source technologies.

Every year thousands of FOSS/OSHW enthusiasts and professionals meet in Brussels in ULB (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) in 41 Dev Rooms and talk about interesting problems they have faced during the year.

We just got e-mail that Olimex is approved for booth there!

So prepare for soldering workshop fun with the OSHW-GHOST and FOSDEM-85!

TERES-I Do It Yourself Hacker’s friendly modular Laptop designed completely with KiCAD will be also present at the booth.

KiCAD developers are in EDA room and as far I heard there will be very interesting tutorials and how-to’s examples how to implement simple new commands and extensions to KiCAD for people who want to contribute code.

So plan in advance your flight to Brussels, we looking forward to see you there 4th and 5th of February 2017!

Open Fest 2016 – Soldering of the Open Source Hardware GHOST

“A ghost is haunting Europe—the ghost of communism.” said Carl Marx in 1848

We can re-phrase “A Ghost is haunting OpenFest 2016 – the ghost of open source hardware”😀

We created this Soldering Kit specially for Open Fest as third year in a row we do soldering workshops there:

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It’s a very simple board, specially made for novices with small PIC10F206 microcontroller which has only 512 words of Flash memory and 24 bytes of RAM, still enough to write C code like this.

In the good Olimex traditions being overwhelmed with work we totally forgot for the soldering workshop and started the project 3 weeks before OpenFest🙂

The board was quickly routed with KiCAD and we sent to PCB manufacturer in China, who keep the promise to make the blank PCBs for 1 week and shipped on time but DHL late with the customs clearance and we got the board Friday morning! The workshop was Saturday and Sunday, right on time!

Then we had half Friday fun with Microchip’s MPLABX tools, which refused to re-program the PIC10F206 once it’s programmed.

After few hours we found that MPLABX version 3.35 can program and erase PIC10F206 just fine but MPLABX 3.45 don’t.

Still there was enough time till 20.00 o’clock and we managed to program 200 kits ready for soldering next day🙂

The initial intention was to make LED breathe but after losing so much time with MPLABX we decided the first version to be simple 10 times blink!

Here you can see people assembling it on OpenFest:

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Girls, Boys, Kids all were not afraid and took the soldering irons:

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After OpenFest we continued to investigate why the newer MPLABX refused to program PIC10F206 more than once, the problem was trivial, to erase it the Vcc must be above 4.5V:

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Still interesting why MPLABX 3.35 was erasing it even without this voltage settings🙂

This is why working with embedded systems is such fun. You never know where you can step aside and you have to worry not just for the code but also for the hardware as source of mistakes.

Needless to say we had no any assembly instructions for the kit at OpenFest, but now proudly we put them on the web site of the kit.

 

RabbitMax another Open Source Hardware project from Plovdiv is on Indiegogo

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Leon is Open Source enthusiast and active member in Hackafe (the local hackerspace) and TuxCon.

He is mostly involved with software development, but recently made his first steps in hardware designing Raspberry Pi add-on board he named RabbitMax. Here is the GitHub repo.

He is running successful Indiegogo campain and made 65% funding out of his humble EUR 512 (! how this number came to his head is mistery for me??) goal for 3 days!

You can be sure you will have unique board as he is soldering them all by himself, it’s like personal signature!

Bitcoin price tracker with MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV on Indiegogo

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We got note that one of our boards MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV is in the newly developed open source hardware product – Bitcoin price tracker

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They are running now Indiegogo crowdfunding campain. We wish them success!

As being open source this product could be easily re-programmed to track price trends of other goods as well, like gold, silver, tin, why not DDR memory and Flash memory prices, and to give you alterts when the price go above or below given price point?

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