Flyport (aka picus WI-FI) final release!

Posted by openPicus | On: Jul 06 2010

This morning we mounted the new version of the picus wifi (now has definitive name FLYPORT).

The difference with the first version are:
1. PIC microchip 24F (was 64k flash, now is 256k)
2. PIC microchip 24F (was 44 pins, now is 64pin)
3. Quarz (was 28Mhz and quite big, now is very small and 32Mhz and we added a second quarz for the RTC 32.768Khz)

The complexity of mounting is a little increased since the pitch of the new PIC processor is quite small, but we did it without problems.

We use MANTIS optical system and a very small soldering iron to place and solder the prototypes. Here’s what we see on Mantis during mounting:

Here’s the board almost mounted:

And finally everything is soldered:

Tomorrow we’ll start electrical testing and we’ll run some testing software to check that everything is properly connected.

We hope that this is the last prototype and before end of July we want to start the first 500pcs production batch.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a VERY interesting development. And the most interesting thing is that for the second time in a few years (see Arduino) it is Made In Italy!!!

    Maybe Italy is slowly finding its way through the IT market? Who knows…

    BTW, you have my whole admiration! Go on and succeed!

    I have some comments on this, since I read you are going for mass production.

    At first I agree with you, the Internet of Things is the next big thing, and WiFi+TCP/IP+HTTP is the communication stack of the future. You did the right choice.

    Currently the closest option available to the embedded development hobbyst is an Arduino platform with a WiFi module based on the old ZG2100, it’s called YellowJacket, produced by AsyncLabs
    http://asynclabs.com/wiki/index.php?title=YellowJacket_1.0

    I really don’t want to make any advertising here, as we are still talking about open source platforms.

    AFAIK it is currently the cheapest solution of this kind available (it’s a pity they sell this only in the US, with nonsense shipping prices to EU)

    I’m posting this only because of the street price of this thing, which is 55 US$ (currently 42 €), really near to the bare BOM cost.

    Of course it is AVR based and not PIC and has less input pins, and is 8bit, etc etc
    Technicians know limits and potentials of both platforms, but IMHO, since again we are talking about hobbysts (professionals go for completely different approaches), probably the platform differences are not as important as price.

    Both Arduino and PIC platforms have easy to use programming languages and most of the embedded projects I’ve seen involve no more than a few external components and some hundreds lines of code.

    If you are able to squeeze the whole thing into a less than 40 euros package (incl taxes…), this would be impressively competitive.

  2. picus says:

    Thanks for your post! the yellow jacket will be out of production soon since Microchip changed the WIFI module and now it’s compatible only with PIC (no more AVR or others).

    The FlyPORT module (WIFI) will be under 40 Euro but we need to go on volumes first. We had a special quote from Microchip that is supporting us on this project and we think that we’ll be able to go even under 30 euro!

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