WORKSHOP VIDEO: rhydoLABZ open hardware tour in Kochi

Our Global Geek Tour of India ends in Kochi where we visit India’s largest open hardware manufacturer rhydoLABZ. Thushar takes us on a tour of the company’s offices and production lines.

rhydoLABZ started as distributors for SparkFun and Arduino, but now produce mostly their own custom open hardware designs. They’re currently India’s largest open hardware manufacturer, and we heard people call them the SparkFun of India throughout the trip. rhydoLABZ is targeting the global market though, not just India. Their team of engineers turns out code, documentation, and tutorials all in English.

Production is very similar to SparkFun and Seeed Studio. Solder paste is applied to PCBs through a stencil. Surface mount parts are then stuffed with the same pick and place Seeed uses, and soldered in a small reflow oven.  A soldering team reworks any imperfections and mounts through hole parts.

Ian’s efforts to apply solder paste did not result in a job offer. More practice needed!

Unlike Bangalore, there’s no local PCB stuffing factories in Kochi. Thushar says it would be difficult to make small 50 to 100 piece batches if they didn’t do it in-house. On average they run the pick and place machine 3 hours per day, something to keep in mind before starting your own garage assembly line.

Products are photographed in the quintessential cardboard box light tent. Geek points +2!

There were some minor voltage sags while we visited. Thushar explained that they have about 1 hour of power outage per day, compared to 6 hours or more in other states. Unlike other parts of India, Kerala has lots of water and they use it for hydroelectricity. Water and relatively few power outages make it advantageous to manufacture here.

A huge thanks to rhydoLABZ for hosting us in Kochi, and everyone who met with us on the Geek Tour of India!

Don’t miss the previous tour videos from Mumbai and Bangalore.

Starting next Monday we’ll live blog our attempts to source custom hardware in Shenzhen’s Hua Qiang Bei electronics market. Can we find something for you? Please let us know.

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12 Comments

    1. From about where are you seeing a problem? I checked the source and it looked ok, but I don’t have access to youtube right now.

      1. Both on the web embedded and youtube channel. Tried on firefox and ie9. There is audio at the outro after the conclusion.

    2. voice sync was good to the end for me on Youtube (Ian speaking on the balcony). Last few seconds were music, which wouldn’t need to be synced to anything.

  1. Surprising they dont have UPSes for those computers, even recycled ones with car batteries if money is the issue.

      1. Good thing they got 1 hour per day then, doesnt it? Besides UPS also conditions the voltage so you can work even when its too low from the socket like in the clip.

    1. Hi rasz,

      We do have UPS ( We are the Distributors of UPS brand -”EATON Powerware” -USA ). But unexpected Power sag on particular day was more than 4 hours,which drain out our batteries.
      Surely we have to do something to survive, may be a good Power Generator in near future…

  2. Man, that is great. I love your geek tour videos.

    I will certainly check out rhydolabz to see what they’ve got going on.

    I do miss, however, a good soldering video… I could watch those all day.

    Thanks, Ian.

  3. Hi rasz,

    We do have UPS ( We are the Distributors of UPS brand -“EATON Powerware” -USA ). But unexpected Power sag on particular day was more than 4 hours,which drain out our batteries.
    Surely we have to do something to survive, may be a good Power Generator in near future…

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