Just before 1PM the package of production boards arrived on my door step.
Here is what one seal pack looks like.
Here it is out of the plastic pack. The six pin connector J3 on the right edge is for the Bluetooth module. Only four pins are normally used but the module supports two more. One is used for an external status LED. The board supports this extra pin with a resistor going to J6 which is just to the left under the left edge of C1 cap.
The back side now has all the surface mount parts.
This morning I finished assembling and testing the last of three pre-production boards. The last one had one etching problem where they left copper on that shorted out the DC-DC converter. It shorted +12v to +5v to Ground. It can’t get much worse than that. I did not catch it until I had soldered all the parts in and started testing the DC-DC converter section
After clearing the shorts the board came up find. But now I know to visually inspect each board before I start soldering and do a volt to ground check first.
The three pre-production boards also came with excess solder on each pad which I needed to remove from one pad to mount the SMD parts flat. The production boards are clean and have just a thin film of solder so SMD parts will go on much quicker.
The only part I am missing for the first production run of boards is the RGB LED. I found a place that sells them for $0.16 each instead of the $3.45 that Radio Shack wants. Hopefully they will arrive in the next couple of days. But the LED is the last thing to go on after the boards are assembled so I can start production now.