Auction update, factory video

When we started auctioning beta Raspberry Pis to raise money for the charity a few days ago, we imagined each one maybe raising a few hundred quid.

Consider our gast well and truly flabbered.

We are absolutely amazed by the generosity of the people bidding on the beta boards. Every penny from the auction goes straight to our charity, where it will fund the making of more Raspberry Pis to go into schools. We know that those bidding are probably reading this, and we want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for your support.

Just before Christmas, I took some video in Pete’s factory, where he and Eben were busy making a hand alteration to the beta boards. (The fix has been put in at schematic level now, and won’t be present in the production boards.) You can read here about why we needed to make a change. The area being worked on is around a square mm (so a bit challenging to film, but we managed it). The surface mask on the boards needed scraping off on this area before a blob of solder flux, then solder, was applied to make a bridge between two nets. Here are Pete and Eben scraping the night away on one of the boards we’re auctioning tonight: #3.

Betas #2 and #1 will go up for auction tomorrow.



guru avatar

It’s nice to see Sheffield folk-hero Swann Morton coming to the rescue :-)

liz avatar

Makes a horrible noise when scraping copper, though…

guru avatar

I was about to make a joke about it being the Raspi screaming in pain. Then I felt empathy for the little mite :'(

Might be getting too attached to the hardware.

Montekuri avatar

I would think what boring job it would be to fix 100 boards by hand, if it was the case :)

liz avatar

Pete is an absolute star. I’m amazed all the fumes from the flux don’t make him lightheaded.

*After* this was filmed, we also had to solder on all the SD card readers by hand. It’s actually rather deliciously contemplative work, although I’m glad I don’t have to do it all day.

Andre_P avatar

A long time ago in a job far far away I actually built hardware evey now and again. Running a soldering iron along rows of pins and seeing the sparkly solder joins showing that it’s been done right is satisfying. :)

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nelson avatar

“it helps if you power the chip”… couldn’t stop laughing for a minute, the irony of this…. by the way is that Liz voice in the background?

liz avatar

Sadly, yes. I wish it was more sultry.

JohnoFon avatar

Liz, you’re a pin-up already. I, for one, couldn’t cope with the sensory overload of Sultry Voice as well!

Incidentally, I see a future Olympic discipline here. Pierre de Coubertin would have approved.

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Julian Silden Langlo avatar

Wait a second liz is an ice-cream.

Helpme1986 avatar

I was a little disappointed its not possible to get this as a kit and build the board ourselves but based on this vid (a little shaky but cant complain with the amount of zoom!) Im glad we cant now lol, i would waste so many kits trying to get it right lol

psergiu avatar

For more fun, turn on Closed Captioning & Auto Transcription on the YouTube movie. :-D

kme avatar

If the female voice actually is Liz it’s completely different from expectations. I expected at lot more Marlene Dietrich style judged from the photo. Oh, well, females and appearances.. :-)

On the other hand Pete is just as expected (and that’s good, Pete!)

liz avatar


kme avatar

No reason to grumble. I love Marlene Dietrich! You have a sexy voice too, but I can’t really write that in public, can I?

OK, I’m waaay out of line now.

liz avatar

(Stops grumbling.)

Kate Glover avatar

You actually sound so like me when I’m doing vids (inc. your laugh!) that it started freaking me out! Interesting vid :-)

liz avatar

I cunningly edited out the bit where I laugh at my own joke. Must make mental note not to do that on camera.

Ideeman1994 avatar

Hi Liz, at Wikipedia we’re wondering if we could use one pic of the beta board to put it in the article header… Can we do this without any licensing problem?

Many thanks,

liz avatar

Sure, go ahead. I really ought to put CC sharealike licenses on them – I’ll do it later in the week if I get a moment.

Ideeman1994 avatar

Thanks a lot, I just uploaded it :)

nelson avatar

Could you fix the description of the image? The board is different from the production, has the production will be missing the pins

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

Huh wow.. fixing pcb designs with a stereoscopic microscope in near lab conditions, while still using an ancient old scalpel knife

liz avatar

It really is the best tool for this particular job.

meltwater avatar

Whaaa, not a R-Pi controlling a laser mounted on it to do the cutting, much better than a scalpel!

Jay Bhagat avatar

I see you use Macs. Hmmm. I will take that into account. loll.
(For the uninformed, I can tell by the default font of the title overlays that they are using iMovie)

liz avatar

I use a Mac – and a Windows PC for gaming, which is also occasionally a Linux box. We are a nondenominational household.

Micke avatar


Josh avatar

In a few years time, the owner of the #1 Raspberry Pi board will flog it for hundreds of pounds…

Ideeman1994 avatar


Colin Graham avatar

Millions the way the economy’s going at the moment!

Mezo avatar

Ahh,,Ahhhhh,,,AaaaaChoooo (slip)

liz avatar

The scalpel does double duty in stabbing anyone who breaks a board.

Allaun avatar

What do you use to stab them if the scapel breaks? :3

engelmoer avatar

with the broken board ofcourse.

zete avatar

Will anything be bundled with the rasPi? If there will be a power adapter: how efficient is it?

JamesH avatar

Power supply is a standard USB micro as now used on mobile phones (in Europe). Won’t be supplied as easier and cheaper for you to buy locally.

Steven avatar

I like that concept so much

Drew Farkas avatar

That’s the gold standard here in the USA now, as well. The last 5 phones I’ve purchased all use that same charger, so now I’ve got a few extras laying around just waiting for the RasPi to be released! Bravo, brilliant planning.

jojopi avatar

Love Pete’s tartan trousers!

liz avatar

So do we. :)

bobbert avatar

rubber bands provided, spit not included

Bruno Delić avatar

When we can buy Raspberry Pi?

JamesH avatar

Now on Ebay, (but very expensive) or End Jan/Start Feb for the 25 and $35 production versions.

Ideeman1994 avatar

Do you think the first 10000 boards will be sold quickly?

JamesH avatar

Yes, although the next batch will follow on very quickly if that is the case.

Ideeman1994 avatar

I hope so…

jose1711 avatar

guys, ever heard of tripod? no offense but this is causing headaches :-/

Joni avatar

My favorite peeve about you tube…. What is up with people focusing on the background (object out of focus big time) and then they have to handle it and shake it as if on WAYYYYYY too much caffeine?
At least we got to see the mod process with everything in focus and only a Richter 1 quake………..

liz avatar

25x zoom also magnifies any hand shake; and like most consumer video cameras, the focus is automatic. Live with it.

test13 avatar

Raspberry surgery ;-)

meltwater avatar

The question is, did it bleed raspberry juice?

Jongoleur avatar

Swann-Mortons are sooooooooooo useful.

Perfectly balanced to the hand, easy to position and a delight to use.

Reminds me of the time I saw someone fit a new blade to the handle by pressing the tip against his breastbone.. He only did it the once, and it didn’t go too far in before he realised his error…


JamesH avatar

Whuh? That doesn’t seem very bright – he did realise they are, well, very very sharp knives?

BlueClogger avatar

Delighted to see you using Sheffield steel scalpel blades. Is this as near as it gets to getting your hands dirty these days?

Jongoleur avatar

Just a combination of inattentiveness and distraction. When these things happen, they tend to stick in the memory!

Dominic avatar

Just the one mod needed to a board that complex is most impressive. I generally find solder resist scraping easier with a number 10 blade though!

Nick avatar

Wow, kudos. Don’t think I’d have the patience or dexterity for that. Makes me appreciate being software guy where Ctrl-Z or ‘revert to last check-in’ is always an option.

Kind of related, how are you guys going to know how many As or Bs or order without taking pre-orders? Or is the initial run only for Bs?

Iskandaru avatar

Wow, it was a kind of hi-tech operation indeed. I’ve noticed an antistatic bracelet on the left wrist – every step is performed according to rigorous rules of circuit engineering =)

Milijan avatar

Considering the success on Ebay…I think you should start a “Donate a Raspberry Pi” website which will be a great boost to equip schools with R-PIs. Your work is very inspiring and game changing in my opinion. Well done R-PI team!

manuel avatar

very good idea i think!
it was predictable that the auction of the first r-pis will bring a lot of money but i didn’t expect that amount of money. i think people like this way of charity

milijan avatar

It is surprising and at the same time it isn’t because at the core of the project it’s a big issue that is beeing takled: accessibility. It’s something that stuck to my mind from one of the Google Talks: Very often it is when you try to solve an accessibility problem that you change the world (there was references to Graham Bell and others in that statement)…I do believe it to be true. So if anyone is looking for inspiration think of an accessibility issue that needs addressing….

PRamos avatar

I have done this type of repair in a past job. To repair a prototype board i have to cut and solder about 30 thin wires from flash memory data bus. The traces are so closed that sometimes the solder make a bridge to the neighbor trace, and when i try to repair i ended to bridge with the next, and so one …
In the end of the day i has mentally exhausted and with my eyes crying.
This is a hard job.

jan rohacek avatar

Nice show around…

Joe Rose avatar

Wow. Good to see that you are raising funds , but how long will mere mortals have to wait now to see the first actual Model A and B boards on-sale , available for purchase ?

Shish avatar

I wonder if decimal #10 and binary #10 are going to go for the same amount… (I’m guessing they’ll both be the second most popular board after #01)

Adrian avatar

Ahh! Not showing the bridge being soldered at the end, almost felt like being denied an orgasm! ;)
Especially after being teased with the lube, i mean errr, flux!

Your poor hands might have been tired from holding the camera steady though Liz.
It was great to put a voice to our host.
Thanks a lot for sharing the video with us, I really appreciate how the level of transparency with the project, and all the info you share.

liz avatar

Pete didn’t want me to film it – he has what he considers a super-seekrit technique. :(

Erick Baumgartner avatar

Wow that’s a great start to the auction’s. Quick math, all ten will bring in 9292.89 pounds, which is 14490 in USD, or 414+ Raspberry Pi’s. :D

Artlace avatar

I am truly impressed! I was just following the events waiting to get my hands on one (or more) but this gesture is astonishing! Go Raspberry Pi, go!

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Edy Aldea avatar

I am from Romania and I want to know when can I buy Rapsberry Py?
[email protected]

psergiu avatar

Right Now ! – there are 10 of them on eBay.
Free shipping to Romania.
Or wait until the next month to get them at a lower price.
O zi bună.

John Benson avatar

Congratulations on such a remarkable project, I wish I was somehow involved in such an exciting concept. Judging by the enthusiasm here, in the forums and on the eBay it seems that you guys have found what makes tinkerers tick… Infinitely tinkerable things that are accessible to pretty much everybody!

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi very soon and feel certain that they will become massive success

James avatar

Let me preface this question with a disclaimer: I am a software guy, and I don’t know the ins and outs of hardware/PCB design at all. With that out of the way:

My assumption is that you used some sort of automated process to develop the schematics for this board (software app, simulator, etc.). I base this assumption on the fact that you only found 1 bug. (I can’t imagine hand-designing all these would result in only 1 bug!) Anyway, how did this particular bug slip through the automated stuff? I could see a manual schematic inspection missing it, and I could see software missing a more obscure bug, but it seems to me like software should have caught this particular bug. What piece of knowledge do I need to understand how this bug slipped by?

Jorge Garcia avatar

Hi James,

Hardware design is not as automated as you might think. It’s still very much an art, you could give the same design to 10 different engineers and they (assuming they’re competent) would bring back 10 different boards all functional.

In this particular case there was technically nothing incorrect that software would flag. All of the nets were properly connected and connections defined. The issue stems in that the connections were treated as power sources instead of the power inputs that they really were, so those connections were not connected to the 1.8V rail as they should have been.

Some ERC’s can pick up the error and display it, however they depend on pin directions being correctly defined by whoever made the library part. So you can see there is some margin for human error. The fact that there was only one hardware bug is more a testament to the effort that the R-Pi team has put into the board then the sophistication of their software.

Just my 2 cents.

Jorge Garcia
Cadsoft Support
The makers of EAGLE

James avatar

Thanks for the explanation, Jorge. I guess the same is true of software: 10 different programmers will produce 10 different programs given the same requirements. Wow, I’m learning so much from following the raspberry pi’s progress!

plugwash avatar

“Some ERC’s can pick up the error and display it, however they depend on pin directions being correctly defined by whoever made the library part. So you can see there is some margin for human error.”

A big problem is the presence of “passive pins” (that is the pins of passive components). The rule checker doesn’t know whether the pins of passive components are a power source, a power sink or just smoothing so it has to allow them to connect to pretty much anything.

This severely limits the utility of rule checkers on power nets.

Anthony avatar

Since the goal is charity, I would do the auction again, by setting aside the first 100 serial numbers of production boards for auction – they’ll be coveted just as much.

Will probably stop in at CES and harass you about mounting holes ;-)

Spikey avatar

I think that’s a very good point, Anthony.

The more money the foundation can generate to further its aims, the better.

I still can’t WAIT to get my mitts on a few $35 model Bs, though. ;^)

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martin avatar

I was looking at the items on EBay as well … These things are most expensive ~30$ items that i have seen for a while. I’m glad you’re doing on the fund raising and i can’t wait to buy a raspberry pi from the electronics shop next door.

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[…] This $3,000 Pi, however, is one of the first ten pre-production units to be made, all of which are being auctioned on eBay in order to raise money for charity. The Raspberry Pi foundation plan to plough the money they raise into delivering the tiny computers to schools. The idea is to encourage kids to get to grips with coding and open-source software, which is an amazing idea. More here. […]

plugwash avatar

I see the total on the auctions has continued to creep up and is now over £10K :)

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BlueClogger avatar

Is there a problem at eBay – I see that #10 has dropped to only(!) £1900, with the last bid on 3rd Jan. This auction only has 13 hours to go, so I hope it gets sorted if there is an issue. Other bids are holding up well, though.

Dave Moor avatar

I think if you look closer you will find some bids were retracted. It was a user problem not eBay’s.

Burngate avatar

Two people got over-exited. Today their wives (or husbands)told them not to be so stupid. Expect them back in when their spouse goes out shopping.

BlueClogger avatar

Yes – I missed the ‘retracted bids’ at the bottom. Sorry. Maybe he/she has transferred the bid to #01. Await this evening with anticipation!

liz avatar

Indeed – we’ve had a couple of bid retractions on that one. No biggie, and it pleases me because a forum member is now the top bidder. (No, I’m not saying who.)

BlueClogger avatar

Obviously no obligation, but it would be interesting to know why successful bidders had done so – investment, charitable contribution, development, impatience…
Not sure I’d want to be soldering bits onto a £2000 credit card, though.

hugo tayakout avatar

wow, nice work but how can i buy one ?

JamesH avatar

All details are in the FAQ , but hopefully end of this month from this website.

Juicycool avatar

I cant wait this tiny box! when is it official release?

Paul avatar

I’m queuing up at my computer with a sleeping bag and a flask of coffee to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi! Hurry Please! Hurry!!! We NEED IT!!!!!

dattaway avatar

Looks like the bids have exceeded the price of my first computer 30 years ago. But the Raspberry is still magnitudes more powerful and capable. I would have never dreamed something like this could be so small and use battery power. It will outperform the VAX clusters of the day many times.

Robert avatar

I been watching closely and i want to know who’s the Dip Sh** who withdrew a £200 bid on auction #10. They should be exposed and made fun of for doing that. It was at £2100 not more then 12hours ago.

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Ed Jason avatar

Congratulations from Puppy Linux to Team Raspberry
on their auctions. Bravo to bidders.

. . . our news . . .
Our Puppy lead dog is on walkabout in OZ
. . . but coding whilst searching for gold

Puppy School has been started for those new to
Puppy and programming

Our developers are straining at the leash . . .

Marcos Vinicus (@Markuzitu) avatar

I wanna buy one this when it arrives on South America.

Burngate avatar

Gordon Bennet! As of about 13:49 GMT today, #01 is £3300

Luke avatar

So What’s new?!?! you haven’t posted an update in almost a week. I’m dying for more info. I asked earlier, but got no answer. What will the shipping cost?

Patrick Szalewicz avatar

Hi, just wondering what distro will be “the” distro of raspi.
Any Links?
And when will be the “big bash” open for us to buy?
Just can’t wait to get my hands dirty :)

Greetz from germany


Ubuntu tv avatar

Will this work with the PI ?

Technical specifications and requirements :

Ideeman1994 avatar

I keep throwing money at the screen, but nothing happens :(

Philip Machanick avatar

Going on the bids, you should have numbered them all #1 :)

ai5eedave avatar

For anyone who missed it, here are the final auction prices…
#10 – 1900 GBP
#9 – 930 GBP
#8 – 1020 GBP
#7 – 989 GBP
#6 – 1000 GBP
#5 – 1040 GBP
#4 – 1550 GBP
#3 – 2257 GBP
#2 – 2150 GBP
#1 – 3500 GBP
for a total of 16,336 GBP or about US$25,033

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Andrés Galaz avatar

This hardware is really interesting, I am thinking in a lot of thing to do

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