My V2 Gertboard showed up today. I promised some photos yesterday, so here they are, along with some first impressions…
Main visible differences from V1 are:
- CE and FCC marks
- Different fuse holder
- Different motor controller chip – surface mount
- All ICs are soldered directly to the board apart from the ATMega, which is socketed
- leds are surface mount
- there are pull-up resistors on the buffers
- the buttons are surface mount
- the DAC chip is teeny weeny and surface mount
- the regulator is surface mount
- The jumpers with grippy extension are very practical
- But the biggest change of all is the socket on the bottom that mounts the Gertboard directly onto the Pi – with feet to support it
The board is identical in size to V1. Overall it looks like the product has been well optimised for manufacturing. There are no components on the reverse side except the mounting socket.
What no ribbon cable?
People are already talking in the forums about ribbon cables and adaptors to go with it. You can never meet everone’s requirements simultaneously. Eliminating a ribbon cable from the equation simplifies it and also makes it slightly more ‘donkey-proof’. I think this is a good thing – particularly when you bear in mind the intended target audience for the product – schools. :)
I didn’t notice, until I was processing the photos, that one of the pins on header J25 (at PC3) is bent :( I’ll try and bend it back, but it’s only a GND pin, so not really a dealbreaker – since there’s 24 GND pins on that header alone. Doubt I’ll ever need them all at once, even if it breaks off. (Update: it bent back fine:) ).
And no initial impressions review would be complete without a side by side comparison of the two boards. So here you are…
Which one do I prefer? I hear you ask.
No competition. Rev 1. It’s mine. I made it. My precious. ;) No doubt Rev 2 will sell a bucket load more and is way more practical for schools. But my Rev 1 board is a part of me in a way that the Rev 2 never can be, unless…
…I start soldering bits onto it. :) Nah. Even then it wouldn’t be the same.
Don’t let that put you off though. The Rev 2 Gertboard is just as good as Rev 1 – it’s a sentimental attachment, that’s all.
Here’s the gallery with the rest of the photos…