Defcon:Blog Keklkakl blog blag


Status of the LiNC80 SBC1 mid march 2018

Here's an update to those who are following my "homebrew" tag to see if I actually end up making kits available.

Kits are coming

I'm most definitely working to get kits of this microcomputer available. I have updated my company page over at, and that will be the "home" of the product side of things. I'm planning on selling the kits though Tindie when I get them, well, kitted up.

I've received permission from Grant Searle to include his software on ROM in the kits, and also his permission to make available changed code for the parts where I need to make changes. Getting his permission really made me happy. I've also been talking with Steve Cousins about the possibility of a future port of his Small Computer Monitor (SCMonitor), and we are both enthusiastic about that (scmonitor will not be included in kits, at least not at launch).

The base set of passive components, and the "jellybean parts" have all been ordered, or I already have them in stock. I've also done quite a bit of evaluations on materials needed for handling/packing/shipping, and there's a bunch of bags and boxes on their way to me currently.

Slight delay

I had hoped to have the kits available already, to be honest. Unfortunately that's obviously not the case. Brushing aside delays caused by funding, I've decided I need to halt the progress a bit. On the C-revision of the PCB, I have discovered that using only one Serial Port with the other not connected causes usability issues. When using SIOA, with nothing connected to SIOB, it's nearly impossible to get the computer to recognize the SPACE press needed at boot to select console. Also, when using only SIOB with nothing at SIOA, there's a case of character injection. Both of these are solved by simply adding two resistors on SIOA: a 470k pull-down on CTS, and a 470k pull-up on RX. I think the "I can't boot the computer" issue when using only SIOA is critical enough that I need to make a new revision of the PCB. This gives the option of fixing a few silk-screen errors, and adding a non-critical jumper to the board.

Before ordering new PCB's with the mentioned changes, I really want someone else besides me to actually try to build the kit. To get that accomplished, I've enlisted the help of a few friends who gets a kit each to build. Because I won't order new PCB's before I've had their feedback, I can't start making kits available before two weeks after they have built theirs.

Current schedule

Unless something else shows up along the way, I'm counting one week to get the "beta kits" out, two weeks for the "beta builders" to get their kits assembled, and another two weeks of assessments and finalization. That puts my "ready" date at the absolute end of April.

So if all goes according to plan, I should be able to have kits listed for sale with Tindie in the first week of may, with first possible deliveries the week after.

I have for some reason still not received any questions about prices, but I'll give an estimate. Looking over my numbers at the moment, it seems I need to charge somewhere close to US $160 for a kit, shipping not included. This is a rough number, and is likely to go down some, but not much. Currently mu shipping options is to use the Norwegian Post. They are quite expensive, but at least they are predictable: international letter (untracked) is ~US$18 flat rate, while tracked parcel is a whopping $49. EU addresses save a few € on each of those prices.


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