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Stability and robustness for FEZ and Gadgeteer


#1

As you know my Spider is dead.

Today my boss ask me and suspect the Stability and robustness for FEZ and Gadgeteer in our meeting.
Because our product and project are under harsh environment.
The Stability and robustness is very important.
Before decide the solution.
I have some questions,

  1. The temperature Tolerance. The spider will be placed outside in a case box. The spider will connect USB

Client DP Module, GPS, XBEE, GPRS, Touch screen, Ethernet in the same time. In our country the low temp is

seldom lower than 0。C, but the high temp may reach 80 。C under sun irradiate.
So do we need a fan in the box? Any suggestion?

  1. Extend to above, how to choose the battery for spider and all modules. How to estimate the power consumption

for all? Does the NETMF can monitoring the battery?

  1. A FEZ panda2 or FAZ mini with Xbee will be placed under ground in a river. It will face high humidity , high

vibration impact. It is hard to replace the device. We expect

it can live for maybe 3 years, then we drop it and we put a new one. Does FEZ mini or panda2 can fit my purpose?

  1. Another is about the Warranty. Does GHI provides the Warranty? We are in Taiwan, GHI don’t have distributor in Taiwan. Its maybe a problem in the future, If the component is broken, we need sendback to US, maybe the shipping cost is higher than buying a new one.

  2. Because after two weeks I will report to our team about the hardware selection. I will review and compare all .NETMF hardware company. When does GHI’s new FEZ will be announced? I prefer to choose GHI’s product because the good support, active forum, code contribution. But maybe my boss has another consideration, so I need to provides as more as informations.

Our project is very interesting and challenging. It will solve a real engineering problem.
If it success,I will share to you.


#2

Brett’s uninformed opinion. Hey, it’s the internet, that’s allowed, right !? :slight_smile:

For production devices, you may want more than just the “commodity” hardware that the platforms you’re talking about are aimed at (hobbyist and prototyping). Not saying they’re not capable, but it seems to me that you have some specific tolerance stuff that you’d be better off talking to GHI directly about at a commercial level as I would be surprised if they don’t have other customers in the situation you have.

If all you want is to prove the solution in the field, then the existing options may still work for you…


#3

Dear Brett.
Thanks
I agree your opinion.
I need to prove the solution in the field,before to commercialize.
I may contact to GHI discuss my demand directly.


#4

Thousands of GHI’s products are already in field, being used in commercial products. But let me answer your questions briefly.

[quote]1. The temperature Tolerance. The spider will be placed outside in a case box. The spider will connect USB

Client DP Module, GPS, XBEE, GPRS, Touch screen, Ethernet in the same time. In our country the low temp is

seldom lower than 0。C, but the high temp may reach 80 。C under sun irradiate.
So do we need a fan in the box? Any suggestion?
[/quote]
They should work just fine but in extreme temperatures, you will have problems with plastic (connectors) not electronics. This is why EMX module is made to solder directly, no connectors.

[quote]2. Extend to above, how to choose the battery for spider and all modules. How to estimate the power consumption

for all? Does the NETMF can monitoring the battery?
[/quote]
Unrelated question! But you should experiment with what you have to determine your overall power consumption before selecting a battery, which is totally up to your needs.

[quote]3. A FEZ panda2 or FAZ mini with Xbee will be placed under ground in a river. It will face high humidity , high

vibration impact. It is hard to replace the device. We expect

it can live for maybe 3 years, then we drop it and we put a new one. Does FEZ mini or panda2 can fit my purpose?
[/quote]
Back to the “connectors”. You will probably be just fine but high vibration, EMX is excellent as it solders directly, no plastic, no connectors.

[quote]4. Another is about the Warranty. Does GHI provides the Warranty? We are in Taiwan, GHI don’t have distributor in Taiwan. Its maybe a problem in the future, If the component is broken, we need sendback to US, maybe the shipping cost is higher than buying a new one.
[/quote]
Yes we do and you are correct but if you need something replaced in a river, your replacement cost is more than shipping and more than the cost of the device. About everything we sell is not mechanical nor high power so board almost never go bad. Why would a processor/memory go bad? This is extremely rare, unless you have a bad design and high inductive spikes are coming in the processor but this is related to bad design, not bad product. So, I would worry about making sure the system is stable which can be very expensive not he shipping cost which is very minimal.

This is one of the many good things about GHI. We have nothing hidden. If GHI had bad quality then you will see many posts here about defective devices. You can also see how GHI handles bad deices should there be any!
There will always be new FEZ every new months. This will not stop so keep this in mind but I think this particular FEZ is a good fit for your needs. We will have an announcement any day now.


#5

In harsh environments it is common practice to coat the PCB. To protect against moisture a conformal coating is typically good enough. If it is a high vibration application than you may need to ‘pot’ the whole board. Potting is the process of encasing the whole board in some type of epoxy or castable rubber.

When I was in high school I worked summers at a place repairing motor control boards for a silage dig out tool (picture a jack hammer with two horizontal rotating drums with big steel teeth in place of the hammer.) We had to pot the board in a rubber compound or else all the components would vibrate off the PCB! I found the rubber a lot easier to work with than the epoxy type, one the board is encased in epoxy it is almost impossible to work on.