craigix said:Michael will make a video and take some photos of a cased Pandora using the latest case.
We will then ask people if they want to go with this or wait for another revision. We know all that some of you care about is that the controls work.
We will probably look at making 500 of these to get some units in to the wild, but we understand that some of you will want to wait until the case is 100%.
Either way is cool.
That's the plan.
MWeston said:These cases are like the ugly girlfriend who does all the dirty stuff you like but someone you don't want your friends to see.
The case fits, is totally functional and sturdy but it looks like the rev2 ones. I don't know what the hell they were doing the past two months. Seriously.
I'm also trying to find out if these were made from recycled plastic or new pellets. Maybe that is why it still has rough edges and a greasy finish and a production run will be done differently.
craigix said:It's lots of little issues, not quite straight edges on the ports, little things here and there, the photos will show it better.
Some people would not care, others would. It's just one of those situations.
craigix said:Yes we will sell the 'final' cases and all case parts on the website once they are 100%.
I'm one of those people who throws things about a bit, my phone is all scratched etc. so I don't mind an imperfect case.
EvilDragon said:Okay, as the case is similar to the first prototype case, I checked it.
A lot of the smaller issues can be seen, yes - but only if you take a closer look at it or on pictures.
I then took various other electronic goods into my hands and compared: The SmartQ5 has similar issues. If you take a closer look at where the upper case comes together with the bottom case, you can see some uneven plastic if you look closely. Even my GBA SP has some uneven plastic at the ports - I never did realize that before.
The MAIN optical problem with this first case in my opinion are the color differences in the plastic. Some parts are a bit brighter, which does it make look a bit smudgey.
As it could be they used recycled plastic for the test (not unusual if you do less then 100 cases as a test), it might be that this issue completely disappears with the mass production.
And as the case does work fine and we'll offer the good-looking replacements later, you should all be fine.
The cases won't break or so, I had my Pandora since a few days before christmas. It fell to the floor a few times and there are no issues with it
You can be sure we'll continue bugging the company (maybe even send somebody over to keep watching over them) until everything is perfect and you can all get replacement cases after that if you want.
Thanks Vlynndar, edit addedMWeston said:Well I made it through 17 pages of this topic now so I should post a few comments.
First, I am not looking for perfection. That is an infinite process but there is such thing as a standard quality that any commercial device should meet. I spent so much time perfecting the guts of this thing and it is a true insult to my efforts to see this mold company send me such incomplete samples and call them 'final'. We will find out what level of purity the plastic was that made these cases. Maybe they know production plastic won't be swirled and greasy and so when they said we would be happy with these, they expected that we understood that. Communication is a tough one when they refuse to hold conversations for more than three minutes at a time. Don't ask me why they didn't put the silk screening on these parts because I was explicitly told they would have them. More lies.
There were a few more internal modifications for rev3 but most of the important ones came from the rev2 samples. A couple of changes for rev3 that I am happy about are a tighter fit on the screws which makes them feel more secure and closing up the nub surround so that the PCB isn't visible around the nub under certain lighting conditions. It also looks like they closed up a small gap in the lid that let a bit of backlight light shine through the front. The LCD cable slot took a step backwards with a bit of unevenness but since it was right last time, we can assume that more carefully made production parts will be back to normal.
The cases are still very solid. You can try to twist and bend them but they don't flex much. It will feel like a very solid device in your hands and functionally, everything works exactly as we want. The gaming controls are perfect. The keyboard is perfect and there has never been an issue with buttons getting stuck in the case or anything like that. The problems now are cosmetic. There are rough edges around the connectors, around the edges of that recessed channel in the front the SD cards, volume wheel, etc. and some on the edge of the base parts where the two halves go together. There are some sink marks too which might hide a bit better with a full, proper matte finish but they're there.
As some people have pointed out, a picture can say more than any amazing piece of software ever will and a reviewer crapping all over the case quality could spoil it for anyone considering the Pandora. I'm one of those people really. These cases aren't a disaster but I would want something to show off to my friends and having to explain the colored patches and rough edges is a little defeating.
Some pictures are posted on my photobucket and I'm not too sure making a video will show better quality. I will probably still make one anyway but unless I can really master the lighting, my 640x480 videos won't help you know if I'm holding a rev1, 2 or 3 case.
MWeston said:EDIT: Two more pages were written since typing this. Ah yes, the hinge area. There are clips in that area that hold the two halves tightly together and they screwed up somehow. On this revision, the recessed spots for the clips to sit in got completely evacuated and there are holes right through the case. They didn't do this on rev2. Rev2 just had roughness on the bottom edges of these parts and not the destruction of the clip channels like this time.
Comparison pic. Backside of Rev.1-3MWeston said:I too am hoping that doing a small run like this is nothing like setting up to do thousands as I have commented in the big post. They sent me seven cases. Maybe they made 12-15 cases and these were the best of them. From all I have read in my google searches, firing up the machines to only pump out cases, even in the dozens, cannot be considered reliable as the machines barely get up to temperature and proper mix rate...or something like that. I don't know enough since I have never worked for a plastics company. I do know that when they finally get around to making our test cases it is when they have scheduled machine time for us so it isn't likely they will wait hours for the machines to pump out perfect cases only meant for testing when they have bigger, more important (to them anyway) customers lined up next in the queue.
To those few who say they work with or at molding companies, I welcome your opinions. I think you get some heat for being so critically negative rather than just offering objective opinions.
Isn't it ironic that the cases arriving on time Friday afternoon is turning out to be worse than if they were delayed until Monday because now we have to wait two days for an answer?
MWeston said:Along the edge it looks like the plastic cracked off when being ejected and it happens in the same spot on all cases. The holes are from the mechanical tooling blocks that slide in to make the little channels the clips sit inside. They seem to be going too deep and there is almost no plastic left behind them and it collects around the edge while it cools. I don't want to post a million pictures of damaging photos on my Photobucket account but a view from the inside shows the pattern in the plastic these blocks leave in the lid and behind this rounded wall. I read your comments and I agree that the machine used this time around (or the regular guy was out sick?) did not line up the blocks properly or whatever mechanical error could be made.
MWeston said:First, I don't speak Chinese. I'm pretty sure the international language is love and not face smashing. What a pitySONY said:Michael, why don't you go over to China and start puching heads in?
Second, I can't afford it and I don't think it will help. Fatih has better access and capabilities to travel there, but he now has a liaison to deal with this company for us and that is where we are at right now. They take my detailed reports and pictures and get it communicated to this company. I hope we get some real answers on Monday.
MWeston said:TI has had nothing to do with the case, boards or anything. They gave us some parts to start off with and offered a bit of support.
The clear cases were made by the same company making the molds.
Also, it is still early to start jumping on the panic bandwagon. A day has passed over a weekend when no one can get answers. Let's not start 50 more topics with this kind of talk. Craig's plan hasn't changed one bit yet and we are still seeing what can be made next week and how long it will take.
MWeston said:Thanks Madcad77. I tend to agree with you here since there has to be a reason for the way things are. I'm still up assembling units as I've made some promises for the week and I am noticing that several of the parts feel like they are almost dripping with grease (release agent). I even started wiping a few off. These came right out of the mold and into the shipping box.Madcad77 said:From what I have seen of these new mouldings, your moulding company needs to run a small batch to validate thier parameters, things like mould temperature, injection pressures, cycle times etc.
These coupled with venting added in the correct positions (tiny modifications 1- 2 days max) will sort out your sinkages, short fills etc.
The greasy finish you mention is most probably due to excessive release agent used when running the mould for the first time (reduces the risk of the moulding sticking in the tool).
I have been designing plastic components for over 10 years now, and alot of your issues with Chinese moulding companies are well known, regardless which company you chose over there, they just work diferently to us.
I am very optimistic though, when these parts are run to the correct production processes, perhaps with extra venting, your cosmetic issues will be resolved.
Source: http://www.pandoratoday.de/allgemein/alles-nur-halb-so-schlimm/Hey Aaron(note: Screeny),
Sure, they go together fine. I just finished #5 a few minutes ago. They’ve always gone together. The main issues are what I am showing on the forum now which would be the quality of how it looks to someone who paid a lot of money for it. The samples I am getting are obviously still not polished as they seem to want me to keep reviewing their work but I was asking them for fully finished cases to save time. I don’t think they are willing to do that until the order is for thousands of parts due to the labor involved. I suspect there will be less trouble with the case than these samples show and it may end up that showing them publicly scared people unnecessarily. We’ll find out soon.
EvilDragon said:They might've used recycled plastic instead of the expensive final one, which is normal for a test case.kingoddball said:Why are they all scratched up and so shit?
As far as I know, yes, but that's something Michael knowsAre all the major revisions CORRECTED now?
It might be that the mass produced stuff WILL look okay. The ones we got were test samples. The machines weren't heated up correctly (takes a few hours and a company won't afford to not being able to use the machine for that time just for a few sample cases), probably recycled plastic was used and the finishing was missing.There is nothing to fix, except how shit they have turned out (appearance)?
If they can remove the scratches and make it a nice gloss black finish, just send the things!
Yes folks, it MIGHT be we were all discussing this weekend about nothing - everything might be okay.
We never did something like that before, so we gotta ask if the case looks like that because of the above reasons and if the real ones will lokk okay.
Just wait until we did speak to the company.
To be honest, I don't believe they would sell us such things as final product - they've been doing stuff like that for 12 years now, the keymats also do look fine.
I doubt they would've survived if all their products would look like this
ED(tweet) said:Just made a speed test of pndnotifyd (the system that autodiscovers PND files). Slow SD Card: it needs about 5 - 6 seconds for 100 games!
'EvilDragon on German Forum said:Soooo, jetzt melde ich mich hier mal kurz zu Wort, hab ja viel lesen müssen
Zum Einen sieht das Gehäuse in real nicht so schlimm aus, wie auf den Fotos. Das ist eine billige Kamera, die das Gehäuse eher matschbraun erscheinen läßt, tatsächlich ist es aber schwarz
Es sieht von der Farbe aus wie meines - und das habt Ihr ja schon mit einer besseren Kamera fotografiert gesehen.
Zun Anderen: Wartet einfach noch das Telefonat mit den Chinesen ab. Wir haben uns am Wochenende auch nochmal über Moulding, etc. genauer informiert.
Damit so eine Maschine sauber funktioniert, muss das Werkzeug sauber eingerichtet werden und die Maschine muss sich völlig aufheizen.
Das dauert mehrere Stunden und bei solchen Tests wird das meistens schnell gemacht, so dass dabei das Gehäuse deutlich schlimmer aussehen würde als es dann nach der Massenproduktion aussieht.
Denn sonst würde die Maschine für einige Stunden nicht benutzbar sein, was natürlich Geldverlust bedeutet.
Auch wird hier oft bereits verwendetes Plastik (z.B. von einer fehlerhaften Produktion) neu eingeschmolzen, was auch nochmal zu verschiedenfarbigem Aussehen (wie wir es hier haben) führen wurde.
Ebenso wird meist das Finishing nicht aufgebracht.
Nachdem wir nach Gehäuseempfang das Werk nicht mehr erreicht haben, werden wir Montag gleich nachfragen, was hier passiert ist.
Sollte sich tatsächlich das obige bewahrheiten, könnte es durchaus sein, dass die Massenproduzierten Gehäuse genau so aussehen, wie sie sollten - denn schließlich passt ja alles gut zusammen, die Funktionalität des Gehäuses können wir also bestätigen, und wenn die Produktion dann noch sauber abläuft und ein schönes Finishing drauf ist, schaut die Sache ganz anders aus.
Wir hatten das ganze zwar final angefordert (und waren deswegen auch selber erschrocken), aber da kann die Kommunikation wieder Schwierigkeiten gemacht haben. "Final" von der grundsätzlichen Form her ist es ja Und wir haben selber noch eine Erfahrung, es kann gut sein, dass bei solchen minimalen Mengen auch nichts besseres hergestellt wird (ist ja ein Kostenfaktor).
Alle Geräte, die ich bisher als Prototyp hatte (WIZ, F100, etc.) hatten MIND. 100 Exemplare - also deutlich mehr. Da rentiert es sich schon, die Maschine anzuheizen.
Warten wir also den Montag ab - da kann sich viel verdrehen
EvilDragon said:Sooo, now I will say something, had to read quite a lot after all
For one thing the case does not look as bad in real life as on the photos. This is a cheap camera which makes the case look mud brown, in reality it is black
It looks like mine - and you have seen that one photographed with a better camera.
For the other: Wait on the phone conversation with the chinese. Over the weekend we have informed ourselves better about moulding, etc.
In order for such a machine to work properly the tools must be properly aligned and the machine must be heated up fully.
This takes several hours and for such tests this is most often done quickly, so that the case would look considerably worse than after a mass production.
Otherwise the machine would not be usable for several hours which of course means lost money.
Also often already used plastic (i.e. from a faulty production) is re-melted, which also would lead to a discolored look (like we have here).
Also the finishing is most often not applied.
Since we were not able to contact the factory after receiving the cases we will ask them on Monday what happened.
If the above should prove true, it could very well be that the massproduced cases will look exactly like they should - everything fits together after all, thus we can confirm the functionality of the case, and if the production runs well and a nice finish is applied things will look different.
We did ask for a "final" case (that's why we were so shocked), but communication may have made trouble again. It is "final" concerrning the basic shape And we ourselves have [no] experience so far, it may well be that nothing better is produced in such minimal quantities (is is a matter of cost after all)
All devices I had a prototype of (Wiz, F100, etc.) had AT LEAST 100 samples - much more. That is worth heating the machine up for.
Let's Wait until Monday - much kann revolve until then
craigix said:Drak said:I don't get it then. Why would they even bother to waste material to create such 'crap'? Was it just to show you that the tight areas are looser and whatnot?
Yes it was just to show the edits, nothing more. They are a big company and I just don't think they have time to talk us though things, they have been doing this for years and we just have to hit the floor running with them.
They did a good job of explaining the process today though, and were probably surprised we didn't know already.
ED(tweet) said:Interesting what mess it can cause if something arrives EARLIER than expected. Time to do a blog post with all we've found out now
Official Blog said:Ever thought it could be bad when things arrive EARLIER than expected?
Well, we also didn't. But that was what happened.
The cases did arrive on Friday, not as expected today. While this usually is a good thing, we were shocked by the quality - just look at the pictures which float around at the boards and you'll agree with us. The bad thing about timezones is: When Michael did get those cases, it was too late to call up the chinese factory to find out what went wrong.
So a lot of turbulences did happen at the boards - which was perfectly understandable. As said, we also were shocked.
However, it looks like this is another thing did learn: Injection mould samples will always look that bad if it's just a bunch of them.
After recovering from the shock, we started to investigate and think about what just happened. To be honest I didn't think this could possibly look like the final product. Come on, what kind of company would survive for 12 years if they produce cracked and cheap looking products to their customers. No, there HAD to be something we didn't know.
Then some guys at the board who do work in injection moulding business did tell us a bit more. I also talked to some other guys via ICQ - and got the same replies from all of them: Doing a proper injection moulding run needs a lot of time. The machine has to heaten up completely (which usually needs a few hours) and the mould has to be aligned properly, which also does take some time. As this would mean the machine couldn't be used for mass production at that time (which is a loss of money) they usually don't let it heaten up completely.
As the plastic tends to keep sticking inside of the mould if not fully heated, they add a bit more grease. Otherwise, they'd have to manually remove the plastic which could damage the mould - and that's definately not good.
Another thing was that they might've used recycled plastic for the samples. Why use the expensive plastic when it's just samples that won't be used at all anyways? That's why there were discolorations and the case was looking greasy. As the finishing usually also isn't applied, it looks scratched.
So as that did calm us down a bit, we had to wait until Bryans friend could call up the factory today.
And guess what: I looks like this was EXACTLY the case. The samples were just meant to check if everything fits. The final mass production cases will be properly heated and cooled down and will get a nice finishing. This is what they did tell us.
As chinese holidays are nearing, you can surely think that a lot of their customers are currently trying to rush things, so they didn't have much time at all to properly align the case.
So what should we say? We decided to GO for it! Let them do those cases - until we really do the mass production, we will never see a final case with proper finishing anyways!
Let's hope they can produce as many cases as possible before their new year start!
ED(tweet) said:Green, green, green... the color of hope
Source: http://forum.gp2x.de/viewtopic.php?p=112372#p112372EvilDragon said:danvari said:Ich hoffe die Chinesen vergessen die Bedruckung nicht ^^. Die haben jetzt so oft ohne Bedruckung produziert....Wie ist eig. der aktuelle Stand zur Bedruckung? Kommt ein First Edition/Batch mit drauf?
I hope the Chinese don't forget silk screening. What is the status of the silk screening? Is there going to be a 'first batch' printing?
Ich weiß, ehrlich gesagt, nicht, ob Craig die Bedruckung mit geordert hat. Wenn sie versaut ist, ist das blöd - dann lieber erstmal ohne und später die paar, die wirklich eine wollen, nachbeliefern.
So kompliziert sind die Anschlüsse der Pandora nicht Ich hab bisher keine Probleme gehabt, mit umzugehen
Tbh, I don't know if Craig ordered the silk screen printing. It would be bad if it's messed up - so it might be better to go without and ship some with silk screening to those who really want it, later.
The ports aren't too complicated I didn't have problems using them, so far
EvilDragon said:craigix said:I do wonder what the next disaster will be, probably people somehow breaking their firmware. You will probably need ext2 ability to recover via SD so that's going to confuse some people. Ubuntu CD to the rescue!
Nope, you can boot a mini-rescue kernel via USB which flashes an image from SD Card
EvilDragon said:Nothing really out there yet, but you can be sure I'll try to put as much nice software as possible (and ported by cpasjuste or pickle ) onto the File Archive in nice .pnd-Format
craigix said:Populating the appstore is on the list of things to get done before launch.
MWeston said:Late to the party as always but yay on the green light!!
Fatih had some other good stuff to say that makes a more technically concerned person like myself happy:
"He told me that this is just a sample to see the changes. All those scratches, marks, discolored parts, rough edges and plastic overflows will not exist in final production. I asked the reason for these as well and how will they disappear during production. He told me that during production a water cooling system will be set up to avoid these problems. He told me that because the workers was in a hurry they dripped those coating and made rough edges etc. According to him there won't be any problems during production because they have a ISO standard quality control procedure."