Arduino Shield Update

Further news on the Open-source Beta5 Arduino shield:
I have the Radionova GPS chip working, and the signal-conditioning circuits on the shield seem to work well with the Geiger-Muller board.  A neat advantage of using the Radionova GPS module is it contains its own antenna, so if you’re near a window, no external antenna is required (though you can easily connect an antenna if it’s needed).  I’v…e tracked down the inevitable errors in the board layout, and I’ll soon be ready to order a second run of circuit boards.
One thing I’ve discovered is that hand-soldering the Radionova chips onto the boards doesn’t always work, and once you’re started there’s no turning back.  Stenciling solder paste works better, though doing it by hand is tricky, too.  Once we have boards made in quantity by a fab, all those problems will go away.
One of our volunteers, Mike of IQ Analog, is going to meet with the u-blox people who make the GPS chip to see if we can get their attention with a big order (1,000!) of the chips we really want.  Wish him well.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll just stay with the Radionova.

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