Friday 29 March 2019

MEGAphone First Prototype PCB assembly underway

As many of you know, we have a side-project of the MEGA65 to make a hand-held/phone version of the MEGA65.  This project works using project students at the University, and gives them the opportunity to be engaged in the project, without us risking our critical path by depending on student labour, which due to a variety of factors can be complicated.

So what we have here, is the re-worked R1 PCB layout for the MEGAphone hand-held, based on work by some students last year, and then a number of problems fixed and final layout by our engineering workshop folks.

I'm currently in Germany as I write this, so I have only the photos that the workshop folks have taken during the assembly process:

As you can see, the assembly is already well underway, with lots of the surface mount components already in place.  Otherwise, clock-wise from top left we have the VGA connector (for testing and connecting to projectors etc), the Bluetooth module, full-size smart-card reader, which can also be re-purposed to support full-size SIM cards), then a bunch of power components and the headphone jack.

Then down the right side we have the dual sim cards that sit under one of the two cellular modem / alternate radio slots.  Bottom right, we have the joystick port, for if you want to play two-player while underway, or for when the D-PAD joystick (which is on the opposite side) isn't enough.

Then bottom left we have the SD card slot and the dual headers for the FPGA module from Trenz Electronics.

Otherwise in the middle we have the two unpopulated LoRa radio chips for mesh networking experiments, and the white connectors for the touch screen display and sense cables, and the slots cut in the board for those cables to go through.

The current hope is that the board will be finished being populated by the middle of March or so -- very exciting, and just in time to bring in more students to work on the project for the new academic year (which begins in March in the Southern Hemisphere).

1 comment:

  1. I've been following this project with great technical interest and have much I'd like to say.
    But first I'd like to ask a small question,at the risk of being taken for a Fool.
    Have you named this prototype board? It was indeed a later C= thing.
    I've been watching with great interest, and I believe I see an endearing theme that is heart touching.
    I propose the mega65 team christen this Prototype Squiggle. Why? Well, a C= 64/65 phone with a touchscreen is bound to be _lots of fun for everyone_ and with SIDs nodoubt it will _sing a happy tune_ .
    Finally I believe if you look into the not too distant future, you _can see we will be happy as can be_ to own , along with a Vampire, a megaphone.
    ~~from a not-so-LUNAtic C= fan.~~