Thursday, December 06, 2012

HackRF Beta Update

Sorry, folks! HackRF beta manufacturing (that I had hoped would take place in December) has been delayed until late January or early February. The reason for the delay is the most mundane that you can imagine: ordering components and getting them all delivered to the factory.

Generally speaking, it's pretty easy to buy a handful of parts for prototyping, and it is easy to buy tens of thousands for manufacturing. Buying 500 units of a part at a reasonable price for low volume manufacturing isn't always easy, however. A few of the components took several weeks to source, but they are all on order as of this week.

One component was particularly problematic, the Si5351C clock generator IC. We weren't sure why we were having so much trouble locating 500 units of Si5351C-A until the Si5351C-B suddenly appeared on the market. The new revision is only a little different than the old one, but it has some advantages; the biggest advantage is availability! I had a few units overnighted to me and tested them. Unfortunately changing to the new revision required that I add a single resistor to the Jawbreaker design. It's a very minor change, but even small changes have the potential to cause delays. In this case, the long lead time for some of the components has given us enough extra time that we can make such a change as necessary.

The good news is that we were finally able to order everything at pricing close to what I anticipated. Beta units will likely be shipped in February, so look for an announcement around that time.