Tiny 2040 manufacture

A retired ancient engineer, I have just received my first Tiny 2040s - I am gobsmacked.

Just a simple question or two:

Are they made in the UK ?
How the hell does a machine handle a component about the size of a grain of salt. Any links to the machine with a video would be welcome.

The first micro I designed in was a 6800 so you can understand how I feel about modern micros.

First first board goes to my granddaughter to make something for Christmas with Neopixels.


There is some good info here.
About Us - Pimoroni

Any links to the machine with a video would be welcome.

I don’t know which machine Pimoroni use, but I learned a lot about Pick and Place machines from Unexpected Maker, who produces some of the ESP-based boards which Pimoroni sells. He had a bit of a saga where he bought a machine which was absolutely atrocious, tried and failed to get the manufacturer to fix the machine or refund it, and eventually bought one from Neoden to replace that. He has a video which introduces the machine here.

To my knowledge Pimoroni does more or less the same thing: they get the PCBs manufactured in China, and then they assemble and reflow solder them in Sheffield.

Thank you. I spent 40 or so years handling big lumps of wood with CNC, 1mm was accurate enough. This is just mind blowing.

Sometimes I just improved the performance of a labourer, once or twice I saw that I had put a man out of work, I flooded my mine with excuses for his departure.

But now I know my gut feeling was right, and tech is making the human being a liability instead of an asset, the consequence being The Great Reset is now destroying the world I grew up in and, who knows, a few iterations down line and the human will be obsolete.

In the meantime I’ll continue fiddling and, who knows, one of my grand or great grandchildren could be That Engineer who finally pulled the plug on The Humans.

That Ned Ludd was a great thinker.

I don’t know, machines like that make things possible which humans couldn’t realistically do at any scale, but I’m not sure I see them making humans obsolete altogether. In theory machines would give people more time to just enjoy life, but if the last century or so is anything to go by, there will always be something which people are needed for. The Luddites were 200 years ago and today most people still work late into life.

Somebody has to load the correct reels of components, and program it for what board its populating etc.

I guess I’m a lot older than you are. I recall, in the 60s, ZETA was going to make electricity so cheap that it would not be worth charging for it and, “the machines will do all the work so we can just enjoy ourselves”. And we believed it.

In the 1960s if anyone would have suggested the possibility of either that machine or what it is assembling they would have been locked up for their own safety.

Anyway, I am ancient so can revel in what is on offer to keep my little grey cells working. I also revel in the fact of Steel City still doing some manufacturing. My mother had friends and relatives in Rotherham where many worked in “'t mills” making steel the world clamoured for. Sheffield Steel, that really meant something in those days.

Yep, that’s why I said “in theory”, in practice people work fewer hours than two centuries ago because of politics rather than productive machines replacing us. Hence why I think people will always be needed (and if not, hopefully that means relaxation, not being obsolete!).

I am indeed younger than you, but I’m still old enough to notice that Kids These Days can’t imagine what it was like before tablets and smartphones and broadband, and I imagine that’s how you feel about me :-) . In some ways, I wish I’d been around at the genesis of home computers, other events aside it must have been an incredible time. I’m not so sure about the 60s, though.

I was speaking to my (older) brother recently and he was stunned that you can design a PCB at home and just send it off to a company for manufacture these days. It’s amazing how so much technology has evolved and become an easy commodity rather than a specialist item.

OK. Maybe off topic but hugely important. These devices have destroyed the minds of young and not so young people. Why ? Because they don’t have time to think or even enjoy the sound of a breeze blowing through the trees. Go in any restaurant, couples/groups together spend halt their time poking at devices. Young kids sit there mesmerised by these devices because their parents have no time to give them.

They are sheep, they are not allowed to criticise, just flatter the people on whatever media they are glued to. They are so much in love with themselves that the picture of that amazing view is 50% ME and a poorly framed bit of amazing view.

Orwell and Huxley both predicted what would happen years ago even though they could not dream how advanced the tech would become.

YouTube: “Aldous Huxley interviewed by Mike Wallace”, quite amazing.

Worse, we are constantly being prepared for implants. Already pay by phone is a big thing so a small step of “this is more convenient than a big phone” will win over the sheep oblivious to what the real aims are.