Project: Spectrum | Optimized Assembly Line


Hey community,

Let’s see how Spectrum gets assembled on its line!

New to the project?

If you just joined our journey of crowd-development, welcome! We summarized the Spectrum project’s critical milestones to quickly give you an idea of what has happened since it was started.

On the line

Qualified operators are ready to follow the SOP we developed in the mini build to assemble new development samples. The steps required to put a Spectrum together from scratch is about the same as what we detailed before. This process has several order changes, extra check items, and additional care tips optimized for Spectrum’s assembly line operation.


Four thick thermal dissipation pads are pre-applied around the metal subframe’s central area, allowing its mass to aid in dispersing heat from the mainboard. An operator applies two protective foam pieces to the side and then secures the printed circuit board (PCB) inside with five screws using a torque between 4 and 5 kgf/cm².

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The metal subframe.

Pre-assemble the PCB to the metal frame.

Spectrum’s panel wrapped in their protection bag.

An operator scans the PCB and panel into the system.

All internal cables must be arranged in a specific order; that is, for the two embedded DisplayPort (eDP) cables that connect to the exposed panel PCB, the longer one goes on the left, and the shorter one goes on the right. When it comes to the two backlight cables closer to the panel’s edge, their order is the exact reverse. Here, an operator plugs the two eDP cables and fixes them with a piece of thick acetate cloth tape.

Insert eDP connectors. Read our previous topic to find more about their functions.

Position the metal box according to the two location bumps on the panel’s back.

Secure the metal box.

Spectrum accelerates to perform a 90° turn at this corner.

An operator checks the front panel protector to ensure it stays safely out of the way when pressing the mid-frame onto the panel’s back.

Place the mid-frame.

Efficiently add screws to the mid-frame from two sides.

Insert backlit cables and organize all connectors using the guide clips.

Rear frame in their reusable EPE pack ready to be deployed.

Install the joystick board and connector.

Mount the joystick.

Fit the rear frame.

Apply stickers.


Power-on check.

Spectrum power supply samples.

Finished Spectrum prototypes.

We noticed that the joystick is forced down when Spectrum is stored upside down on the shelf, which potentially leads to the joystick’s premature failure. It is easily corrected by keeping Spectrum in its proper orientation.

The joystick is compressed by the shelf. Spectrum is flipped around to prevent possible damage.

The burn-in test that follows and lasts overnight plays a vital role in stressing these samples. The components are running continually and heated up in this transparent room with a 42°C controlled ambient. Each unit is configured manually to obtain the (everlasting) burn-in screen with shifting colors. Passed prototypes are qualified for post-assembly line testing.

Burn-in test.

Coming next

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of behind-the-scenes look so far! Come back for your exclusive view of Spectrum samples’ factory testing after the assembly line!



Hey team, put your damn masks on! We can’t afford any Covid delays! :wink:


I’m excited :grin: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


These photos could have possibly been taken when COVID was not in China. Apparently China did manage to get rid of it for a while although it has returned over Christmas :frowning:

This is really interesting! I always love to see how products come together. Its something we all take for granted, so getting to see all the steps really makes you appreciate the product more.


I have no idea when they were taken, although recently is a safe assumption, but I was mostly just teasing them…hence the smiling wink.


from what I understand the monitors shipped to Linus were prototypes from late October or sth

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It was safe there; a mask was optional. :smile:


What gets me in this manufacturing facility is that anyone would have been able to see that the joystick was being compressed when the monitor was placed upside-down in the mobile rack like that - and yet no one said anything.

At least you went there to fix some of the assembly-related issues. Now let’s hope the assembly line team follows those recommendations.

Otherwise, good pics!