The tale of the cases


EvilDragon

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I'm pretty sure you've all waited for news from me - especially as I said I will post pictures as soon as I have them (which should've been last Monday).

So... what happened?
Oh well... it was all very annoying. And I had some serious déjà vu, but this time, I'm prepared.

Okay, let's start the story with...

Monday

Not much to say here. My contact didn't manage to find the time to visit the case company.
That's not really their fault ;)
He did make an appointment with them for Tuesday, where the CEO will have the time to answer all his questions, he can thoroughly check the new cases, etc.

So, let's move over to...


Tuesday

This is where the annoyance did start.
My contact arrived at the company - but they didn't really have time for him.
No time for discussion, no real time to look at the cases. He did get a quick view into the production hall, so he could at least confirm they ARE producing the Pyra cases.

However, he did notice that some parts share one mould. This is normal, and nothing special or something to be concerned about
But: They did invoice that as two moulds - so I actually paid more than I should have.
Both me and my contact don't think they did this intentionally - their whole bookings and invoicing is quite a bit of chaos... I didn't even receive all invoices yet (even though I paid them already), so this probably accidentally did happen.
But that's still something unacceptable... especially in combination with the slowness they showed so far.

If you followed the news, you might remember that I said back in August that we will move the moulds and the production to another company if they will not have any new cases soon.
While we never told that to them so far, we were preparing that in the background, so we can move everything quickly if need be.
The new company is not unknown to us. I already produced over 5000 NES, MegaDrive, SNES and N64-shells with them. I never had to wait longer than 1 week. :)

So... time to share that information with them, right?


Wednesday

My contact did pay them another visit to confront them with the issues.

The deal is simple:
Until Monday, we want to have:

  • The final 3D data files
  • The produced cases using the new material, properly produced
  • Corrected bookings and all invoices

If that doesn't happen, we'll move the moulds to the new company.
We made that pretty clear.


Thursday

I think I mentioned that the new company has a pretty awesome material mixture (that is about 5x as strong as other plastic materials).
They produced some samples for us on Thursday (as they had a production running that used that material).
As they don't have the Pyra moulds yet, they used some of ours. So I'll probably receive the most sturdy SNES / N64 / NES or MegadDrive cartridge shell of all time!

My contact plans to pick those up on Monday and will then ship them to me. Hopefully with the new Pyra case samples as well.. but we'll see.


What's the déjà vu?

This whole story reminded me of the Pandora a long, long time ago.
Remember the PCB production run in Texas?
Where the CEO always told us how the production is running already, but we never received any pictures?
Then we sent one community member, who happened to live there, to them. To check on the production and make some pictures.

We even made an appointment... and guess what:
When he arrived, the CEO didn't really have time. And while he did see some PCBs, it were only a few and they weren't really producing any right now...

It's almost the same story!

I also had to move the production away from them to Germany... THAT was quite an act, moving all the parts over the seas and through customs, etc.
But: It did work out fine!

We've walked through hell and back to get the Pandora production running smoothly - and I'm prepared to do the same thing for the Pyra as well!

Though moving moulds from one company to another one (which is only 5km away) is definitely a LOT easier than moving the parts back then.



Some 4GB RAM news

We're now 99% sure that the issue with the RAM is a too high voltage drop on our PCB, which means it needs some improved vias and ground plane.
This is what tests have shown.

While it WAS possible to modify the software to make the 4GB RAM PCBs I have here boot and run properly, it's unknown whether that setup will work reliable in all working conditions and with all PCBs produced.
But that means that even a little bit of improvement will make things work properly.

We'll work on that - and it shouldn't take too long (depending on Nikolaus' free time though).



Some really sad news - and our condolences

While the news about the cases are very annoying, this is something we can (and will fix), so nothing too bad.

However, the news I have now are very sad ones - they are linked with aboves déjà vu as well.

Part of the halt in the Pandora production back then was because the nubs broke very easily and needed to be redesigned a bit, which took 4 or 5 months alltogether.
During the wait, to keep you all entertained, one of our trainees back then created the Nub song:

Mardt has really improved since then and became a really good musician (just check some of his songs in the channel... nice instrumental ones).

However, due to an accident, Mardt has died on September 30th, at the young age of 28.

He was really an astounding guy! Quite a bit crazy, always motivated.
This part of the newspost is dedicated to him, to keep him in good memories.


And with that, I want to end the post for today.

Thanks (as always) for your support.
 

Wally

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It's such a shame the greek company isn't trying any harder to get stuff done properly. At least with the everdrive case we'll know they're great from all the experience you've had with them!

Sorry about Mardt, I hope you're okay, reach out if you need anything.
 

levi

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I'm pretty sure it's further than 5km from Greece to Germany - I guess you mean it's 5km from where your work is, but that sentence could perhaps be clearer.

I guess moving the moulds now might be slower than the best case of the Greek company producing everything you need asap, because it's a complex mould, and Form Action in Greece already have experience making a hundred or so complete units I guess (albeit from the wrong plastic). But it's starting to sound like it might be the best idea overall, if they're up for it.

Sorry to hear about Mardt.
 

EvilDragon

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I'm pretty sure it's further than 5km from Greece to Germany - I guess you mean it's 5km from where your work is, but that sentence could perhaps be clearer.
The other company that produces shells for us already is 5km aways from the current one.

They have 16 machines (whereas the old one has 2), so production should actually be a lot faster as well.
 

erico

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As it seems, Form Action I guess will have to be gone. No way such service done already could sport quality cases at the end, one must have too much "faith".
At least the memory issue is advancing. :)
 

Dark Pulse

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Progress is good, both on the cases and the 4GB issue. It's starting to sound like the hardware is getting close to being sorted out, and then it's just a matter of software. I guess we'll see how well FormAction can handle the pressure of knowing you have someone you can move the production to - Pyra may not be their biggest manufacturing run, but every little bit helps.

Also, while I wasn't around for any of that stuff with Mardt, my condolences.
 

ClockworkCoder

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Such a shame about Mardt, I think he also deserved more YouTube followers, that was an awesome song and so funny.

Regarding other progress, it's clear this is much more frustrating to @ED than anyone else, but there is clear progress, and done positive steps forward (three steps forward, two steps back). Although it sounds expensive for production :-(

As usual, thanks for the update :)
 

codifies

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I don't know if this is just an English thing, but a joke excuse for a school student forgetting their homework is "the dog ate my homework"

for quite some time now every time the case company has been mentioned for some reason that excuse came up!

Frankly given their service, I think you've more than given them a chance, they don't really deserve your money...
 

fusion_power

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Both me and my contact don't think they did this intentionally - their whole bookings and invoicing is quite a bit of chaos... I didn't even receive all invoices yet (even though I paid them already), so this probably accidentally did happen.
CHAOS in a GREEK company? No way! ;)

As they don't have the Pyra moulds yet, they used some of ours. So I'll probably receive the most sturdy SNES / N64 / NES or MegadDrive cartridge shell of all time!
Sounds nice. Even stronger than the already very durable Polycarbonate? I wish we had this already back then for the Pandora. My Case is vanishing slowly, maybe they used biodegradation plastics for the Pandora case? XD

I also had to move the production away from them to Germany... THAT was quite an act, moving all the parts over the seas and through customs, etc.
But: It did work out fine!
Did you ever did a calculation, if the Pandora development would have been cheaper if everything would have done in Europe/Germany right from the beginning?

My condolences for the music guy. I remember that nub-song very well, something that stuck in the head even if you only heared it once :)
 

Caine

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I am sad to hear about the demise of Mardt. He brought some joy into our lives when we were struggling with a long wait.
It really puts the other news in perspective. There are always bigger things to be concerned about.

My condolences to his friends and family.
 

Linux-SWAT

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Oh Mardt !!!
Such a great guy, he was very friendly to Link and I during the Rebirth, and I coincidentally met him at a carnival near Ingolstadt where we had some fun.
He was also an incredible musician, mastering a handful of instruments...
This is so sad :-/
 

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kabaiakh

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I don't know if this is just an English thing, but a joke excuse for a school student forgetting their homework is "the dog ate my homework"
Used in France as well. Maybe in other countries too. I like that kind of frontier-unaware behaviour.
 
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