Raspberry Pi buyers face delay after factory mistake

Ethernet jacks, Raspberry Pi The delay arose because the wrong jack was soldered to the circuit boards

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Manufacturing problems will mean the first batches of the £22 ($35) Raspberry Pi computer, aimed at helping people learn programming, are delayed.

The error has caused a "hiccup" in the production of the eagerly-anticipated credit-card sized computer.

The mistake meant that the wrong type of networking jack was soldered into place on some of the circuit boards.

This might also have a knock-on effect and delay future production runs of the device.

Jack shift

Released in late February, the Raspberry Pi has been developed to be a cheap computer that will help children and other beginners get to grips with computer programming.

The machine is available in two models. A model "A" without networking and a model "B" that comes with a network jack.

However, Raspberry Pi announced on its blog that some of the parts making up the first batch of the model Bs had been accidentally switched in the Chinese factory where they are being made. Production has been outsourced to China in a bid to keep costs of the bare-bones machine in check.

The component in question is a specific type of ethernet jack or connector.

Unfortunately, the factory soldered on the wrong type of jack which, if left in place, would leave the gadget unable to connect to a computer network.

Sold out

Swapping the wrong jacks for the right ones on the boards that were already made up was a "minor problem to fix", said Raspberry Pi. However, it added, there might be a delay for future gadgets as it sought sources of the correct component.

Large stocks of the wrong component had been built up as production got going, it said, and these were now being swapped for the right ethernet jack.

"We are very, very sorry," wrote Raspberry Pi community manager Liz Upton on the organisation's blog.

The bare-bones computer project has proved hugely popular and the websites of two of the firms contracted to build the machines crashed when the Pi went on general sale. All three firms that signed up to distribute the machine have sold their initial stock.

Anyone wanting to buy one can now only register their interest rather than place an order and wait until more stock is received.

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