Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is there a Gertboard Availability Controversy?

As I stated in my last post, I received my Raspberry Pi expansion Gertboard yesterday.  The main conclusion was I wasn't impressed with the Newark/Element14 way of packaging it all and I'm still not fond of surface mount parts.  The soldering may be a bit easier though - as of today I received my Hakko 888 soldering iron from Adafruit.

But reading the Interwebs today, it appears that my impressions on availability have blown up from an observation into a real problem.  The item is no longer available from Element14/Farnell (not just out of stock) with a FAQ update and a posting stating:
"Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately we are not taking any new orders for the Gertboard at present as this one is going discontinued. We have a new Gertboard that will be launched shortly updates on this will be available through the element14 website."
A NEW GERTBOARD??  REALLY? Ok I have two Rev 1 Raspberry Pis and now a Gen1 Gertboard limited edition unassembled.  Now the Pis I don't mind to much (but I really would like the extra 256K RAM on the Rev Bs).  But I was hoping for a slew of cool things to do with the Gertboard based on tutorials and code written for education (this was a RasPi Foundation sanctioned board mainly for education).  Do I have a dinosaur 24 hours on?

The Raspberry Pi forum appears to have many posts just today on the issue.  This thread has boiled it down to Farnell deciding the experiment in making such kits was not a good one and they appear to be leaning towards selling whole boards.  This could require FCC and European RF certification and who knows which  way it could all go.

A few hours ago I was rather excited.  Now it all seems like a mess.  Anyone have thoughts on the issue?