Bus Pirate preorder 2 update

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A few weeks ago we held a preorder for the Bus Pirate universal serial interface tool. We split the preorder into two parts due to a shortage of PIC 24FJ64GA002-I/SO chips. The first preorder is arriving worldwide now, the second preorder has a longer lead time. Here’s everything we currently know about preorder 2, it’s subject to change, but we wanted to keep you up to date.

Preorder 2 contains orders for 563 Bus Pirates. Seeed Studio noticed an error in our quality control testing routine that misclassified about 50 preorder 1 Bus Pirates as defective. We updated the test and passing units will ship immediately to preorder 2 participants on a first come, first serve basis. Another 500 PICs are scheduled to arrive after August 1, which should take care of most remaining orders.

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Parts: Unboxing the Bus Pirate

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For months we’ve used our Bus Pirate universal serial interface tool to demonstrate electronics parts, so it’s only appropriate that the Bus Pirate get it’s own parts post. We recently had a Bus Pirate preorder, and today we received the pre-production Bus Pirate prototype from Seeed Studio. This prototype was mailed just a few days before preorder 1 started to ship, so those packages should start arriving any day.

Follow along as we unbox the prototype Bus Pirate, and connect it to a debugger to determine the PIC24FJ64GA002-I/SO revision that shipped with this board. Use this post to share your own Bus Pirate unboxing experience. Pictures and discussion after the break.

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Bus Pirate preorder 1 ships

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A few weeks ago we held a pre-order for the Bus Pirate V2go, the first official Hack a Day hardware. We had initially hoped for a group purchase of 20 or 40 Bus Pirates, maybe 200 if it was extremely popular. In total, nearly a thousand Bus Pirates will be made.

The first 350 Bus Pirates (pre-order 1) have already been manufactured and tested. Seeed Studio has done a great job handling the orders, pre-order 1 should start shipping more than a week early. How long will it take to get to your mail box? It will vary for everyone, but our packages usually arrive from Seeed in 7 days.

Seeed sent us pictures of the Bus Pirate depaneling, programming, and quality control process. Check them out after the break.

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Parts: 4×20 VFD character display (NA204SD02)

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Futaba makes vacuum florescent character displays that can be used as a drop-in replacement for common character LCDs. VFDs have a wider viewing angle, and generally look cooler.

Futaba’s character displays can be interfaced using the standard 8-bit or 4-bit parallel LCD interface, or a simple two-wire protocol. The protocol type is set by resistors on the back of the display, so it’s not particularly easy to change without a hot-air rework station. Today we’ll demonstrate a serially-interfaced VFD using the Bus Pirate.

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Parts: Ferrite beads

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Ferrite beads (L1 in the photo) filter high frequency power supply noise by converting it into a tiny amount of heat. Power supply noise can cause various problems for many parts, especially in analog audio and display circuits.

Ferrite beads are simple, but choosing one can be confusing because they’re not commonly used by hobbyists. Most designs will still work if you omit the ferrite bead(s), but beads are so cheap there’s no reason to sacrifice the added reliability they provide. We describe how we pick ferrite beads for our projects after the break.

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Last day to preorder your Bus Pirate

Bus Pirate banner by Aaron Silber http://theajblog.com/

Update, Saturday July 4th, 2009: All preorders are closed.

Today is the last day to pre-order a Bus Pirate. Get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30. We don’t plan to make more soon, this could be your last chance.

A special shout out to our partner, Seeed Studio, who handled the rush of orders like pros. The first pre-order is already being manufactured, and will ship as soon as possible. Seeed still has a few V2a PCBs if you’d like to roll your own Bus Pirate.

You’ve made this pre-order a huge success, and we’d like to make more projects available in the future. Were you just interested in the Bus Pirate? Should we arrange pre-orders of future Hack a Day hardware? Are there any past projects that we should revisit?

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How-to: Bus Pirate probe cable

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Update, Saturday July 4th, 2009: All preorders are closed.

A probe cable makes it easy to connect the Bus Pirate to a circuit and get hacking. Good test clips make quick connections on cramped PCBs without causing short circuits. We made two cables for the Bus Pirate v2, keep reading for an overview of our designs and list of part suppliers.

Friday, July 3, 2009 is the last day to pre-order a Bus Pirate. There’s only two days left to get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30.

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