HubPiWi production batch arrived - up and Running

June 24th, 2016

Today we received the production batch of the HubPiWi - a total of 300 of these. The production batch was ordered in two versions - 100 of these are for Pi Zero 1.2 and earlier and 200 of these are for Pi Zero 1.3 or earlier.

If you do not know, Pi foundation changed the design of Pi Zero and added the Camera Connector on it. Not known are other changes, and which affected the hub based products from Reference Designer - are the locations of the test points for 5V, Ground and USB+, USB- Pin Pairs. These test points were used to extend the connections to the Hubpixed and HubPiWi products of Reference Designer. It means the the Hubpixed and HubPiWi are no more interoperable between Pi Zero 1.2 and 1.3.

The HubPiWi comes in two flavors. Most of us who have purchased it after May 28th more likely need HubPiWi 1.3.

For now we just tested the HubPiwi 1.3 and is looking great. The Signal Strength of Wifi looks great and browsing was a breeze. The shipping will first start with US Customers. We also have a lot of Pre Orders and these will be shipped on first come firs served basis.

We expect that most of the US backers at kickstarter will receive HubPiWi by the end of next week. International backers should start getting these in the next week.

Here are some pictures of HubPiWi 1.3 from production lot.

HubPiWi1.3

HubPiWi1.3_production

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Spartixed - Order

June 5th, 2016

If you missed pledging on Spartixed - (Spartan 6 Evaluation board), at kickstarter, here is your chance to Order.

Choice 1

Spartixed - Comes with USB Cable. Does not include programmer

Spartixed
Spartan 6 Evaluation Board with USB Cable - does not include programmer
$37.00

Choice 2

Spartixed plus Programmer

Spartixed plus programmer
Spartan 6 Evaluation Board with programmer
$57.00

You can also buy these items at ebay and amazon ( will be listed shortly).

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Pre Order HubPiWi

May 28th, 2016

If you missed pledging on HubPiWi ok kickstarter, here is your chance to Pre Order. All pre orders will ship by June End. Please select your one of the following 4 choices. You need to indicated if you need it for Pi Zero 1.2 and earlier or for 1.3. The newer 1.3 has camera connector.

Choice 1

US Buyers for Pi Zero 1.3

HubPiWi 1.3 - USB Hub with WIfi
Hub for Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 US Buyers
$13.00

Choice 2

US Buyers for Pi Zero 1.2

HubPiWi - USB Hub with WIfi
Hub for Raspberry Pi Zero 1.2 US Buyers
$13.00

Choice 3

Buyers Outside US for Pi Zero 1.3

HubPiWi 1.3 - USB Hub with WIfi
Hub for Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 Buyers Outside US - higher shipping
$13.00

Choice 4

Buyers Outside US for Pi Zero 1.2

HubPiWi - USB Hub with WIfi
Hub for Raspberry Pi Zero 1.2 Buyers Outside US - higher shipping
$13.00

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Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 releases - Adds Camera

May 16th, 2016

Update on the Hubpixed and HubPiWi

We took a closer look at the test point arrangement ( See the picture below). It looks like the position of the test points PP22 an PP23 ( for USB+ and USB-) has not changed. However, the position of PP1 has shifted a bit back.

So it looks like we will have to keep two versions of Hubpixed and HubPiWi - one that supports version 1.3 and one that supports the earlier versions. Stay tuned.

Original Post

The big news is the release of Raspberry Zero 1.3 that adds a Camera opening up a whole new possibility for enthusiasts. For example you can mount it on your door which will send you a picture of the person as soon as he presses your ring.

For reference Designer, the key question was - whether two of its products Hubpixed and HubPiWi will continue the to work. This is the question Ian asked

New Pi Zero with small physical changes to board. Will this still work with new version ?

To clearly answer the question, I will need the newer version in my hand. Unfortunately, when I checked the stock at Micro Center and other places, there was none. So I have to rely upon the information available now. Fortunately, I saw this rear picture of the Pi Zero 1.3.

Raspberry-Pi-Zero-Version-1.3-Rear

If you look at the position under the two USB Micro connectors, these "seem" to be at the same position as the earlier Pi Zero. There seem to be little reason the position of these 4 test points will change, unless they run out of space routing the traces for the Camera Connector.

So, my answer as of today is - that the Hubpixed and HubPiWi "should" continue to work with the newer Pi Zero 1.3. I am heading ebay or at any other place to get hold of the Pi Zero 1.3. I will confirm the answer, as soon as I get these.

In the meantime look at the HubPiWi at kickstarter - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1728237598/hubpiwi-raspberry-pi-zero-hub-with-wifi-no-cable-c/

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Spartixed - Update 4/22/2016

April 22nd, 2016

The First batch of 50 Spartixed board arrived from manufacturing house last week and we are able to test at least the following

1. 7 Segment Display
2. LEDs
3. Push Button Switches
4. Slide Switches
5. SPI Flash

The Assembly house made a mistake in swapping two resistors, which resulted in dim glowing of one of the 7 segements of the 7 Segment LED Display. We now have to do swap it back on all 50 boards.

R9_R14

I will let you guess the correct position of R14 and R9 in the picture above.

This is the section of the affected circuit.

R9_R14_schem

The good news is that these boards are built with LX9 ( 144 Pins) and not the LX4 as initially suggested on Kickstarter.

Yesterday ( on 4/21/2016) we shipped 7 Spartixed to the US backers who wanted only the Spartixed ( and not the programmer). These should work well with Xilinx Platform Cable ( including the ability to program the in built Flash).

We then moved on to test the Board and the ability to program the board using the low cost Reference Designer's USB programmer - XIFT1. It worked wonderfully and we were able to program the Xilinx board using XC3SPROG.EXE. The

Everything worked fine till we started trying to program the Flash using XC3SPROG.EXE. It turned out that XC3SPROG.EXE will not recognize Winbond W25Q16DVSSIG that was populated on our board. We then replaced the Flash with Macronix Part No MX25L6445EM2I-10G and it worked like charm.

With this we have the Spartixed and the low cost USB programmer both verified. We are now all set to start shipping the boards early next week when the USB programmer arrives. We will have test these before we can say anything with certainty.

We will be publishing more details about the project and more details need to be placed as the boards ship.

Update 4/23/2016

While the Macronix Part No MX25L6445EM2I-10G will work with XC3SPROG, Xilinx iMPACT is not happy with it. The MX25L6445 is not listed as one of the SPI Flashes supported in its list. Fortunately there seem to be a work around mentioned here . Basically you need to create and set environment variable XIL_IMPACT_SKIPCODECHECK to 1 in your computer and choose N25Q64 as the device fixes it.

A better option could be to use a Flash device that is supported in iMPACT as well as XC3SPROG. The iMPACT tool lists following 64 MBit flashes that needs to be tried.

Atmel - AT45DB642D
Micron - M25P64
Micron N25Q64

More update later.

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Hubpixed - Raspberry Pi Zero Hub without Cable or Connector

April 17th, 2016

Update May 28, 2016

1. It will work only on Pi Zero 1.2 and earlier that has no Camera connector. For Pi Zero 1.3 and later please see this https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1728237598/hubpiwi-raspberry-pi-zero-hub-with-wifi-no-cable-c
2. No Shipping outside USA for now.

Raspberry Pi Zero is a great $5 Single Board Computer with HDMI. It unfortunately has only one Micro USB port which make it difficult to use. Hubpixed is a great USB Hub for Pi Zero that will extend 4 USB Type A ports and does not require any cable or connector.

Hubpixed was one of the great projects at Kickstarter backed by 125 persons. It is now being made available to others at reference designer, at a price of $8. Click on Add to Cart to proceed

Hubpixed - USB Hub for Pi Zero
Hub for Raspberry Pi Zero, Shipping is $5 in US
$8.00

Shipping and handling charge is $5 and we are shipping only in US now through reference designer. For International shipping, please email us at info@referencedesigner.com. For UK, you may purchase it at ebay.co.uk and search for hubpixed.

hubpixed_complete

This is how it looks like when paired with Raspberry Pi Zero.

Raspberry_Pi_Zero_Hub


Customer Feedback on ebay

Here is a snapshot of what customers at ebay say

hubpixed-ebay-customer-feedbacks

You can also buy this product at amazon. Search for Hubpixed at amazon.

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