Author Topic: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005  (Read 38797 times)

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Offline chriswebb

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EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« 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.

EEVBlog forum launch thread around the H24005 here.
Always learning. The greatest part of life is that there will always be more to learn.
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #1 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.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #2 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.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #3 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

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.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #4 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #5 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) 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.
 
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Offline Teichhermelin

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 10:28:36 am »
Nice Idea
 

Offline Zucca

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #7 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://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.
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Can't love what you don't know. Zucca
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #8 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?

Offline Zucca

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #9 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"  :-//
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Online exe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #10 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 ("Learn to connect power supplies in parallel for higher current output").

UP: relevant video:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 02:17:35 pm by exe »
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #11 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).
 
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Offline Zucca

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Offline prasimix

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EEZ Bench Box 3 new HMI
« Reply #13 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:

 
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Offline prasimix

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Cardboard boxes are ready
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 07:25:25 am »
I've received yesterday small batch of cardboard transportation boxes for BB3 kit:



... when assembled it looks like this:



Additional small box is used for packaging three basic modules:



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:




 
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Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #15 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?
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #16 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:
  • Down-programmer
  • Remote sensing
  • Remote programming
  • HW OVP (with triac crowbar and fuses)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 08:30:55 am by prasimix »
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2019, 08:31:21 am »
I'm after the DCP405's
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2019, 08:33:14 am »
I'm after the DCP405's

Yeah, it's a "Full Monty", but more costly.

Online exe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #19 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 :).
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #20 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
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 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #21 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.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 11:37:51 am by prasimix »
 
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Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #22 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....
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 11:47:13 am by Rerouter »
 
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Online exe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #23 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #24 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, 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).
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #25 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.

Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #26 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Test batch of enclosures
« Reply #27 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:













 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #28 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!
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #29 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 ;)
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2019, 09:15:33 am »
A very short presentation of the latest prototype:

 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #31 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #32 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?

Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2019, 07:50:32 pm »
It does. I'm looking forward to it.
 
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #34 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:





 

Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #35 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 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #36 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:





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.




 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #37 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
 
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2019, 01:55:43 pm »
Any new update prasimix?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #39 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.
 
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Offline Zucca

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #40 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
Can't know what you don't love. St. Augustine
Can't love what you don't know. Zucca
 

Offline prasimix

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Campaign start
« Reply #41 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).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 08:26:47 am by prasimix »
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #42 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.

Offline prasimix

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EEZ Bench Box 3 campaign video
« Reply #43 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 :)

 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #44 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #45 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 is how it looked like for the H24005), and User manual will be also available this time :).

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #46 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 (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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #47 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.
 
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Offline xlfe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #48 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #49 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.

Offline prasimix

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EEZ Bench Box 3 campaign start
« Reply #50 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, too).

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #52 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?
Always learning. The greatest part of life is that there will always be more to learn.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #53 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.

Offline Helix70

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #54 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?
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2019, 01:45:47 am »
Got mine ordered. But never saw any update emails
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #56 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.

Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #57 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?
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #58 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 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.

Offline pylo

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #59 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 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #60 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.

Offline prasimix

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Current status...
« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2019, 11:12:17 am »
We're halfway there! Thanks for spreading a word and support...


Offline pylo

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #62 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #63 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Thanks @bunnie
« Reply #64 on: November 21, 2019, 02:30:39 pm »
I couldn't stand not to say what Bunnie, a great guy who already did a lot for open source/hardware community, said:

https://twitter.com/bunniestudios/status/1197503114246414336
 
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Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #65 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...)
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #66 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).

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #67 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
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2019, 12:20:03 am »
I hope you get a good number of orders.  Including one from me :-)
 
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Offline knapik

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #69 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #70 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).
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.

 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #71 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.
 

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2019, 11:18:51 am »
Great, don't hesitate to contact me when adventure begins! :-/O
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #73 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  :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 04:15:41 pm by Ranayna »
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #74 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.

Offline alex-sh

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #75 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #76 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 :)
 
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Offline prasimix

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EEZ BB3 data logging
« Reply #77 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.


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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #78 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) 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 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!

Offline Towger

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2019, 08:54:38 am »
What country are they being shipped from?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #80 on: December 05, 2019, 08:55:20 am »
Portland, OR, USA

Online exe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #81 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #82 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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DCP405 power module advanced features
« Reply #83 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:
  • remote sense
  • down-programmer
  • remote programming
  • fast over-voltage protection

 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 chassis...
« Reply #84 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

Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #85 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #86 on: December 14, 2019, 04:22:47 pm »


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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Power outputs coupling and tracking
« Reply #87 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:




Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #88 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 (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

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
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #89 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 (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 (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

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: r1B6 and r2B1. Here's what r2B1 looks like:


Online dunkemhigh

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #90 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.
 
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #91 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).

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #92 on: December 16, 2019, 06:00:48 pm »
I guess a tablet would work if it replicated the front panel closely.

Just an idea :)
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #93 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...
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #94 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #95 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 (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.

Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #96 on: December 17, 2019, 07:53:52 pm »
But tapping your feet to the music may be a problem.
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #97 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #98 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 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.

Offline prasimix

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BB3 web simulator
« Reply #99 on: December 18, 2019, 08:28:25 am »
Feel free to explore most of the implemented SCPI commands using Web simulator. SCPI commands are listed in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.


Offline prasimix

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First MicroPython script - simple diode tester
« Reply #100 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





 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: First MicroPython script - simple diode tester
« Reply #101 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



Wonderful stuff.
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #102 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
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #103 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 :-+. Especially backers from EU, AUS, CAN, CH.

Offline prasimix

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EEZ BB3 MQTT support
« Reply #104 on: December 25, 2019, 08:18:58 am »
Another video, this time how to make BB3 a useful I(di)oT :)

 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #105 on: December 28, 2019, 09:12:03 am »

Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #106 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.
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #107 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.
 
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Offline mcdanlj

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #108 on: December 30, 2019, 11:05:01 pm »
[attachimg=1]

 :-+
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #109 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:
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 11:23:56 pm by AlanS »
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #110 on: December 30, 2019, 11:24:56 pm »
Well done!

I'd love one of these but can't justify the cost, sadly.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #111 on: December 31, 2019, 08:17:45 am »

Offline prasimix

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EEZ BB3 protection mechanisms
« Reply #112 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.

 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2020, 02:10:07 pm »
Congratulations  :-+
 
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Offline knapik

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #114 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!
 
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Offline prasimix

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Simple curve tracer
« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2020, 07:33:06 am »
MicroPython scripting is used to create curve tracer for NPN BJTs and N-ch MOSFETs.

 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #116 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:
  • DCP405B module, and all kits that include it, will no longer be available due to lack of interest. 2-ch "full" version will stay and 4-ch "full" version will be introduced.
  • Price of BB3 Enclosure & Bare Boards will be increased from $145 to $160, 2-ch "full" version from $599 to $650 and 4-ch "full" will cost $750.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 07:44:11 am by prasimix »
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #117 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.





Offline jan28

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #118 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, ...).
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #119 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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #120 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?
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #121 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 
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #122 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.

Offline mcdanlj

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #123 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #124 on: January 06, 2020, 12:30:03 pm »
My idea is to use this type of cables:





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 (if we are going with solution #1), but another revision will include jbb's suggestion to move BOOT0 switch from AUX PS to MCU.
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #125 on: January 06, 2020, 07:44:53 pm »
28hrs left, $99,719 raised....
 
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Offline peteb2

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #126 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)!
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #127 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

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #128 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 then 4 more votes goes against moving USB to the rear.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #129 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]
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #130 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!

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BB3 fulfillment, week #1 update
« Reply #131 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
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #132 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! :-+
 

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Hook-on probes
« Reply #133 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

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Re: Hook-on probes
« Reply #134 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: Hook-on probes
« Reply #135 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

Survey is closed, thanks for your participation. You confirmed what I initially wanted to deliver: ELECTRO-PJP 404-890 (overall size: 76 mm)

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BB3 fulfillment, week #2 update
« Reply #136 on: January 21, 2020, 05:38:22 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • Discussion about campaign balance sheet is completed
  • Money transfer is initiated, and we're waiting for funds to become available on our bank account
  • Chinese New Year celebration started and we missed the chance to get info about lead times for few important items (e.g. TFT display)
  • We're in contact with PCB/PCBA manufacturer, lead time is not settled yet, neither we started with test batch since we have to pay for it 100% in advance
  • A small correction is added on the DCP405 module to equalize response in CC mode between 50 mA and 5 A ranges, i.e. 5 A range response is now improved:
Step response for 5 A range before:



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



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


 
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Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #137 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.)
 

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #138 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
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #139 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?

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #140 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

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.crowdsupply.com/envox/eez-bb3/updates/more-fun-with-micropython-and-post-campaign-availability
 

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #141 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #142 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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #143 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #3 update
« Reply #144 on: January 28, 2020, 10:56:39 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • Negotiation with PCB/PCBA manufacturer is completed, I expect that test run will start this week.
  • Adjustable feet are ordered and comes from Turkey probably next week.
  • Cardboard boxes are paid and scheduled for delivery in 2-3 weeks time.
  • Ethernet cable order is pending, we're waiting for CNY holidays to finish.
  • Availability of TFT displays are still unknown, again we have to wait for CNY holidays to finish.
  • Push-in 5-pin terminals are ordered from WE.
  • Nuts and bolts, fans, cabling, batteries, knobs, etc. are ordered from TME.
  • Now it is clear that delivery date has to be postponed. The reason is that I didn't manage to find enough AC/DC converters on market, and I had the following possibilities: to choose between 14 weeks, 10 weeks and 35 days delivery. The fastest and most expensive is selected, but that now moves delivery date to middle of March instead of initially planned beginning of March. Few distributors offered me a mix of auto-switched (F-type) and cheaper manually switched mains voltage models but I find that unacceptable.
  • Finally, I got a prototype of modified front and rear panels where Ethernet socket is moved on the rear, and Boot0 switch is moved from AUX-PS to MCU module (thanks @jbb):


 
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Offline danielbriggs

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #145 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  :-+
 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #146 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:
 

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #147 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #148 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, a distributor from Poland.
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #149 on: January 29, 2020, 01:12:40 pm »
  * TME - ?

transfer multisort elektronik :)
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #150 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


 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #151 on: January 29, 2020, 03:38:55 pm »
Thanks Ranayna, I'm suggesting that you're wait for 1.0 release on the GitHub (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.
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #4 update
« Reply #152 on: February 04, 2020, 02:12:04 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • Test run of first 10 sets of PCB modules started last Friday
  • TFT displays are paid today and no unexpected delay is announced
  • Varisom, enclosure manufacturer sent us few pictures from production
  • "Nuts&bolts" arrived from TME.eu, and enclosure feet are waiting for Custom clearance
  • Firmware is developing continuously, a lot of small fixes and improvements were added
  • Wire harness assembly is planned to start in coming days.



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BB3 fulfillment, week #5 update
« Reply #153 on: February 11, 2020, 05:10:22 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • The PCBA manufacturer told me that 80% of all parts needed for modules assembly now arrived. However it is not confirmed when the rest will come, and some delays are possible
  • PCB production should be finished to the end of this week, and stencils are ready for production
  • I'm waiting for update regarding manufacturing and delivery of AC/DC converters and TFT displays due to coronavirus. New delays are possible. They are still working from home and new update can be expected next week
  • Enclosure parts arrived from painting shop
 
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #6 update
« Reply #154 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:
  • PCBA manufacturer is still waiting for PCBs, but they send me pictures of stencils (see below). About 5% of components are still missing.
  • Work on wire harness is progressing well.
  • Enclosures are in final phase, only silkscreens are missing on the front and rear panels.
 
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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #6 update
« Reply #155 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.
 
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Offline mcdanlj

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #156 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #157 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.
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #7 update
« Reply #158 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.
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #159 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  :-+
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #8 update
« Reply #160 on: March 03, 2020, 04:17:24 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • PCB panels arrived to the PCBA manufacturer and test batch should finally start tomorrow (because tomorrow never dies :phew:)
  • Wire harness is finished
  • Cardboard boxes that will be used for shipping are delivered
  • First 100 pcs of TFT displays arrived as announced
  • We are working toward closing the feature list of firmware v1.0 to have enough time for testing. We have some tough time recently to get reliable read and write operation of SDcard that become a vital part of the system as it is use as storage of user profiles, lists, data logs, etc. I seems that it now works as expected.
New estimated shipping date is moved to the May, 1st that will be announced shortly on the campaign official page.





 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #161 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.
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #162 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.
 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #163 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.
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #9 update
« Reply #164 on: March 10, 2020, 10:11:51 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • Enclosures are finished and on the way from Portugal to us
  • Ethernet patch cables arrived from China, and waiting for Customs clearance
  • Bare PCBs arrived today for BB3 Enclosure & Bare Boards pledge level
  • I received first pictures from assembly line (BP3C backplane), more pictures are announced for tomorrow, and test batch should be delivered next week

 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #10 update
« Reply #165 on: March 17, 2020, 05:27:48 pm »
Another week, another update (and I'm start to be more and more nervous):
  • Enclosures safely arrived from Portugal
  • Ethernet patch cable are also here
  • We started to expand possibility of MicroPython scripting, i.e. a first integration with EEZ Studio has been done and first results are presented here
  • Test batch of modules is delayed for unknown "difficulties", but I got promise that today basic modules (AUX-PS, MCU and BP3C) will depart (I believe that new measures due to virus crisis will not affect delivery)
Thanks for your understanding and support, keep safe!

 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #166 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. Recommendations about social distancing were quickly forgotten, and it remains to be seen what the consequences of this contradictory situation will be.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #167 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.
 

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #168 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #11 update
« Reply #169 on: March 24, 2020, 01:55:03 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • Yesterday arrived test batch of basic modules (AUX-PS, MCU and BP3C). Everything looks fine, and I gave manufacturer a green light to proceed with production
  • Test batch of power modules should be finalized today and send soon
  • Meanwell AC/DC converters arrived and after Customs clearance they'll be forwarded to me
  • Modifications of front and rear panel (moving Ethernet connector and Boot0 switch) looks fine.



 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #170 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  :-+
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #12 update
« Reply #171 on: March 31, 2020, 03:22:53 pm »
Progress from last week:
  • The rest of the TFT displays arrived, Customs clearance is finished and I'm expecting them in day or two.
  • DHL has been transferring Meanwell AC/DC modules from China for over a week now, but no package has reached me yet (23 boxes in total). Customs duties were paid in advance. I suppose that should happen in the coming days.
  • Although promised a week ago, the power modules from the test batch have not reached me yet. They were reportedly sent yesterday.
In summary, we lack "only" assembled modules that need to be individually tested, initially calibrated, packaged, and sent to Mouser for distribution to begin.
 
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Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #172 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #173 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.  :-//

Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #174 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...
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #175 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
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #176 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.

Offline mcdanlj

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #177 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #13 update
« Reply #178 on: April 07, 2020, 04:20:20 pm »
Update from last week:
  • Meanwell finally arrived in my place.
  • The remaining TFT displays have also arrived.
  • DCP405 and DCM220 test batches have finally arrived. I found few minor issues: TVS protections on inputs and outputs were inverted, causing a short circuit, one IC was missing on the DCM220 and DCP405's the power transistors were not properly mounted (ordered package variant requires additional isolation).
  • The BP3C backplanes have been delivered in full, MCU and AUX PS modules are currently being finalized.
  • Two dear guys help me with the user manual: Felix is doing the second round of English proofreading, while today Jochen delivered me the first version of the German translation!
  • The Web simulator has been updated to see changes to the trigger system and a newly added section for defining turn-on voltage and current ramps and delays. More details coming soon.





 
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Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #179 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).
 

Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #14 update
« Reply #180 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.

 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #181 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:
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #15 update
« Reply #182 on: April 21, 2020, 05:50:23 pm »
Update from last week:
  • AUX-PS and MCU modules were sent to me last Friday. I'm expecting them soon.
  • To be perfectly clear, the status of the power modules is still unknown: I'm still waiting for any estimate from PCBA contractor.
  • 2-channel kit version assembly instructions 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 is available on GitHub.
 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #15 update
« Reply #183 on: April 22, 2020, 12:33:42 am »
  • 2-channel kit version assembly instructions 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 is available on GitHub.

Only had time for a quick scan through, but I didn't see any obvious issues and it looks excellent.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #184 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.
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #185 on: April 22, 2020, 02:15:56 am »
@dunkemhigh - What a wonderful man.  :phew:
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #186 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.

Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #187 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.
 
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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #188 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #189 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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #190 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #191 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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #192 on: April 24, 2020, 01:08:27 am »
OK, you have a PR with my suggestions.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #193 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #16 update
« Reply #194 on: April 28, 2020, 05:04:58 pm »
Update from last week:
  • I have information when power modules should be ready. Estimate is May 8th or 9th (this year :phew:). A couple of days for shipping should be added and of course another week or two to test and pack everything.
  • Firmware 1.0 should be completed by the end of the week. This should have happened before, but we decided to change the calibration procedure to have more flexibility (instead of 2-point calibration now we can have up to 20 points). This is especially important for the DCM220, which has limited possibilities for setting and reading currents below 1 A. The new calibration will require updating the User manual, which I will try to do as soon as possible.
  • BB3 Enclosure & Bare Boards kit assembly instructions were also written and posted on the web. The document source is also available on GitHub in case anyone wants to do proofreading.
 
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Online Ranayna

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #195 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
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #196 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).

Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #197 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.)
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #198 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #17 update
« Reply #199 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.
 
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BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
« Reply #200 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!
 
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Offline danielbriggs

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #201 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. :(
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
« Reply #202 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.

Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
« Reply #203 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?
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #18 update
« Reply #204 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.

Offline jbb

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #205 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.)
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #206 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?

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #207 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.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #208 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%
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #19 update
« Reply #209 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 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 page.



« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 04:23:18 pm by prasimix »
 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #210 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #211 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #20 update
« Reply #212 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.
 
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Offline danielbriggs

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #213 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?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #214 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.

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #215 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.
 
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Offline danielbriggs

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #216 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!  :-+
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
« Reply #217 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
« Reply #218 on: June 03, 2020, 08:26:16 am »
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
« Reply #219 on: June 03, 2020, 11:22:24 pm »
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...

Whew! I expected something more like...

[attachimg=1]

 ;)
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
« Reply #220 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
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 03:30:14 am by AlanS »
 

Offline AlanS

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #21 update
« Reply #221 on: June 04, 2020, 03:32:27 am »
Finally good news, I got these pictures recently...



3 boards per panel, 20 panels counted and they're part of a batch. All good news.
 

Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #22 update
« Reply #222 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.
 
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Offline danielbriggs

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #223 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.  :-+
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #224 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!
 
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Offline ResistorRob

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #225 on: June 11, 2020, 12:56:49 am »
Accepting new orders for this?
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #226 on: June 11, 2020, 06:05:07 am »
Accepting new orders for this?

Yes, visit 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.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 10:25:47 am by prasimix »
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #227 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 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #23 update
« Reply #228 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
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #24 update
« Reply #229 on: June 23, 2020, 05:29:37 pm »
 This week update: |O |O |O :bullshit: :palm:
 
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Offline AlanS

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #24 update
« Reply #230 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:
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #231 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #25 update
« Reply #232 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.  :-//
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #233 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...
 
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Offline knapik

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #234 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #235 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.
 
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Offline mairo

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #236 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.
 

Offline prasimix

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BB3 fulfillment, week #26 update
« Reply #237 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) ...



Offline AlanS

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Re: BB3 fulfillment, week #26 update
« Reply #238 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 - 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.
 
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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #239 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.
 
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Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #240 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.

 
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Online exe

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #241 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.
 
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Offline prasimix

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Re: EEZ Bench Box 3 - Sequel to EEZ H24005
« Reply #242 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!).
 
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