Want anmodule?

Wish to become a distributor of the iGPS360 module?
Please send us an email at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Exactly 200 GPS modules left!

It's been a little while since the last post. Things have been very busy for a number of reasons.

As the title of this post already announces, at the time of writing this post, there are only 200 GPS modules left for sale.

I expect these remaining modules to be sold out within the next 5 weeks, so if you are considering buying a GPS module, you have to be quick!

Back when the first production run was initiated in September last year, I wanted to make 1000 modules available to you all. As a matter of fact, at that time, it was unclear what the yield of the module in production would be and as such I decided at that time to make 1100 modules instead of 1000. As nothing yields perfectly (100%) in production, I decided to put a safety margin of about 10% to cover for any yield loss.

Interestingly enough, the yield has been a lot better than that! To give you some statistics about the 1100 modules that have been produced so far:

  1. Assembled PCB boards
    • One board had a short in a copper trace. This short was removed.
    • One board had a defective blue LED. The LED was replaced.
    • One board had an open contact on the USB connector. The connector was resoldered.
    • Three boards had a non-communicating GPS engine, rendering the boards in-operable (real yield loss).

  2. Injection molded housings and lenses
    Considering the issues that had come up during the housing development, I had 1200 housings with lenses made instead of 1100.
    • Housing top: about 90 pieces were screened out because of imperfections.
    • Housing bottom: about 55 pieces were screened out because imperfections.
    • Lenses: about 65 pieces were screened out because of imperfections.

  3. GPS performance (open and clear sky)
    • All tested modules passed (1097 pieces)!
So when it comes to the PCB, the yield has been extremely good (>99%). Only the housing has a relatively large yield loss (5%-10% overall) and I have already talked with the housing supplier to get this improved for the next run. The housings will no longer be bulk-packed and shipped by a courier (which I think has been the main factor of the imperfections). Instead each housing top and bottom will be layer packed with foam for the next run and I will go and pick up the housings myself to avoid possible damage during shipment.

Looking back over the last six months, sales have been a slower than expected, especially January was a slow month. Sales have picked back up in February, and especially March has been very busy.

As the remaining units are expected to be sold in about 5 weeks from now, I have had to put myself into high gear the last two weeks getting everything ready for the next production run. Typically, it will take another 4-6 weeks before we can expect new modules ready to ship from this second production run.

Since this is a second production run, hopefully things will go a lot smoother than was the case for the first run and hopefully no unexpected problem will show up.

In any case, I want to thank everyone for their support over the last year (yes, it's been already more than a year; the first post on this blog dates back to February 2008).

It's amazing to see that when one person in a certain country orders a module, shortly afterward a couple of more orders from the same area in that country come in! So keep on spreading the word about the module!