Omega in Production for real end-user Customers
Suppose one of us turns our hobby experiments into an actual product ? Perhaps there's 100 customers waiting for installation.
Do we go along with an Omega 2+ plugged into an expansion board (is it really almost useless without an expansion board ? How can it be advertised as a $10 product when it needs a $15 expansion board to use it ?). Do we take a breadboard along with the omega & expansion board..
Interested to read comment from anyone who has gone beyond the hobby stage and installed some working systems with real customers....
If you want a professional product you should be interested in using the PCB version of the Omega2+ on your custom-designed PCB, which is the Omega 2S or 2S+. From there, you can just connect the pins to connectors or whereever you need them. Price will depend on the number of PCBs ordered, plus internal design cost, et cetera. More infos on https://onion.io/omega2s/.
For low volume projects you could also design your own PCB in which a normal Omega2+ plugs into a female header socket. I presume the price of such a PCB, together with all the other components you need for that project, is lower than the price of the expansion board of 15$ (which basically contains a UART chip, a power regulator and female header socket).
@Maximilian-Gerhardt Yes, I saw the 2s bu can see nowhere that actually sells it ? I buy from coolcomponents.co.uk or amazon here in uk. The only reference I saw to 2s on onion website was offering a $249 kit.
Any more info on putting a prototype into production , is welcome...
I contacted sales at some point the past few months and I was told that the modules were between $7 to $10 depending on the amount of memory needed and MOQ. You would need to contact sales to see what exactly the pricing is now but assume in that range.
To answer your question, I bought lots of "hacker friendly" boards with the intent on making a product and bought the surface mounted modules with a few of the dev kits. I am in the process of making a product using the module . No matter what, you need an interface board for power and communication (UART / Ethernet) A custom PCB board will be the cheapest route in the long run.
If you have any questions, ask
Make your own PCB, and only put the things on it that you need. For many projects the omega2s takes care of the mandatory risky stuff (like the high-speed SDRAM interface). It's not hard to find 5$/10 prototype PCB services these days, which means that shipping is more expensive that making a PCB.
Omega2s is more interesting if you want to have your boards produced in large quantities, since it can be automatically pick-and-placed.
The Omega2S would be a great device and much more reliable in a product as it has built in eMMC instead of SD card and does away with pin/socket connection thus removing all mechanical connections. It is very easy to build the omega2s into a PCB with a project. One example is to make a board with a USB hub chip than can increase the interface capabilities and a I2C ADC converter, plus Zigbee or LoRa radio for communications (all SMT products).
However, the Omega2S only comes in volumes of 250.
Therefore it is difficult to prototype with, and you also need production volumes of greater than 250 which is a bit large for organizations developing products with potential markets but not guaranteed markets.
@Lachlan-Peter In my experience, the minimum quantity for Omega2S is a tray of 50 pieces. There also seems to be a sample pack of 5 at a higher price per piece. IMHO both very reasonable offers for starting a small product.
As I already bought 500+ Omega2S by now, I can‘t really tell how restrictive Onion is in granting access to their b2b ordering site for new customers. But I would guess they will respond to a professional inquiry sent to email@example.com ;-)