EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Products => Crowd Funded Projects => Topic started by: chriswebb on July 11, 2019, 07:46:27 pm

Title: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: chriswebb on July 11, 2019, 07:46:27 pm
Thought this forum would be interested in the latest product about to launch from the people who did the EEZ H24005 bench power supply:

Quote
The EEZ Bench Box 3 (BB3) represents a new category of modular Test and Measurement (T&M) equipment. It provides a complete hardware and software framework that bridges the gap between – and combines the best features of – DIY hobbyist tools and professional benchtop equipment. BB3 was inspired by the EEZ H24005 power supply, which attracted many enthusiasts with its broad feature set, rich user interface, DIY friendliness, and fully open source design. BB3 will initially ship with modules that provide the same functionality as the H24005, but those modules will be slotted into a device that also delivers improved modularity, enhanced flexibility, greater capacity, and more processing power.

Our campaign will allow backers with different backgrounds, interests, and budgets to configure their BB3 however they like. Get a bare PCB set or add a custom-made enclosure. Add the three core modules, if you like, and you’ll have an Almost-Ready-To-Run (ARTR) bench box into which you can slot one of our power modules. We’re going for maximum flexibility, here.

Link to the crowd supply. (https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3)

EEVBlog forum launch thread around the H24005 here. (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/preparing-eez-h24005-for-crowdfunding/)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on July 12, 2019, 01:22:04 am
I have a couple of the H24005, and this new design looks quite good.
Ethernet connection should be on the rear panel IMHO.
Maybe they'll make an SMU plug-in - that would be cool.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on July 12, 2019, 01:29:48 am
Kean. If you have thoughts on how your would implement an SMU plugin. I'm willing to lay it out. Been working piecemeal on making a 4 quadrant output stage but I am limited in knowledge as far as making it accurate enough for SMU level use cases.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on July 12, 2019, 04:27:01 am
Kean. If you have thoughts on how your would implement an SMU plugin. I'm willing to lay it out. Been working piecemeal on making a 4 quadrant output stage but I am limited in knowledge as far as making it accurate enough for SMU level use cases.

Not really.  I had dabbled with a design, but the precision I was aiming at was quite low.
I'm not expecting anything like the performance of a Keithley 2400 of course, but something 4 quadrant and uA or better resolution.

There is the EasySMU reference design/evalutation board from AD, but it is somewhat limited with only ±12V/±40mA
Still many occasions I think I'd find that useful.  Of course, there is no stock anywhere of the required eval board.
https://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/dc2591a.html#eb-overview (https://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-and-software/evaluation-boards-kits/dc2591a.html#eb-overview)

Marco Reps was working on an open source SMU design called OSMU, but development on that seems to have stalled.  Not sure what his planned specs were.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on July 12, 2019, 12:23:10 pm
I would say dream for the keithley, but lets see how we can approach it economically, the main pain for me is I do not know what the input structure looks like on a SMU, I assume it is similar to an electometer but with higher bandwidth for most of the ranges, equally what voltage and current ranges are you expecting?

So we have this, the keithely 2400 output stage, nothing hard or expensive to make, and can be made a lot more flexible by using switching preregulation to reduce the total power dissipation of the output stage, instead of using all those taps, just keep it working like a bootstrap supply to keep the op amp under low power while leaving headroom for the maximum bandwidth of the transient response
[attach=2]

Watching Dave's teardown, things of note:
5.5 digit 1uA range at the low end, for measureing, while having a 10nA output resolution so, what can we do to get close to that, e.g. maybe we have a 12-16 bit 1uA full scale range, its not impossible, just needs good layout and decent op amps. (ENOB means we probably end up closer to 3-4 digits)

The keithley does use a switching supply to make its +-225V rails, we could just do it a little more modern. tracking instead of fixed for higher output wattage

E.g. they use an AD847JN for the output op amp, in many ways that is a fairly rubbish op amp compared to what is available today. High bias currents, high offset voltage, only really has speed and gain going for it.

The ADC converter is a multi-slope converter controlled by an FPGA, now from another thread on this forum, the base of operation and op amps required for solid operation does not seem expensive, getting it to play nice over multiple decades of input may be harder, and this is where I would currently struggle, As I would probably be more willing to throw it at a self contained ADC chip, and focus on an analog control loop and managing gain with op amps.

I suppose the multislope does gain you an integrator stage, the easier way to do device power measurement would be to measure the integrator voltage set to a suitable range to get the mA from the integrated mAh allowing the measurement that so many EE's seem to struggle with when devices have uA sleep currents mixed in with mA active currents. just at X samples per second sum to bring the integrator to 0V and measure the charge to cancel, this will give you a wide range device power consuption.

Again throw some thoughts out, the man behind this project is very good at switching converters, so we may just need to step in to guide the linear and measurement side.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 12, 2019, 09:52:05 pm
Oh, it seems that party started here without me :). Thanks @chriswebb for opening this topic and others for followed up.

Ethernet connection should be on the rear panel IMHO.

Yeah, it's not simple at all to keep wire harness (check here (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/eez-bb3-wire-harness.html)) to lowest possible level, minimize PCB dimensions (especially the MCU board that has 4-layers) and have all things on the right places. I was thinking a lot, what to do, and for start I'm very satisfied with minimizing AC wiring (and soldering) to the minimum: currently only AC cables are what connect AUX-PS board (where soft-start/standby control is placed) and AC/DC power modules.
Also I'm strongly believe that Ethernet (e.g. wired connection) should be an integral part of such kind of equipment, and that is better to have it on front panel then to remove it completely or replace with wireless. One can argue that we already have (wired) USB, but we have more ambitious plans for it that I believe will be soon in position to present.

Maybe they'll make an SMU plug-in - that would be cool.

Right, and as the first step in that direction I'd like to build a bidirectional 2-quadrant power module. Then support for all four should follows naturally, and of course we have to expand existing software/firmware that decent SMU functionality would be possible.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Teichhermelin on July 14, 2019, 10:28:36 am
Nice Idea
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Zucca on July 15, 2019, 12:15:19 pm
Subbed. I keep my eyes on you. The modularity is a must  :-+ .

Some SMU homework to read for inspiration, K2400:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keithley-2400-sourcemeter-review-and-teardown/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keithley-2400-sourcemeter-review-and-teardown/)
https://dev.xdevs.com/projects/kei2400/repository/raw/service/Keithley%202400%20Service%20Manual.pdf (https://dev.xdevs.com/projects/kei2400/repository/raw/service/Keithley%202400%20Service%20Manual.pdf)

Last week I was just talking with a Keysight Engineer regarding the N6700 SMU Module

1) The burden voltage for the current measurement is almost 0V
2) The current range switch very fast without losing any data, AKA "Glitch free" (it can analyze the power spike if a device goes out from sleep mode).

It seems there is a lot of demanding right now regarding a DC power supply which can assit the design of low power eg. IoT devices.

I would more than happy to see a module to have not more than 20W of power but can do something like (best case of course!):

Quote
Voltage, 20 V range: 0.025% + 1.8 mV
Voltage, 6 V range: 0.025% + 600 µV
Current, 3 A and 1 A ranges: 0.04% + 300 µA
Current, 10 mA range: 0.25% + 5 µA

Here also the feature to simulate a Li-Ion battery could be handy (it could be just software jazz.....)

I can only suggest to have in mind the low power design process.

PS: Also a 100W DC electric load module would be fantastic, with some feature to analyse battery discharge process.

Now back to work, I have something to finish up.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 15, 2019, 12:24:28 pm
2) The current range switch very fast without losing any data, AKA "Glitch free" (it can analyze the power spike if a device goes out from sleep mode).

I'd like to learn how "very fast" is really fast: do we talk about something in a range of microseconds, tens, hundreds (or more) microseconds?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Zucca on July 15, 2019, 01:31:32 pm
I'd like to learn how "very fast" is really fast: do we talk about something in a range of microseconds, tens, hundreds (or more) microseconds?

I asked the very same question. He told me something like:"The two current ranges are always on, you don't switch from one to the other, you just switch what you display"  :-//
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 15, 2019, 02:15:34 pm
I asked the very same question. He told me something like:"The two current ranges are always on, you don't switch from one to the other, you just switch what you display"  :-//

To me it sounds like there are two power supplies in parallel, the lower range has slightly higher voltage. When a current spike occurs, the first power supply saturates and drops voltage (CC mode), then second starts working. But that's just a guess :)

Something like this: https://www.keysight.com/main/editorial.jspx?cc=US&lc=eng&ckey=520808&nid=-11143.0.00&id=520808 (https://www.keysight.com/main/editorial.jspx?cc=US&lc=eng&ckey=520808&nid=-11143.0.00&id=520808) ("Learn to connect power supplies in parallel for higher current output").

UP: relevant video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaQa60WRDfQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaQa60WRDfQ)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 15, 2019, 02:55:00 pm
Hm, that makes more sense the using multiple resistor's based current sense :). If current sense resistors are used you have to switch in one moment of time from one to another, or in case of just two ranges you can bypass low-range (high resistance) shunt with MOSFET switch that is connected in series with hi-range shunt. Switching speed is finite, it could be in a range of microseconds or perhaps less, but still more then zero.

So, the existing H24005 and new BB3 (with two DCP405 power modules inserted into slot #1 and #2) can be under firmware control coupled in parallel (using internal power relay!) and it should be possible to add in firmware such "auto-ranging" mode of operation that user don't need to think a lot about settings, and proper measurement will be presented on the screen (or send to PC).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Zucca on July 17, 2019, 01:46:28 pm
how funny

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/iot-power-profiler-and-battery-life-estimation/msg2553039/#msg2553039 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/iot-power-profiler-and-battery-life-estimation/msg2553039/#msg2553039)
Title: EEZ Bench Box 3 new HMI
Post by: prasimix on August 24, 2019, 12:44:56 pm
A brief preview of new user interface on 4.3" TFT touchscreen display driven directly by STM32F7 and created using open source EEZ Studio:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcws6NiOT-s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcws6NiOT-s)
Title: Cardboard boxes are ready
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 07:25:25 am
I've received yesterday small batch of cardboard transportation boxes for BB3 kit:

(http://i.imgur.com/E1IuF3U.jpg) (https://imgur.com/E1IuF3U)

... when assembled it looks like this:

(https://i.imgur.com/KzjwJsb.jpg)

Additional small box is used for packaging three basic modules:

(http://i.imgur.com/6H1UsPi.jpg) (https://imgur.com/6H1UsPi)

Everything packaged: peripheral modules with AC/DC power modules come in the middle, small box with basic modules goes below. The main box has additional envelope for improved strength and for easier handling with all parts inside the box:

(http://i.imgur.com/3DD1gbt.jpg) (https://imgur.com/3DD1gbt)


Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on September 11, 2019, 07:49:54 am
 Now just waiting to buy one of these,

Any ballpark on what a box and 3x 405's would run?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 08:28:55 am
We're trying to provide a 2-channel version (2 x DCP405B) in a same price range as previously backed H24005 at least for the early birds (all who are subscribed to the campaign will receive notice about exact start time in advance). 
Ok, the question is what is more interesting for the users: DCP405 or DCP405B model? The same PCB will be used for both, but the later comes without the following features:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on September 11, 2019, 08:31:21 am
I'm after the DCP405's
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 08:33:14 am
I'm after the DCP405's

Yeah, it's a "Full Monty", but more costly.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on September 11, 2019, 11:10:40 am
How useful is downprogrammer? Do you have any oscillograms?

Is it going to be a kit, or pre-assembled device? Do I need to solder anything? I like soldering :).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 11:25:30 am
How useful is downprogrammer? Do you have any oscillograms?

Yes, we have: https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/eez-bb3-measurements/dcp405-power-module.html#dcp405_dp (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/eez-bb3-measurements/dcp405-power-module.html#dcp405_dp)
Usually people are not aware of such thing, but I hold from the very beginning that is an important ingredient. It does not just discharge Cout (that is very small in our case) but also Cin of the connected devices when set voltage goes down or OE (output enable) is switched off.

Is it going to be a kit, or pre-assembled device? Do I need to solder anything? I like soldering :).

It will be an ARTR (almost ready to run) kit as the previous project. Therefore, you'll need just a Philips screwdriver and about an hour or your work following assembly instructions (as an example you can check here (https://www.envox.hr/eez/bench-power-supply/group-buy-kit-assembly.html) how it looks like for the previous project). Initial firmware version will be also included.
Makers who like soldering, can choose a set of bare PCBs and custom enclosure. Also, you can buy DCP405B module and populate it missing parts to get DCP405 since BOM is published on the GitHub. Perhaps another possibility is that you pledge only the entry level unit that comes with assembled and tested three main modules (i.e. AUX power, MCU module and BP3C backplane) and try to assembly power modules manually.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 11:28:20 am
Oops, the link published above to the measurements include just picture of the output without down-programmer (don't know when the other one disappeared) :palm:
Give me a moment to refresh that page...

EDIT: Ok, Fig. 17 is now added. Feel free to check also Fig. 4 when huge capacitive load is connected on the output: it needs about 20 ms to discharge 2200 μF charged on 30 V.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on September 11, 2019, 11:40:55 am
Down-programming makes the output behave like a 1.5 quadrant output, able to source or sink current, (much weaker sinking, and unsure if current limited while sinking)

when you have 2 outputs that can source or sink independently, suddenly you have a poor mans Source-Measure Unit, Its still not as nice as the real thing, but it gets you to a point where you can start recording meaningful data.

Also lets you do weird things like using it for a low burden voltage milliammeter with other devices,

 :palm: I am far to used to bodging things in weird ways....
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on September 11, 2019, 11:53:44 am
If it can sink current, and I can set how much current it sinks, then I'd really want to have it.

What's the sinking capability?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2019, 12:30:54 pm
The sink capability can be calculated using the following equation: Isink, max = (VZD2 - Vth[Q5]) / R30 (See schematics here (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/tree/master/dcp405), Sheet 3of6). Therefore for the current setup, and if we use as average Q5's Vth of 3 V it is (9.1 - 3) / 2.2 = 2.78 A. This is a huge current, but it last in milliseconds (previous down-programmer offered about 0.3 A).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 12, 2019, 10:12:05 am
Hi, I still cannot talk about prices. The customized box (i.e. drilled, painted and printed) with mounting frames for TFT display and AC/DC power modules with bare PCBs set will be available during and after the campaign. Anyway, I can say that it will be cheaper then general purpose metal electronic box of the same size that will requires customized front panel, etc.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 08, 2019, 11:23:33 pm
To answer Prasimix's previous question, I'll go the full Monty too (most capable modules) AND be watching for new module releases too.
Title: Test batch of enclosures
Post by: prasimix on October 10, 2019, 05:36:56 pm
Today arrived test batch of enclosures, a step closer to the start of crowdfunding campaign. Now it is in final color RAL5022 as in previous project (H24005), but with mat instead of glossy finish:

(https://i.imgur.com/1UCIaE2.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/2N6HBu7.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gJzhX1U.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jjajeap.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/FBseoRO.jpg)



Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 11, 2019, 01:00:56 am
Look at those feet! I had to put the front of my H24005 on a cigar box - and then I had to learn how to smoke cigars.

Did I say that when I was hit by a lightning strike, the H24005 saved ALL of the other equipment on the bench? Loved it!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on October 11, 2019, 09:04:50 am
Did I say that when I was hit by a lightning strike, the H24005 saved ALL of the other equipment on the bench? Loved it!

The AUX-PS module of the BB3 is equipped with the same AC input protection as H24005, so in time of trouble if you're luck it can do the job of saving its neighbor equipment, too ;)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on October 12, 2019, 09:15:33 am
A very short presentation of the latest prototype:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK8WY5szdgk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK8WY5szdgk)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 13, 2019, 11:29:18 pm
I like the way the AC/DC supplies are installed; while novel it makes sense to me. Likewise reserving the space for the CPU board.

The new front panel colour will be fine - but how do you intend for users to change over the individual modules? It appears to be a more major task than just undoing a front panel thumb screw and sliding in and out various function modules.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on October 14, 2019, 06:14:32 am
The new front panel colour will be fine - but how do you intend for users to change over the individual modules? It appears to be a more major task than just undoing a front panel thumb screw and sliding in and out various function modules.

The modules are changed in the similar way as in a PC: when top cover is removed (4 screws) to move module one have to remove two screws on the module's front panel (PC modules are fixed with just one screw). Does it make sense?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 14, 2019, 07:50:32 pm
It does. I'm looking forward to it.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Black Phoenix on October 24, 2019, 05:03:03 am
Well I like the design, I like the form factor and the modularity. I will wait to see how much it will cost me.

Other question (it may be stupid but please listen to me): Is the firmware able to accept commands? Like for example I develop a small numpad/macropad with a dial. Can I connect via USB-C and use it as an input instead of the touch screen, using the keypad as option selection and for insertion of values?

Something like this:

(https://i.imgur.com/sS3fq1Z.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/K4xGewGl.jpg)

(https://preview.redd.it/p36thavi9ln31.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=908264e85d173d6267c33b2838665b306cf4630e)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 24, 2019, 06:51:39 am
Well Black Phoenix, this is an interesting concept. It sure will reduce the leaning over the test bench to get to the equipment - a big plus. Downside - yet another cable on the bench. Bluetooth connection?

I find the number pad and the two knobs of the Keysight E36200 https://www.keysight.com/en/pc-2993486/200-and-400w-autoranging-bench-power-supply-30-to-120v-10-to-40a?cc=US&lc=eng (https://www.keysight.com/en/pc-2993486/200-and-400w-autoranging-bench-power-supply-30-to-120v-10-to-40a?cc=US&lc=eng) series very useful for getting things done quickly.

An external module, with a number pad and two knobs may be really useful. The same could be said for a lot of other instruments.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on October 24, 2019, 10:46:28 am
Well, what's about speech recognition then? :)

Touch keypad is a key away from any output value (U, I, P) what can be set:

(http://i.imgur.com/Xvec27C.png) (https://imgur.com/Xvec27C)

(http://i.imgur.com/lnKtUYX.png) (https://imgur.com/lnKtUYX)

I suppose that having multiple input devices should simplify and speed up entering desired values. Two encoders on Keysight could serve changing simultaneously two values in case that two hands are used, and if operator have a good bi- or multi-tasking perception. For the rest of the people and situations one hand will be involved anyway, and don't know what is a real advantage.
In our "single hand" case moving from one output value to another is again a single touch operation..., and if encoder is used to set voltage on Ch1, with one touch to e.g. current of Ch2 you can continue to make adjustment with encoder. Additionally, "user sw" can be used to set encoder step (e.g. Auto, 100 mV, 500 mV, 1 V, 2 V or 5 V) that further simplify and speed up settings.

Regarding external keypad: yes, it can be supported in firmware (we have a complete control of it :)): it can be seen as an USB device, or another possibility is to use UART interface that is exposed on the front panel.




Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on October 24, 2019, 09:02:30 pm
I'm not sure speech recognition is a good idea - I swear at my projects so much that any decent supply with be both confused and indignant.  :-DD
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Black Phoenix on October 31, 2019, 01:55:43 pm
Any new update prasimix?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on October 31, 2019, 02:17:00 pm
I'm struggling with finding PCBA service that cost of 2-ch unit is comparable with the previous project (H24005). Hopefully, I'll close a deal with company from Poland in a coming week, but now is completely clear that 450 USD target is not achievable for small production run. OK, BB3 comes with features that goes beyond H24005 and I believe that backers will recognize that.
I still don't have resources (time & money) to pack my baggage and goes to Shenzen what seems is the preferable way if one wants to be sure that everything will run predictably, if not smoothly :).
Perhaps we'll survive with "Made in the EU" manufacturing for a while.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Zucca on November 13, 2019, 03:02:26 pm
I'd like to learn how "very fast" is really fast: do we talk about something in a range of microseconds, tens, hundreds (or more) microseconds?

I asked the very same question. He told me something like:"The two current ranges are always on, you don't switch from one to the other, you just switch what you display"  :-//

Here the Keysight paper for it:

https://literature.cdn.keysight.com/litweb/pdf/5991-0519EN.pdf (https://literature.cdn.keysight.com/litweb/pdf/5991-0519EN.pdf)
Title: Campaign start
Post by: prasimix on November 16, 2019, 08:16:09 am
I'd like to present pledge levels that are set for the campaign:

BB3 enclosureMetal enclosure kit with wire harness and nuts & bolts for three modules, incl. 4.3" TFT touchscreen display, encoder knob and 80 mm fan. Set of bare PCBs for building AUX-PS, MCU STM32F7, BP3C, 2 x DCP405(B) and 1 x DCM220 module. Suitable for builders that have skills, time and patience.
BB3 starterStarter kit includes BB3 enclosure kit without bare PCBs but with assembled AUX-PS, MCU STM32F7 modules and BP3C DIB 3-slot backplane. This pledge represents a starting environment to experimenters that are willing to build their own modules or looking for specific BB3 configuration (e.g. six channels).
BB3 2-ch basic2-ch basic kit includes BB3 starter set, and two DCP405B single channel (40 V, 5 A) basic power modules with AC/DC power modules. A great two channel programmable power source suitable for most of everyday tasks. Expandable to three or four channels.
BB3 2-ch full2-ch full kit includes BB3 starter set, and two DCP405 single channel (40 V, 5 A) fully featured power modules with two AC/DC power modules. A two channel programmable power source with advanced features of remote sensing, remote programming, down-programmer and additional OVP (with crowbar).
BB3 4-ch basic4-ch basic kit includes BB3 starter set, and two DCP405B single channel (40 V, 5 A) basic power modules, one dual channel DCM220 power module and three AC/DC power modules. This is expanded 2-ch basic kit when additional two programmable power sources are needed.
2-ch moduleDCM220, a two channels (2 x 20 V, 4 A) power module with AC/DC power module.
1-ch basic moduleDCP405B, a single channel (40 V, 5 A) basic power module with AC/DC power module.
1-ch full moduleDCP405, a fully featured single channel (40 V, 5 A) power module with remote sensing, remote programming, down-programmer and crowbar OVP. The AC/DC power module is also included.

The campaign should start next week (still cannot get an exact time and date from CS crew).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 16, 2019, 09:05:48 am
For those of you who are familiar with Discord, this is an open invitation to join the discussion group on crowdfunding (#crowdsupply): https://discord.gg/V8gPmws
I will try to answer the questions promptly while I am online, as here.
Title: EEZ Bench Box 3 campaign video
Post by: prasimix on November 18, 2019, 07:29:20 am
This is the official video of the campaign, I believe you will like it no matter what I tried to show a lot in such a short time :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uke3_7qHTYk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uke3_7qHTYk)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on November 18, 2019, 09:42:55 am
Hi prasimix,

if I have understood your pledge levels correctly, there is no complete kit version available? The first tier is mostly the mechanical parts, while the other tiers are fully assembled, correct?

I saw pictures of your modules with heatsinks. Are those included on the first tier or are those standard of the shelf parts?
Will you include a comprehensive part-list, or maybe offer a full set of parts yourself? Would be nice to have that while the campaign is running to get an idea of the total cost.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 18, 2019, 10:12:20 am
No, a fully assembled unit is not offered through any pledge level. For example, the BB3 2-ch basic contains enclosures and accessories, assembled and tested modules so you only need to have a Philips screwdriver and invest about an hour to connect all to the functional unit (just as was the case with H24005).
The Assembly instructions will be available before the end of the campaign (this (https://www.envox.hr/eez/bench-power-supply/group-buy-kit-assembly.html) is how it looked like for the H24005), and User manual will be also available this time :).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 18, 2019, 10:18:42 am
I saw pictures of your modules with heatsinks. Are those included on the first tier or are those standard of the shelf parts?
Will you include a comprehensive part-list, or maybe offer a full set of parts yourself? Would be nice to have that while the campaign is running to get an idea of the total cost.

This is an fully open source project. Therefore a comprehensive BOMs together with schematics, Gerbers, mechanical parts, etc. are already available on the GitHub. If you're interesting in DCP405 module for instance, you can find everything here (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/tree/master/dcp405) (BTW, used heatsink is an "off-the-shelf" part).

But again, all offered modules will come fully assembled and tested. All what you need to do is to insert it into the BB3 enclosure.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on November 18, 2019, 12:20:45 pm
Well, I want a kit ;)
Some time ago I was on the lookout for a comprehensive kit that builds something useful. Something that is more than a cheap component tester or a LED cube. I missed your previous campaign and am very glad that the EEZ Bench Box gives me a new opportunity.

That BOM example you linked is impressive. So many BOM items, complete with various order numbers  :-+. Seeing that I can understand why you do not want to deal with offering a full kit.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: xlfe on November 18, 2019, 07:54:00 pm
@prasimix I missed out on the eez-h24005 so I was super excited to see the BB3 campaign announcement a few months back. I've been reading through your posts about each module and the more I learn the more impressed I am with the BB3 and the modules.

One thing I was wondering about was whether an option for using your CF-DIC design was part of the campaign instead of the meanwell supplies? It seems like it's not?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 18, 2019, 09:33:45 pm
Unfortunately it is not. The cost was way too high and I also didn't manage to find time and money to proceed with certification.
I've either gave up from QR flyback on the AUX PS module and replace it with Mean Well's 10 W modules because they are certified.
Title: EEZ Bench Box 3 campaign start
Post by: prasimix on November 19, 2019, 02:04:21 pm
It's now official: the campaign start is scheduled for today at 3pm PST (for less then 9 hours). Thanks in advance to all who is going to support this project (as indirectly the EEZ Studio (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/eez-studio-for-accessing-your-(scpi)-instruments/msg1509535/#msg1509535), too).
Title: Campaign is live!
Post by: prasimix on November 19, 2019, 11:06:48 pm
https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/our-campaign-is-live (https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/our-campaign-is-live)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: chriswebb on November 19, 2019, 11:28:53 pm
Backed the early bird version!

Looked like they were going pretty quickly. I will need to purchase a third module to complete the enclosure right? Do you have any general recommendations for most useful option? Does the dual output work with the DCP405 modules? Or only with the B variant?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 19, 2019, 11:38:39 pm
Many thanks for support. Any combination of three modules is possible (that's the whole idea of modularity :) and firmware will recognize what is inserted and simply start to use it. Please note that only DCP405 or DCP405B could be coupled in series or parallel on first two slots. I don't know what to suggest as third module, it depends: if you need more channels with lower capability and precision then DCM220 is probably is fine. If you need better overall performance that you should probably go with DCP405B or DCP405.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Helix70 on November 20, 2019, 01:24:38 am
Is there a kit to upgrade an existing H24005 to the EEZ Bench Box 3? Do they use the same AC/DC power supplies and are the modules reuseable? Is it the same case with a new front panel/screen/microcontroller?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on November 20, 2019, 01:45:47 am
Got mine ordered. But never saw any update emails
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 20, 2019, 07:17:00 am
Is there a kit to upgrade an existing H24005 to the EEZ Bench Box 3? Do they use the same AC/DC power supplies and are the modules reuseable? Is it the same case with a new front panel/screen/microcontroller?

AC/DC modules are the only part that could be reused from H24005. Everything else (even the DC fan) are different. Therefore a sort of upgrade kit would not save a lot.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on November 20, 2019, 10:16:19 am
Now that the campaign has started, two questions occurred to me:

1. For backers from the EU, can you ship locally? I my opinion it makes little sense to ship your stuff to the USA and then back to me, not to mention the possible tax/import implications.
2. Regarding the Kit: Are there any components that would provide major difficulty regarding had-soldering? BGAs or chips with thermal pads? Am I correct to assume that the MCU is amongst the most challenging components to solder?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 20, 2019, 10:34:59 am
Now that the campaign has started, two questions occurred to me:

1. For backers from the EU, can you ship locally? I my opinion it makes little sense to ship your stuff to the USA and then back to me, not to mention the possible tax/import implications.

The same "issue" we had with last campaign. But last time CS wasn't part of the Mouser and they didn't use their logistics that is doing all clearance at least for EU, etc. Under Fulfillment & Logistics (https://www.crowdsupply.com/guide/fulfillment-and-logistics) you can find this:

VAT and Customs
Crowd Supply pre-pays VAT (GST) and pre-clears customs for all packages shipped to all EU countries, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This means the package is delivered directly to the backer's door without the need for the backer to deal with a customs house. For all other countries, the appropriate commercial invoices and customs information is provided with the package, but the backer is responsible for paying any duties and, if necessary, working with their local customs house.
The exact duties levied on a particular package depend on several factors, including the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes of its contents. Crowd Supply will help classify your products with the correct HTS code.


2. Regarding the Kit: Are there any components that would provide major difficulty regarding had-soldering? BGAs or chips with thermal pads? Am I correct to assume that the MCU is amongst the most challenging components to solder?

No QFN or BGA package are present in any modules. However, DCP405/DCP405B has two, and DCM220 has one IC with thermal pad. So far I didn't have any problem to solder them with assistance of the cheapest hot air workstation. Additionally, you can find on the bottom layer that soldering mask is removed beneath that ICs. Therefore you can put additional solder if you are not confident in hot air result.
Since MCU comes in package with exposed pins, total number of pins doesn't make any difference, all what you need is to fix it on 2-3 pins and than proceed with soldering rest. In fact a great fun if you ask me.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: pylo on November 20, 2019, 01:56:02 pm

The same "issue" we had with last campaign. But last time CS wasn't part of the Mouser and they didn't use their logistics that is doing all clearance at least for EU, etc. Under Fulfillment & Logistics (https://www.crowdsupply.com/guide/fulfillment-and-logistics) you can find this:

VAT and Customs
Crowd Supply pre-pays VAT (GST) and pre-clears customs for all packages shipped to all EU countries, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This means the package is delivered directly to the backer's door without the need for the backer to deal with a customs house.

If I understand this correctly, that's a real shame. And the way I understand it is that CS will make the VAT+TAX payment easy because they (their logistics partner) will front it, but we backers still have to pay them. And I doubt it'd be any other way: for example, the two-channel basic kit costs 599$ (including the 45$ shipping fee to EU), so the BB3 suddenly costs 713$ (with 19% VAT added) instead of the pledge price of 554$ for somebody in Germany. That's a huge difference. And some countries in the EU have much higher VAT (Hungary for example has 27%). My point is, CS will obviously not take over a fee this high.

What bothers me is not that we have to pay these fees. What bothers me is that we wouldn't have to if you shipped directly within the EU.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 20, 2019, 01:59:32 pm
If I ship it to you directly from Croatia, and you cannot provide valid company VAT number I have to charge you local 25% VAT anyway that is still a little bit lower then Hungarian, but much higher then German.
Title: Current status...
Post by: prasimix on November 21, 2019, 11:12:17 am
We're halfway there! Thanks for spreading a word and support...

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJ5F4jvX0AA4WKa?format=png)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: pylo on November 21, 2019, 02:02:57 pm
Well, that's only the case if we cannot give you a company VAT. I assume many of us here could, though surely not everybody. I think the problem lays probably with how CS intervenes, as we are paying to CS and not to you, so that's probably what makes it unworkable.

By the way, very cool product and I wish you good luck. I already told everybody in the company about it :D  As for me, when I wanted to buy the H24005 about two years ago, it wasn't available anymore, so I had to buy myself a different lab supply from somewhere else. It is only because of this that I am still contemplating if I should back a BB3 or not, because I don't really need a 2nd supply. But the BB3 is very good value and has great features, and if you bring out the other extensions modules in the future, it should be almost unbeatable.

By the way: When do you expect to bring out the other extension modules? I am most interested in the 2Q DC-module if it allows me to avoid buying a separate electronic load. Not to mention all the things I could do with it with some firmware hacking... If that modules happens somewhere in the foreseeable future, that alone could justify buying a BB3 for me, even though I already have a lab supply.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 21, 2019, 02:21:46 pm
Well, that's only the case if we cannot give you a company VAT. I assume many of us here could, though surely not everybody. I think the problem lays probably with how CS intervenes, as we are paying to CS and not to you, so that's probably what makes it unworkable.

That's right.

By the way, very cool product and I wish you good luck. I already told everybody in the company about it :D  As for me, when I wanted to buy the H24005 about two years ago, it wasn't available anymore, so I had to buy myself a different lab supply from somewhere else. It is only because of this that I am still contemplating if I should back a BB3 or not, because I don't really need a 2nd supply. But the BB3 is very good value and has great features, and if you bring out the other extensions modules in the future, it should be almost unbeatable.

Many thanks for good wishes!

The main reason why I gave up from H24005 is limited modularity (and that Chinese guys didn't realize yet that it is worth cloning, so you cannot buy it anywhere :))
The BB3 address that to fair extent with this first chassis that could accept up to three modules that are not necessary DC power sources only.

By the way: When do you expect to bring out the other extension modules? I am most interested in the 2Q DC-module if it allows me to avoid buying a separate electronic load. Not to mention all the things I could do with it with some firmware hacking... If that modules happens somewhere in the foreseeable future, that alone could justify buying a BB3 for me, even though I already have a lab supply.

He, he, I'm thinking about 4Q power module almost from the very beginning of the EEZ adventure. I do believe that its time is coming, first as 2Q (dissipative) module, then as 2Q bidirectional module and finally a 4Q that could used as a SMU. In parallel I'm dreaming about DC power analyzer with 6-channel simultaneous A/D converter (1 x Vin + 2 x Iin, 1 x Vout + 2 x Iout). So, a two current range with continuous sampling on both ranges where firmware will pick relevant range depending of measured current.

The good thing is that we made our "homework" on the firmware and software side so that one could count on rich GUI on TFT touchscreen and PC side for all modules that are coming. If we succeed with campaign will come into position to continue production of all BB3 parts offering in kit but also fully assembled form (we have to pass CE/FCC certification that should start next month) and extend its feature with new modules.
Title: Thanks @bunnie
Post by: prasimix on November 21, 2019, 02:30:39 pm
I couldn't stand not to say what Bunnie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Huang_(hacker)), a great guy who already did a lot for open source/hardware community, said:

https://twitter.com/bunniestudios/status/1197503114246414336
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on November 21, 2019, 07:52:24 pm
A tweet from Bunnie!  Win!

I've been looking forward to this coming out, so I better get my skates on and order one of these before they sell out...

Do you have any limits on the quantity you'll sell?  (I heard that some campaigns ran into trouble when they planned for 500, got 3500 orders, and found their suppliers and logistics couldn't keep up...)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 21, 2019, 09:53:01 pm
Thanks for the good wishes regarding the final quantity:)
Everything is scheduled for min. 200 units and both of major contractors (enclosure and PCBA) are eager to hear about a 1000 units order (sounds more like wishful thinking for me)! Currently there is a couple of parts with longer lead time (i.e. MCU and power switch) but still the first delivery should remain at a safe 200 units.
I'm not sure that any campaign so far on CS has experienced such an unexpected turn, e.g. that it was planned, as you say, 500 and ended up with 3500. Such success stories happen on Kickstarter and Indiegogo where all media attention is (it seems to me that CS is non existent, people never heard of them, and Alexa ranking, if is accurate, can confirm that). We'll see if I made a mistake this time when I didn't try to organize everything at least on Indiegogo (or indirectly, through an agent even on Kickstarter).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on November 21, 2019, 10:03:01 pm
Well, i ordered a kit.
I now see myself pouring over the BOMs in the next weeks and taking hours to order all the required components  :-/O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on November 22, 2019, 12:20:03 am
I hope you get a good number of orders.  Including one from me :-)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: knapik on November 28, 2019, 10:01:53 am
Really cool project and very interested in backing this. I don't have the money to back an entire kit unfortunately, so I may buy the kit and try to build it myself.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 28, 2019, 10:16:36 am
Thanks. When you mention the kit version I assume you mean BB3 Enclosure & Bare Boards. Please note that it does include just few parts (i.e. TFT display, and cooling fan that belongs to wire harness) and all other you have to source by yourself. It should be a big problem since I've prepared detailed BOMs (already available on the GitHub (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu)).
Hand soldering should also not be a problem at all: quite the opposite, a very fun process. No QFN or BGA packages, just a few tiny ICs (but with exposed pins) and a couple of them with a thermal pad. I soldered all my prototypes by hand, without stencil, reflow oven, etc.

(http://i.imgur.com/M5yyFHK.png) (https://imgur.com/M5yyFHK)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: knapik on November 28, 2019, 11:16:19 am
Yep the bare boards is what I was referring to in the latter (probably shouldn't have referred to both products as "kits"). Don't worry, I have good soldering skills, its just that building the boards myself allows me to pay for the entire project incrementally.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 28, 2019, 11:18:51 am
Great, don't hesitate to contact me when adventure begins! :-/O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on November 28, 2019, 04:13:50 pm
By the way, a question in regards to the Kit.
Will we be able to order proper face plates for the modules from you? Getting the holes into a blank plate is one thing, but nice labeling is another ;)

Otherwise, would it be an option to publish gerbers for a pcb as faceplate?

EDIT: And huge  :-+ for the 1click BOMs. Those are great  :)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on November 28, 2019, 04:19:33 pm
By the way, a question in regards to the Kit.
Will we be able to order proper face plates for the modules from you? Getting the holes into a blank plate is one thing, but nice labeling is another ;)

Three predrilled module front panels are included: 2 x DCP405 and 1 x DCM220. Therefore no need for drilling :)

Otherwise, would it be an option to publish gerbers for a pcb as faceplate?

Very good idea, but has to be made on PCB 2 mm thick what shouldn't be an issue.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: alex-sh on November 30, 2019, 11:17:13 pm
I am going to order it now.
Looking very good. When are you expecting to have additional modules please?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 01, 2019, 09:22:49 am
I'm planning to work on few modules during next year: a simple low-speed digital/analog I/O module, 2Q DC power module and DC power analyzer. Of course that is not a job for single person. I believe that I found a good candidate to make 2Q DC power module. Low-speed digital/analog I/O module I should be able to make myself. A great deal of assistance will required for DC power analyzer. In parallel I'll open a project of integration FPGA technology into EEZ BB3 with team behind ULX3S project.
That should be enough tasks to keep me busy for 70-80 hr/week :)
Title: EEZ BB3 data logging
Post by: prasimix on December 01, 2019, 09:43:36 am
An example of why does color touch-screen display on programmable power supply matter. Recording and viewing of the logged data is possible directly on the display. The recorded data is on an SD card and can be transferred with one click to a PC for further processing and analysis thanks to the FOSS multi-platform EEZ Studio application.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee3jmN_-tKo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee3jmN_-tKo)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 05, 2019, 08:49:24 am
Hi everyone, the campaign has continued to slow down, but we will try to revive it to some extent with new updates. I would ask for the help of backers and anyone else who finds this project interesting and useful to follow us on Twitter (@envox (https://twitter.com/envox)) and spread the word on social networks and other forums where you are active.

I'd like to encourage potential EU backers once again with the following excerpt (https://www.crowdsupply.com/guide/fulfillment-and-logistics#vat-and-customs) from the Crowd Supply policy:

VAT and Customs
Crowd Supply pre-pays VAT (GST) and pre-clears customs for all packages shipped to all EU countries, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This means the package is delivered directly to the backer's door without the need for the backer to deal with a customs house.


Many thanks in advance!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Towger on December 05, 2019, 08:54:38 am
What country are they being shipped from?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 05, 2019, 08:55:20 am
Portland, OR, USA
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on December 05, 2019, 03:30:57 pm
Would it be possible to buy the device later? I don't need a power supply itself, but I'd like to get an SMU module if/when it's available.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 05, 2019, 03:44:58 pm
Would it be possible to buy the device later? I don't need a power supply itself, but I'd like to get an SMU module if/when it's available.

It's sort of a chicken and egg problem: if we do not succeed with crowdfunding that will lower the chance that we find a way how to finance production of enclosures and basic modules and create a "credit" line with selected manufacturers for production of new units and modules. Therefore, even the small donation could help us to kickstart BB3 production.
Unlike the H24005, which was a one-off production, BB3 was designed modularly to establish continuous production easily and I believe it is feasible.
Title: DCP405 power module advanced features
Post by: prasimix on December 07, 2019, 07:27:33 am
DCP405 power module delivers 0 to 40 V, 0 - 50 mA or 0 - 5 A. This video shows its four advanced features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NkEw8b6CAk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NkEw8b6CAk)
Title: BB3 chassis...
Post by: prasimix on December 12, 2019, 10:17:29 pm
I don't know how to make a poll in existing forum's thread. Therefore I'm copying one that is under way. Your input is highly appreciated:

https://twitter.com/envox/status/1205200299457163264
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on December 12, 2019, 11:01:37 pm
Done; I selected leave as is, although as stated I would prefer USB on front LAN on rear. USB sticks need to be accessible, LAN cables not so much.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 14, 2019, 04:22:47 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/wa4gG9e.png) (https://imgur.com/wa4gG9e)

Thanks all for participation. It seems that mounting connectors on the front panel wasn't as favorable as on the rear panel. According to comments the "truth" is somewhere in the middle: USB on the front, Ethernet on the back.

It could be a first strech goal if we can talk about such thing this time: if we reach 100 KUSD this should be enough to cover the cost of new prototyping and the addition of two cables in all orders.
Title: Power outputs coupling and tracking
Post by: prasimix on December 14, 2019, 10:30:08 pm
A new short video addressing four different types of power outputs coupling performed under firmware control and without need for extra wiring:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8lTiHVCo1Q (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8lTiHVCo1Q)

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on December 16, 2019, 04:02:01 pm
Another question regarding the kit recently occurred to me.

What about calibration? What equipment do I need to properly calibrate it?

Regarding the placement of Ethernet and USB: If moving Ethernet to the back would also cause USB to be moved back, then please keep it as it is. USB on the back would be a bigger hassle than Ethernet on the front :) Also I would imagine that would move the SD-Card slot to the back as well. And that just asks for dropped cards  >:D

Using something like a pigtail adapter should reasonably work for both Ethernet and USB though.

Something like these (first hits on google image search)
https://thepihut.com/products/panel-mount-ethernet-rj45-extension-cable (https://thepihut.com/products/panel-mount-ethernet-rj45-extension-cable) (with a longer cable of course)
And this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-RJ45-Network-Ethernet-8P8C-Socket-Connector-8Pin-Vertical-180-PCB-Mount-/192847609885 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-RJ45-Network-Ethernet-8P8C-Socket-Connector-8Pin-Vertical-180-PCB-Mount-/192847609885)

Your are only running 100Mbps, so using such an adapter cable will not be an issue.
Bonus points for keeping the ethernet status LEDs on the front  ;D
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 16, 2019, 04:15:10 pm
Another question regarding the kit recently occurred to me.

What about calibration? What equipment do I need to properly calibrate it?

If you are backed kit with assembled modules than you don't need to do anything. All modules will come calibrated to the extend of what my FLUKE287 could provide. Anyway the calibration is a simple process: you have to follow calibration wizard steps as described in User manual (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/blob/master/docs/user%20manual/EEZ%20BB3%20user%20manual%20DRAFT%200.2.pdf) (Chapter 13).

Regarding the placement of Ethernet and USB: If moving Ethernet to the back would also cause USB to be moved back, then please keep it as it is. USB on the back would be a bigger hassle than Ethernet on the front :) Also I would imagine that would move the SD-Card slot to the back as well. And that just asks for dropped cards  >:D

Using something like a pigtail adapter should reasonably work for both Ethernet and USB though.

Something like these (first hits on google image search)
https://thepihut.com/products/panel-mount-ethernet-rj45-extension-cable (https://thepihut.com/products/panel-mount-ethernet-rj45-extension-cable) (with a longer cable of course)
And this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-RJ45-Network-Ethernet-8P8C-Socket-Connector-8Pin-Vertical-180-PCB-Mount-/192847609885 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-RJ45-Network-Ethernet-8P8C-Socket-Connector-8Pin-Vertical-180-PCB-Mount-/192847609885)

Your are only running 100Mbps, so using such an adapter cable will not be an issue.
Bonus points for keeping the ethernet status LEDs on the front  ;D

For now, both connectors remain on the front panel as the additional cost of prototyping and cabling goes out of the campaign budget. This will be set up as the first stretch goal, but I have already made a new variant of the MCU PCB where the connectors have been removed to the rear. Currently both versions are on GitHub (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/tree/master/mcu): r1B6 and r2B1. Here's what r2B1 looks like:

(http://i.imgur.com/6jOydfN.png) (https://imgur.com/6jOydfN)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on December 16, 2019, 05:17:19 pm
I am not a part of this (yet!) but perhaps I could make a suggestion...

What I see here is the PSU taking up significant space on the bench, which should be given over to whatever is being worked on rather than the tools. The PSU could be moved to, say, a shelf but then it would be a real drag to drive that touchscreen with one's arm at full stretch and an upward 45 degree angle.

How about a remote front panel? I don't mean remote control feature for, say, a PC or phone. I mean that actual front panel we see there but on its own with none of the rest of the stuff. It would take up no room at all, be highly maneuverable (on the end of a bit of cable, but could be wireless?) yet still give the full features and feel of the real thing. After all, that's the bit you want to mess about with - once your power cables are connected you're not going to be swapping them around every 5 seconds so the hardware side of the PSU can be well out of reach.
 
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 16, 2019, 05:40:26 pm
Huh, that sounds like a real challenge! That could be possible but I'm concerned about the cost of such solution. A remote "terminal" should be housed in something nice but robust, perhaps a custom made plastic enclosure. Maybe not, if something suitable already exists. Otherwise only making a custom casting tool will cost a fortune.
But there is two other possibility: one is completely crazy and that is to rotate enclosure in "portrait" position such as mini tower PC enclosures and rotate all screen contents. Another one you are already discarded, but I'll mention it: use some of MQTT clients for "smart" phone and arrange your own dashboard. That shouldn't be a big task (no real programming is involved).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on December 16, 2019, 06:00:48 pm
I guess a tablet would work if it replicated the front panel closely.

Just an idea :)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on December 16, 2019, 06:30:58 pm
I remember in one of the BB3 threads the suggestion about adding a small hardware keyboard to control the BB3. I thought that idea was really neat and hope something like that gets implemented at some point.

I honestly do not know if it makes really sense to talk about stretchgoals though at this point. If the funding keeps going at this rate the BB3 will barely make it...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on December 16, 2019, 08:20:14 pm
I'm concerned like Ranaya, the BB3 appears to be stalling. I suspect that people are looking at it as a replacement for their current power supply or even a more competent version of something they already have. It is SO MUCH MORE. It's a test system.

With the ability to slide in and out various programmable modules, much of the hack work that goes into testing can be done by the machine with the results recorded for later analysis.

Prasimix in his first video mentioned what they have in the works - but I know others have suggested a data logger, 2Q, audio test and other options.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 17, 2019, 09:34:15 am
I remember in one of the BB3 threads the suggestion about adding a small hardware keyboard to control the BB3. I thought that idea was really neat and hope something like that gets implemented at some point.

I'm more interesting in adding support for my old USB Sony foot pedal FS-85 (https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/audio-video-accessories-portable-audio-accessories/fs-85usb) (there is few others used in dictation solutions). It has three switches like left-up-right that can be used for e.g. increase-decrease selected voltage or current, turns OE on or off, etc. and leave both hands free for other activities.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on December 17, 2019, 07:53:52 pm
But tapping your feet to the music may be a problem.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on December 18, 2019, 08:05:59 am
I have not looked at the SCPI protocol at all.
But from what I can glean from the descriptions, it looks as if that would allow remote control of many functions of the BB3.

Since the BB3 has SCPI over Ethernet, even standalone wireless control panels should be possible.

In that regard, as I said not knowing anything about SCPI, or how the BB3 implements it, is there any security in place for remote SCPI access?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 18, 2019, 08:14:51 am
SCPI is "plain stupid" text protocol for communication with various T&M devices. Therefore security has to be managed on some other (lower) layer. It's suitable for closed, non-encrypted lab's LANs. For accessing device outside LXI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAN_eXtensions_for_Instrumentation) should be implemented that require HTTP server or HTTPS server for security reasons. Other possibility is to use MQTT on which we are currently working and first demo will follows soon. Perhaps we should "encapsulate" SCPI commands in MQTT messaging.
Title: BB3 web simulator
Post by: prasimix on December 18, 2019, 08:28:25 am
Feel free to explore most of the implemented SCPI commands using Web simulator (https://www.envox.hr/eez-modular-firmware-simulator/). SCPI commands are listed in Chapter 4 (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/bb3-scpi-reference-manual/bb3-scpi-common-command-reference.html) and Chapter 5 (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/bb3-scpi-reference-manual/5-subsystem-command-reference.html).

(http://i.imgur.com/Z9bmTbg.png) (https://imgur.com/Z9bmTbg)
Title: First MicroPython script - simple diode tester
Post by: prasimix on December 19, 2019, 06:32:40 pm
Here we go, the MicroPython in action. First script is simple diode tester, more to come. Link to script: https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/blob/master/MicroPython/diode-tester.py (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/blob/master/MicroPython/diode-tester.py)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0kx4t4qeRc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0kx4t4qeRc)



Title: Re: First MicroPython script - simple diode tester
Post by: AlanS on December 19, 2019, 10:20:12 pm
Here we go, the MicroPython in action. First script is simple diode tester, more to come. Link to script: https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/blob/master/MicroPython/diode-tester.py (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/blob/master/MicroPython/diode-tester.py)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0kx4t4qeRc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0kx4t4qeRc)

Wonderful stuff.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on December 21, 2019, 10:14:00 am
I have now additionally backed a full unit. There goes my christmas bonus ;)

After seeing all the updates I want to make sure I have a unit that works  ;D
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 21, 2019, 10:34:42 am
I have now additionally backed a full unit. There goes my christmas bonus ;)

After seeing all the updates I want to make sure I have a unit that works  ;D

Thanks! Looking forward to see more backers follow your and danielbriggs example (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/eez-h25005-a-possible-successor-of-eez-h24005-programmable-power-supply/msg2835508/#msg2835508) :-+. Especially backers from EU, AUS, CAN, CH.
Title: EEZ BB3 MQTT support
Post by: prasimix on December 25, 2019, 08:18:58 am
Another video, this time how to make BB3 a useful I(di)oT :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THyfLSSAhrI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THyfLSSAhrI)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 28, 2019, 09:12:03 am
Thanks Dave!

https://twitter.com/eevblog/status/1210721505195118593 (https://twitter.com/eevblog/status/1210721505195118593)

(http://i.imgur.com/ldclUA3.png) (https://imgur.com/ldclUA3)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on December 28, 2019, 04:01:55 pm
 :-+ If that does not push the BB3 over the funding edge...

It already has started to go faster right after christmas. I guess more people spending their christmas money ;)

Well time to look into ordering components.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on December 28, 2019, 10:13:44 pm
:-+ If that does not push the BB3 over the funding edge...

It already has started to go faster right after christmas. I guess more people spending their christmas money ;)

Well time to look into ordering components.

I'm hoping Dave has pushed this over the edge. But it is SO MUCH MORE than a power supply.

It's the BB3's versatility that makes it 2019's standout open-source bench instrument.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on December 30, 2019, 11:05:01 pm
[attachimg=1]

 :-+
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on December 30, 2019, 11:21:03 pm
Whhoo-Hoo!! You must have been refreshing the page as often as I was.

All of a sudden that stretch goal looks achievable.  :box:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on December 30, 2019, 11:24:56 pm
Well done!

I'd love one of these but can't justify the cost, sadly.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on December 31, 2019, 08:17:45 am
(http://i.imgur.com/EhYzoJY.png) (https://imgur.com/EhYzoJY)
Title: EEZ BB3 protection mechanisms
Post by: prasimix on January 01, 2020, 07:03:59 am
A short video about various built-in protections like the detection of cooling fan failures, output states on power up and protection trip, full-range OVP crowbar, display lock, module power failure, reverse polarity protection of both power outputs and remote sense inputs, power recycling with connected battery, and inhibit mode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldEfRlDZdyk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldEfRlDZdyk)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on January 02, 2020, 02:10:07 pm
Congratulations  :-+
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: knapik on January 03, 2020, 09:05:24 am
Just made an order for the bare boards + enclosure (sorry it took so long to do).
Congratulations on meeting the funding target!
Title: Simple curve tracer
Post by: prasimix on January 04, 2020, 07:33:06 am
MicroPython scripting is used to create curve tracer for NPN BJTs and N-ch MOSFETs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0y6fgv8G00 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0y6fgv8G00)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 05, 2020, 07:42:14 am
Shortly we'll enter the final countdown (last 48 hours). We are missing little below $6K to reach stretch goal ($100K). After that campaign will enter pre-order period when the following changes will happen:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 05, 2020, 07:56:50 am
Current ranking list of our backers still include US, Australia and Germany on the first three positions. Actually, most of backers comes from California, strange isn't it :).
We are really missing this time folks from Austria, Italy, Spain and Russia.

(http://i.imgur.com/SPvkYJy.png) (https://imgur.com/SPvkYJy)

(http://i.imgur.com/1bfRbGL.png) (https://imgur.com/1bfRbGL)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jan28 on January 05, 2020, 08:40:44 pm
Thank you for the inspiring design and congratulations on meeting the funding goal.

What will happen to the price of the "BB3 - Starter (Without Peripheral Modules)"?

I'm still in doubt wether to order this in addition to the full unit now. I want to have space for future modules because I see a lot of potential for interesting modules (loads, low power measurement, references, waveforms, USB PD, ...).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 05, 2020, 10:41:44 pm
Thanks for your support. This pledge level is not yet discussed with CrowdSupply team. In a worst case scenario it price could rise for a few percentage.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on January 06, 2020, 12:23:43 am
Shortly we'll enter the final countdown (last 48 hours).

Thanks for the details on the changes. What's the precise cut-off time in UTC for the campaign?

Any more thoughts on making it possible to keep front-panel USB at least as an option if you make the $100K stretch goal?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on January 06, 2020, 01:11:35 am
Shortly we'll enter the final countdown (last 48 hours).

Thanks for the details on the changes. What's the precise cut-off time in UTC for the campaign?

Any more thoughts on making it possible to keep front-panel USB at least as an option if you make the $100K stretch goal?

It looks like you can see the time left to run on the top RHS of this screen. About 46 hours to go as of this post. https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/our-campaign-is-live (https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/our-campaign-is-live) 
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 06, 2020, 07:46:57 am
Any more thoughts on making it possible to keep front-panel USB at least as an option if you make the $100K stretch goal?

It will be difficult to keep both versions if we are going to move connectors to the back. I have few enclosures with connectors on the front left from test run is someone is interesting, but MCU module one has to build its own, i.e. order r1B6 PCB and parts, or move parts from assembled new design (r2B2) and solder them to the r1B6 PCB.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on January 06, 2020, 12:25:04 pm
It looks like you can see the time left to run on the top RHS of this screen. About 46 hours to go as of this post.

Yeah, when I asked it was showing only days. Changed shortly after I asked. ☺

Any more thoughts on making it possible to keep front-panel USB at least as an option if you make the $100K stretch goal?

It will be difficult to keep both versions if we are going to move connectors to the back. I have few enclosures with connectors on the front left from test run is someone is interesting, but MCU module one has to build its own, i.e. order r1B6 PCB and parts, or move parts from assembled new design (r2B2) and solder them to the r1B6 PCB.

Oh, I was hoping for using cables to remote the port from the board to a case cutout, as typical for PC motherboards and USB ports in a case. But I'll "stay on the reservation" and get whatever everyone else gets.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 06, 2020, 12:30:03 pm
My idea is to use this type of cables:

(http://i.imgur.com/h9DULeY.png) (https://imgur.com/h9DULeY)

(http://i.imgur.com/casBe3p.png) (https://imgur.com/casBe3p)

I think that we'll need another round of voting like:

1. Move both sockets to the rear
2. Move only Ethernet socket to the rear

New MCU is presented here (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/eez-bench-box-3-sequel-to-eez-h24005/msg2831680/#msg2831680) (if we are going with solution #1), but another revision will include jbb's suggestion to move BOOT0 switch from AUX PS to MCU.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on January 06, 2020, 07:44:53 pm
28hrs left, $99,719 raised....
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: peteb2 on January 06, 2020, 10:21:06 pm
I supported the H24005, which has been a hoot to use experimenting, testing & doing repairs. Wasn't hard to support this latest project therefore and quite possibly the last time i will ever need to buy a bench powersupply (that can do so much more)!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 06, 2020, 10:36:28 pm
Thanks everyone for support! A new voting is opened on twitter: https://twitter.com/envox/status/1214314436359532544
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 08, 2020, 11:43:11 am
The crowdfunding part of the campaign is now finished. We have backers from 32 countries. Thanks to all!

Now I have to decide what to do with Ethernet and USB sockets. Twitter voting is closed with two votes more for moving both sockets to the rear. If we add votes from another thread (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/eez-h25005-a-possible-successor-of-eez-h24005-programmable-power-supply/msg2860224/#msg2860224) then 4 more votes goes against moving USB to the rear.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on January 08, 2020, 11:59:58 am
Since you seem to plan using those pigtails you linked, the difference regarding the locations of the ports seems to be just the place where to mount the cable, right?
Ok, keeping the existing locations as-is would likely not be possible since the PCB will be in the way, but would it not be possible to have some holes, covered with removable blanking plates, on the front and back so that it would be easily possible to move the cable? I do not know though how to do that without ruining the looks of the box and how much cost this would add.

Anyway, if this has to be a decision that has to be made now, I will agree with danielbriggs:

I don't have Twitter so can't vote.

My vote is:
If it's USB Host / mass storage [USB on front, Ethernet on rear]
If it's USB Device to plug into a PC [Both USB and Ethernet on rear]
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 08, 2020, 12:30:03 pm
Thanks for your input. I'm also more in favor of leaving USB on the front panel, since It is planned to be host also. Perhaps we can add "blind" hole on the rear for people who is willing to move USB to the rear, but for that I have to include place for pin header (since there is available ready made USB patch cable with 0.1" receptacle on one end). More importantly I have to check if RJ45 socket is allowed to be placed on the opposite edge of the PCB since it may now interfere with AC/DC modules that are hanging down from the top cover!
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #1 update
Post by: prasimix on January 14, 2020, 03:55:33 pm
Since I don't have my own blog, I decided to post campaign fulfillment weekly updates here (important info will be post on the Crowd Supply, too). I'll try to do that every Tuesday until everything is finished. In week #1 we did the following:

1. Sent latest BOM's to PCBA manufacturer to get delivery estimation
2. Made change on MCU module, where only Ethernet is moved to the rear
3. Contacted enclosure manufacturer regarding new prototype. They'll try to make a new front and rear panels and AC/DC converters mounting frame and send them to me ASAP
4. Still discussing with Crowd Supply campaign balance sheet that will be used as basis for funds transfer
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on January 14, 2020, 08:39:20 pm
I'd be curious to know your feelings on dealing with Crowd Supply - but wait until you get your money! :-+
Title: Hook-on probes
Post by: prasimix on January 16, 2020, 05:16:37 pm
I need your feedback here. Pledge level "cable set" include red-black pair of hook-on probe. The price is the same, but dimensions and design differs. Link to online poll (with pictures):

https://www.surveylegend.com/s/1z4k (https://www.surveylegend.com/s/1z4k)
Title: Re: Hook-on probes
Post by: Andrew McNamara on January 16, 2020, 11:17:10 pm
I need your feedback here. Pledge level "cable set" include red-black pair of hook-on probe. The price is the same, but dimensions and design differs. Link to online poll (with pictures):

I found I couldn't choose - on the one hand, right-angle is cute, but clip is also quite a bit bigger, which might negate the right angle somewhat. I think I will be happy with either.
Title: Re: Hook-on probes
Post by: prasimix on January 19, 2020, 08:10:21 am
I need your feedback here. Pledge level "cable set" include red-black pair of hook-on probe. The price is the same, but dimensions and design differs. Link to online poll (with pictures):

https://www.surveylegend.com/s/1z4k (https://www.surveylegend.com/s/1z4k)

Survey is closed, thanks for your participation. You confirmed what I initially wanted to deliver: ELECTRO-PJP 404-890 (overall size: 76 mm)
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #2 update
Post by: prasimix on January 21, 2020, 05:38:22 pm
Progress from last week:
Step response for 5 A range before:

(http://i.imgur.com/a6Dh7Fn.png) (https://imgur.com/a6Dh7Fn)

Step response (Vset=5 V, Iset=0-49 mA step, load=16R4) for 5 A range after correction:

(http://i.imgur.com/p1Zwttk.png) (https://imgur.com/p1Zwttk)

It is now pretty much in line with 50 mA range response:

(http://i.imgur.com/xBWedbE.png) (https://imgur.com/xBWedbE)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on January 24, 2020, 06:47:45 am
Ah, Chinese New Year. For once it’s not biting me in the backside. Yet.

I previously asked about changes to the MCU board. Given the Ethernet is moving, did you find room to move the BOOT switch from the aux board to the main board?

(I was a little worried about how close the tracks got to the 240 V AC lines and spied an opportunity to move it all away.)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 24, 2020, 07:11:03 am
Given the Ethernet is moving, did you find room to move the BOOT switch from the aux board to the main board?

Yes, both BOOT switch and battery holder to accept CR2032 instead of CR2025. PCB layout pictures: https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/tree/master/mcu/Images
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Icchan on January 26, 2020, 12:21:20 am
Hmmm it's just too expensive for my current budget... and If i'll miss this crowd funding window this time, do I need to wait for a few years for the next possibility to buy one? Main issue is, that there's so many completely custom components (case for example) that one has to buy it as a kit or assembled unit or one can't really make one with nearly the same price...
I mean, this isn't going to be a off the shelf unit but one of a kind... right?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on January 26, 2020, 03:18:17 am
... If i'll miss this crowd funding window this time, do I need to wait for a few years for the next possibility to buy one?

@prasimix has said that unlike the H24005 he intends to keep the BB3 in production. I think somewhere here, but also elsewhere:

https://forum.makerforums.info/t/eez-bench-box-3-pre-announced/78025/7 (https://forum.makerforums.info/t/eez-bench-box-3-pre-announced/78025/7)

Here's what he has said about post-campaign pricing (a few modest increases, and streamlining to not offer options most are not buying):

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/eez-bench-box-3-sequel-to-eez-h24005/msg2857948/#msg2857948 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/eez-bench-box-3-sequel-to-eez-h24005/msg2857948/#msg2857948)

https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/more-fun-with-micropython-and-post-campaign-availability (https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/more-fun-with-micropython-and-post-campaign-availability)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on January 26, 2020, 06:20:47 am
Yes, both BOOT switch and battery holder to accept CR2032 instead of CR2025.

Great.

Looks like "LED1" is still in there (I guess you want it in a specific place on the front panel) - do I see a Protective Earth trace to guard it?  If so; I don't know if you should remove a little line of solder mask down the middle PE trace...  and I also note that the trace could go straight up from J4 on the top layer (surely removing a via is good for reliability...)

Does anyone have experience on certifying mains safety?  I've only done prototypes and just used giant clearances (e.g. 7mm+) for safety.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 26, 2020, 07:53:52 am
Yes, both BOOT switch and battery holder to accept CR2032 instead of CR2025.

Great.

Looks like "LED1" is still in there (I guess you want it in a specific place on the front panel) - do I see a Protective Earth trace to guard it?  If so; I don't know if you should remove a little line of solder mask down the middle PE trace...  and I also note that the trace could go straight up from J4 on the top layer (surely removing a via is good for reliability...)

Does anyone have experience on certifying mains safety?  I've only done prototypes and just used giant clearances (e.g. 7mm+) for safety.

Yes, PE trace is added for extra guarding, and I can remove via and make direct connection to J4 as you suggested.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 26, 2020, 08:03:48 am
Hmmm it's just too expensive for my current budget... and If i'll miss this crowd funding window this time, do I need to wait for a few years for the next possibility to buy one? Main issue is, that there's so many completely custom components (case for example) that one has to buy it as a kit or assembled unit or one can't really make one with nearly the same price...
I mean, this isn't going to be a off the shelf unit but one of a kind... right?

Except custom enclosure which you already mentioned there is no other custom components. All other components can be sourced from major distributors and five of them are listed in all BOMs. Even TFT LCD is not custom, and in practice you can use any 4.3" 480x272 display with standard 40-pin 0.5 mm connector.

As @mcdanlj said we'll try to keep BB3 in production. The first step in that direction is already happen: we received the first purchase order from Crowd Supply who is willing to have enough units available on stock after campaign fulfillment.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #3 update
Post by: prasimix on January 28, 2020, 10:56:39 pm
Progress from last week:

(http://i.imgur.com/5BLWa8l.jpg) (https://imgur.com/5BLWa8l)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on January 29, 2020, 12:12:32 am
A really great idea of the weekly updates; and really enjoy following the development of this. (I don't know of a single crowd sourced project I have backed in the past who has this level of detail + care)
Keep up the good work  :-+
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on January 29, 2020, 12:59:01 am
Thanks for the update, prasimix. We understand there will be delays outside your control, particularly with the wildcard of a corona virus outbreak.  :scared:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on January 29, 2020, 02:27:39 am
The curse of the modern age - TLAs and FLAs; apologies - Three Letter Acronyms and Four Letter Acronyms.

Like a number of others I'm enjoying and learning from watching the process but sometimes confused by the abbreviations/acronyms.
  * WE - Wurth Electronics?
  * CNY - Chinese New Year
  * TME - ?

Like the others, I agree that anything worth having is worth waiting for. Your level of detail is worth the wait.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 29, 2020, 08:22:54 am
The curse of the modern age - TLAs and FLAs; apologies - Three Letter Acronyms and Four Letter Acronyms.

Like a number of others I'm enjoying and learning from watching the process but sometimes confused by the abbreviations/acronyms.
  * WE - Wurth Electronics?
  * CNY - Chinese New Year
  * TME - ?

Sorry Alan and everyone for abbreviations. You already recognized two of them, and TME is TME.eu (https://www.tme.eu/en/), a distributor from Poland.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on January 29, 2020, 01:12:40 pm
  * TME - ?

transfer multisort elektronik :)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on January 29, 2020, 03:33:05 pm
Great work, and great community management. To keep us in the loop like that is very nice. Especially doing this out in the open for anyone, not just backers. That shows me that you are very confident in your product  :-+

Do you already have a "cutoff" date when the design and the BOM will be finalized? I do not want to order parts before that, but on the other hand I also do not want to wait until the kit ships  ;D


Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on January 29, 2020, 03:38:55 pm
Thanks Ranayna, I'm suggesting that you're wait for 1.0 release on the GitHub (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/releases) (current version is 0.99).
Of course, I'll announce that also here. Technically the BOM are finalized as the latest modification was added today, but it's still a small chance that something pop-up during test run. Therefore I'm not going to release v1.0 until samples from test run arrive and pass testing.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #4 update
Post by: prasimix on February 04, 2020, 02:12:04 pm
Progress from last week:
(http://i.imgur.com/YtIv9Fn.jpg) (https://imgur.com/YtIv9Fn)

(http://i.imgur.com/gskpqJF.jpg) (https://imgur.com/gskpqJF)
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #5 update
Post by: prasimix on February 11, 2020, 05:10:22 pm
Progress from last week:
(http://i.imgur.com/UekQdiRm.jpg) (https://imgur.com/UekQdiR)  (http://i.imgur.com/rqICJV8m.jpg) (https://imgur.com/rqICJV8)
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #6 update
Post by: prasimix on February 18, 2020, 01:31:53 pm
The main news for this update is that TFT display supplier from China announced new 3-4 weeks delay due to situation with coronavirus. What starts to be annoying is that they cannot give any estimate when production will be stabilized and what is expected date of delivery. I've spent limited time looking for alternative but I didn't find anything is required quantity. We still don't receive any feedback regarding AC/DC converters since supplier office is closed until Feb, 20th. Status of Ethernet patch cables is unknown, too.
Going back to Europe, the situation is as follows:
(http://i.imgur.com/PTGBkDq.jpg) (https://imgur.com/PTGBkDq)
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #6 update
Post by: exe on February 18, 2020, 01:43:53 pm
China announced new 3-4 weeks delay due to situation with coronavirus. What starts to be annoying is that they cannot give any estimate when production will be stabilized and what is expected date of delivery.

I think they don't know themselves when it's going to be resolved, so can't blame them. I got delays with my orders from China too, and I think all we can do is to patiently wait. I think they have financial losses and it's not in their interest to delay for more than necessary.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on February 18, 2020, 08:01:35 pm
Speaking only for myself as merely one of 211 backers... I'd hate for you to spend extra to try to make up for COVID-19, and as a result put ongoing support and continued production of DIB modules at risk. Even the biggest vendors worldwide are announcing unknown impact from the epidemic, and of course we your backers are similarly impacted. Do what you can, and not what you can't, and just keep updating us on status as you have. Even if you get to a week where it is "everything is complete that isn't blocked by COVID-19" just let us know that and I at least will be grateful to know whta's up.

Other crowd-funded projects haven't provided anywhere near the level of transparency you have.

Probably worth a crowd supply update regarding the COVID-19 status at some point though.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on February 19, 2020, 07:32:12 am
@exe, @mcdanlj, and all others, thanks for understanding and support. I'll keep you informed about progress.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #7 update
Post by: prasimix on February 25, 2020, 10:24:55 pm
A slow week is behind us, and the main news it that supplier of AC/DC converter announced that goods should be ready for shipment about March, 20th. Therefore I cannot expect it here until end of March. TFT displays manufacturer sent us first 100 pcs and we should have them here in day or two.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on February 26, 2020, 08:03:01 am
I think everyone here can understand that the current situation in China, and an increasingly number of other countries, will inevitably cause delays in the supply chain.
And I suspect that even without the Coronavirus, delays should always be expected. Anyone who has ever managed a project (or took part in one) should know that ;)

For stuff like that, I my opinion, it is one of the most important things to keep your "stakeholders" (I think I am exposed to too many buzzwords lately  :P) in the loop.
And as I have said earlier, you are doing a great job at that  :-+
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #8 update
Post by: prasimix on March 03, 2020, 04:17:24 pm
Progress from last week:
New estimated shipping date is moved to the May, 1st that will be announced shortly on the campaign official page.

(http://i.imgur.com/ZSazKhD.jpg) (https://imgur.com/ZSazKhD)

(http://i.imgur.com/478GYdm.jpg) (https://imgur.com/478GYdm)

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on March 03, 2020, 08:47:42 pm
Leave it until May the fourth - so the forth is with you. :-DD

With all the delays you're going to have to face - just keep us updated. Even so, I don't know how you are able to do all of this work with just the two of you.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on March 03, 2020, 10:34:28 pm
Huh, we are doing the best we can, but that is obviously not enough and everything still takes longer than we've had anticipated.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on March 04, 2020, 12:06:02 am
Huh, we are doing the best we can, but that is obviously not enough and everything still takes longer than we've had anticipated.

Everything always does. You're still doing way better than any other crowd-funded project I've subscribed to, and they didn't have COVID-19 to deal with, so don't worry.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #9 update
Post by: prasimix on March 10, 2020, 10:11:51 pm
Progress from last week:

(http://i.imgur.com/bscDvZj.jpg) (https://imgur.com/bscDvZj)
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #10 update
Post by: prasimix on March 17, 2020, 05:27:48 pm
Another week, another update (and I'm start to be more and more nervous):
Thanks for your understanding and support, keep safe!

(http://i.imgur.com/oScJ7EE.jpg) (https://imgur.com/oScJ7EE)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on March 22, 2020, 08:29:26 am
We have a strange situation currently in Zagreb, where half of EEZ team is currently reside (i.e. Martin and he is fine, I'm reporting from Zadar). This morning people were thrown out into the streets by powerful earthquake (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/weather/damage-reported-in-croatian-capital-of-zagreb-following-54-magnitude-earthquake/ar-BB11wL00?li=AACTtOP). Recommendations about social distancing were quickly forgotten, and it remains to be seen what the consequences of this contradictory situation will be.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on March 22, 2020, 08:38:53 am
I have just seen it on the news; really terrible.
I hope Martin and everyone else in that area is ok and no one is hurt.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on March 22, 2020, 08:47:13 am
Yes, Martin in fine, and project is not affected with this event. All the parts that have arrived so far and are needed to complete BB3 kits are with me in Zadar. Meanwell AC/DC modules are on the way but didn't land in Zagreb yet, and the same goes for the first part of the modules test batch.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #11 update
Post by: prasimix on March 24, 2020, 01:55:03 pm
Progress from last week:

(http://i.imgur.com/DAvCHVF.jpg) (https://imgur.com/DAvCHVF)

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on March 25, 2020, 07:59:26 am
You know, seeing Dave's teardown of the new R&S supply, more specifically the network cable running through the box, made me think of the BB3. Seems they were facing similar issues  ;D

Looks great  :-+
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #12 update
Post by: prasimix on March 31, 2020, 03:22:53 pm
Progress from last week:
In summary, we lack "only" assembled modules that need to be individually tested, initially calibrated, packaged, and sent to Mouser for distribution to begin.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on April 01, 2020, 02:45:15 am
Good luck!

I’m really impressed with how close to expected dates this is given the scale of disruption.

I hope the module testing goes well. Pro tip: sometimes it’s worn out pins on your test adapters.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 01, 2020, 07:24:05 am
The situation seems to change from bad to worse: I just talked to DHL about updating the shipping offer to Mouser in the US. They told me they couldn't offer me anything because there were no flights to the US.  :-//
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on April 01, 2020, 07:54:37 pm
Dang. That sucks.

Sorry if you’ve explained before, but why are you shipping to Mouser?

There may be alternative shippers (or even shipping methods; you’ve probably got a good size consignment for sea freight).

While it would be nice to get my goodies, I certainly can wait a bit. So don’t eat up all your margin on special shipping on my behalf.

NB: if using a different shipper, check out their pickup / drop off offers and insurance. You don’t want them sitting in a USA port waiting for a domestic transfer to Mouser...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on April 01, 2020, 08:54:28 pm
There seems to be some interesting behaviour going on with shippers. I just got hit with an extra $40 charge from DHL for delivering to a 'remote location'. For 10 blank PCBs from China and bearing in mind that I have other stuff coming in from other suppliers via DHL, this has me scratching my head. |O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 01, 2020, 09:06:33 pm
Dang. That sucks.

Sorry if you’ve explained before, but why are you shipping to Mouser?

There may be alternative shippers (or even shipping methods; you’ve probably got a good size consignment for sea freight).

While it would be nice to get my goodies, I certainly can wait a bit. So don’t eat up all your margin on special shipping on my behalf.

NB: if using a different shipper, check out their pickup / drop off offers and insurance. You don’t want them sitting in a USA port waiting for a domestic transfer to Mouser...

CS instructed me to send everything to Mouser when it was ready for delivery. Mouser took over CS a couple of years ago, and now is Mouser in charge of logistics. I've talked with DHL Air Cargo. I do not know what to expect from sea freight, that could take quite a while. I'm in touch with CS and we need to discuss possible alternatives.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on April 01, 2020, 11:33:41 pm
CS instructed me to send everything to Mouser when it was ready for delivery. Mouser took over CS a couple of years ago, and now is Mouser in charge of logistics. I've talked with DHL Air Cargo. I do not know what to expect from sea freight, that could take quite a while. I'm in touch with CS and we need to discuss possible alternatives.

If COVID-19 breaks out on a ship it won't be allowed to make port. Even cruise ships with sick unaffiliated passengers can't make port, and the US Navy can't even escape this with the USS Theodore Roosevelt quarantined in port with COVID-19 on board. A cargo ship I expect will anchor at a distance indefinitely until it is long-enough disease-free (or, I guess, becomes a ghost ship :( )

They can't quarantine airplanes in the sky, so with air cargo the risks should be lower and more options available. Some airlines are trying to move from passengers to air freight to keep their slots occupied. I'd expect Mouser to be able to help with cargo brokerage; they move a lot of stuff.

I agree with jbb, don't eat your margin to beat COVID-19. We're all in this one together, around the world. Hang tight and don't stress about this. There's enough worry going around.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #13 update
Post by: prasimix on April 07, 2020, 04:20:20 pm
Update from last week:

(http://i.imgur.com/U7Fmg6z.jpg) (https://imgur.com/U7Fmg6z)

(http://i.imgur.com/BoijOCx.jpg) (https://imgur.com/BoijOCx)

(http://i.imgur.com/Oj8TRYm.jpg) (https://imgur.com/Oj8TRYm)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on April 08, 2020, 07:51:42 pm
That's great!

I hope the testing and final assembly goes well.

Even if the shipping continues to be a problem, it's been my happy experience that assembling modules / units does free up space (because then you're only packing one item for storage/shipping where previously all the subassemblies had their own packaging).
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #14 update
Post by: prasimix on April 14, 2020, 01:24:54 pm
Update from last week: Production of MCUs and AUX-PSs is nearing completion. I expect delivery soon. Power module production will follow. When the remaining modules arrive, we can start testing and finalizing the packaging. We do not know at the moment how to send it all to the US. Air cargo prices have skyrocketed.

(http://i.imgur.com/AKSM6Yt.jpg) (https://imgur.com/AKSM6Yt)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on April 15, 2020, 10:42:07 pm
Maybe the correct freight option is a slow boat. At least you can probably rely on the information you are getting. I'm currently being gouged by DHL paying $87 to airfreight an $8 item that I need urgently. Worse, they have a disclaimer about the delivery times and are taking nearly as long as normal postage.

My view, go the cheapest secure traceable freight mode possible so as to discourage the robber barons. I'll be happy to wait and you won't be hurt by the pricing. :box:
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #15 update
Post by: prasimix on April 21, 2020, 05:50:23 pm
Update from last week:
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #15 update
Post by: Andrew McNamara on April 22, 2020, 12:33:42 am
  • 2-channel kit version assembly instructions (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/eez-bb3-building-instructions/bb3-kit-assembly-instructions.html) are more or less done and now available online. Feel free to send me comments, suggestions about its form and content. If anyone is willing to do proofreading, the source document (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu/tree/master/docs/building%20instructions) is available on GitHub.

Only had time for a quick scan through, but I didn't see any obvious issues and it looks excellent.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on April 22, 2020, 01:14:07 am
Quote
I didn't see any obvious issues

Quote
The only tool required for kit mechanical assembly is a medium Phillips head screwdriver. Of course, a multimeter for checking the wiring and voltage onat a few points during the assembly is recommended.

Tut-tut :)

I am not part of this project but happy to give the proof reading a bash if no-one else fancies it. Only reason I haven't already offered is because I didn't want to get stuck in and then find it already done.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on April 22, 2020, 02:15:56 am
@dunkemhigh - What a wonderful man.  :phew:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 22, 2020, 07:04:48 am
Quote
I didn't see any obvious issues

Quote
The only tool required for kit mechanical assembly is a medium Phillips head screwdriver. Of course, a multimeter for checking the wiring and voltage onat a few points during the assembly is recommended.

Tut-tut :)

I am not part of this project but happy to give the proof reading a bash if no-one else fancies it. Only reason I haven't already offered is because I didn't want to get stuck in and then find it already done.

Thanks a lot. Suggested corrections are already included online. I'll do the same with the final .odt and .pdf docs.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on April 22, 2020, 07:53:45 am
That manual looks very good.  :-+
I gave the PDF a short read and noticed only a couple of minor things.

Page 2
Please note that AC power cord is not included into with this kit.

Page 6
This is a recommended method because it is less likely to cause the bottom plate to deform in the process
of leveling. Or shorter: deform during leveling

Remove the MCU module from the package and take care not to place them it on the conductive surface
to avoid short circuits as it comes with a battery installed.

Page 7
In order to mount the front panel to the bottom panel, it will be necessary to connect the TFT display to
the MCU module first. No , before first (I think ;))

Page 8
First, identify the connector position on the MCU module and carefully place the black plastic lever in
the up position (Fig. 9) to allow the display flat flexible cable to enter smoothly.
Do not activate power on the MCU module without the display connected or with a loosely connected flexible display
cable. Doing so may damage the power supply of the display backlight located on the MCU module.

Page 11?
Last picture cut off, page number missing

Page 14
Continue installing the AUX-PS module by carefully inserting it from the back, making sure that the
Standby LED and power switch enter its holes in the front panel.

Page 17
Improper page break?
First activation power up and installation of power modules

Page 21
When the converters are attached to the mounting frame, a the top cover should be placed over them as
shown in Fig. 30. Secure it with four screws (item M).

Page 22
Place the top cover with the monitored mounted converters behind the rear panel and plug the AC power connector
into the AUX-PS module as shown in Fig. 31.

Page 28
Carefully fold the cables coming from the Mean Well converter and place the top cover on the enclosure.

Mind you, I am not a native english speaker, so take my suggestions with a pinch of salt.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on April 22, 2020, 10:42:50 am
Quote
Suggested corrections are already included online. I'll do the same with the final .odt and .pdf docs.

I have a lot on so this would be a background task and I don't have OpenOffice installed, never mind know how to drive it. Would you be able to accept Word 2010 documents with 'track changes' enabled?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 22, 2020, 11:57:41 am
Quote
Suggested corrections are already included online. I'll do the same with the final .odt and .pdf docs.

I have a lot on so this would be a background task and I don't have OpenOffice installed, never mind know how to drive it. Would you be able to accept Word 2010 documents with 'track changes' enabled?

Yes, if I can open it with Open/LibreOffice. I'm not using MS now for ages.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on April 23, 2020, 01:42:01 am
I've been looking through it. I see that at least several of the typos I'm noticing have already been found but not yet applied.

Post here and tweet again when first batch of changes applied and ready for a second pass?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 23, 2020, 07:09:24 am
I've been looking through it. I see that at least several of the typos I'm noticing have already been found but not yet applied.

Post here and tweet again when first batch of changes applied and ready for a second pass?

@Ranayna changes are implemented and new version is on Github.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on April 24, 2020, 01:08:27 am
OK, you have a PR with my suggestions.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 24, 2020, 06:23:21 am
OK, you have a PR with my suggestions.

Excellent job, many thanks! PR accepted, I'll also add items quantities as suggested.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #16 update
Post by: prasimix on April 28, 2020, 05:04:58 pm
Update from last week:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on April 29, 2020, 08:48:49 am
 :-+

Since I backed the bare board kit, I will give those instructions a read this evening.
Will the bare board kit be delivered earlier than the other ones? If so, I need to finally put in my component order  :P
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 29, 2020, 08:55:06 am
Will the bare board kit be delivered earlier than the other ones? If so, I need to finally put in my component order  :P

They are ready but is not going to be shipped earlier (partially due to current situation with shipping to the US).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on April 30, 2020, 01:02:26 am
I just had a look at the 2 channel assembly instructions, and I'd like to be the boring Safety Guy.  You suggest a power-up test partway through.  I suggest you add a little note in red, along the lines of "CAUTION: there are exposed mains voltages on the AUX PS board. Check for any foreign objects before power up and don't touch it while power is on."

You later say "Turn off the unit and unplug the power cord before continuing".  I suggest it should be red, and extended to say "Turn off the unit, unplug the power cord and wait 1 minute before continuing."

(NB, you should check how long it takes the DC rail in the AUX PSU to fall down under 50V when someone has forgotten to plug in the IDC cable.)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on April 30, 2020, 07:10:50 am
I just had a look at the 2 channel assembly instructions, and I'd like to be the boring Safety Guy.  You suggest a power-up test partway through.  I suggest you add a little note in red, along the lines of "CAUTION: there are exposed mains voltages on the AUX PS board. Check for any foreign objects before power up and don't touch it while power is on."

You later say "Turn off the unit and unplug the power cord before continuing".  I suggest it should be red, and extended to say "Turn off the unit, unplug the power cord and wait 1 minute before continuing."

(NB, you should check how long it takes the DC rail in the AUX PSU to fall down under 50V when someone has forgotten to plug in the IDC cable.)

Thanks, new caution added.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #17 update
Post by: prasimix on May 05, 2020, 05:44:21 pm
I don't have much to say today: MCUs and DCM220 modules are on the way and I expect them on Friday.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
Post by: prasimix on May 12, 2020, 05:01:02 pm
Unlike last update this time I have so much to say. However for today I will limit myself to the following: MCU and DCM220 modules arrived last week, and I tested them all. So all that remains is to get the DCP405 modules. The last promise is that they will be finished last Friday or Saturday but yesterday I found out that the promise was broken once again. The last info that I got is that the delivery from a third party to which the DCP405 is supposedly outsourced is 4 days late. I don’t know since when that counts: since yesterday or since last Friday.

Until my next post which will not be later than next Tuesday when I will have to make certain decisions, I would like to hear from you what are the standard and acceptable failure rates for PCBA service. I assume that manufacturing errors can be roughly divided into two categories: a) errors that could be easily detected by simple visual inspection or mechanical tests and b) those that can be detected only when the power is turned on and test procedures are started.

Thank you all for your patience, understanding and support!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on May 12, 2020, 05:16:19 pm
Thanks for the update Denis.
(For my order at least)... take your time, and do not stress about any delays, we know you are doing quality work on a great project so all is well.

I can’t comment about PCBA, but about 70% of the last 35-40 courier delivered I’ve placed at work over the last month have been delayed or severely delayed. :(
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
Post by: prasimix on May 12, 2020, 05:28:09 pm
Yes, but one thing is delay, and another is quality of what is delivered (with or without delay). That's why I would like to hear from you which PCBA service failure rate can be considered acceptable or not. Of course, I will do my best that everything that will be delivered is free of errors.
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
Post by: Andrew McNamara on May 12, 2020, 11:59:23 pm
Yes, but one thing is delay, and another is quality of what is delivered (with or without delay). That's why I would like to hear from you which PCBA service failure rate can be considered acceptable or not. Of course, I will do my best that everything that will be delivered is free of errors.

What's the nature of the failures? Bad PCB, incorrectly loaded components, soldering failures, bad components, or? If you supplied them with a test jig, I would say 100% pass is reasonable...  ;)

Are they doing flying probe testing? Are they "owning" the problems or claiming it's out of their control?
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
Post by: prasimix on May 13, 2020, 07:33:54 am

What's the nature of the failures? Bad PCB, incorrectly loaded components, soldering failures, bad components, or? If you supplied them with a test jig, I would say 100% pass is reasonable...  ;)

Are they doing flying probe testing? Are they "owning" the problems or claiming it's out of their control?

You’ve already guessed a few issues like incorrectly loaded components and soldering failures. Additionally, we have missed components, damaged components that were soldered by hand, and badly soldered component (e.g. not positioned under right angle).

Our agreement was that due to the initial delay back in February, that they only needed to deliver the correctly soldered components, and that I will take care of the functional testing. So the question is what is the acceptable failure rate for things that could be easily visually and mechanically checked before sending. For example: The SD card holder could be mechanically tested in a few seconds by inserting and removing an SD card. It does not require any special knowledge and equipment. Another example: the PCB is missing an IC or the IC is rotated, which is again very easy to detect by taking just one look.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on May 14, 2020, 04:08:32 am
Where I work we get board populated and Optically Inspected by contract manufacturers and do our own electrical testing in house.

The incidence of mangled connectors or missing medium to large components should be well under 5%.  But every now and again you might get a bad batch issue (wrong part reel, swapped part, wrong way around, connectors damaged in reflow oven etc.)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on May 14, 2020, 06:23:55 am
Thanks, what is the agreement with the manufacturer for boards that have not passed electrical/functional testing? Do you send them back for corrections?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on May 15, 2020, 06:52:17 am
Hmm, not sure on the details of that part of the ageeement. I believe we diagnose them and send them back to the CM for rework. Not sure if that’s included or extra cost.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Berni on May 15, 2020, 07:18:46 am
We return boards with assembly mistakes back to the assembly house for them to fix by hand. Its there fault for the mistake anyway. To aid in finding the mistakes they are marked with red dot stickers.

But you can't so easily return boards that look fine but don't work for some reason. They won't be able to magicaly find the fault to be able to fix it. But you can aid the assembly house by providing a test jig. So if they have a magical device that can be plugged into the board and 3 seconds later a green light comes on then they can pull out all the bad boards. They get put trough extra closer inspection and they will fix the mistakes themselves rather than you having to send things back. Tho if the testing is slow or involves a lot of work you will likely get charged for it appropriately in the price.

We don't tend to make test jigs due to the small volumes, also we tend to just fix easy mistakes ourselves. If you find a missing or damaged resistor its easier to just grab a soldering iron and stick a new one on rather than documenting the fault and sending it back to have it fixed.

As for the yield it depends a lot on the board. If its a simple board with 50 large SMD components you might get >99% yield. If you have a complex board with 1000s components, tiny 0201 capacitors it might be >90%. if you badly screw up the pad size or paste mask on a component the yield might suddenly be 20%
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #19 update
Post by: prasimix on May 19, 2020, 04:20:24 pm
Thanks once again to everyone for their inputs on the PCBA failure rate. Now I have a better picture of what to expect. I was surprised by the number of errors that could have been avoided by a simple visual inspection. Anyway, there is nothing that cannot be solved.

Everything is ready in warehouse and waiting for DCP405 modules, and I still waiting for new estimate. Today I got a few pictures with the THT components prepared for production.

Firmware v1.0 (https://github.com/eez-open/modular-psu-firmware/releases/tag/1.0) was released yesterday which has already been downloaded to all MCU modules (except those that need to be fixed).
This release also includes the SCPI reference guide, a PDF version of which can be downloaded at the bottom of this (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-bench-box-3/bb3-scpi-reference-manual/bb3-scpi-introduction.html) page.

(http://i.imgur.com/yLRGXb7.jpg) (https://imgur.com/yLRGXb7)

(http://i.imgur.com/V26uKGU.png) (https://imgur.com/V26uKGU)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on May 19, 2020, 11:28:20 pm
CS instructed me to send everything to Mouser when it was ready for delivery. Mouser took over CS a couple of years ago, and now is Mouser in charge of logistics. I've talked with DHL Air Cargo. I do not know what to expect from sea freight, that could take quite a while. I'm in touch with CS and we need to discuss possible alternatives.

It was many years ago now, and my memory is hazy, but we always used to arrange international shipping through a freight/customs expediter, rather than dealing with the details ourselves. Didn't entirely eliminate hold-ups with customs, but certainly helped (I know that's not your problem... yet). I wonder if someone like that can help your shipping woes?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on May 20, 2020, 05:42:40 am
CS instructed me to send everything to Mouser when it was ready for delivery. Mouser took over CS a couple of years ago, and now is Mouser in charge of logistics. I've talked with DHL Air Cargo. I do not know what to expect from sea freight, that could take quite a while. I'm in touch with CS and we need to discuss possible alternatives.

It was many years ago now, and my memory is hazy, but we always used to arrange international shipping through a freight/customs expediter, rather than dealing with the details ourselves. Didn't entirely eliminate hold-ups with customs, but certainly helped (I know that's not your problem... yet). I wonder if someone like that can help your shipping woes?

That's right. I am in contact with DHL Air Cargo and one freight expediter who should arrange the shipment.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #20 update
Post by: prasimix on May 26, 2020, 04:30:23 pm
I wish I could say more today, apart from quoting a portion of the email from Wednesday last week that I received from a PCBA provider:

In order not to delay, we can split the shipment and send in batches, so that you can have ready sets of modules for assembly of devices as soon as possible. I would like the packages to take place next week. Because DCP405 have small SMD components - each piece will be checked additionally by automatic inspection (pattern recognition) so that problems from previous batches do not recur.

I'm sorry that the situation seems to be out of control and that I am currently at the mercy of a PCBA provider who, I believe, will contact me this week. BTW, I don't know what "small SMD components" means to them. The DCP405 module is not significantly different from, say, a DCM or MCU module.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on May 26, 2020, 04:46:45 pm
Just out of interest: what's the smallest components on there? 0402?
Any crazy small pitch QFP's?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on May 26, 2020, 04:48:24 pm
All passives are 0805 with exception of 100nF for decoupling and few ferrite beads that are 0603.
The smallest IC can be found on the MCU module, not DCP405.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on May 26, 2020, 04:56:28 pm
They might be just looking for a plausible excuse for delays. I wouldn't take their words too seriously. I read it as "we screwed deadlines, but we think we are on a right track". But don't take my words too serious too. Better ask them if details are important, or there is a way to help them with quality.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on May 26, 2020, 05:04:57 pm
Their P&P's should have no problem with that. Even my fingers can throw those components on quickly and accurately.

I think ^exe is correct; some kind of weak excuse.

Notwithstanding, thanks so much for your efforts on this, even if you feel they are frustrating, I love your continued updates on all this. Never seen a project quite like it with so much atttention to detail and transparency. Good effort!  :-+
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
Post by: prasimix on June 02, 2020, 05:54:04 pm
Another week has passed and I still have not the slightest idea what is going on with the production of the DCP405 module. All I got was a promise that the contact person would contact me.
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
Post by: prasimix on June 03, 2020, 08:26:16 am
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

(http://i.imgur.com/1pQTKUb.jpg) (https://imgur.com/1pQTKUb)
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
Post by: Andrew McNamara on June 03, 2020, 11:22:24 pm
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

Whew! I expected something more like...

[attachimg=1]

 ;)
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
Post by: AlanS on June 04, 2020, 03:18:16 am
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

Whew! I expected something more like...

[attachimg=1]

 ;)
Well @AndrewMcNamara, I've had my laugh for the day. Time to change my soiled underwear.  :-DD
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
Post by: AlanS on June 04, 2020, 03:32:27 am
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

(http://i.imgur.com/1pQTKUb.jpg) (https://imgur.com/1pQTKUb)

3 boards per panel, 20 panels counted and they're part of a batch. All good news.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #22 update
Post by: prasimix on June 09, 2020, 05:01:26 pm
As time goes on I feel more and more like a fraud :palm:. I truly believe that this will soon come to an end and that I will finally be able to deliver what was promised a long time ago.
The update for this week is plain simple: I still don't have any information when the DCP405 modules will be ready for shipping, not even partially.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on June 09, 2020, 05:03:07 pm
It's ok! Do not worry.

They are obviously doing something from your pictures, just a lot slower than you would like. I do not mind waiting.  :-+
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on June 10, 2020, 11:33:47 am
I agree with @danielbriggs, we're all waiting extra time for things right now, and you're being super transparent about the whole process. I'll say it again, i was sad when the H24005 went out of production and a big reason I bought in on the BB3 was having reason to hope that we would see it, and its modules, stay in production, and that new modules would come out. I'd love to see 2Q and 4Q modules become available, for instance. Don't break that by spending extra to work around one problem now. Focus on a healthy BB3 ecosystem for the long term!

Don't feel like you have to make huge apologies there for our current global situation, we get it. Just keep the transparency going, and thanks for the frequent updates here!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: ResistorRob on June 11, 2020, 12:56:49 am
Accepting new orders for this?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on June 11, 2020, 06:05:07 am
Accepting new orders for this?

Yes, visit https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3 (https://www.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3).

Crowd Supply has already ordered a number of units over those that go for the fulfillment of the campaign, so there will be no need to wait any further for delivery. Unlike the H24005 project, the plan with BB3 is to establish production and availability for many years to come. Over time, we plan to add new modules and improved versions of existing ones.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on June 12, 2020, 03:54:23 pm
I'd love to see 2Q and 4Q modules become available, for instance. Don't break that by spending extra to work around one problem now. Focus on a healthy BB3 ecosystem for the long term!

I have been dreaming of a 2Q/4Q solution since the beginning of the H24005 project. However, it does not seem to happen so soon. It has now been more than a year since I was promised a schematic of a highly completed concept that could be used for the first prototype. That unfortunately didn’t happen and I don’t know if it will happen at all. A lot of knowledge and experience is needed for a good 2Q (or 4Q), far beyond my capabilities. Then it is not surprising that there are no such DIY and open source 2Q/4Q. You can easily find a schematic with the LT1970 (https://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/lt-journal-article/LTMag_V12N3_Aug02.pdf) with an output booster that probably works correctly for simple tasks. I’m not sure how precise its current setting is, how it behaves with the capacitive load and what its transition is between CV and CC mode.
The matter is further complicated if you want to have the setting and reading of the output values ​​over a wide range, which usually means more ranges and thus autoranging. The latter is in itself complex enough for a unipolar, let alone a bipolar power rail.

I will continue to believe that it is possible to make an open source 2Q/4Q solution and I am ready to invest both time and effort to make it happen, especially since we already have very solid and attractive software support for 1Q and I think it can be easily expanded to achieve SMU functionality. I offered to several people to cover their basic development costs as well offered them revenue share. However, it seems that I still have a "chicken and egg" problem because I'm a nobody and real experts, I believe, would rather get involved if it was a well-established business and a well-known brand when reward is much more tangible. 2Q/4Q seems to belong to purely professional domain and there is a huge gap between that world and what is being discussed on this and similar forums. In the end, this should come as no surprise as anyone with a full-time job in power electronics certainly can’t speak openly because the NDA doesn’t allow it.

Going back to the very beginning of this thread it can be seen that SMU was mentioned and not just any one but Keithley 2400! I do believe it is possible to make something between that and the “proof of concept” LT1970 4Q which would be welcome on many benchtops.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #23 update
Post by: prasimix on June 16, 2020, 10:08:20 am
I got yesterday a short update with video how DCP405 modules come out of the reflow oven. It's available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/envox/status/1272448101815648258
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #24 update
Post by: prasimix on June 23, 2020, 05:29:37 pm
 This week update: |O |O |O :bullshit: :palm:
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #24 update
Post by: AlanS on June 24, 2020, 12:15:06 am
This week update: |O |O |O :bullshit: :palm:
I gather you're hearing the "Sound of Silence"? :horse:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on June 24, 2020, 05:27:03 am
No music ...  no sound ... only a massive dose of silence occasionally interrupted by false promises, and misinformation.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #25 update
Post by: prasimix on June 30, 2020, 01:37:02 pm
Yesterday I got tracking number of the first batch of DCP405 modules! They should arrive by the end of this week. Sending a new, bigger batch has been announced for this Friday. I was told that the finalization takes so long because the assembly of the THT components is slow.  :-//
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on June 30, 2020, 02:28:18 pm
Well hand placed THT is very labour intensive, and I suspect many companies are still short on labour due to COVID.  You wouldn't try to automate THT placement for a small run like this.

Thanks for the update!  I'm not worried too much about the delays.  I'm actually embarrased to admit that I still haven't assembled my pair of EEZ H24005's.  I must try do that before the BB3 arrives...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: knapik on July 01, 2020, 01:58:34 pm
Have you done much testing for how much power the SK96-84-SA heatsink can dissipate with the fan on? I think a small electronic load module could be a neat idea, but knowing the thermal limits before brainstorming would be handy.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 01, 2020, 02:26:25 pm
With fan running it should dissipate 20 W continuously. I like more 2Q DC source then electronic load. DCP405 is already 1Q+ since has down-programmer. To make it 2Q down-programmer power stage should be enforced, and current setting and monitoring need to become bipolar. But, ok, making an electronic load with bigger heatsink to handle e.g. 30 W or more is still a valid idea.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mairo on July 07, 2020, 11:41:00 am
I'd love to see 2Q and 4Q modules become available, for instance. Don't break that by spending extra to work around one problem now. Focus on a healthy BB3 ecosystem for the long term!

I have been dreaming of a 2Q/4Q solution since the beginning of the H24005 project. However, it does not seem to happen so soon...

Going back to the very beginning of this thread it can be seen that SMU was mentioned and not just any one but Keithley 2400! I do believe it is possible to make something between that and the “proof of concept” LT1970 4Q which would be welcome on many benchtops.

Have you tried to reverse engineer one of the commercially available products? There are also several that are based on LT1970. NI, R&S and Chroma all 3 have PXI type 2/4Q supplies that can be found for cheap (under $500) in eBay if patient enough. Sometimes even a non working unit might be good. Keysight's N6700A/B/C 2/4Q modules can be looked at as well + theirs patents.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #26 update
Post by: prasimix on July 07, 2020, 07:05:02 pm
Another Tuesday, another update. Writing each new update causes more and more nausea, but I have to believe that this will come to an end one day. As you already know we have been waiting for DCP405 modules for the last more than two months from the Polish company Assemtec Europe, which I entrusted with assembling the modules (although this was not my first choice).
I decided to start informing you in more detail about what is happening, not to make me feel sorry, but primarily so that other creators, who work hard to make their projects come to life, see what problems they may encounter and what they can expect from companies that supposedly know their business and have things under control.
Assemtec Europe, unfortunately, proves week after week that for reasons unknown to me they have nothing under control and then they either give me promises that they seem to know in advance are unrealistic or they simply treat me with silence and ignorance. Last week was no exception.

Here's a little about the dynamics: Last Monday (June 29th) I contacted them by phone because from June 23rd, I did not receive any information on the status of production. To my surprise, an apology follows that on Friday June, 26th they sent the first batch. However, I also found out immediately that it is a small batch (less than 10% of the total amount!), but I got promise that by Friday (July, 03rd) another 300 pcs will be delivered. That didn’t happen nor did I get any apology or explanation for what happened. I contacted them yesterday and find out the following:

Quote
I'm very sorry that we didn't manage to send this batch on Friday. There was one problem - the ZD5 diode was placed in a 180deg rotation, so we had to make corrections in all 300 pcs. [...] I got information from M. that there is an unusual description on the diode, which caused the SMT machine operator to make a mistake and he misread the 0deg polarization in the tape on the feeder.

Sounds acceptable, however the problem is that there are two diodes on the DCP405 (ZD1 and ZD5) and the question arises as to how one is placed correctly and the other is not. When asked how it is possible that only one diode is turned, I get a competent answer:

Quote
this is a very strange thing, but yes - ZD1 is correct, but only ZD5 is incorrectly mounted...

Problem with process control? But that's not all: in the first test batch I received several months ago, both diodes were turned on, which was immediately reported to them. This obviously did not help to prevent the mistake from happening again. But once more, that's not all: the modules from the first batch don't have that problem! It turns out that they didn't manage to assemble all SMD parts, but they made another test run which in fact passed fine. Furthermore, the announced 300 pieces are not all, so it turns out that even when they are finally sent, we will have to wait for the rest.
As of yesterday morning for who knows how many times I am trying to get the final delivery date of all DCP405 modules. I asked them to let me know vis-à-vis backers and Crowd Supply, but by the time of writing this had not happened.

Whether this is the real situation or not, we will hardly ever find out. It is certain that, as time goes by, all the joy of this project is gradually going away. The joy that existed because you gave us the confidence to bring BB3 project to life. As time went on I also began to wonder if I had ordered software development or PCB assembly which was supposed to be a routine job, or at least much predictable, or not?  :-//

For the end I am sending at least one picture of the working title: BB3 kits at sunset :)

... to be continued (obviously) ...

(http://i.imgur.com/gbgdlzA.jpg) (https://imgur.com/gbgdlzA)
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #26 update
Post by: AlanS on July 07, 2020, 10:51:26 pm
For the end I am sending at least one picture of the working title: BB3 kits at sunset :)

... to be continued (obviously) ...

Queue music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxio54dWfX4; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxio54dWfX4;) Miguel Rios - Song of Joy

At least you will have been responsible for a great instrument with many uses for the community. When this is over we will all be better off, and you will have a platform for your next bright idea - and sympathetic customers who know what you've been through.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 08, 2020, 07:34:22 am
I feel your pain. I can imagine how exhausting it is to keep pushing them and waiting for nothing. Thanks for sharing the company name, it may help others to avoid troubles in the future.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on July 09, 2020, 01:45:26 am
I feel your pain. I can imagine how exhausting it is to keep pushing them and waiting for nothing. Thanks for sharing the company name, it may help others to avoid troubles in the future.

It is baffling - sure, stuff does go wrong during manufacturing, particularly at the moment - but why can't they communicate? Language difficulties, maybe? I'm guessing they're operating on a skeleton staff, with people not experienced in the tasks they're being required to do, but if that is the case, why not admit it? Anything is better than silence.

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 09, 2020, 06:46:11 am
why can't they communicate?

Some people/companies have this mentality -- avoiding liability/responsibility by making false promises so that they don't have to deal with the problem. In some cultures it's more common than in others.

In my first company, when things were going wrong, my manager always ordered us to lie about the scale of the problem and true reasons to avoid liability and to calm customers down and have less phone calls. Of course, customers were even more angry because we often couldn't full-fill our promises. Without knowing the real problem customers couldn't make good decisions.

Another rule we had in the company is that we never return money to customers no matter what. Instead we gave them vouchers/discounts/anything but not money. I believe at some point we got such a bad reputation that it started to hurt our sales, and we had troubles finding candidates that would like to work for us. I was ashamed to have that company in my CV, I thought I wouldn't find another job because of reputation of the employer (I'm glad I was wrong).

If there is no liability in the contract for delays or QA issues, then the only option I see is to have a call with them, explain what these delays means to you, and try to make them to schedule daily calls to have updates so that they don't forget. Not sure how much it can help. I wouldn't threaten them with bad publicity yet (they may not be willing to cooperate with customers who want to leave a bad review). However, since my order is delayed because of them, I feel no trouble filling in a bad review for them. But I'm fine to wait until it all resolves.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 09, 2020, 07:30:17 am
At the very beginning it was clear to me that I had chosen a small company and I did not see a problem in that, on the contrary, starting from myself I thought that communication would go faster, open, honest (should I say human?) without complicated and time-consuming escalation scheme in case of problems. From the very beginning, I begged them not to pretend what they are not because neither they nor I am a multinational corporation that has “everything under control”. However, that did not happen. As time went on, and delivery was delayed, I was increasingly treated with silence and ignorance, exactly the opposite of what should be done in crisis management.

Language difficulties exist, at the very beginning they told me that they are not good in verbal, but only in written communication. Looking back now, that should have been a serious warning to me. However, looking at the bright side again, I thought that we would be able to solve all possible problems quickly by email. But this is not the case: in the 21st century, when almost everyone has an email in their pocket, I have repeatedly waited over a week for a response, which is unacceptable even when everything is going well, not when we have a crisis situation. Well, maybe they don’t see any problem in the fact that something that was first promised for the beginning of April, they fail to deliver as it looks even three months after that (and I didn’t order a few thousand modules!).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 09, 2020, 07:57:01 am
I wish I could speak Polish. What I'd do is I'd try to make them a TODO list of what needs to be done, with deadlines and daily calls. Sorta crisis management 101. If you want, I can try calling them on your behalf and try to arrange that (in English, unfortunately).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 09, 2020, 08:33:32 am
Thanks for the generous offer. I would like to do this myself for now, somehow. Yesterday I asked again to give me the final date for all the remaining modules. An answer like: the rest will be completed in two weeks in a given situation and with the track record of not fulfilling the promised more to me it is not convincing enough. For that reason, I kindly asked them to send everything they have in the next batch that should happen this week: fully completed modules and those that lack THT components. In two, actually three weeks (one extra due to shipping) I have enough time to solder the rest myself and test everything immediately.

I am waiting for an answer and their decision, so I will see how to further escalate it.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on July 09, 2020, 08:54:40 am
I’m just curious, (it doesn’t change anything or my support for this excellent project) but of the modules... how many in total are they expected to deliver? And how many have you had? 300?

Only so it can then be known a rough percentage how far we’re through.

You have all other components / assemblies / kits etc?
It’s just this last module we’re waiting on? Who assembled all the other boards?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 09, 2020, 09:25:34 am
Argh, the numbers definitely don’t work for them: the ordered number of DCP405 modules is "massive" 570. So far, 74 (20+54) have been shipped, and 300 were supposed to be shipped last Friday, but that didn’t happen because they have ZD5 rotated.

All other modules are supplied and packaged. At March, 12th it was said that all modules will be delivered by April, 10th. Today is July, 07th and apparently and if I am lucky I will get everything in three weeks.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #27 update
Post by: prasimix on July 14, 2020, 05:44:10 pm
It was hard to imagine that I would need to write a post with this number of weeks. Here we have exceeded half a year and the campaign fulfillment has not been made yet, and here this saga obviously does not end because today I learned the following from Assemtec Europe:

Quote
Regarding DCP405 production, we wanted to finish production as soon as possible - just as I talked to you and which we received the "green light" - SMT production for DCP405 was transferred to a subcontractor (a fairly large company, existing for many years on the market and with many good reviews). We were to receive the entire order in a short time, unfortunately they had a machine failure which slowed their production. We agreed with them that this week they would finally deliver the remaining goods so that we could perform THT assembly and send ready devices to you (that's why I wrote that the final delivery will take about 2 weeks - I took into account the time needed for ZD5 corrections and THT assembly). Qualitatively, as you probably saw, solder joints are of high quality. This failure is production line downtime that has no effect on the quality of the devices made.

Sounds good? Yes, like in a fairy tale. Regarding the ZD5 component, the 300 pieces that were supposed to be shipped no later than July, 3rd are still not ready for delivery. I asked them how do they solve the problem of the rotated component? I did not get an answer. The problem with the rotated ZD5 also existed on the test batch, I corrected it myself and it took me about 10 seconds per component, I used two solders. I also asked them if they had ever heard of a “hot tweezers” (see picture below). I didn't get any answer.
Last Thursday they sent me 78 pieces that arrived this morning. Here we come to the "quality of the devices made". By quick visual inspection (using a pair of my eyes :), I found that on 42 modules (~ 53%) 5 capacitors are missing! I found another module that lacks a + 5V LDO (nasty thing!) And two on which the MOSFET for the Rsense relay was badly soldered (not so much a nasty thing). 4 modules require deeper analysis because they do not work properly from the first. Total score: 49 problematic modules or ~ 63% failure rate. I am speechless.

A new batch of some 60 modules was sent yesterday. I'm waiting to see if the pick 'n place machine forgot to put capacitors on such a large number of modules.

Looking back we have the following: June, 15th I got from them a short video of the modules coming out of the oven. A month later, 134 modules were delivered to me, if we add about 60 that arrive, let it be 200. That is barely a third of the total amount. I really believe we won’t have to wait the next two months to get the remaining two thirds.

(http://i.imgur.com/YvJVpDR.jpg) (https://imgur.com/YvJVpDR)

(http://i.imgur.com/veaiulV.jpg) (https://imgur.com/veaiulV)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on July 15, 2020, 01:12:19 am
Sigh, I feel your pain. These people could not find their arse with both hands.

A "fairly large company" that apparently only has a single dodgy 1980's era P&P machine?

Does the left most board have a scorched silk screen in the lower left?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 15, 2020, 06:15:06 am
Does the left most board have a scorched silk screen in the lower left?

I’ve seen this on several modules. It seems to be a special secret procedure on how to solder a triac :). It’s one of the new surprises in this batch because in the previous one it wasn’t the case.
These guys seem to really have trouble soldering THT components.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on July 15, 2020, 08:41:03 am
Maybe they're using one of these?

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 15, 2020, 09:05:26 am
Ha, ha, yes, that's a good candidate. The last time they complained to me that they had difficulty soldering that triac and that they had to use a 90 W soldering iron !!!
Of course I tried this with my ancient 50 W Weller which did the job (with an adequate tip) without any problems.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 15, 2020, 10:05:09 am
Is it an option to move production of the rest of the boards to another assembly service?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 15, 2020, 10:44:31 am
If I were in a better financial situation or if I had a bigger margin I would have done it a long time ago. However since I had to pay Assemtec Europe in advance over 80% (for parts) this is not an option.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on July 16, 2020, 12:36:11 am
Ha, ha, yes, that's a good candidate. The last time they complained to me that they had difficulty soldering that triac and that they had to use a 90 W soldering iron !!!

There are more options than there used to be for soldering parts like this, and I'm shocked a professional assembly house would have trouble with it.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #28 update
Post by: prasimix on July 21, 2020, 03:08:12 pm
AssemTech Europe delivered 64 new modules last week. The fault rate was 32.8% but I managed to get all but one module functional. As before with minimal visual control most mistakes could have been avoided.

There are about as many modules on the way (I expect them tomorrow), and supposedly they should send me a hundred new ones this week. I got a new promise that all the remaining modules should be delivered next week.

I am currently missing over 180 modules to be able to complete the campaign fulfillment.

I also found out the name of the subcontractor for the DCP405 modules. The company is PRODEL (https://www.prodel.com.pl/) to which AssemTech allegedly sent all the parts for assembly on May 6th. They were supposed to do it in 4 days. Certainly not Earth days, maybe on Mercury. Then they are still on time! This would be my suggestion for a hero image on their homepage...

(https://i.imgur.com/0bSZAzT.png)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on July 22, 2020, 04:39:44 pm
If you don't mind my asking...

Would the supplier be liable for defects that only come up after a while? Thinking about that error rate you described, how much stuff maybe there that is *not* easily noticed?
That might bite you in a year or so, if a sizable amount of units develops issues.
Or does Crowdsupply handle the warranty themselves? I can't imaging that they will take the risk though...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 22, 2020, 04:53:20 pm
As you may have already noticed this has already turned into a real nightmare. And yes, you’re right, and thanks for opening up that question, the nightmare could get a “second episode/wave” in which multiple complaints could follow.
I have already expressed my concern to AssemTec Europe, but just as with other issues, they seem to have decided to ignore it as well.
All the blame goes to me, Crowd Supply has nothing to do with it. I will try to prepare for something like that and offer a replacement for any meaningful complaints.
I am currently doing everything in my power to prepare for deliveries modules that have passed important tests. Clearly, there is never enough testing, and I am neither equipped nor equipped to do a thorough testing of each module at this time.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on July 22, 2020, 10:44:38 pm
Perhaps the current purchasers could offer you an insurance premium to stock 'spare' replacement boards and hard to get parts. I know this is difficult for you but some of us will want you to succeed and keep developing on the platform- something you will not be able to do if you are forever cleaning up. I don't know what a good figure would be - but 10% of current purchase price does not seem unreasonable.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on July 24, 2020, 07:56:00 am
Hmm, let's be honest here. I don't think such a surcharge would fly. I don't think that it can even be done legally, at the very least not without offering a refund instead of the 10% extra.
And while this is a small project, can you imagine the backlash that some larger Kickstarter project would get, trying to pull something like that off?

One thing is for sure though:
I would expect many people that are active here, to at least try most repairs themselves. I would certainly be willing to try, but I don't know if i would be able to ;)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 24, 2020, 09:28:39 am
I'm afraid there are all sorts of people, from those who can capable of designing a power supply themselves, to people who will complain about every tiny detail due to misunderstanding, or too high expectations...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 24, 2020, 10:21:18 am
I'm afraid there are all sorts of people, from those who can capable of designing a power supply themselves, to people who will complain about every tiny detail due to misunderstanding, or too high expectations...

That's right, something that further complicate a whole situation is that BB3 is delivered as a kit not assembled and tested as a whole unit. I'll do my best to continue with support as before. No module will leave me for which there is even the slightest suspicion that something is wrong with it. So far, 8 DCP405 modules fall into that category and are set aside.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 24, 2020, 10:33:57 am
I wish I could say "send me the broken modules", but I ordered bare pcbs... Nonetheless,  some people might prefer to order broken modules because repairing is fun :).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 24, 2020, 10:38:36 am
I wish I could say "send me the broken modules", but I ordered bare pcbs... Nonetheless,  some people might prefer to order broken modules because repairing is fun :).

Huh, after spending many hours on some of them without resolving problem I came to the conclusion that it might only help to solder everything from scratch to a new bare PCB. It started as fun and turned into a new frustration.  :-//
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on July 24, 2020, 06:01:10 pm
I suppose what I was looking for was a way to help Denis and co out without wringing them dry trying to fix what is not their fault. But as has been said human nature being what it is........ |O
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #29 update
Post by: prasimix on July 28, 2020, 05:48:05 pm
AssemTec Europe continued the practice of delays and delivery of questionable quality modules. Every new batch instead with joy I now await with anxiety. It is still an unsolved mystery how it is possible that someone needs so much time to deliver such small quantities of such pathetic quality. All my complaints are simply ignored, and I am ashamed even to post some of the things I received. That looks really embarrassing!

I have no real words with which to address the backers for this situation. To say that I am sorry and that there is a good chance that BB3 will not meet expectations is insufficient. AssemTec Europe (https://assemteceurope.com/) and their subcontractor Prodel (https://www.prodel.com.pl/) have indeed called into question the existence of the complete project. No matter what, I don’t intend to stop. Maybe this will somehow work out in the end. I asked them to send me the remaining modules by the end of this week or to return the money in the value of the remaining modules so they can arrange assembly elsewhere. I didn't get an answer to that either. I wonder what kind of people are they anyway. I’ve heard so many unfulfilled promises and blatant lies that it’s simply unbelievable. In the end it will turn out that I can be happy that they delivered anything and not just disappeared with the money?

A couple of hours ago I got a tracking number for a new shipment. Judging by the weight, there should be enough modules to complete the shipment for campaign fulfillment. Pre-orders will most likely need to wait some more time.

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart for your great patience, understanding and support.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on July 29, 2020, 04:34:40 pm
To be honest, i was not sure how i should reply to this situation...

I have decided to keep it simple: Thank you for being so open about this :)
I wonder what we, as a community, could realistically do to help you out. Except of course not giving you a hard time about this, and staying patient.

Maybe someone living near the assemby house can pay them a friendly visit? :p
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 29, 2020, 04:55:31 pm
Thanks Ranayna for your reply. At one point I was thinking I should take the van and head to Poland to knock on their door and ask them to give me either all the modules or parts. However, I don’t know what I would find there at all and I’m no longer sure they even bought all the parts at once and had them in late February as they said!
Yesterday I found out that is a two-man company (actually just one according to Dun & Bradstreet current brief overview) ... something like the Bolek and Lolek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolek_and_Lolek) brothers! To make the situation more grotesque, I now see that one of the authors of that cartoon is called Leszek just like one of probably two brothers in AssemTec Europe. I can't help but turn this into a joke. :-DD

(https://i.imgur.com/I16SGp0.png)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on July 30, 2020, 12:01:05 am

Yesterday I found out that is a two-man company (actually just one according to Dun & Bradstreet current brief overview)

Everything so far has suggested a tiny operation. The boards don't look hand-loaded, but I'm not sure how you could possibly make a machine go this slow. Again, if they were just honest about the situation, whatever it may be... maybe their PnP machine got repossessed... or maybe the rubber band broke, and they couldn't find the sticky tape and string... ::)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on July 30, 2020, 04:44:54 am

Yesterday I found out that is a two-man company (actually just one according to Dun & Bradstreet current brief overview)

Everything so far has suggested a tiny operation. The boards don't look hand-loaded, but I'm not sure how you could possibly make a machine go this slow. Again, if they were just honest about the situation, whatever it may be... maybe their PnP machine got repossessed... or maybe the rubber band broke, and they couldn't find the sticky tape and string... ::)

Let's Go Fly a Kite
Dick Van Dyke
With tuppence for paper and strings
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You're a bird in a flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite

Flying a kite seems appropriate...........
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on July 30, 2020, 09:37:52 am
Yesterday I found out that is a two-man company

Oh, that's twice smaller than I thought...

I hope delays are not due to them spent all the money and now they need cash from new orders to fulfill old orders...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on July 30, 2020, 09:41:40 am
I hope delays are not due to them spent all the money and now they need cash from new orders to fulfill old orders...

I also really do believe that is not the case. Even that would be somewhat acceptable if they decided to communicate about all the issues openly and honestly which I have been asking from the beginning. However this is not the case and it is so disappointing.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: vad on August 01, 2020, 05:47:13 pm
Are the PCBs and the enclosure manufactured by the same Polish vendor? I am one of the backers who ordered the enclosure & PCBs set, and have been waiting for shipment since March. What is the reason for delay for those who did not order the assembled modules? Apologies if this has been answered in this thread before.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 02, 2020, 07:25:24 am
Are the PCBs and the enclosure manufactured by the same Polish vendor? I am one of the backers who ordered the enclosure & PCBs set, and have been waiting for shipment since March. What is the reason for delay for those who did not order the assembled modules? Apologies if this has been answered in this thread before.

Bare PCBs were ordered from the same vendor and were delivered a long time ago. The enclosures arrived from Portugal. So, the Enclosure & PCBs set has been ready for delivery for months. However, this did not happen because at first there were no flights to the US, transport prices went sky high and I wanted to make single delivery counting that everything else would be with me a long time ago. However this has not yet happened due to a mystery called the DCP405 module.
I have good news though, a new batch of these modules is on the way and there should be enough of them to complete the campaign, so if no new hurdle arises I should send everything to Mouser in the next two weeks!
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #30 update
Post by: prasimix on August 04, 2020, 06:00:09 pm
And finally that day came: yesterday enough correct DCP405 modules arrived that today we finished packing for campaign fulfillment and first pre-orders. We just need to organize the sending (actually we still don't know what is a destination address of Mouser warehouse :))!

(https://i.imgur.com/6Z553pBl.jpg)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 04, 2020, 06:03:38 pm
That's a huge milestone, congratulations!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on August 04, 2020, 10:46:19 pm
Well done. Despite all of the trials you got there. More proof that production is just as hard as design. I'm led to believe these trials are character building.

I'd be fascinated to see your "Never Again" list.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on August 05, 2020, 03:36:51 am
Great news! Hope you don’t hit further nasty surprises.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 05, 2020, 05:53:55 am
Well done. Despite all of the trials you got there. More proof that production is just as hard as design. I'm led to believe these trials are character building.

I'd be fascinated to see your "Never Again" list.

I plan to open a new topic under e.g. Manufacturing & Assembly (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/) and describe why I shouldn’t have chosen AssemTec Europe and warn other creators what can await them along the way, i.e. how bad things can turn out.

It will take me a long time to recover from what they have done to me, but I can only blame myself for choosing these dilettantes.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on August 05, 2020, 09:19:55 am
I plan to open a new topic under e.g. Manufacturing & Assembly (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/) and describe why I shouldn’t have chosen AssemTec Europe and warn other creators what can await them along the way, i.e. how bad things can turn out.

Take care... they may be better at lawyering than making.  ;)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 05, 2020, 09:22:07 am
I plan to open a new topic under e.g. Manufacturing & Assembly (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/) and describe why I shouldn’t have chosen AssemTec Europe and warn other creators what can await them along the way, i.e. how bad things can turn out.

Take care... they may be better at lawyering than making.  ;)

We'll see!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 05, 2020, 10:23:17 am
And once again, I can only commend you :)
Not only did you learn yourself, but will also teach others  :-+

By the way, I already wanted to ask that with the other picture of completed units.
Is that Dave's version of the Open Source logo, with the letters giving more details about the "openness"?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 05, 2020, 10:29:13 am
By the way, I already wanted to ask that with the other picture of completed units.
Is that Dave's version of the Open Source logo, with the letters giving more details about the "openness"?

Yes, it is. I believe I used it the right way.

(https://www.envox.hr/eez/images/oshw_full.png)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 08, 2020, 09:24:43 pm
I will ask this here, several potentially interested people are already here ;)

Would there be any interest if i start somewhat of a "Build Log" in the projects forum?
This would explicitly be written from the perspective of a relative "noob" :p

My intentions for such a build log would be multiple, in no particular order:
- share my work with others doing the same, giving and hopefully receiving pointers
- Let the community help get my ass in motion :p

This could even work as a sanity check for your documentation ;)

EDIT: I should clarify: That would be for the "bare boards" kit, and would start with ordering (and maybe selecting and searching for) components, over soldering, assembly, calibration and finish, hopefully, with first uses.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 09, 2020, 06:32:03 am
Sounds like a great idea to me, and I'll try to assist as much as possible.

BTW, I have a number of DCP405 modules that I failed to revive in all my attempts and that ended up in the "junkyard". On most of them are still all the components that I believe are good (they are new!) but are so badly soldered that probably only re-soldering would help. I’m willing to offer them for some small price and I believe they could be interesting to BB3 Enclosure & Bare Boards backers.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: gnavigator1007 on August 09, 2020, 11:07:48 am
I'm interested in the junkyard modules for sure.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Lion_Tamer on August 09, 2020, 11:35:52 am
I would definitely be interested in junk yard modules - I had been intending to get 2 sets of bare boards and enclosures anyway (the bank blocked that transaction as "dodgy") but ended up with just the one set on order - it would probably help me improve my fault finding skills as well.

Jem
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 09, 2020, 12:56:25 pm
I would be interested as well. I think that would be a nice way to lessen your frustration if you can get at least *some* money still.
I assume you are essentially done with the assembly house, that you will not try to get them to compensate you for the broken modules?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 09, 2020, 01:05:42 pm
I would be interested as well. I think that would be a nice way to lessen your frustration if you can get at least *some* money still.
I assume you are essentially done with the assembly house, that you will not try to get them to compensate you for the broken modules?

Hm, AssemTec Europe, an "assembly house"? They are bad middleman at best. They still didn't deliver all modules, nor I have idea what are they intentions many months after first promised delivery date. I'm more or less gave up from them, since it seems that human communication is not possible to establish with them.

I'd like to offer junk yard modules for 25 USD + PayPal fee + shipping if that sounds right to you. No warranty that all parts will be on them (I mean a part here and there could missing) and that all parts are healthy.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: gnavigator1007 on August 09, 2020, 01:17:29 pm
How many are available?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 09, 2020, 02:36:41 pm
More then 20 :(
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 09, 2020, 05:21:14 pm
I would like to take 2. Do you have any estimations regarding shipping?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 09, 2020, 05:46:30 pm
I would like to take 2. Do you have any estimations regarding shipping?

I can ship problematic DCP405 modules immediately. For crowdfunding fulfillment I need official purchase order from Mouser which is still not issued, don't know why :-//.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 10, 2020, 01:25:47 pm
I'm also interested in 2 modules if they are still available.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 10, 2020, 02:26:10 pm
Yes, there is a plenty of them. It seems that for the weight of two modules (about 600g) post is charging about 12-13 USD for the US and the EU. Anyone interested feel free to contact me via PM or email at eez@envox.hr.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Mr. Scram on August 10, 2020, 02:55:10 pm
Hm, AssemTec Europe, an "assembly house"? They are bad middleman at best. They still didn't deliver all modules, nor I have idea what are they intentions many months after first promised delivery date. I'm more or less gave up from them, since it seems that human communication is not possible to establish with them.

I'd like to offer junk yard modules for 25 USD + PayPal fee + shipping if that sounds right to you. No warranty that all parts will be on them (I mean a part here and there could missing) and that all parts are healthy.
Having a two man outfit not communicate shows malicious intent. It can only mean they're wilfully ignoring you.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 10, 2020, 03:06:25 pm
I don't know what to say, really, but can see a pattern lately: one of two brothers who is in charge for manual assembly of THT parts spent its weekend spare time (in the basement or attic :)) and sends me what he managed to put together the day after. So this morning I got the UPS tracking number notification again on a new batch of about 40 modules (10 kg package).
If they continue like this they will surely be finished even this month! Amazing! Okay, it's a completely different story hoe looks like what they're sending to me. :palm:
My junkyard is keep growing, so once again thanks to all who decided to get some of faulty modules and try to resolder parts to bare PCBs.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on August 11, 2020, 06:20:47 am
I guess we know why the zener diodes were soldered backwards, but they should have just said... "Very sorry, pick-n-place machine had too much to drink last night, can't see straight."  ;D
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 11, 2020, 06:34:52 am
I guess we know why the zener diodes were soldered backwards, but they should have just said... "Very sorry, pick-n-place machine had too much to drink last night, can't see straight."  ;D

I'd like to say that there is a good indications that some of the modules are populated by hand, not the PnP machine. How else to explain that I found that the same IC used in two places, in the first position is placed on all modules correctly, and in the second position is rotated on 13 modules? Another example: on the single module I found 6 ICs rotated!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on August 11, 2020, 06:40:54 am
Another example: on the single module I found 6 ICs rotated!

You can send me that one if you like.  Good rework practice for my new employee.   :-/O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 11, 2020, 06:44:39 am
Another example: on the single module I found 6 ICs rotated!

You can send me that one if you like.  Good rework practice for my new employee.   :-/O

That one was an easy fix, a matter of minute or two. I found that by simply take a look at the module. Modules that ended up in junkyard requires much more work, actually I think that only moving all parts on the bare PCB could help in most of the cases.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on August 11, 2020, 06:51:02 am
Hah!  I'm looking forward to the challenge...  :scared:
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #31 update
Post by: prasimix on August 12, 2020, 05:51:18 am
I had some problems accessing the forum yesterday so I am sending an update now which is very simple: all the boxes are waiting packed on 5 pallets and it is agreed that Mouser initiates the pick up. I believe it won’t have to wait long.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on August 14, 2020, 12:56:55 pm
Excellent work Denis to get it through to this stage; you should be proud (+ I hope maybe the sub-contractor headache can now fade from your mind slightly) as myself and I assume 100's of others will be over the moon at the new supplies  :-DMM :-/O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Black Phoenix on August 15, 2020, 05:04:19 am
Well I've been out for a while, what a rollercoaster this adventure have been...

At least looks like this "nightmare" is almost finished. And I have to say that your communications about the problems put to shame most of the kickstarter's communications were no word is heard from the creators for months.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on August 17, 2020, 12:16:04 am
Well I've been out for a while, what a rollercoaster this adventure have been...

At least looks like this "nightmare" is almost finished. And I have to say that your communications about the problems put to shame most of the kickstarter's communications were no word is heard from the creators for months.

I certainly appreciate the communication. Watching other crowd-funded projects, and having been involved in the manufacturing of a commercial product in the (distant) past, I think even experienced designers like prasimix underestimate the pain of outsourced manufacturing. This has been a particularly ugly example (but nowhere near the worst I have heard about). I can only think of a handful of cases where everything just "came together". Particularly when crossing time zones, country borders and legal systems... it is a huge challenge.

That one I was involved in in the past... one of our manufacturing "partners", after years of working with them (which occasionally required lawyers to get what we'd paid for), essentially just decided they would make their own version of our product. Their product wasn't better or cheaper, but they were a big company and we were small, and their brand eclipsed ours, so that was the end of that.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #32 update
Post by: prasimix on August 18, 2020, 05:54:08 pm
Hi everyone, one more week passed, and I'm still waiting for action from Mouser.

(https://i.imgur.com/dV2eEBF.jpg)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: MaxZ on August 19, 2020, 02:35:33 pm
Wohooo congrats to your endurance!

Since you'll probably never order anything again from that great company, what are the plans for the future? Are there any alternative manufacturers?

Best regards and thank you for keeping us up to date!
Max
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 19, 2020, 04:33:43 pm
Wohooo congrats to your endurance!

Since you'll probably never order anything again from that great company, what are the plans for the future? Are there any alternative manufacturers?

Best regards and thank you for keeping us up to date!
Max

Thanks for asking that. Yes, of course I intend to continue. The real things have yet to happen and I somehow believe that I will be able to neutralize the damage that AssemTec Europe has done to me.
Finalization of the new three modules is underway as well as modifications of the existing ones if the CE / FCC mark is to be obtained.
So I found another company that immediately: a) offered without any obligations and free of charge a test batch of both power modules so I could check the build quality and b) they offered me to assemble all kit versions and completed devices when / if we pass CE testing. It is a local company that has been working for the Italian market for a long time. I visited them a couple of weeks ago when they gave me test modules that we activated right away without any problem. And yes: they have more than 2 people. Nothing like "Bolek & Lolek Bros". Five of them were sitting with me at the meeting. I saw with my own eyes that they have at their disposal two P&P beasts of Europlacer iineo + II (https://www.europlacer.com/smt-pick-and-place-iineo-plus-2/).
Because I don't know when (if at all) AssemTec Europe will deliver all DCP405 modules from Poland and since I couldn't even repair a certain part of them without making significant efforts, I already ordered the first series of DCP405 modules from the new company.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on August 20, 2020, 02:37:57 am
Thanks for asking that. Yes, of course I intend to continue.

That's good to hear - I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with the BB3. I feared this experience would put you off - even crowd-funded projects that go smoothly often burn out their creators - I don't think anyone appreciates the effort required.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 20, 2020, 06:15:45 am
Thanks for asking that. Yes, of course I intend to continue.

That's good to hear - I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with the BB3. I feared this experience would put you off - even crowd-funded projects that go smoothly often burn out their creators - I don't think anyone appreciates the effort required.

I'm too young to die (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8uUh1xsL14)

I'm too young to die AND still young enough for some rock 'n' roll
:)
This is what a roadmap might look like:

1. Passing the CE test. It is in progress, I already paid it a lot and I don't want it to fail, and surprises are possible at every step. One of such surprises is mentioned in this topic (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/conducted-emissions-issue-with-multiple-mean-well-acdc-converters/).
2. Completion of three new modules (MIO168, PREL6, SMX46)
3. Deploy existing modules to create testbed for testing power modules in production (that could be a nice "use case")
4. Development of 2Q / 4Q power module
5. Development of "slave" chassis (without TFT) for reception of up to 7 modules without Mean Well converter or up to 3 power modules (with Mean Well) + 4 other modules. The existing BB3 can become a "master" for one or more "slave" chassis
6. Further integrate the FPGA (in collaboration with the ULX3S team) and define the DIB v2.0 extension of the existing bus to accept faster modules (backward compatibility has to be maintained).
7. In parallel, work will continue on EEZ Studio (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/eez-studio-for-accessing-your-(scpi)-instruments/).

Of course all of this could happen if we manage to establish a certain sale, which could finance Martin and me to begin with so that the above roadmap would not remain just wishful thinking. Everything we do will remain 100% open source. This is of course not a requirement for any other creator who eventually decides to work with us with an agreed revenue share or royalty fee. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with some of the creators of the already known T&M devices especially those that backed the BB3 campaign.

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 20, 2020, 06:57:24 am
Meanwhile I got three broken modules. They look quite descent, I expected something worse.

I'm on vacation next couple of weeks, so they have to stay in the drawer for some time.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 20, 2020, 07:05:51 am
Meanwhile I got three broken modules. They look quite descent, I expected something worse.

I'm on vacation next couple of weeks, so they have to stay in the drawer for some time.

Yeah, but they are more like a can of worms :)
I would suggest that you do not take for granted that any of the components work, and I think that the greatest chance is to get something from them, that section by section is detached and soldered to the new bare PCB. In that case you should start with bias power (around IC2, IC5, IC6), then power pre-regulator (IC1) and then slowly add post-regulator. For testing pre-regulator simply connect R10 (POST_OUT input) to GND. In that case it should output around +4 V.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on August 21, 2020, 03:09:00 am
I'm definitely interested in getting a couple of the MIO168 modules when they're ready, and probably in future one of the secondary chassis for expansion.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 24, 2020, 08:05:45 pm
Yeah, but they are more like a can of worms :)
I would suggest that you do not take for granted that any of the components work, and I think that the greatest chance is to get something from them, that section by section is detached and soldered to the new bare PCB. In that case you should start with bias power (around IC2, IC5, IC6), then power pre-regulator (IC1) and then slowly add post-regulator. For testing pre-regulator simply connect R10 (POST_OUT input) to GND. In that case it should output around +4 V.

I trust you on this and I assume that simple problems are already eliminated. I'll proceed with re-populating components on bare pcbs. Thanks for the hints!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 24, 2020, 08:16:36 pm
For testing pre-regulator simply connect R10 (POST_OUT input) to GND. In that case it should output around +4 V.

I forgot to mention that you need to apply +5 V to D1 (PRE_OE line), otherwise IC1 will stay disabled.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #33 update
Post by: prasimix on August 25, 2020, 08:52:42 am
Today's update:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: No.15 on August 25, 2020, 03:26:50 pm
This looks fun, sorry I did not see earlier.

I just ordered, hope it helps, looking forward to this
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 25, 2020, 03:33:01 pm
This looks fun, sorry I did not see earlier.

I just ordered, hope it helps, looking forward to this

Thank you very much! Of course it will help!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 26, 2020, 07:21:13 am
So, my modules arrived as well :) Nice touch with including the desoldered LEDs ;)
To be honest, I am now seriously thinking if I was maybe a bit over confident :p There are quite a few parts on that module that will be finnicky to solder, considering that my SMT experience is limited to SO packages and 0805...

Well, I have a decent loupe... We will see :)

Anyway, a quick optical check of the two modules showed something that I find odd, but I do not have much experience with bigger manufacturing batches.
What I saw is that the two PCBs are slightly different.

One PCB has two tiny holes, one beneath the power connector, the other one near the female pin header. Both very close to the board edge. That same board also has what, without magnification, looks like a tiny via. Looking at it closer reveals a tiny hole in the ground plane, where the solder resist bulges just a little bit, making it look like a via.
Additionally there is also what looks like strike damage, as if something sharp punched a small hole into the ground plane, in the area between the two heatsink screws. There is another small spot with a hole in the resist as well. Both of those could of course be transport damage.
And finally, looking at the vias of that board shows a worse consistency of the tenting.
The other board also has at least one small hole in the ground plane, at a similar location as the first one, but not on the exact same location. So whatever caused the holes seems to be somewhat random.

I assume that boards like these would be fully electrically tested? Otherwise, should whatever caused the holes have hit a trace, might that be a reason why the modules do not work?
I will try to capture a proper image of those holes. If I manage to do that I will post them here this evening.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 26, 2020, 09:44:33 am
One PCB has two tiny holes, one beneath the power connector, the other one near the female pin header.

That could be tooling holes. At least jlcpcb does that.

I'm too was a bit overconfident with my skills to repair the modules, but at least I don't need to buy BOM for them :).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: exe on August 26, 2020, 11:41:09 am
2 @prasimix: how safe is it to power up the non-working modules?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 26, 2020, 11:54:22 am
2 @prasimix: how safe is it to power up the non-working modules?

Reasonable safe, but ONLY with current limit! My first step in testing (after visual control which itself can results in finding multiple non-sense and quality issues) is to apply 40 V to DC power input with current limit set to 30 mA. Module don't need to be connected to the backplane and has to draw no more then 20 mA.

Hey, but wait, shouldn't we start talking about this here (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/building-log-for-eez-bb3-enclosure-bare-boards/)?  :)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jan28 on August 26, 2020, 08:00:01 pm
This is what a roadmap might look like:

1. Passing the CE test. It is in progress, I already paid it a lot and I don't want it to fail, and surprises are possible at every step. One of such surprises is mentioned in this topic (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/conducted-emissions-issue-with-multiple-mean-well-acdc-converters/).
2. Completion of three new modules (MIO168, PREL6, SMX46)
3. Deploy existing modules to create testbed for testing power modules in production (that could be a nice "use case")
4. Development of 2Q / 4Q power module
5. Development of "slave" chassis (without TFT) for reception of up to 7 modules without Mean Well converter or up to 3 power modules (with Mean Well) + 4 other modules. The existing BB3 can become a "master" for one or more "slave" chassis
6. Further integrate the FPGA (in collaboration with the ULX3S team) and define the DIB v2.0 extension of the existing bus to accept faster modules (backward compatibility has to be maintained).
7. In parallel, work will continue on EEZ Studio (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/eez-studio-for-accessing-your-(scpi)-instruments/).

Nice you're sharing your roadmap ideas!  :-+

Personally I'm very interested in the MIO168 module. The hardware looks capable to support a lot of different use cases: My primary use would be for it to simulate MCU outputs during the 'tweaking phase' of the hardware parts of my builds/experiments. Currently I find myself using my (fancy) signal generator way too often for generating DC voltages or PWM signals (simulating pins of the MCU of the project). The MIO168 has a powerful MCU of its own. That got me wondering: What will be the sample rates for setting/reading the outputs/inputs? And how to avoid skew or frequency differences with other modules/chassis: Most modules have there own clocks and I didn't see a synchronisation/clock/heartbeat pin in the current DIB specs?

Other module ideas I've been dreaming about in anticipation of receiving the EEZ BB3:
- A USB-PD module: More and more USB-PD is being used to deliver serious power to devices and I think it would be nice to be capable of setting PD limits/options and measuring power usages and read error messages easily. This might not need to be a separate DIB module: Maybe it's also possible to use a DCP405 module (power, sense and analog control) and use the UART of the chassis to talk to a external PCB with the USB-PD hardware incl. a small MCU. Software on the BB3 will rerad/set the USB-PD parameters. Or add this to existing module as an extra port and/or piggyboard.       
- A development module: I think there are several people interested in building specific modules. Having a module that has just the optocouplers, EEPROM and breaks out the (isolated) SPI,I2C pins to the front. This would allow for fast and safe tweaking up a prototype module or adapting existing hardware designs to the BB3 without the need for a BB3 specific module fist or the risk of blowing up other parts of the precious BB3...  :scared:
- A straight forward DC load module.

Of course I need a slave chassis with al these nice modules to come....

Keep up your very nice work and transparent communication!
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 27, 2020, 09:13:01 am
I assume that boards like these would be fully electrically tested? Otherwise, should whatever caused the holes have hit a trace, might that be a reason why the modules do not work?

Nothing about AssemTec Europe is business as usual and i can't tell if the modules have been tested or not. Even if I ask them something like that, it doesn't mean much to me anymore: I've heard too many of their fairy tales. One think is for sure: the basic visual inspection (with naked eyes!) wasn't performed.

I will try to capture a proper image of those holes. If I manage to do that I will post them here this evening.

Thanks in advance for the effort. I am interested in what it looks like and possibly add it to the existing documentation about this adventure.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 27, 2020, 09:53:00 am
Personally I'm very interested in the MIO168 module. The hardware looks capable to support a lot of different use cases: My primary use would be for it to simulate MCU outputs during the 'tweaking phase' of the hardware parts of my builds/experiments. Currently I find myself using my (fancy) signal generator way too often for generating DC voltages or PWM signals (simulating pins of the MCU of the project). The MIO168 has a powerful MCU of its own. That got me wondering: What will be the sample rates for setting/reading the outputs/inputs? And how to avoid skew or frequency differences with other modules/chassis: Most modules have there own clocks and I didn't see a synchronisation/clock/heartbeat pin in the current DIB specs?

It's still premature to talk about sample rates. Your idea about using MIO168 to simulate MCU outputs sounds good, but that is calling for opening a discussion and "peer-review" (possibly in main topic here (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/eez-h25005-a-possible-successor-of-eez-h24005-programmable-power-supply/)) of what is added at least on the hardware side so far. For example, does existing digital outputs with low-side switches serve the purpose?

I'm aware about lack of synchronization (triggering) and clock in DIB v1.0 (https://www.envox.hr/eez/eez-dib/dib-v1-0-specification.html). Currently only one signal is available for such purpose: SYNC output. It is used for syncing OE between more power modules. In chassis without power modules it can be used for something else. Other "auxiliary" outputs could be second module chip select (CSB), but something that is missing are bidirectional triggering lines, that "slave" MCU could trigger other "slave" or even "master" MCU.

Other module ideas I've been dreaming about in anticipation of receiving the EEZ BB3:
- A USB-PD module: More and more USB-PD is being used to deliver serious power to devices and I think it would be nice to be capable of setting PD limits/options and measuring power usages and read error messages easily. This might not need to be a separate DIB module: Maybe it's also possible to use a DCP405 module (power, sense and analog control) and use the UART of the chassis to talk to a external PCB with the USB-PD hardware incl. a small MCU. Software on the BB3 will rerad/set the USB-PD parameters. Or add this to existing module as an extra port and/or piggyboard.       
- A development module: I think there are several people interested in building specific modules. Having a module that has just the optocouplers, EEPROM and breaks out the (isolated) SPI,I2C pins to the front. This would allow for fast and safe tweaking up a prototype module or adapting existing hardware designs to the BB3 without the need for a BB3 specific module fist or the risk of blowing up other parts of the precious BB3...  :scared:
- A straight forward DC load module.

I look forward to and welcome any initiative to create new modules.
In the beginning, the bigger challenge will be to simplify support of new modules in the "master" firmware, but we have some ideas on how to organize everything together so that the functions of the master MCU and what will happen on the modules are separated, i.e. that the module carries in the firmware everything needed for presentation on the display.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 28, 2020, 08:31:04 am
Ok, here are a couple of pictures. I hope the quality is ok.

These are the holes in the groundplane, all on the same board.

EDIT: Image upload is still wonky, i cannot attach more than three files, then it complains it is above 5000KB, which it isn't...
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 28, 2020, 08:38:57 am
More pictures. The two througholes i noticed on the same board as above.
And the strike damage. That is not visible on the other side so I don't think this would matter electrically. Also this could have happend during shipping to me.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Ranayna on August 28, 2020, 08:39:58 am
And once more, these two pictures are from the other board, showing holes similar to the first board.

EDIT:  |O It helps to select the proper downscaled images :p
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 28, 2020, 10:13:00 am
Thanks, it's really interesting, for example that "artifact" on Board2_PlaneHole1.jpg looks like some dirt fell on the board during manufacturing. Such a lack of copper is not a problem here, but it could also appear in some vital place and cut a trace.

(https://i.imgur.com/AbtyL7r.jpg)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on August 28, 2020, 10:24:24 am
Seems a bit too much of a perfect circle for dirt. Perhaps a contaminant?

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on August 28, 2020, 12:24:03 pm
Looks to me like a board house to avoid in future, as the hole placement is perfectly round, and randomised, it almost seems like there conversion software having issues.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on August 28, 2020, 12:37:42 pm
Looks to me like a board house to avoid in future, as the hole placement is perfectly round, and randomised, it almost seems like there conversion software having issues.

Definitely, boards manufacturing was also arranged by AssemTec Europe. The new bare PCBs like anything else will certainly not be ordered from AssemTec Europe.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on August 29, 2020, 12:32:26 am
Quote
almost seems like there conversion software having issues

That's a good suspect. But if that were the case wouldn't it imply that this hole is result of something else being misplaced? That is, somewhere there's some matching thing (not necessarily a hole) that isn't where it should be?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on August 29, 2020, 04:51:35 am
Back in the '90s, some PCB manufacturers used to have a lot of trouble with incomplete plate-through holes. I haven't heard of that being a problem these days, but it might be something else to check if trying to repair a defective board. Be suspicious of any places where the solder hasn't flowed all the way through the hole.

Also, those board defects look a lot like air bubbles during the manufacturing process.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #34 update
Post by: prasimix on September 01, 2020, 07:00:28 pm
I guess I’m slowly getting boring with updates that say nothing. The absurdity continues and another week has passed without anything happening. The last thing I got was information that the pick-up would go through a UPS that engage their “Ocean team”! Whether that means they plan to use the ship instead of air transport I don’t know yet. I am waiting for an answer to that question.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: dunkemhigh on September 01, 2020, 07:52:03 pm
On the contrary, this is quite fascinating and instructive. Must be a really big downer for you, and you have my sympathies, but it's not often one gets this level of detail without actually doing it (or not doing it, when it comes to your suppliers).
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Andrew McNamara on September 02, 2020, 03:58:23 am
On the contrary, this is quite fascinating and instructive. Must be a really big downer for you, and you have my sympathies, but it's not often one gets this level of detail without actually doing it (or not doing it, when it comes to your suppliers).

Getting ripped off and let down by suppliers is "normal" in my experience... it's hard enough doing this stuff without a global pandemic messing everything else up. I wish I could offer prasimix more support than some sympathetic words, patience and some modest financial support.
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #35 update
Post by: prasimix on September 08, 2020, 06:51:44 pm
Nothing new under the sun ... this is the fourth update in a row and I have no clue from Crowd Supply when Mouser will do anything about pick up. In the meantime, some other campaigns, for example those of my friends from radiona.org about ULX3S, are going well (https://www.crowdsupply.com/radiona/ulx3s/updates/almost-there), the packages are probably already with Mouser, although we had shipments ready for pick up at the same time.

Maybe the next update will be better.
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #35 update
Post by: prasimix on September 10, 2020, 09:46:00 am
Ok, you’re sure to like this: so today I got information from CS that it’s actually best for me to initiate the shipment! In short, after a month I was back on square one! I contacted DHL right away and am waiting for them to answer me what the next steps are.

:horse:  :horse:  :horse:
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Rerouter on September 10, 2020, 10:10:23 am
The sweet and soothing sounds of bureaucracy in action, its enough to make your eys glaze over :)
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: Kean on September 10, 2020, 12:02:23 pm
Well that is a bit crap.  CS and Mouser are in the distribution business.  I would think they should be the ones handling it.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: AlanS on September 10, 2020, 09:44:08 pm
And just wait for the price gouging from DHL. As a logistics company they couldn't organise a decent headache :palm:.
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #35 update
Post by: prasimix on September 11, 2020, 10:29:33 am
Pick up is agreed with DHL for Monday, Sep, 14th. Depart to the US is scheduled for Sep, 17th.  :-+
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on September 12, 2020, 04:03:11 am
Yay! Hope it gets shipped off OK
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #36 update
Post by: prasimix on September 15, 2020, 03:17:25 pm
it seems that we had to come to update number 36 (some numerologist would surely have something to say about that number :)) in which I will write that the shipment has finally departed. Yesterday, five pallets were loaded on the truck and today it went through the export customs procedure. The goods are expected to arrive at the destination on September, 22.

(https://i.imgur.com/rC2jbGx.jpg)

Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: danielbriggs on September 15, 2020, 03:18:52 pm
Excellent! I can't wait  :-+ :-/O
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: gnavigator1007 on September 15, 2020, 03:22:24 pm
Great news! I finally received the junkyard modules as well. Package took a hell of a beating, but they're not working anyway  :-DD
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 15, 2020, 03:26:08 pm
Great news! I finally received the junkyard modules as well. Package took a hell of a beating, but they're not working anyway  :-DD

Hm, I'm curious to see that, any pictures perhaps?
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: gnavigator1007 on September 15, 2020, 03:29:47 pm
No sorry, I already tossed the box. Looked like something else heavy must have landed on it, but contents were fine aside from some scratches to the solder mask. Kinda surprised the heat sinks didn't do damage from the impact
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: prasimix on September 15, 2020, 03:52:43 pm
Good, I believe they will be useful.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: jbb on September 16, 2020, 01:31:39 am
Yay! Glad you finally shipped them. That looked like a giant pain in the backside.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: No.15 on September 16, 2020, 01:59:00 pm
Excellent news.

I got lucky this week, it seems all the crowd funded projects I have backed have shipped.

It's good news for me because I got burned real bad on a project a few years back and I just decided to try again.  I lost almost $1000 USD on a project
Title: BB3 fulfillment, week #37 update
Post by: prasimix on September 22, 2020, 01:06:47 pm
The shipment is still traveling, reportedly due to arrive in Dallas, Texas today via Paris, France. This is a tracking number (https://www.dhl.com/global-en/home/tracking/tracking-global-forwarding.html?submit=1&tracking-id=P729421).
Title: Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #37 update
Post by: prasimix on September 22, 2020, 01:15:56 pm
Why it doesn’t surprise me: this moment I got an update from DHL that the shipment was kept in Paris due to the air carrier backlog. The new expected time of arrival in Dallas, Texas is Sept., 24th.
Title: Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
Post by: mcdanlj on September 22, 2020, 10:00:08 pm
Given Tropical Storm Beta currently inundating Texas, I'm:

Cool to be able to follow the tracking!