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Arduino Compatible Mini USB Host Board

Well, its time to finally get this project "out there". I've been sitting on it for months putting together a bunch of cool little projects for this board and the video above shows off some of the cooler ones. Check out the Kickstarter page for more details as well.

Ever since I saw Kickstarter the first time I've been wanting to give this a shot so I could learn the ins and outs of doing small scale manufacturing from home. Because this is not a product, but a platform or hacker tool I am not super confident there is a substantial enough market for it but I cannot know if I don't try.

The plan if this succeeds is to give all the boards a final value engineering assessment and put the project out to bid. I've already done this with a Florida shop called Tropical Assemblies as well as with Seeedstudio. I'm not super excited with Seeeds PCB quality so I think I'll skip them but the good news is that the local fab shop had similar prices so at least I'll know that I can call and complain if anything goes wrong.

An issue has already cropped up with the Joystick shield. A part I used in the BOM is no longer available anywhere. I'll contact the vendor and verify its availability or lack thereof and reevaluate. I've already got a backup plan but it will require a two sided board which is going to kill the bottom line. No matter, this is more about learning this home manufacturing process then about any profit motivation so we are just going to drive it hard and fix what breaks.

Many thanks to Freeside for all the support and camaraderie.


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