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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Smaller, please...

I am still working on the new PCB design. The picture shows a preview printed on paper (top right) in comparison to the old boards (left and bottom). The width is about the same and the height is about 5mm shorter and it has a full dock connector instead of a mini-USB plug. I am simultaneously working on the package design as the two will need to be in sync with each other.

Only a short post this time, since I am trying to get things done as quickly as possible. This project requires quite some multi-tasking of different things and I need to be working on all of them in parallel in order not to loose any time (I guess all of you are eagerly waiting for the time when you can place that order):

  • Designing the PCB board
  • Package design which needs to fit the PCB, connectors and iPhone/iTouch
  • Ordering the PCB components (I am getting parts from quite a few places and all need attention)
  • Getting ready for production (both for the PCB board, the package and assembly) which means interacting with one or more contract manufacturers.
So hang in there with me :) If you'd like to have something more to read in the meantime, you can click on some of the human rights related links on the right.


Anonymous said...

That board looks tiny.

Billy said...

Hm, your design already looks like ready to ship - glad to see. I'll be amongst the very first buying wave!
What's about the enclosure? As for me (Russia) it's the most heavy thing to order, as the PCB and soldering is no prob.
Also - will you just intercept the "Locate" button in Maps for the very first release? Or you'll start up with fully functional product - voice guides, traffic jams etc?

Thank you! Waiting EAGERLY!

J D said...

Man, your device is probably going to be ready just in time for me to be taking a trip cross-country after I graduate grad school. :D I am REALLY excited about this.

Don't wait for voice guides and traffic info! That can come out later!

J D said...

Just a brief note on your surveys on the left:

I'd be willing to pay up to about $80 for the device itself, but the software should be freely available so it can be loaded on iPod touches and iPhones when you move the device from one machine to the other.

GPS said...


The enclosure/housing is next. Wait for the next post. For the current software, see my answer below. There is a button that takes you to the Maps app and shows you were you are.

j d:

The software that Simba wrote (see my older post here) has the most basic functions already, e.g. coordinates, speed, heading, you can point your position on the Maps app (this requires that you have a map uploaded or are connected to WiFi or Edge). It is freely available from Simba's site (or you can download it here). I haven't tried it on the iTouch, but it only uses serial port access which is the same for the iPhone and iTouch. If the current version doesn't run, I am sure Simba can easily recompile it for the iTouch. Give it a try and leave Simba some encouraging feedback as he did a great job making this app.

Anonymous said...

Nice design - but from what I can tell you are using the 30pin connector. How are you getting them? It's Apple's proprietary design and I didn't think you can get them without ordering through Apple's licensing program? And they haven't released this in the SDK yet? From what I know that was the problem locoGPS plug in design hit when they were about to go to production... I even pre-ordered one from them and they had to return my money when Apple shut things down. I am sure there are some Chinese manufacturers out there offering knock offs but Apple has been pretty diligent in protecting their IP, especially if you are talking 100's of units. Anyway, I am interested in your solution but hate to get my hopes up... For my money I still think Gomite has it right by going wireless and using real turn-by-turn software....