Friday, March 09, 2012

Raspberry Pi suffers minor manufacturing issue

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The Raspberry Pi $35 PC is now available to order, or more specifically pre-order as supplies are being snapped up faster than they can be manufactured. The first batch should be shipping out very soon, but has ultimately suffered a slight delay due to a manufacturing issue.

The factory producing the tiny PCs has made a mistake and used the wrong jacks for the Ethernet port. They needed to have integrated magnets, but an X-ray of a sample showed non-magnetic jacks had been used. Shipping the Raspberry Pi with these jacks would mean no network connection is possible.

Apparently the problem has taken just a few days to solve and required all the boards already manufactured having the wrong part removed and the right one soldered on. Thankfully, this shouldn’t have any impact on the first batch of boards shipping out.

The bad news is later batches might now suffer a delay mainly because it’s proving tough to source enough magnetic jacks. The stock that had been purchsed is non-magnetic, so is effectively useless. Raspberry Pi’s suppliers need to start all over again and place new orders with whoever has the jacks available to purchase.

I believe I got my Raspberry Pi order secured from the first batch, which I expect to have in my hands before the end of March. With this setback, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next batch of RPs didn’t arrive until late April or May, although it’s hard to predict until they have secured supplies of the new part.

There is one positive to having your Raspberry Pi slightly delayed: it gives you more time to pick up a 3D printer and print your own case for it.

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