View Full Version : My apologies to Tibbo (maybe)

- 24th May 2011, 16:45
A couple of days back I complained rather bitterly about Tibbo cancelling its EM202 (without notice) three years ago, taking two years to develop a replacement that they could sell in the USA, and then, after another year of promising firmware changes to allow the new module (EM500) to also use their WiFi module (GA1000) telling me that the firmware would not be available this year as they had decided to work instead on a standalone WiFi module. I interpreted this to mean the firmware was unlikely to ever see the light of day.

My post was in response to someone else mentioning the EM202. The post I was commenting on, my post, and a few others were taken down as they were stomping all over the OP's very useful post on another topic and hijacking his thread.

However, I think my post may have found its way to Tibbo. I received an email yesterday that they had finished the firmware and would release it shortly. If they do indeed release it, the maybe in my subject no longer applies. ;)

The EM500 is a very neat design. By mounting a female SMT header on the bottom surface of the PCB, it can be plugged in by the end user eliminating the need to solder pins with 0.050 inch spacing. By being able to also plug in the GA1000, it is even more flexible and does not require two different PCB designs. Here are links to the various modules...


- 25th May 2011, 08:41
We have stocked and sold Tibbo for many years now. We find Tibbo very responsive to feedback and fast to respond to issues where they have made a mistake. - which is not very often.

Clearly you had an issue with the end of life of a product, but to be honest, we have seen the same from some other manufacturers, it happens quite a lot. Nothing new there. I cannot comment on your particular situation, but I can say that we are very happy to stock and promote the Tibbo parts. Our investment in stock is no small issue, so obviously we' don't choose a supplier without ensuring that they will support us and our customers. Nothing that we do is short term, history shows that. Tibbo have also shown that they are not "here today gone tomorrow".

For those that are interested, our on-line shop shows the Tibbo parts we carry in stock. http://www.crownhill.co.uk/level3.php?cat=24&sec=9

Other parts are only a week away, we take regular shipments from Tibbo. You'll see us on the list of appointed Tibbo Distributors in United Kingdom, so you can be sure that with our support backed by Tibbo, you'll get the best of service.

- 25th May 2011, 11:48
Clearly you had an issue with the end of life of a product...Perhaps you've forgotten, but I had placed an order with you for 25pcs EM202. After hearing nothing for 2-3 weeks, I contacted Crownhill. It took another week or two to learn (from you) that the EM202 was discontinued. Clearly, you were as blind-sided as I was.

Tibbo seems to be more engineering driven than market driven. For example, the EM500 (http://tibbo.com/products/modules/minimo/em500.html)web page has said (since it was introduced)...
In the near future, the EM500 will also support Wi-Fi communications (using the GA1000 (http://tibbo.com/products/addons/ga1000.html) add-on board), as well as external LCD, keypad, and flash disk (via an SPI flash IC).After a year, it still hadn't happened, even though it was obviously a very simple matter as it was firmware and two of their other modules already had it. And, it apparently only took a few days to complete after I asked for an availability estimate and got the not this year response. So why did it take more than a year to do?

I'm not knocking their quality nor their design skills (the EM500 (http://tibbo.com/products/modules/minimo/em500.html)is truly impressive) although I think they are missing a bet in not adding more MCU-like functions (e.g. timers, capture & compare, etc.) as their raw computing power appears to be an order of magnitude or more beyond that of the MCUs (PICs, AVRs, etc.) that they need to be paired with.

In fact, if they do follow through, I'll complete a design that uses the EM500 (http://tibbo.com/products/modules/minimo/em500.html)/GA1000 (http://tibbo.com/products/addons/ga1000.html)despite my bad experience.

- 25th May 2011, 15:11
I questioned Tibbo about the availability of WIFI on the EM500, they advised;

Dear Lester, The WiFi feature for the EM500 is ready and we will release it soon. The WiFi and flash Disk will be available for the customers and the related documentation will be published on our website. We will announce this news by the newsletter once we release, kindly inform your customer to register at www.tibbo.com (http://www.tibbo.com/) so that they can receive the newsletter once we release any new features or products. To that i responded:

I'm sure that they will ask, "when is soon", as some customers say they have been waiting for some time already.

It is probably better to sell the product on the basis of functionality that IS available. with a road map showing planned development. That way the customer is always pleased to get NEW functionality not disappointed with a broken promise. Just an idea !

I really don't have any issues with Tibbo, they produce nice products that work. However i can see that some people want everything NOW and Tibbo are a little too forward in promoting planned functionality. Maybe they need a reality filter between the development engineering staff and the marketeers !

Never the less, as with our beloved PBP and many of todays leading edge products...everything comes to those who wait.

- 25th May 2011, 16:17
Hmmm, I don't think being unhappy with more than a year between promise and a renewed promise of EM500/GA1000 interoperability is a mark of impatience. However, I am 70 years old, have had a severe spinal cord injury for 43 years, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 8 years ago, have had lung cancer and prostate surgeries in the past year and usually have my ice cream at breakfast - just in case.;) My outlook may differ from yours.

PS: My email from Tibbo was word-for-word like yours.

PPS: I've been registered with Tibbo for a few years and have yet to receive a single newsletter.

To try to put an end to this: If they deliver the long promised EM500/GA1000 interoperability in the next few days as implied, I'll be ecstatic; if not, I already have designs that use ConnectOne modules.

- 26th May 2011, 04:46
Just incase anyone is reading this and wondering what an EM500 is:

The EM500 is a miniature stand-alone BASIC-programmable embedded module, designed to be used in combination with a standard LED/magnetics RJ45 jack. The combined footprint of the EM500 and a standard jack is only 28.5x18.5mm.

The EM500 can be ordered standalone or in combination with an industry-standard RJ45 jack and/or all discrete components required to complete the circuit.

And it looks like this (http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/content.php?r=371) (video): http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/content.php?r=371



And they are extreemly easy to setup and use, a short video demonstrates:


As i've metioned before, we are really impressed with Tibbo, they produce easy to use professionally presented products, with functionality that is easily accessable to our client base ( predominantly developers using BASIC) The Tibbo modules are BASIC programmable, providing a quick and easy route for our client base to extend the functionality of theor ethernet based projects.

The following video gives an overview of the functionality and the professionally presented FREE development tools:


- 26th May 2011, 05:29
And for those that are interested, these videos show just how easy it is to setup and generate an application running on the Tibbo module:



Note how much time and effort Tibbo put into explaining how to set up the deveice and how to create your first application. Even down to explaining the syntax of the BASIC language used to create the hello world web application. (in video 2)

All the way through to a video showing set up of serial over WIFI


- 26th May 2011, 05:30
And finally a user project demonstrated in this video:


- 26th May 2011, 05:55
Tibbo is a great company, with great products, ok i'm biased, we're a distributor!

Never the less, users of this forum and all of our support forums, appreciate the value of support.....so does Tibbo. One of the most impressive things about the company, apart from its attention to detail and excellent products, is its commitment to providing good support to enable its product users to access the functionality of the deveices.

Tibbo BASIC and the the development environment are FREE to Tibbo users and they are backed by an excellent, informative web site with detailed on-line (http://tibbo.com/support)and downloadable manuals. A support forum (http://getsatisfaction.com/tibbo) powered by getsatisfaction.com (http://getsatisfaction.com), (if i was starting over, this forum would be running on getsatisfaction).

Email support and regular updates via their blog (http://blog.tibbo.com/) and email news sheets.

More.... unlike many companies - that should know better - they publish on-line without restrction their evaluation board scematics and all certification for CE and FCC approvals. ( i know that some companies do this, but not enough do!)

and a great tutorial (http://tibbo.com/downloads/open/VB%20Tutorial%20v2_0a.pdf) on using Visual basic to interface to their devices (BASIC again...I love it)

There's much more than i've mentioned here, if you're interested look around their web site www.tibbo.com (http://www.tibbo.com)

Crownhill Associates (http://www.crownhill.co.uk/level3.php?cat=24&sec=9) have been Tibbo distributors for many years now. We moved to Tibbo having used similar products from Digi and Lantronics. Price, functionality and support...made the decision an easy for us !

- 27th May 2011, 01:05
The EM500 can be ordered standalone or in combination with an industry-standard RJ45 jack and/or all discrete components required to complete the circuit.You can do your EM500 customers a favor by also stocking the low-profile SMT 2x11x1.27mm socket Tibbo uses on the bottom of the EM500EV. Jennifer agreed to stock it but I suggested it made more sense for dealers to stock it. I've the PN and DWG if you need them.

This method of mounting makes the unit a plug-in and eliminates the need to solder the 1.27mm spaced pins. Or desoldering if there is a problem. Users will need a board maker who can handle the non-plated holes on such close spacing. CircuitMart (they've recently posted to Adverts) had no problem with them.

The socket needs to be low profile to make sure the pins are securely gripped - too tall and they don't make contact.

- 27th May 2011, 01:56
and a great tutorial (http://tibbo.com/downloads/open/VB%20Tutorial%20v2_0a.pdf) on using Visual basic to interface to their devices (BASIC again...I love it)It would be better if it were using PureBasic, a cross platform (Windows, Linux, OSX) basic that sells for $100 (lifetime license for all Operating Systems).


- 27th May 2011, 17:16
Hi, yes we do carry the sockets. We have so much stock thats not on line ;-(,

I really need to get resorce allocated to updating the we site!