When I started the shim design, I hadn’t really thought about logistics at all – but sort of assumed that if people were interested, I’d mail them a shim and maybe the connectors too. The first prototype run of the board worked nicely – and my first beta tester was able to get it to work without any real challenges. There was a challenge for me though… Mailing a tiny PCB, even within The Netherlands, proved to be more difficult than I had thought. Took me two tries, and a trip to the store to get those special plastic bubble envelopes. The regular envelope I sent first did arrive with a nice apologetic message from the post office. Not the contents though.
Having gone through that I was unpleasantly surprised though that the Dutch Post no longer allows any materials to be mailed without a proper box and a declaration of the content – and the minimum rate to for instance the US is now EUR 11. And if you want track and trace, that becomes EUR 29.50. Slightly over the top, considering that I pay less than that to order a batch of PCBs from China AND have them delivered to my home…
So that is why I’ve decided to put the gerber files for the PCB on the download page – so you can have the board produced yourself, and share what is left of a batch with PiDP-users near you. The gerbers are produced in Eagle with Seeed’s rules – I’m not sure if they’ll work with other board producers, you’ll have to check yourself.
Meantime, I do still have a batch of shims, and Oscar gets a much better rate from the Swiss post than I can find in NL – and maybe a percentage of people would need both the shim and a PiDP-11 anyway. So there is the idea that he would do the distribution for me, but we haven’t actually worked out the details yet, and it’s not an easy task to align our schedules. Might still be a while.
So those are basically the options – if you are in a hurry, you can order a batch of PCBs directly, or you can get one from me and pay the ridiculous Dutch postage, or you can wait for us to work out something better.