Recently, I got the help of a US-based electronics engineering student to review the circuit diagram of Borealis as a second pair of eyes, and I finished cleaning up the prototype pcb design (I’m not too fussed on quality and optimization, it just needed to light up the LEDs and connect to Bluetooth). Samples were then ordered via Seeedstudio Fusion on a black PCB, keeping the design of the prototype nice and clean (plus at $2 more for black PCBs, I may as well!).
As the design is dual-layer and relatively compact in size, this did not cost much. I am expecting them to come in this week (beginning of August), at which point I will solder the WS2812b Addressable LEDs onto the board, and temporarily connect an Arduino to the power and data lines to test how it looks.
I am also expecting the rest of the components (bluetooth modules, voltage regulators, the ATMEL processors, and some passives such as capacitors and resistors) to arrive shortly after. At which point, the proper PCB testing will begin.
Prototypes: A crowdfunding reward?
I am also considering keeping prototype boards, and offering them as a limited-edition crowdfunding reward, because there’s something oddly nifty about framed prototypes.
The framed boards could even be made more decorative, by means of connecting small attiny85 breakout board, such as those small Digispark Clones, connecting the board + LEDs inside the frame (sans controller, passives, bluetooth etc), and loading the default Borealis effect – which’ll display when the user connects a USB Micro cable. It won’t be 100% functional, but it sure will be pretty, and a good use for the prototype boards plus