[J-core] Turtle Board Documentation

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Fri Mar 26 10:52:56 UTC 2021

I have no idea why this email didn't even wind up in gmail's spam filter, it
just VANISHED. (Made it to the mailing list but not me?) Fished your question
out of the web archive:

> Maybe https://www.sparkfun.com or https://www.adafruit.com would do it.
> Brian

We looked at a number of north american alternatives (including those) and the
results ranged from "the resulting boards would cost about $300 each" to "they
can't do it at all with the number of layers in our design" (which we needed to
fit that much functionality in that little space).

But really that's a Jeff question, I'm passing on what I vaguely recall he told
_me_ something like 2 years ago when I asked similar questions. Jeff has
contacts in japan, taiwan and china that do cheap manufacturing and parts

We can't find anyone who can do this cheaply in north america anymore, and can't
find anyone who can do this at ALL in canada anymore, for the same reason Canada
can't manufacture their own vaccine and is scrambling to import some: Canada had
a "conservative" government from 2006-2015 under which every facility that
actually made or did anything (except fossil fuel mining) was sold off, shut
down, and outsourced overseas.

The US equivalent was the George W Bush administration from 2001-2008, during
which the IBM facility here in Austin that used to manufacture PowerPC chips was
sold and torn down to build "The Domain", a combination upscale retail/apartment
complex. Then after the 2008 financial crisis serious hysteresis set in. I've
watched "urban explorer" videos on youtube of people going through abandoned
motorola, amd, and 3M facilities here in Austin. (The city itself is doing fine,
lots of office/retail stuff from Apple and Oratroll and such have moved in to
replace the manufacturing, they've still got game development and a bunch of
people cloud software and android apps, Tesla's building an electric truck
factory up in round rock to dodge taxes... But can anyone in the USA still layer
a board with a high end process and populate it cost effectively? Not that we've
found, no. Don't get me started on Foxconn's wisconsin facility. There IS high
tech but it doesn't connect up: Samsung's doing some really interesting fab
stuff here in Austin but we can't afford 'em, aren't big enough for them to
notice (Apple's booked their new 5nm fab for the forseeable future as far as I
can tell)... The problem is the steps we need for _this_ project aren't being
done _here_.)

But you don't have to take my word for it. The design files are on
https://github.com/j-core/jcore-jx which you can presumably point either company
at to get a manufacturing quote. The .brd and .sch are Eagle files, which
sparkfun has a tutorial for so is presumably familiar with:


We put this stuff out in public so you DON'T have to wait for us to do this.
Sadly a code release does not automatically create a development community, and
the guys who did this in the first place are juggling too many other balls. (I
blame capitalism...)

Please, prove me wrong. I'd love to be wrong about this.


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