The current state of play is: We have a high-level system design and a map of the behavior states. We have a capacity target (300W for 15 mins) and a peak-continuous-load spec (400W) We know we’re going to build a double-conversion design and we’re considering a couple of alternative topologies. We pretty much know the external-interface specs (some details may change).
I’m expecting both my prototype copy of the forebrain Unix SBC (an Olimex LIME2) and the interface contract for the high-power subsystem to land on my desk tomorrow.
Interest in this project continues to be huge. Another company wants in as of this morning. The volume of feature requests is high enough that I’m buckling under the editing load.
The rest of this post is instructions to potential contributors about how to get on board.
1, Get an ID on GitLab. Tell me what it is so I can add you to the project group.
2. If you have a feature request, please Don’t post it on this blog. Add it to the “General feature request thread” on the tracker.
3. Read the wiki. Read the tracker issues. I try to keep both pruned so the volume is not overwhelming. Read the Rejected Ideas page on the wiki, too.
4. Read the design documents in the project wiki. The important one is the transaction design; the I2C message inventory will change, but the basic state diagram probably won’t.
5. Participate in the design discussion. This takes place in tracker threads.
6. When we’re ready to breadboard a prototype, throw some parts money in the tip jar we don’t have yet. If you must contribute before then the PayPal blogbutton works fine.
7. Prototype builds will probably go down at PA Makerspace in Phoenixville, PA. If you are within driving distance and a competent electrics tech, consider joining us for a build.
8. Once we have a full design with a PC board and enclosure: if you have a shop facilities for it, try to replicate the build. We’ll know we have the build recipe debugged when other people can do it.
9. If your favorite hardware feature request doesn’t appear in the version 1 prototype, relax, We may think it’s a good idea but be holding off till v2 out of a desire to keep v1 simple and launch fast.
10. If your favorite software feature request doesn’t appear in the version 1 prototype, pitch in and make it happen. A Unix SBC is not a difficult programming environment – the OS on this one is a Debian port.
After step 10 and a couple of design iterations the future becomes less clear. maybe try to get it into volume manufacturing through a partnership with an established vendor.