Hello everyone and welcome to this first post-campaign update. Every month we will send an update on the production of the PGB-1 until we ship all the units in January.

If you missed the campaign don’t worry, the PGB-1 is now available for pre-order on Crowd Supply.

In this first update after the campaign, we want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the funding. First the Crowd Supply team. We started this campaign with a tight schedule and they went out of their ways to make it happen. We also want to thank all the people that we met at Synth Fest France or SuperBooth. These are great events full of passionate people, and it was a blast to present and get feedback on the PGB-1. And of course a huge thanks to all the backers that support the project.

Now back to the production update. In June we focused our efforts on the design and testing of the Noise Nugget production boards. As mentioned briefly on the campaign page, PGB-1 is made of two main components:

  • The Noise Nugget: A “single-board audio processor” The
  • motherboard: physical interface with keyboard, LEDs, screen, sockets, battery, etc.

At first we made this design choice to concentrate the complex parts of the electronic design on a small board that allows for faster and cheaper iterations. As you will see below, it’ss also bringing nice features for us the manufacturer, and you the user.

Compared to the campaign prototype, we are changing our strategy on the format of the Noise Nugget. The prototype version was inspired by the RP2040 Stamp from Solder Party. This board is surrounded by so-called castellated holes which allows it to be soldered on the motherboard:

Alternatively, a temporary installation is possible using what Solder Party calls FlexyPins.

This is a great solution for prototypes and limited runs, however we consider it not suitable for bigger production volumes. The assembly requires soldering. If done manually at Wee Noise Makers it would take a huge amount of time. If done by a PCB manufacturer it means handling of a very specific part and managing supply/inventory.

We are switching to another solution that will solve these problems and bring interesting features. The Noise Nugget 2040 will be inspired by the M.2 (a.k.a NGFF) format (a specification for computer expansion cards) and the SparkFun Micromod ecosystem. That means a thin PCB that slides inside a connector mounted on the motherboard.

Here are the main benefits:

  • Simple assembly: the Noise Nugget in “M.2” format can be assembled on the motherboard in one second without any soldering.

  • Double sided: Since the Noise Nugget is mounted a few millimeters above the motherboard, there is room for components on both sides. Reducing the overall footprint of the Noise Nugget on the motherboard.

  • Upgradable: In the future we might make a new version of the Noise Nugget, potentially with a more powerful processor. Users will be able to upgrade the PGB-1 with this new board very easily.

So in June we designed the new Noise Nugget in M.2 format:

As well as a development board:

Unfortunately the documentation for the 3.5mm jack was all wrong and all the pins are inverted… So we will do another run of this dev board. By the way, we are going to give away at 3 of these dev boards to people motivated to use the Noise Nugget on their own project. Please contact us on the Discord server if you are interested.

We also designed a tester board that we will use to check the quality of each Noise Nugget individually:

As always, if you have any questions on this topic or anything else, there are several ways to reach us. You can use the campaign question form, join the Wee Noise Makers Discord Server, or contact us on our social media channels.