Back in early 2014, we (Rob, Dorian and Dan) started off on the this little community-driven project with little idea of how popular it would become. What started off with some hand-etched PCBs and Arduino sketches quickly transformed into various different GUIs to help configure it, custom flash utilities, custom PCBs and then the offer of a voluntary service to solder and assemble them for those who couldn't do it themselves. Over the course of the last year, this last part has become increasingly harder for the three of us to fulfil.
As a result of this, we started working on a proprietary EDTracker design late last year that would mean we could get the devices factory assembled without the need for us to hand-assemble them. We all had day jobs and, returning home to have to start soldering 20 DIY EDTrackers was starting to grate on family life a little. Having the devices factory-made would free up our time to concentrate on the software side of things, and free up our personal time. We could also incorporate some enhancements while we were at it. Better for us, and better for you the customers - we could offer production-quality devices with no sign of hand soldering or dremmeling.
|EDTracker Pro PCB
EDTracker Pro enclosure
Over the last 3 months, a fantastic team of EDTracker fans and community users have helped us test some prototype designs and we're glad to say that, as of Saturday 11th July 2015, EDTracker Pro "hits the shelves". For people looking to buy fully-built devices from us, this will be the standard offering. We will clear the stock of remaining hand-built units, then cease offering them.
EDTracker Pro is an exciting time for us. There are further plans under way to offer a wireless variant, although at this stage it is unlikely to be complete before early 2017.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of the community out there that has supported us in one way or another - the positive feedback we get from you guys is awesome and we really love reading the emails of how you guys are employing (and enjoying) EDTracker; it lifts our spirits!
How is the EDTracker Pro better?
- EDTracker Pro utilises a professionally-assembled single PCB manufactured in the UK for us by Zot (the same company who helped us create the initial DIY PCB)
- The USB connector is now a more robust design
- The enclosures are machined professionally - no more hand-drilled/cut plastic enclosures!
- The device is completely driverless
- It is slightly lighter than the previous model
Where has the button gone?!
EDTracker Pro doesn't have a re-centre button. It has become less needed on magnetometer-enabled devices, and can be achieved via the GUI software and a hot key instead. To simplify the packaging and production, we chose to drop the button from the design.
I've got a DIY EDTracker you built for me - is it a load of rubbish now? Should I get a Pro?
Not at all (honestly!). Users of early versions based on the MPU-6050 (without a magnetometer) will definitely notice an improvement as the axis creep (or 'drift') of those versions is practically eliminated. However, users of MPU-9150 devices will notice very little difference from a functionality perspective. What we mean is, while there are the improvements to the design as mentioned above, the way it actually plays is not significantly different. Unless any of the above points are critical enhancements for you, we would not suggest to owners of previous versions that you should upgrade.
Oh no, is the DIY version going away?
Not at all. We still want to encourage people to "do it themselves" so the open source code behind EDTracker DIY is still available and we have no intentions of discontinuing it. We will still manufacture and sell the custom PCBs for those who don't want to make the PCB themselves. We just won't hand-assemble the old DIY devices any more; if you want EDTracker DIY then you'll have to do it yourself - or find someone else to do it for you!
Is Pro open source?
No. If open source is important to you, please go for the DIY EDTracker product. We have invested a lot of time and money into EDTracker Pro and open-sourcing it is not something sustainable. We'd like to think that, given the price, it still provides great value.