Wanted to let you in under the hood for Core v0.1.1, the next revision of the Core design.
The Core that you see in our Kickstarter video is v0.0.8, whereas the Core that you would find on our Github repo is v0.1.0.
There are three parts of the design that I’m hoping to improve with v0.1.1:
- RF performance. The antenna currently performs well, but it hasn’t been tuned, so we can probably squeeze some more performance out of it with minor tweaks that don’t really cost anything. We’re also going to try and see if we can squeeze on a uFL connector for external antennas; it’s unlikely that we’d be able to get both the uFL and chip antenna on one board (because the presence of one will affect the performance of the other), but we’ll try to at least get the pads on there for both so you can throw on a uFL connector if you want. In the future we may offer a uFL alternative.
- Power regulation. Currently the power regulator is rated for up to 12V at 500mA, but the 500mA is a burst rating, not a continuous rating. We’ve had one Core die while connected to a 12V battery, which I think may have stressed the power regulator a bit much. 9V batteries seem to be fine. I’m looking for an alternative power regulator that’ll fit in the same footprint and is preferably an LDO (switching power supplies might generate noise that would interfere with RF) but with a bit better heat dissipation so it can handle a bit more current.
- Manufacturability. Some of these components are pretty close together. I’m going to make some tweaks to space things out a bit more so our manufacturing partners don’t rip their hair out.
If anyone has any feedback on these modifications or on our design overall, it would be much appreciated!