[Gta04-owner] Status of next GTA04 batch?

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Sep 24 19:04:58 CEST 2014


Am 23.09.2014 um 20:05 schrieb Roland Haeder <roland at mxchange.org>:

> Hello all,
> how is the status about the next GTA04 batch?

we have so far preorders for 37 devices.

This is yet not enough to come to a reasonable total price in the range of 500€.

A rough estimate is that each PCB would cost >700€.

So we should get to the 100 units range.

> I patiently wait to send
> my broken FreeRunner for an upgrade in + I donated some cash to your
> project.
> So I wonder how the status is?

Besides the project is waiting for enough pre-orders,it needs some final review of
the (modified) schematics and PCB layout. And of course regular checks that the
components are still available and not obsolete. For the key components like CPU,
memory or the 3G module it is checked. And the others are not that problematic. We
already have replaced some FET that is used to regulate the charging current
by some other transistor.

The most problematic component appears to be the WiFi/BT chip (W2CBW003).
We might be able to get some 100 chips through brokers but officially they are
already EOL for a while.

One option is to replace the whole chip by a TiWi Wlan/BT module which would
also support 5GHz and higher speeds. And Bluetooth 4. Such a solution would
not even cost more in total and fits into the given space.

Two problems arise:
1. these modules need a different firmware and kernel driver for the WiFi part
(but TiWi5 is well known from the N900). User-space software will be almost
compatible. We might only have to change some control GPIOs. WiFi will still be driven
through SDIO/MMC and BT will be driven through UART1.

2. there is some risk that the new hardware does not work - since we have no chance
to test it before. I.e. we can’t modify a GTA04 by soldering such a module instead
of the W2SG and check if everything is designed correctly. In other words: it is a
high risk to do such a change for such a low number of units. Either they all work
or all have no WLAN/BT if there is a hardware bug. And fixing after the module
has been soldered is likely to be impossible.

So that is the current status. If you need more infos, please ask.


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