[Tinkerphones] Problems seem to repeat...

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Sat Dec 7 13:35:00 CET 2019


On Saturday 7. December 2019 08.37.23 H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> I just came across:
> 
> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/measurements-and-a-> hypothesis
> 
> So they also ran into unexpected solder bridges which must be X-Rayed. This
> sounds very very familiar to me...
> 
> With our experiences collected in the GTA04 project many years ago, I think
> it is easy to fix - if you have enough money or can borrow money to make
> some costly experiments with the production line setup.

I mentioned on the arm-netbook mailing list that similar problems were 
experienced before, albeit with the RAM chips:

http://rhombus-tech.net/ingenic/jz4775/news/EOMA68-jz4775_XRay_Photos/

So, I thought that the manufacturer might have built up some experience since 
then. From the latest update, it sounds like this is a production process 
problem, with the prototypes having been made without issues, so I guess that 
the matter of soldering the chips is not a fundamental problem but just 
something that needs to be done correctly in the production environment.

(I wouldn't know what the difference between the pre-production and production 
environments are in this case. There were also some other production-related 
issues around board-edge component assembly, if I remember correctly.)

> But borrowing money requires a business model which promises future
> revenues.
> 
> Without money it needs a lot of creativity and time to replace the missing
> money.

I think that these experiments rely on a helpful and rather generous factory 
owner who is looking to gain experience in the processes involved.

> Which leads to delay and delay and finally the product is working but
> obsolete and only the brave initial sponsors remain. So there is nobody
> following up the initial funding round.

Certainly, things have become a lot quieter around the EOMA68 initiative, and 
there are people who have probably lost interest and do not expect to see 
anything come out of it.

I have probably made a point about technological projects many times to anyone 
who might listen, reflecting on my own observations and experiences as well as 
what is already common knowledge, that the longer an uncompleted project 
takes, the less likely it will be realised.

Factors include the finances (as you mention above) plus technological 
progress (making a product less attractive over time) and obsolescence 
(components becoming unavailable and technologies becoming unsupportable). 
Keeping a project short reduces the exposure to such risks.

Paul


More information about the Community mailing list