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Stop the sirring noise!

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    It's time for some updates!

    Just some quick news, but as you know, there's not that much left to do...

    1. The Case

    My contact in Greece finally found the time to pay FormAction a visit and he checked that all changes we had discussed have been applied to the mold.
    They have - and samples will now be produced.
    He plans to visit them again on Monday to take some pictures.
    Hopefully, the samples will be okay, as we can then produce the limited 500 transparent cases (which will go on sale in the shop).
    After that, the molds will be moved for the proper production run.

    2. The mainboard

    As planned, Nikolaus was playing around with the capacitors to solve the sirring noise.

    Well, and we can now 100% confirm which capacitors are the issue...
    A few solutions exist:

    • Instead of using one capacitor, use smaller ones parallel. This works - and the sirring is more quiet then, but we couldn't completely eliminate it.
    • Use an extra PCB just for these capacitors - but this is not really feasible (way too expensive)
    • Like everyone else does it: Use Tantal capacitors. Nikolaus tried it, and yes, the Pyra was working 100% fine and without any noise.
    So yes, thanks to fact that replacing the few capacitors we with Tantal ones fixed everything, we are now 100% the capacitors are the issue - as expected.

    The question is: How to proceed here.

    Tantalum is a conflict material, so I wouldn't really want to use it if possible.

    However, it seems like this is the only proper solution. I will try to contact the Fairphone team to see whether we can get some conflict-free Tantal capacitors from them..

    That would be the best solution!

    On the other hand, it's only a couple of capacitors... probably 0,0000001% of what the smartphone industry uses per day... but still, if I can get them conflict free, I will!

    Nikolaus will still think of some other ideas, but that's the situation today.


    3. CPU Boards

    Well, they're in production. Chinese New Year will delay things a bit, but they should be finished in March - and most probably the final version.

    And here are some things I usually don't tell you, but it shows with what issues I also have to fight in the background:
    As the CPU board is so complex, the price for the bare PCB has doubled (24 EUR instead of 12 EUR).
    So yay... more expenses for us, but I won't charge you more, no worries.

    Oh, and about the old CPU Boards (the ones that would work with 2GB only): Well, using them for the normal production run doesn't make sense, as I only have a couple of 2GB RAM orders.
    Nikolaus was planning to use them for a Pyra phone (so basically the screen, processor and CPU without keyboard and nubs but with replaceable batteries in one nice case), but he doesn't know yet if there would be enough interest for such a project.

    And as the population of the CPU boards are only guaranteed to work fine until end of April (and it surely won't be done until then), we probably can't use those anymore... (remember when the CC in Texas populated corrodated Pandora boards...? Horrible failure rate...)

    So I guess in the end I will sell them as keychains or similar to anyone who wants one of them. Then we could at least cover these expenses a bit (a whopping 8000 EUR). They will probably go on sale together with the transparent case.


    4. Catch the Nikolaus!

    If you happen to visit the FOSDEM, you can try to catch Nikolaus! He's there as a visitor as well - and he's got a Pyra prototype with him :)
     
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  2. JDTAY

    JDTAY Very Active Member

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    ible just said in another thread that SiFive might be unveiling some sort of Linux SoC at FOSDEM, I think. Is Nikolaus going to check it out?
     
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  3. ible

    ible Advanced Guard Tower

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    super exciting. hopefully we can get some conflict-free tantalum caps.
     
  4. A2000

    A2000 Member

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    That's why I happily wait for my Pyra even if it takes more time than I expected. ED deals with details that other companies don't even give a thought about.
    Best solution: Only sell Pyras to older customers, they won't hear the sirring noise anyway ;).
    All jesting aside: Congratulations you found the culprit, you will also find a solution! Contacting the Fairphone team seems an excellent approach to me.
     
  5. Xcl4m4t10n

    Xcl4m4t10n Very Active Member

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  6. Shenmue

    Shenmue Advanced Member

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    Charge me an extra $12. I don't mind.
     
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  7. Gremblo

    Gremblo Hi, how was your day?

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    Thanks for the news ED!

    I do want a noise free Pyra but I do hope that conflict-free caps can be sourced:)!
    And if these are the only tantalum caps in the Pyra than at least we ain't as bad as most other electronic products that don't account or care about conflict caused by mining tantalum in some places.
     
  8. Bernd

    Bernd Active Member

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    There different types of ceramic capacitors.
    Some are prone to produce noice.

    Because of my bad ears, I dont mind screaming capacitors.
    ( As long they arent that loud like Old CRTs. )

    Funfact:
    Some time ago I wanted to use one of this noice-capacitors to detect on board vibration.
    But I wasnt able to get one of this.
     
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  9. Askarus

    Askarus Advanced Member

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    That would not be acceptable for me.

    I wouldn't waste time and energy and use those few Tantalum capacitors.
     
  10. Letalis Sonus

    Letalis Sonus Very Active Member

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    Capacity requirements and space restrictions strongly limit the type you're able to use here, you're pretty much limited to SMD MLCCs. A classic disc cap is large and requires through-hole mounting, which you want to avoid to keep assembly simple and cheap.
     
  11. klapse

    klapse Central Scrutinizer

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    If you want conflict-free, stop using all fuels, plastics, all petroleum products... Stop heating your house, stop going to work and stop paying taxes.
     
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  12. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    While that's true, tantalum is known to be especially problematic.

    Sent from my XT1650-03 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. kuru

    kuru Irate Pyrate

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  14. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    Yeah, the noise would probably drive me scatty.

    ... probably....

    I do have a touch of OCD though...

    Though in saying that... I'm sure that looking at the target market, a not insignificant percentage would be prone to OCD as well, so that's something to consider...


    Off topic:
    I first read...

    Stop the Siri noise!


    Of course the easy solution there would be to remove apples from your diet. ;)


    ... An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

    Well TARDIS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Macintosh

    So I'm not surprised.

    /Off topic

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Advanced Member

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    I'd like to get one of those transparent cases to use as a mold for making some of those leather carry holsters.
    Still very happy with my Pandora one... :D
     
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  16. SombreroMickey

    SombreroMickey Still Fresh

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    I am in!
     
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  17. Djhg2000

    Djhg2000 Member

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    I'd say go for the tantalum caps. Without reiterating too much it's the right solution from a purely technological standpoint and while there's always the risk of source contamination it's easy to start splitting hairs in defining "conflict".

    All that aside, the quantities we're talking about here (1 or 2 per board?) our entire first batch probably affects even a conflict source less than the daily production of smartphones do. In addition, these aren't shady budget caps. Thanks to the heavy EU/US regulation on conflict materials we'd probably be fine even if we used the cheapest tantalum caps on DigiKey, Farnell or ELFA. I think we want better quality caps than that, but you get my point.

    I really appreciate the effort you're putting into evaluating our options though.
     
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  18. Black Sliver

    Black Sliver Still Fresh

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    Not sure how accurate this still is, but one of our suppliers once told me there is no conflict-free tantalum... Like.. mines exist and you can buy it but there is no way to guarantee it.
    Anyway: http://www.kemet.com/conflictfree if that helps you sleep. :)
     
  19. rygD

    rygD Mantrid one arm drones that fly around

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    I was not going to reply since I don't feel my opinions add much. Anyway, you know I am down for adding on at least one clear case. I still want to see the results, and maybe destruction testing of the fiberglass reinforced ones, plus the look and color options, before I decide on a third case.

    I don't mind the sound as long as it doesn't destroy the board or connections, so I prefer sticking with ceramic. If the sitting is in a range only young people can hear hehehe Haha MWAAAHAHAHA...ahem, well, we have to go with what works, so I guess it is acceptable. Hehe! Seriously, though, do what you feel is right. If the Fairphone people help you out, even better than the conflict caps.

    @hns I would prefer a tablet/ebook reader over a Pyra phone, although if I could scrape together enough money to support the idea by buying the phone, i will. I can also get behind the idea of a breakout board to use the old revision like a Raspberry Pi. I have an immediate use for such things, and an idea of one for the Apple IIe (lacking skills and contracts to make this happen).


    Exactly. A small price increase won't bother me.

    Oh, how right you are. Step away from consumerism and capitalism to. I think people that try that are considered undesirables. I would prefer to take it a little further, but this is a discussion for elsewhere.

    Order one as soon as they are done, and get started. (None for me though.)
     
  20. Xcl4m4t10n

    Xcl4m4t10n Very Active Member

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    BTW, 4 years since the project was first showed up in FOSDEM...

    :)
     
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