Hardware Manufacture Begins! Part 2: emonTx V3 and emonTx Arduino Shield SMT

This morning I visited Kaizen Technology in Royston near Cambridge. They're manufacturing the emonTx V3 and emonTx Arduino Shield SMT energy monitoring nodes. We choose Kaizen since we have worked with them before to supply us with components and as far as manufacture goes that have very good capabilities. They are able to perform wave soldering to automate the soldering of thru-hole components. This keeps the cost down on a board like the emonTx V3 where there are many thru-hole connectors. 

Since the emonTx Arduino Shield has got thru-hole components which are inserted from the rear of the board this could not be wave soldered. To keep cost down we will be shipping the emonTx Shield with only the SMT components placed and the thru-hole components supplies as a kit. The emonTx V3 will be fully assembled (SMT + thru-hole), apart from the RFu328 to retain user flexibility as some users might want to use an SRF instead of the RFM12B or even use a different MCU in place of ATmega328. 

Mm lots of components

Video showing solder paste being applied and pick-and-place doing it's thing

Checking the placements with the pick-and-place camera

Big re-flow oven, wave soldering machine on the right hand side
Manufacture of the emonTx V3 and emonTx SMT shield should be done by the end of this week and we expect to receive them next week. We hope to start shipping the pre-orders soon after:

Fully assembled emonTx V3, emonTx Shield SMT and emonTH

Complete emonTx V3 energy monitoring node

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