Updates April 2022

Greetings loyal readers! A quick update on “stuff” in and around Planet Spell Foundry.

The main issue to talk about is the recent Global Component Shortages which seem to have affected the whole world for much of the last year. From a lack of new cars to limited availability of graphics cards, anyone making anything that uses computer chips has been affected. This has caused us major headaches and has fundamentally changed the way that we will now be working (for the time being).

New Stock & Building to Order

For much of the latter half of of 2021 and Q1 2022 we haven’t been able to get the parts we need for our products and hence these items have been out of stock for much of that period. We’re pleased to say that now the light at the end of the tunnel is a glimmer that we can see and we’ve now managed to buy a large(ish) stock of parts needed to build Sleepy Pi’s – Yay! There also seems to be “realistic” and better availability for the critical components moving forwards. So for “a while” we should have stock availability of Sleepy Pi 2’s 😁!!

However due to these shortages, for the moment we’re tending to build to order rather than keeping pre-built stock. For example the Sleepy Pi 2’s come in two flavours: USB-Micro B connector and USB-C connector, so rather than tie up components in one variant or the other we build to order. The implications of this is that of a longer lead-time from order to despatch, but it does allows us greater flexibility to meet long term supply. So just be aware, this could be a couple of weeks depending on existing built stock and production schedules. As always if the requirement is urgent please contact us and we will endeavour to sort something out 😉.

Sleepy PI 2 Minor Updates

There have been a couple of minor “in-service” updates to Sleepy Pi 2’s. The current versions of these are:

  • Sleepy Pi 2 – USB-MicroB v1.5E
  • Sleepy Pi 2 – USB-C v1.6E

The first change is a move from using an external crystal oscillator for the Arduino Atmega328 to using the internal RC oscillator. This is a configuration change on programmed fuses on the Atmega chip which we factory set. The main reason for this, is that the RC oscillator is believed to be slightly more reliable over temperature ranges than the crystal oscillator which can (on rare occasions) can fail to start, which means the System may not wake-up. Note that despite the change, the crystal oscillators are still populated on the boards, so you can switch back to using the crystal oscillator by reseting the fuses.

The second change is a slight component modification that tunes the 5V output voltage when powered by an external voltage from around 5.1V to 5.2V. This helps with the newer RPi boards that draw greater currents and allows for greater voltage “headroom” and reliability.

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