Back in October 2016 I designed a small open hardware breakout board for WWAN modems in mPCIe form-factor. I was thinking some other people might be interested in this, and indeed, the first manufacturing batch is already sold out by now.
Instead of ordering more of the old (v2) design, I decided to do some improvements in the next version:
- add mounting holes so the PCB can be mounted via M3 screws
- add U.FL and SMA sockets, so the modems are connected via a short U.FL to U.FL cable, and external antennas or other RF components can be attached via SMA. This provides strain relief for the external antenna or cabling and avoids tearing off any of the current loose U.FL to SMA pigtails
- flip the SIM slot to the top side of the PCB, so it can be accessed even after mounting the board to some base plate or enclosure via the mounting holes
- more meaningful labeling of the silk screen, including the purpose of the jumpers and the input voltage.
A software rendering of the resulting v3 PCB design files that I just sent for production looks like this:
Like before, the design of the board (including schematics and PCB layout design files) is available as open hardware under CC-BY-SA license terms. For more information see http://osmocom.org/projects/mpcie-breakout/wiki
It will take some expected three weeks until I'll see the first assembled boards.
I'm also planning to do a M.2 / NGFF version of it, but haven't found the time to get around doing it so far.