[Community] +++ last and final production batch GTA04A5 can be ordered now +++
H. Nikolaus Schaller
hns at goldelico.com
Thu Nov 26 18:35:08 CET 2015
waiting time is over. The GTA04 will be available again for a limited period!
We are happy to announce that we have organized everything to start preparation
of production next week (which means finally sourcing the remaining components, PCBs
and preparing everything else).
And, we have now been able to calculate a price that covers all cost (don't forget that
this project has no sponsor or investor who is willing to cover big losses).
For those who are already eagerly waiting, here is the link to the shop:
For all others here a full and lengthy description:
=== Products ===
GTA04A5: the new motherboards
GTA04A4: while preparing the GTA04A5 project we have found
a box with a handful fresh and unused GTA04A4 boards.
Most likely they were put aside for warranty handling and
then forgotten (because there weren't many warranty
cases). They are fully tested and working and immediately
Letux 2804 we have collected a handful of used Neo Freerunner devices
where we can replace the motherboard and thanks to Ch. Pulster
we also got ~40 sets of plastic parts to build new Freerunner
cases. We also have enough spare displays so that we can
build "virtually new" devices from them.
Camera modules: unfortunately we have not found a supplier of a 100%
compatible module. We did get some samples of more or less
similar looking ones from China but none works.
=== Quantities ===
The quantities are really limited to 80-100 in total. The reason is that it
becomes almost impossible to source all components and for some of
them we can't get good replacements. Some others have been in stock
for a handful of years and may have weakened. The other important
limitation is availability of plastic cases or parts.
This means, we will produce ~100 GTA04A5 boards and expect to build
~40 Letux 2804 complete devices and provide ~40 more GTA04A5 boards
which you can install in your existing Neo Freerunner.
Yes, this will definitively be the last chance to get a GTA04. We will not
be able to build more units. Even if you offer to pay twice the price.
Well, if demand is high enough and someone finds a good strategy
how to compete with the cheap (but yery closed) ~79 € devices with
Android inside, we could develop a GTA05 :)
=== I did a preorder for a GTA04A5 a while ago ===
We have recorded it and updated your order for a GTA04A5 board
if your preorder was 100€ or more, i.e. counts as a reservation, we
have reserved a GTA04A5 for you (from the ~40). You will get a
personal "update" mail.
If you want to switch to a GTA04A4 or Letux 2804 please contact our
shop and we can change it.
Since the preorders/vouchers usually do not cover the final price of
a GTA04 or Letux 2804, there is an open balance which you can pay
by SEPA/IBAN bank transfer. Using Credit card is also possible but
needs a trick in our shop software so that you please contact us and
we will prepare a CC field for you.
=== Price ===
Oops, why is it so expensive.
Yes, that is the price we have from being in a niche and in need of something
very exceptional to play with.
But if you look at the original preorder page, we were even able to reduce
the price below estimates: http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04A5
How does this magic work? The main reason is that we have some common
components and suppliers with the Pyra <www.pyra-handheld.com> and use
the same production company. They are better in reducing cost than the
company who did build the GTA04A3 and GTA04A4.
You might still doubt and think that we want to rip you off. Therefore I have
decided to publish a coarse calculation (always for 1 unit):
280€ Component cost
+63€ Production cost
+52€ HW Development&Project management
+50€ Software maintenance funds (see below)
+85 € German sales tax (19%)
529 € price for GTA04A5
b) Letux 2804
445 € GTA04A5
+45 € components for plastics case
+94 € display, battery, box, assembly (time)
+111 € German sales tax (19%)
695 € price for Letux 2804
We are not getting rich. But we do something for open source and this community.
=== Software ===
First of all we already have a lot of software available:
* boot system
* kernel 3.7, kernel 3.12, ongoing kernel 4.3, 4.4-rc2 and later
* Debian Wheezy / Jessie images (X11 w/o or with LXDE, XFCE or whatever you apt-get install)
* Replicant for GTA04 with access to the F-Droid App-Store
* QtMoko (may not run 100% on GTA04A5 because it needs adjustments)
* whatever you like to install
But we know from experience that especially the kernel is a very crucial component
and if the kernel is buggy and does not get fixes and updates it can easily make the
device practically unusable with sufficient reliability and operation time from battery.
Therefore we have added a software development funds in the price.
With this money we want to continue to work on kernel improvements, especially
power management, and fixing significant bugs.
Our ultimate goal is that this list becomes empty: <http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-kernel/issues/>
And remains empty because everything for the GTA04 can be found at kernel.org
This is tough work and is not possible to get done by pure volunteers. Volunteers cherry-pick
what they see the biggest fun and are happy if it works for them. They usually do not
do the less funny bug fixes. Especially if they need a lot of tedious work (compile, test,
fix cycle) or review by kernel maintainers is involved.
Therefore we think it is the best way that you as the users of the hardware (and software)
pay a little amount that we can use to hire freelancers and tell them what has to be fixed asap.
Nevertheless, volunteer contributions are also very welcome.
=== Timing ===
The shop has opened now and you can place your orders now.
Production is expected to need 6-8 weeks but depends a little on delivery
times of components and PCB production. And of course there are quite some
upcoming holidays (X-Mas in 4 weeks, N-Y in 5 weeks, Chinese N-Y beinning of Feb).
And, we have to test the devices and if anything is not working as expected, we have
to repair. So please do not expect that we can ship before end of Feb 2016.
=== New Features ===
The new features of the GTA04A5 (compared to GTA04A4) are mainly:
* WL183x WLAN+BT module with 802.11a/b/g/n and BT4/BLE
* the GPS receiver can provide a 1 second impulse interrupt to the CPU
* the (different) infrared receiver can be independently powered off to save some more mA (it was alternatively powered with RS232 before)
* some sensors have been upgraded to non-obsolete versions (e.g. BMA180 is out of production)
* WLAN/BT power controlled through a GPIO (so that VAUX4 is now free for other use)
* 10-pin FFC connector for external keyboard or other I2C devices
* the GPS antenna switch has been redesigned to switch more reliable
* improved headset detection hardware (GPIO instead of ADC)
* CPU will be always 1 GHz and Memory 512MB RAM / 1GB NAND
We will update the GTA04 manual to describe everything. Final Schematics will
also become available (this time as searchable PDF).
So again here is the link to the shop: <http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04>
Thats it. Did I forget anything important? If yes, please ask.
Finally, I would like to say thank you for your patience with this long-running project.
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