In this post i will be listing down the lessons i learnt when i was building hardware products prototypes. I have divided them into multiple posts which i will be posting regularly.
1) Don't buy prototype hardware from china, but from reliable sources like Mouser Electronics or Digikey
- Mouser Electronics,
- RS Components
- SIMCOM modules – Campus Components
- SIMCOM modules – Pulsar Electronics
- Quectel modules – Evelta Electronics
- Telit Modules – RaByte
- Telit Modules – WE Components
- Telit modules - TME Electronics Components
- Fibocom modules - TME Electronics Components
- Seirra Wireless modules - TME Electronics Components
- Telit modules – SemiconductorStore/ Symmetery electronics
2) Always have extra parts ready
3) Get extra pcb fabricated instead of exact numbers
4) Check for short circuits between pads in PCB before assembling
Electrical testing is a must and make sure your PCB vendor does it or just look some where else. You will save yourself from a lot of heartache.
5) Don't over solder prototype, get it done outside, reduce unknowns
You never know where you create dry solder joints or short circuits below chips which will give nightmares later.
Also we tend to over solder the parts if we dont feel the chip didnt solder correctly which might lead to overheating and the chip might work now and misbehave later.
So, I always get the PCB assembling done from trusted Assembling factories for prototypes.
6) Always use proper programming headers while prototyping, use ping pong headers later
Using Ping pong headers with a programming jig makes the overall assembling process faster.
Image of 3D printed Programming Jig we made :
More to come in next post. Stay tuned :)