Long time no write!
Recently I’ve received an outpouring of interest in this project which has reinvigorated my desire to work on it. To help myself be able to do so, I have started a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/chrislaplante. For anyone who is interested in this project moving forward, I would appreciate your support!
Please note, the Patreon is not only for the Tempur-Pedic project but rather any of my blogged-about projects. That said, this project is my primary focus.
Or, if you prefer a one-time PayPal donation:
But back to this project. I have some updates to share.
A few weeks ago, I designed a four-layer PCB based on an Si4463 reference design. The reference design (4463-PCE20C460) is intended for 460 MHz but according an employee on the forums is also usable at 433 MHz.
Here is a 3D render of the board (using Fusion 360):
Inevitably, after ordering the boards and stencils, I discovered that the RF chip itself (and indeed most of Silicon Lab’s proprietary Sub-GHz ICs) was out of stock almost everywhere with lead times into August 2021! I managed to snag ten Si4464’s (a compatible chip in the same family) from Mouser so I will at least be able to assemble and test my boards once the stencil arrives.
I can’t find any reasons online for the shortage – the minimum longevity for these chips is October 2027. Perhaps this is a COVID related supply chain issue.
Regardless, I am now looking at alternatives. I hesitate to choose another Silicon Labs chip even though a few are still in stock. One interesting possibility is this little module from ST. I have ordered one to test and will spin a PCB soon so I can breadboard it.
The lack of Si446x chips is quite a monkey wrench in my plans. All of my testing so far has been with the EZRadio and EZRadioPro chips. I’m relatively comfortable using them (or at least was two years ago). Essentially I am now starting from square one, which is all the more reason why I could use your support on my Patreon!