Scaling up and manufacturing with the P1

I’m at a point with my product that I’m developing using a Photon to where I want to start to scale the PCB size down and shrink the other parts on the board along with it. That means switching to use a P1. There are at least a couple of things that aren’t clear to me about the P1 from the documentation:

  1. Are the pins to the P1 on the back only? Does this mean that I have to get a solder mask stencil created and use a reflow oven to get the part attached to my PCB? Are there any other prototyping-level solutions to populating a few P1s before spending money on a solder stencil and using a prototype house to populate the P1 to my PCB? It would be really great if the P1 documentation (maybe I missed it?) had a section that talked about best practices for PCB population and manufacturing with it.

  2. Does the P1 have its own 3.3V voltage regulator on it like the Photon, or do I have to supply my own?

  3. Do I need to add all of the caps that are shown for wifi on this diagram?

I might have some answers for you since I have done some proto boards with the P1.

  1. The pins are on the back only. You will need a solder mask or you could probably get it done with a syringe with solder paste. I got a cheap polyester one from smtstencil in UK. I’m actually mounting all other components on the top side and then only the P1 on the bottom side. Since I was a bit concerns about the P1 withstanding my normal lead free solder profile I use a low temperature lead free solder paste for the P1. Making the second pass in the reflow oven is a low temperature.
  2. You will need to provide 3.3V to the P1.
  3. Yes, you need to add the capacitors. It’s actually all shown in the datasheet under the title Power


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@jhodapp good questions. I see @janne68 has answered them already! Thanks :smile:

  1. There are many “prototype” ways you could attach a P1 module, but typically only one way to do this in a production environment. The datasheets are more so meant to provide the data necessary for production purposes, but we could think about a place for some proto suggestions. Actually I think we did already :slight_smile:

  2. Yep, you need to regulate the supply voltage to 3.3V, and one suggested way of doing that is included in the reference design which covers most of the requirements (besides a dedicated JTAG connector which is recommended): You should also think about how you’ll add and access your RGB LED, SETUP and RESET buttons.

  3. Yes, please see this section:


Thanks to you both for the excellent replies. They definitely give me good pointers to think about as I go into small pre-production runs and then actual production. Those answer my questions well for now, but I’ll follow up in this thread if I have others. Thanks!