Elite-C, Pseudoscience, Water Bottles, Super Glue, Oh My!
Today we are happy to bring you these exclusive Elite-C items. What are they? That's easy--it's a better replacement board to use instead of a Pro Micro...with the same footprint so it will work with essentially anything that works with a Pro Micro already! Oh, and it has a Type-C connector! The Elite-C is here, folks. Let's do this!
I wanted to do a pseudo-scientific test of how the ports on the Elite-C held up when compared to a regular Pro Micro. We all know that if you yank that USB cable a bit too hard, that Pro Micro may end up DOA due to the port itself getting yanked off with the cable.
So what did we do? Well, we tied up some stuff and used some water bottles to loosely determine that the Elite-C's USB port is at-least almost twice as strong as a normal Pro Micro...with a high probability that it is even higher than that--I will explain here in a moment.
First thing we did was glue USB cables into a Pro Micro and an Elite-C. We did our very best to ensure only the cable and ports were glued to each other, which (in theory), when used for our tests should put the point of failure on the port. I think...
If you look hard enough you can make out the super glue, but also the hanging wire we used to hold the Pro Micro near the top. This created a very solid connection and should be perfect when used in the test.
We thought we could simply hang them off the wire we were using like the photo below, however the wire would fail and snap before we could get any real information. Therefore, we had to go off-script a bit, which would not be the only time we had to do so.
Enter our new idea--use special safety gloves and just hold the PCBs while adding more and more weight. This is what we ended up doing, but not without some issues also. We were able to successfully get six bottles of water + misc. weight on the normal Pro Micro and catch it on video snapping. You can see this in the video below. We did not, however, catch the Elite-C actually snapping while holding it, instead we were able to get that on film while picking it back up (my hands were tired from holding up all these strange things all day, sorry!). This can also be seen in the video.
The thing is, the Type-C port didn't fail. The super glue did. So we definitely could have added at least some more weight before the port would have yanked out. At least that is my takeaway from this very non-scientific study we did. :-P
Buckle up for this epic video experience, ladies and gentlemen:
Below is a view of both chips after their respective "failures." You can see the Pro Micro is ripped off much like would happen in the wild. The Type-C, however, still has a port and almost looks like it would still work, even after going through an absolute ton of abuse during the tests. If you saw the video, then you know the PCB did still work after all of this. Crazy! I never expected either of these chips to work again.
So, before anyone tells us how bad or unrealistic this test was--we already pretty much know that. We just wanted some kind of data, even if it is suspiciously akin to how the Mythbusters handled their business.
With all that being said, which chip is better for you is going to depend on your needs and your budget. Also, your ability to rip or not-to-rip USB cables out of your devices in any strong or violent manner. :-P
We'd also like to share some information straight from the creator, the cool dude over at Maple-Computing:
"The Elite-C has the SAME pinout as the pro micro, with the exception that RAW has been replaced with another I/O (PB0) and there are an additional 5 I/O pins along the bottom for you to use if needed! This means your can use the existing QMK keymaps for pro micro hosts boards without having to change the pin mappings! All you need to change is the bootloader from Caterina to atmel-dfu (that's right, the Elite-C uses the genuine atmel DFU bootloader). The Elite-C has a total of 24 digital I/O pins, that's enough for a full TKL build with a function row and RGB underglow!"
If you want to learn even more about the Elite-C and/or wish to buy one (or several), please click here to be taken to the product page.
Note: SpaceCat Design is only one of two vendors currently able to sell the Elite-C product. Supplies are limited, so act now before these are gone and you have to wait for Round 2!