The Librem 5 "Birch" Batch Was Missing A Resistor But Now Fixed

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 15 November 2019 at 05:54 PM EST. 15 Comments
Librem 5 "Birch" batch was supposed to be shipping from 29 October to 26 November. They are now preparing to start shipping this second iteration of the Librem 5 Linux smartphone after early units in this batch were missing a resistor.

The missing resistor on the Librem 5 phone PCB led to a non-working USB port. It's not clear how the resistor ended up missing from this batch or if it had been in place for the Aspen batch or not.

Purism founder Todd Weaver simply described it as "We are fortunate to have incredibly talented engineers on our team who quickly traced this error down so we could add the resistor to the remaining Birch devices, restore USB, and keep us on track to ship all Birch devices to backers without changing the Birch shipping window."

While he started the blog post by talking about their transparency, unfortunately beyond mentioning the missing resistor and that it's in place for the rest of the batch, he didn't shed any other details on Birch... It was a very brief post for what at first sounded like it was going to be an interesting technical read. Birch was supposed to be shipping since the end of October through the end of November.

Over the original Aspen batch, Birch was supposed to have a tighter fit, improved alignment of components, better power management, FCC and CE certifications for radios, and more. Going through FCC data there doesn't appear to be any certifications in place for Purism yet and if there was they would have likely pronounced it loudly as they tend to do for such milestones.

So unfortunately there still is no transparency into the size of this current shipping window, if the window will be extended given the delay due to the missing resistor, if this batch will see any actual customers outside of Purism, the known issues with this batch, etc.
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