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Thread: Does anywhere sell Teensy with pre-soldered USB host pins/other ways to avoid solder?

  1. #1
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    Does anywhere sell Teensy with pre-soldered USB host pins/other ways to avoid solder?

    Iím working on some software which runs on Teensy and requires a USB host port. Soldering the header pins is an easy job, but for anyone who has never soldered before and doesnít have a soldering iron, itís a definite barrier to entry for using my project.

    I was wondering if anywhere sells Teensy with presoldered USB header pins, or if anyone had any smart ideas for other ways round this?

    I just came across the Arduino Zero which sounds like it can do this out of the box, maybe thatís a better option for this project if I want to be able to distribute it more widely, but any alternatives are definitely of interest to me!
    Last edited by tom_d; 12-26-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Soldering is not that difficult.
    Get a soldering iron. Even a cheap 10$ one could do that job. Most important is a fine tip and power around 25W.
    A bit of soldering tin, best use Sn60Pb40 with flux core, as it is easier to handle than lead-free solder and it works with the Teensy PCB as well, if not better.
    You may prefer to buy some cheap proto perf board and some pins to try soldering, before trying on the Teensy. You will see, after a few attempts you will feel how easy it is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqV2xU1fee8

    If you still refuse to solder, you may get a stake riveting tool and rivet the pins. But this is more of a science and expensive as well.

  3. #3
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    Hey, thanks for the reply!

    Sorry, I probably wasnít very clear in my original post.

    Iím okay (just about!) with soldering, but Iím looking to be able to sell my software as something that runs on e.g. Teensy, to an audience who might not know what a Teensy is or be comfortable soldering... so essentially using Teensy (with its ability to be a USB host) as a hardware platform for my software.

    So ideally Iíd be able to say ďbuy my software plus a Teensy plus this USB wire and youíre good to go!Ē. Needing to solder the Teensy to get the USB host working probably reduces the number of people whoíd actually buy the software quite a bit - if I extrapolate my own experience, Iím pretty techie but until this year would have avoided anything that needed soldering as I didnít have the equipment or experience, so Iím sure a lot of my target audience feel the same.

    It does look like Arduino Zero/MKR Zero might be an option here. I guess I could also presolder the Teensys myself and sell them at a huge markup, haha.

  4. #4
    I might be able to help you out. I sell the Teensy 4.1 as a fully populated board including the extra PSRAM and Flash memory chips, Ethernet header and pins.

    I thought about also adding a header for the USB Host port and the row of pads that support VBat, On/Off and Program as part of this fully assembled version, but wasn't sure if using a standard male header top-side would be what most people would want to make these connections. Would be easy to add these headers to this assembly to make it truly fully loaded.

    https://protosupplies.com/product/te...-fully-loaded/

    Not sure if your app makes use of the additional memory or not. Teensy is starting to support more memory chips so have thought about offering some different preassembled versions of the more common / useful combinations for people that want to use Teensy, but don't want to worry about the soldering, especially on the SMD ICs which can be a bit more intimidating than just soldering pins.

    --- Ken

  5. #5
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    The Tindie vendor talldog has several breakout boards for the Teensy 3.6 and 4.0, and he has an option to solder in the Teensy 3.6 or 4.0 (you don't want the 3.5, which does not support USB host). Unfortunately none of the versions with a Teensy soldered in are in stock right now:


    The tindie vendor Burgess World also has a Teensy 4.0 assembled:


    I suspect if Ken Hahn is willing to add it in to list fully loaded board at protosupplies that would be another option.

  6. #6
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    Great, thanks very much both! I'm still at the prototyping stage so getting ahead of myself really, but was curious to see what the options are. The breakout boards look neat! I'm in the UK unforuntately so postage from America can be quite steep, but I will keep these options in mind

  7. #7
    Senior Member+ KurtE's Avatar
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    It is unclear to me, if you are wanting/needing these boards for your own usage and/or if you are wanting the setup for others to use?

    That is, I don't know what your other requirements and the like, but for my own playing around, I will often do a quick and dirty board design.

    But again I am a retired software guy, so I only make them for myself...

    I it is pretty quick and cheap to get boards from different places like: PCBWay or Seeedstudio or ... I typically assemble them myself as it is a one off thing, but depending on your design, you could probably have one of these board manufactures, assemble them. Not sure on things like getting them to install the Teensy, but probably could have sockets already installed.

    Likewise, I am guessing you could simply purchase several T4.1 or T3.6 and a bunch of the USB Host cables like: https://www.pjrc.com/store/cable_usb_host_t36.html
    And have someone solder up the Teensy with the header pins. However I personally have better luck with the USB Host stuff with connectors assembled on a board.

    For example this week I am debugging some USBHost stuff using this board... Pardon the dust. It is a partially assembled board I did earlier which had an issue with the Servo connections, so I never completed, but works good for simple USB and access to all of the IO pins...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What is fun about doing things like this is you can choose what features you want or don't want.

  8. #8
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenHahn View Post
    I might be able to help you out. I sell the Teensy 4.1 as a fully populated board including the extra PSRAM and Flash memory chips, Ethernet header and pins.

    I thought about also adding a header for the USB Host port and the row of pads that support VBat, On/Off and Program as part of this fully assembled version, but wasn't sure if using a standard male header top-side would be what most people would want to make these connections. Would be easy to add these headers to this assembly to make it truly fully loaded.

    https://protosupplies.com/product/te...-fully-loaded/

    --- Ken
    The way I tend to solder up Teensys is to use stacking headers for the 48 external pins, and 5 port female headers for the back/middle 5 pins. That way it can go into a breadboard, but I can add something like the audio shield on top, and I can attach Vbattery, On/off, and reset to the pins as needed. Some times for the Teensy 4.0/3.2, I will use a right angle female header for the back 5 pins, so that I can access those pins while having an audio or prop shield mounted on top of the Teensy.

    Now for the USB host pins, the usual USB host cable has a 5 pin female header, so it might be better to attach 5 male pins. However, I don't tend to like male pins sticking up since they might be easier to have a short circuit. So when I attach the USB host pins, I attach a 5 pin female header, and just use 5 long male pins to allow the host cable to be connected.

    Unfortunately, the ethernet pins are problematical, because the pins are 2mm pitch instead of 2.54mm, and the cable that attaches to the ethernet won't fit on with the stacking headers. There are some solutions I've seen, but so far, I haven't actually hooked up the ethernet yet.

    It is unfortunate that 5 pins for the USB host do not line up on 2.54mm/0.1" boundaries which makes using them with normal prototype boards hard.

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