How to tell what hardware versions you have

How can I tell what hardware my Reform has?

I apologize if this is a newbie question… I just purchased my Reform from Crowd Supply in April '23. I see from mntre blog posts that recently the motherboard and battery boards have been upgraded and future laptops will be shipped with these upgrades. However, I don’t know what time my specific laptop was manufactured or shipped to Crowd Supply.

Is there a command that will tell you the hardware versions? Is there a way to tell visually by looking at the parts? Alternatively, is it possible to find out what the date of manufacture or lot number was, and some kind of corresponding list outlining which hardware versions were included?

I am a software developer but I know basically nothing about hardware and firmware, which is part of why I got the MNT to learn more.

I am a software developer but I know basically nothing about hardware and firmware, which is part of why I got the MNT to learn more.

We’re in the same boat! I’m also a hardware-curious software person. I got my Reform in June 2022, and I’ve had a blast exploring the hardware much deeper than anything I’ve ever owned before by reading the provided schematics. It’s so nice to actually understand the hardware you own!

As for your question, there’s a few pointers that I know of. All of my hardware is original Reform 2 hardware, and I know this because:

  • The reflashing USB connector j8 on my motherboard is microUSB. On the newer v2.5 motherboards, this is a USB-C port.
  • My trackball and trackpad modules (I own both, so I can swap them around when I feel like it) are both first-gen modules, as they both have Atmel microcontrollers. Newer revisions all use Raspberry RP2040 controllers. You can identify that by looking at the biggest chip, you should see the Raspberry logo on there.

I don’t know how much existing stock MNT Research or Crowd Supply keep, but I would guess that since you purchased very recently, you will be getting the latest revisions of the hardware. (That is, v2.5 mobo, RP2040 accessories)

Another nice hardware upgrade in the newer models is the steel port covers. I got mine after the fact. (Actually purchased and received them before my Reform shipped in June, so I never even used the acrylic ones!)

Still, even if you get the v2.0 motherboard, the differences aren’t huge, you can read the list of differences and my plans for DIY upgrades to existing v2.0 boards here in a post I wrote earlier.

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Ohh, thank you! Now I should be able to tell what version my motherboard and trackball are!

Now my only remaining question is how to tell if the battery boards are the new version or not… :thinking: I don’t know if anyone would be willing to take close-ups of some v1 battery boards…? :point_right: :point_left: I can see the new battery boards in the picture on their shop, and they look similar to mine, but I don’t know if the v1s also look very similar or not.

Most (all?) MNT hardware has a small print on the circuit board that uniquely identifies it. Here are photos of the new RP2040 trackball module with the raspberry logo (left) and the old unprotected batter board (right):

So for example the old battery board says: MNT REFORM BATTERY PACK MREFPBAT20R01.

The new protected battery board says: MNT REFORM PROTECTED BAT. BACK MREFPBAT20R02.

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Oh, that’s perfect! Thank you so much! I am really curious about which battery boards I have.

I find the dates easier to use than the model/SKU numbers - the OG board says 2020-09-09, whereas the new ones are 2022-09-01.

The new battery boards are also easy to identify because they have a handful of surface-mount components on them, whereas the original ones are “bare”, with only the battery clips and Molex Pico-Blade connector.

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This is very helpful everyone, thank you very much!

BTW, if anyone is curious, it appears that I have the motherboard v2, trackball v2, and battery boards v1.