This morning I started building the first of the new revision KIM Clone boards and had it running around 3 PM. Of course I spent some time doing family activities as well, so it wasn’t a full seven-hour effort. As you can see from the photo the LEDs and keypad are not populated except for the RESET button. The serial monitor came up immediately, and the only board change is working as planned. This is getting more and more complicated to build, now with three surface mount devices. Besides the FT232 chip in the upper right there are also two small level shifters that make every other component seem quite large.
We’re in a time crunch at my full-time job, so there won’t be a lot of free time in the evenings for a while. My goal is to have all of this board populated and tested by next weekend. I’m doing a parts check and ordering anything with low quantities in my inventory. BTW, I have probably close to 10,000 parts. When ordering some things, I buy 1000 at a time, many others hundreds at a time, etc.
Next weekend I’ll officially announce the sale date and price. Currently it’s looking like $225 for assembled and tested.
Rev 1B of the boards have been ordered but there is a national holiday in China so that’ll slow things down a bit. There are several minor tweaks to this version and one new feature, so it’s still at a rev 1B in case it needs a fix. However, if this board works then it’ll be the first official release and I’ll bump to revision 2 later.
Expect news in about two weeks, which gives the boards and parts time to arrive and a few days for assembly of the first board If it all works, assembled boards will be quickly available, although in small quantities at first.
My full-time job has kept me very busy for a few weeks but some of the load will let up in the near future. The KIM Clone works nicely and I believe all of my concerns have been addressed, so it’s about time to order some blank PC boards with all the latest fixes, build another as a test, and if that works it’ll be time to officially start selling. A few months ago I had expected to be at this point a few weeks ago, but my plans sometimes don’t quite work out.
Initially it will be available fully assembled, with plans to offer a kit version as well. Writing assembly instructions has taken a lot of time, and I certainly understand the value of technical writers!