Blog update: status updates



if its been posted up already please delete and bonk me on the head.
official blog update. just thought about posting it up if people check the forums before the site. ED posted the following two blog posts :D
its all quoted below

Hi there,

forgive me for not posting any updates for a loooong time - first I have been rather busy with shipping out 200 WIZ (and I'm just one single person doing all that), then there's the typical daily work like managing the File Archives, checking the boards... well, and I have to do all this in my spare time since I (like anybody else in the project) still has to earn some money as we can't live from the Pandora.

Anyways, I've just been able to check up everything that happened and where the status is, and during the last weeks A LOT of good stuff has happened.

Shall we start?

1. The boards

We had to fix one minor fault a few weeks ago and already received and tested five new ones - and the good news is: They're ALL working fine (no soldering problems, all our hardware tests were sucessful). So we got a 100% rate from those.
We'll do more testing, but the planned first mass production run (100 boards which will actually be used for final Pandoras) is on July 13th, though it might be a few days earlier or later. Of course we'll try to get some pictures of the first 100 boards for you.

2. The analogue nubs
You might've read that there were some problems with the analogue nubs. Well, they had serious firmware problems and the company went bankrupt... so we had two problems: We need to pay TWICE (the new company we got has to be paid again) and the firmware had to be fixed. Both has happened already. The new firmware is already there (Pickle showed the new nubs in a video) and it is working without an problems. Another issue solved :)

3. The Keymat
It was pretty perfect already, however, the pressure and gaming controls could be enhanced. So we did that - and the new version is already at the moulding company, so the new mats shall also be finished very soon. As there were some keys misaligned, we used the time to fix that up, too.
If you want to know what exactly happened: wider holes around screw pegs, made game button cups wider to make them softer, slightly more travel to 1mm, keypad buttons raised 0.5mm, a couple of other little guide holes moved.

4. CE and FCC
CE tests will happen as soon as I get a finished board and prototype case, which should happen while the case moulds are being done, so there's no time problem. I've got a few CE testing companies around the corner where I can just drop-by and test everything. We shouldn't have a problem with FCC either - as we only need FCC if we sell WITHIN the US. We don't do that yet, we sell from UK and Germany, so FCC is not necessary. It WILL have to be done once there's a US based reseller, but that's nothing to worry about for the first batch.

5. The case
That's our only issue for now, we're still working on fixing minor issues. It really does take a long time making something near perfect - and that's what we plan to do. Another problem is that neither CNC nor SLA cases are good enough to check if everything fits perfectly. Don't worry, there's already a solution for that.
The only thing we had to fix is the height of the DPad (so it works better) and the hinge. The rest was already pretty good. So we most probably won't need another CNC case, just another DPad which can be done within a few days. We hope Dave will be ready will all that fixes until next week. Yeah, we know that's a long time... but because of the financial crisis (once agin...) a lot of guys at Daves work lost their job and he now basically has to do twice the work at his daytime job, leaving him less time to work on the Pandora case. We're really really grateful he does work on it making it perfect.
Now, onto the solution I mentioned above: The moulding company offered their help. Together with the final model data, they will receive basically a complete Pandora (all parts, LCD, hinge, board, keymat, etc.) and will check before moulding that everything will fit. They are very experienced with stuff like that, so that does help a lot. The downside is that this adds a few more days (moulding now takes approx. 45 days instead of 35) but it will ensure that everything fits and we don't have to start all over again.
That time frame also does allow us to do CE testing and change some stuff if need be without losing any time.

6. Software
Software and drivers are already VERY advanced. Mostly everything works fine, only WiFi is giving some issues. The hardware is fine, lowlevel tests with WiFi do work, but it doesn't work yet within the Angström image. If we can't fix it until the Pandora is ready, it will be fixed with an (automatic) firmware update, don't worry.

So, I hope I could show you what did happen. Of course, there were a lot more boring things going on (organizing between all the companies, signing NDAs, talking about licenses, etc.) but I think I did post the most interesting parts here.

Basically, to put it in a nutshell:

Board: Finished and working
Keymat: Finished and in production
Analogue Nubs: Issue solved, nubs tested and working fine

CE Testing: Pending (will be done during case moulding)
Case: Last fixes being applied, should go to case mass production company by next week

That's it for the status report, thanks for reading... and even more thanks for KEEPING with us :)
Comments like "We will rather wait a few days more but get a perfect device" has been what lead us to all those fixed - we could have gone into mass production with those minor flaws, but it should be a gaming console, so gaming controls shouldn't only be working but working perfectly. Thanks again!


Geez, I just got some up-to-date news I don't want to hold back.

The TV Out cable design is also finished and a prototype can be produced within five days. Nice :D

i'm really glad for these types of updates as they let you know alot more about what needs to be done and roughly how long is left to wait.
seams like July is just round the corner and everything is going quite smooth i seriously cant wait.
good for an update

however its starting to annoy me
along ago was it stated moulds were being made 2-3 months ago, and it was stated that was the final piece of hardware needed (cant be bothered to find post)

and this, dont release until its perfect, good idea, but remember gaming devices are meant to reflect the current gen, dont hold it up too much

they just seem to keep finding problems, yet saying theyre fixed and its going into mass production

no wait there was another problem but theyre now going into mass production

i appreciate the the july 13th date though, at lease i dont have to continually check the site.
i think if they stick to dates people will be less inclinded to post about when its coming. i guess untill the last minute when it leaves their hands they cant really judge.
im glad its winding down to a conclusion then itll get out of the realms of vapor!
excuse me for playing the devils advocate here, but the two things - chinese company will do final mould adjustments - and - we want the case to be perfect - are two things that seem to be mutually exclusive to me.
This sort of update was exactly what I was looking for; it could even have been less verbose. I would rather have one of these than several video clips. So it sounds like late July to mid-late August (if it's about to go to case moulding but that will take 45 days).
@vputz, agree completely. If they will commit to providing a similar update at some time in the not too distant future, I will be more than satisfied. July is obviously out of the question. I think Craig got a bit too enthusiastic. They haven't said much about the case (carrying that is) lately (or at all). I was a little shocked to hear that they were excited that the TV-out cable 'should' ship with the Pandora. I had never considered anything other than getting EVERYTHING I ordered if and when the Pandora finally ships.
Yeah I use linux right now, and let me tell you... WiFi was a big hassle to get working... But I got it working. I don't know about Angstrom and what WiFi hardware the Pandora uses, but I had my Linksys WMP54g working with native linux drivers (just had to find out what chipset it was using and use the driver for it's chipset rather than for the exact card like on windows. But from what I hear, most laptop stuff works best on linux, compared to a pci wifi card on a desktop (because it's uncommon)
hch said:
excuse me for playing the devils advocate here, but the two things - chinese company will do final mould adjustments - and - we want the case to be perfect - are two things that seem to be mutually exclusive to me.

where does it say chinese

anyway i believe they were to use the chinese company for cnc, not the actual final mould. providing they dont also manufacture it....

anyway they always said none of that shitty chinese craftsmanship (dont flame me, you know what i mean)
but i think they then came out and said they were, figures.