to: The Arduino Opensource Community

by on Oct.02, 2010, under Arduino / AVR

First lest me start off by apologizing. After a good nights rest and time to rethink my thoughts more, I realize now how harsh my last post was and I am sorry.
I should have given my last post more time and thought. I would also like to publicly apologize to those at I tried very hard to not expose who I purchased the board from. I love their products and their support is amazing. They offered me a replacement in slightly under a minute after emailing them. I how ever have to decline on receiving this replacement. I spent some time today fixing up the Uno to the best of my ability. After a half hour of filing,  sanding, and soldering the Uno is now usable with my shields. Although there is still the thin solder mask issue I will address that later in this post.
Midi Keys -What I plan on expanding in the future with the usb functions of this Uno.

What I failed to explain yesterday:

I spent the majority of today working on this post, please excuse my scattered thoughts. I am still having trouble trying to write down in words that are constructive and explain what I want to say.
The main point I originally had was trying explain yesterday was how there is all the hype about the boards not being made in china in sweat shops and that the Italian made quality is better. What is the true value of this if this type of quality pops out at premium price every now and then?

Made In Italy
Note [from massimo]:We stress the fact that all the boards are made in italy because in this globalised world, were getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment. (this obviously applies only to the boards marked “made in italy”, we can not attest to the manufacturing process of “third party” boards).

I thought people would see the exposed copper around the “made in Italy” and see the irony of it.
I know I am not the only one who has received a board like this and I felt this decline in quality control should be brought to light. I already know one way we can make sure a board like this never is shipped to a customer again. The new packaging of the Arduino Uno makes it impossible for the resellers to check the board be fore shipping them out as the packaging is sealed with a sticker.
I suspect that the routing problem most likely was known before the release. If you look closely at the pre release photo you can see a tooth where mine was.

Maybe there needs to be more openness with how the boards are built and assembled and tested? Then the community can give feedback if there are problems and help solve them in the most efficient way. A kind notice that the boards may have some imperfections in a certain batch would be a good start.

More thoughts on the thin solder mask.

I will admit I was a bit picky on this but there could be problems if the solder mask gets any thinner in some spots.

Some more examples of things to look out for.
A very problematic point of interest, you could easily short the pins to the ground.

More exposed copper and a suggestion for the next batch of boards. The ISP header for the 8u2 chip is fairly close the mounting hole. Might cause a problem when certain screws are used.
I wanted to share more of my ideas here on how the community should be more recognized on the Uno rather then where it was made. Without the community there would be very few resources available. (Hence my first image)  My brain is cheese now

9 Comments for this entry

  • avatar

    I don’t know that I believe that the soldermask is thin enough to actually have exposed copper. If so, wouldn’t it have ended up bright silver like the fiducials, rather than copper colored? And to a large extent, once a board is soldered, the soldermask has served its purpose. “I could ‘easily’ short the analog pin to the ground if I was poking around with a moderately sharp thingee” is a pretty spurious argument…
    The only thing I thought was a “serious” problem in your initial posting was the badly-aligned headers.
    OTOH, I’m in basic agreement that I have a distaste for “Made in USA” (or Italy) as a supposed sign of quality. China (and before them Japan) would not be succeeding if quality was awful. Everyone uses pretty much similar equipment and materials, especially on a “mostly automated manufacturing” as used on Arduino. You can still make arguments based on “Human Rights Issues”, I suppose, but those issues are frighteningly complex…

  • avatar

    Don’t feel too bad, you aren’t the only one with a marginal Uno:

  • avatar

    Not sure that’s much to apologize for, you raised your concerns and were disappointed by a product you had eagerly awaited.
    I’ve read the posts and comments and i think most of all your words were interpreted harsher than they were meant.
    I’d be a little sad/annoyed too if i received, say, a brand new phone and there was a little scratch on the screen or an off color on the paint.
    Also, cheese is good.

  • avatar

    Don’t apologise.
    Your post was an “unboxing” style post, so the complaints from Arduino that you hadn’t yet tried to resolve the situation with your reseller are unfounded – I have no doubt that Adafruit would have dealt with the situation very well, but it’s still interesting and relevant information that you shared.
    Arduino set themselves up for the high expectations you had with their marketing.
    The concerns that other people have raised about completing production and reseller shipping before actually announcing the boards and releasing design files are interesting, too. Although doing this does not go against the (still being defined) definition of OSHW, you could very easily say it goes against the spirit.

  • avatar

    I’ve got a UNO just like yours. Edges are ratty. I bought a screw shield for the UNO. It worked for a moment, then the UNO was done. In italian, shes a no worka no more! I got the infamous AVRDUDE STK500_SETSYNC CRAPPOLA. In english, that means trash the piece of junk, and go back to oopic (sure glad they have returneth). Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness! This microprocessor is grossly inferior to my oobot42. I found your review right on the mark, and I’m really disappointed in the quality. Even my Iteaduino (chinese)is built better. I also found that I have to hot glue the wire heads into the headers to keep them from falling out. I give arduino UNO a “D”.

  • avatar

    look fucker you got the adurino board from a reseller and in your post in the arduino forum, you admitted that you got it from this reseller “repaired” you diddnt get a reburb from audrino but you got one from what looks like a really shitty refurbisher cause those copper marks that you claim where they were trying to “use as little solder as possible” look like hachining marks , while the boards are handmade and wouldnt have such marks. dont slam the fucking project slam your shitty referb reseller

  • avatar

    Re poor quality arduino uno rev 3 boards
    Purchased from adafruit dose not work ,lousey manufacturing quality , bad solder joints , very slow delivery , will cost more to return product than it is worth .
    PROBLEM solved purchased Freetronics 11 works fine, good product , good backup from supplier

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