What a day! (2011-12-14)

F_Slim

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On the topic of RAM, it's nice to hear hardware developers helping each other out. Kinda brings hope that there's enough people out there doing amazing things without huge corporate backing. :)
True, it is a relief to see that there are also good hearted people on this planet. Not sure if this weights enough against the evil we see, but at least there is hope.
 

EvilDragon

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And here we go again:


Parts are all there now (and complete), however, when Global Components started to program the machines (which unfortunately cannot be done before the parts arrive), they found out that they need a slightly different version of the Pick & Place files (these are the files that tell the machines where which parts go).


Hopefully this is not a big thing to correctly reexport, but I'll have to wait for MWeston to reply (and send me the new files).


As it's nighttime in Canada (timezone working against us), I'll hope I'll get these in time...


I'll keep you updated!


Issues are there to be solved - and so far, we solved them all :)
 

ensoniq2k

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Thank you for the update. I love the new information politics and detail informations. I hope everything will still run as planed. If the plan applies i'll get my Pandora after two years and two months™ :lol:
 
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Sugarfix

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It's incredibly saddening to hear a story of someone I didn't know, but could have quite easily chatted to at some point in the future.


It's also saddening to know that it's not just the British press who, when writing a story, go for the lowest common denominator. This is the reason I don't buy newspapers, because they're full of either vile opinionated bile (and I fully see the contradiction between that statement and being on the internet, the difference being I don't pay the persons wages for the privilege of spouting their bile on the internet) or z list celebrity tat. And on many occasions in one particular British newspaper, their tone is bordering on racism... and that's allegedly one of the more up market newspapers too!


Jonathan, rest in peace. May your heaven be filled with anime angels.
 

EvilDragon

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Thank you for the update. I love the new information politics and detail informations. I hope everything will still run as planed. If the plan applies i'll get my Pandora after two years and two months™ :lol:
Well, as I'm now directly in contact with the production company, I can give you these details :)


Was a bit hard before, when information had to be passed from Michael to Craig and / or me, etc.


Had some more phonecalls and now know what the issue is:


There are different ways exporting Pick & Place files from your CAD program.


What MWeston exported is that the coordinates for each part defines where Pin 1 of that part is and it defines the orientation.


Usually, this is enough to define the exact location of each part.


HOWEVER: Not with the machine GC uses.


The reason is simple: The machine doesn't pick up the part at Pin 1 and places it onto the PCB, it picks up the part in the CENTER and places it on the PCB.


It doesn't know the size of the part, so it doesn't know where Pin 1 is located.


(Some machines have databases with parts and sizes, but as there are so many custom parts nowadays, a lot of machines don't have one).


The solution should be pretty simple:


MWeston needs to load up the PCB design file and export the Pick & Place file with the setting that the coordinates should be in the center of each part.


That's it.


It's not a big deal, but the timezone is our enemy :)


I don't care about 2 - 3 days delay in the prototype run - however, the bare PCBs are being produced in China (like most PCBs worldwide), and Chinese New Year is approaching in January.


We need to get the PCBs before Chinese New Year, otherwise the production will start early February (and I WANT to have them out in January :) )


Global Components is in good contact with that company. Most (if not all) of their PCBs are being produced there. They know this is time critical and urgent, so they are discussing with them about this, telling them that they should reserve a production slot before CNY.


I'll keep posting here whenever I get some news.


Right now, I'm both happy and sad at the same time... happy that all the parts from Texas arrived and the memory chips arrived (so everything needed is here) and sad that we are still missing two simple text files :)
 

Caine

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For some reason there is always some critical Pandora deadline whenever Chinese New Year occurs :p
 

WizardStan

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From a two month delay, to two weeks, to two days, now down to two hours. We're improving. :)
 

ensoniq2k

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I hope we can manage to get everything needed from china until CNR arrives. Waiting much longer would make me a sad Panda :wacko:
 

EvilDragon

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I hope we can manage to get everything needed from china until CNR arrives. Waiting much longer would make me a sad Panda :wacko:
We're also discussing the option to get 500 PCBs until January 16th (as planned) and the remaining 500 early February.


That would work out as well :)


We need to wait what the bare production company says.
 

Darkknight512

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Really I'm surprised how well pick and place machines work, it must have been a heck of a lot of work to get these machines operating so accurately. I remember watching a video on the EEVBlog about PCB design and production of your product and how to order parts so that they can be loaded in these machines. It was quite an educational video.
 

ensoniq2k

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I hope we can manage to get everything needed from china until CNR arrives. Waiting much longer would make me a sad Panda :wacko:
We're also discussing the option to get 500 PCBs until January 16th (as planned) and the remaining 500 early February.


That would work out as well :)


We need to wait what the bare production company says.
Could the production test run make changes to the layout necessary or why have they not been ordered yet?


A little bit of topic: Do we have rough numbers of the left preorders for batch 1 and 2? I know that they both sum up to 1300, but do you know how many of them are from batch 1?
 
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Neelix

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Isn't that something of a moot point? The originally planned "batch 2" is no longer being produced as a 2nd batch of 4000, and the new production process is designed to be ongoing as long as demand keeps up. Given the large numbers of cancellations a good deal of what would have been batch 2 would have ended up coming out of batch 1 anyway.


Given that the new process divides the results between the existing prepaid preorders and the new (as yet unpaid) (pre)orders, I just don't see their being any point in trying to distinguish what would have been batch 2 from batch 1.


- Neelix
 

EvilDragon

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Really I'm surprised how well pick and place machines work, it must have been a heck of a lot of work to get these machines operating so accurately. I remember watching a video on the EEVBlog about PCB design and production of your product and how to order parts so that they can be loaded in these machines. It was quite an educational video.
True :)


I'll also post videos of the production run of the Pandora when it happens.

Could the production test run make changes to the layout necessary or why have they not been ordered yet?
Maybe. It's a new PCB revision, so it might be that MWeston has some design errors (unlikely, as he's very thoughtful and accurate and it wasn't that much that has changed).


Also, it's a new company producing the bare boards - and the Pandora is no easy PCB. There might be something unexpected.


According to Global Components experiences, about 95% of all the boards they were producing so far worked right away with the prototype run - and most of the 5% that didn't had design issues.


It's unlikely our boards wouldn't work right away, but there's still the chance they HAVE issues.


And while it's possible to work on those 20 prototype boards and modify them until they work (and update the mass production PCBs accordingly), you don't want to order 1000 PCBs for about 20000 USD and manually fix an issue manually on each one of them.

A little bit of topic: Do we have rough numbers of the left preorders for batch 1 and 2? I know that they both sum up to 1300, but do you know how many of them are from batch 1?
Can't tell for Craig, but I've got about 200 Batch 1 and 300 Batch 2 customers.
 

trinz

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Hopefully I'll be that first batch :p . Crossing my fingers that everything will work out and I'll be holding mine before the end of January.


Can't wait to see the quality of German manufacturers.
 

WizardStan

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Triple check the wifi when it comes off the line. And then check it again on a different router, just to be sure :p


I'm remembering how the first run failed because of an unexpected change in resistance that needed a different resistor soldered manually to the board. MWeston's soldering arm was probably right sore by the end of that.
 

craigix

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Just another little bit of Pandora fun, UPS came to collect the cases today and after we had spent an hour loading up the van, they decided the van was too heavy to drive.


Waiting for another van.


In the time all this is taking the original van could have taken half, driven to the airport, come back and taken the other half.


Probably twice.


Madness.
 

EvilDragon

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Triple check the wifi when it comes off the line. And then check it again on a different router, just to be sure :p


I'm remembering how the first run failed because of an unexpected change in resistance that needed a different resistor soldered manually to the board. MWeston's soldering arm was probably right sore by the end of that.
Don't worry, I've got a pretty detailed testing plan which includes all that :)


Nikolaus (the designer of the GTA04) told me that issues like these ALWAYS happen before a prototype run :)


He had similar problems. With such complicated board designs, you easily overlook something like that, so that's perfectly normal.
 

ensoniq2k

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Hopefully I'll be that first batch :p . Crossing my fingers that everything will work out and I'll be holding mine before the end of January.


Can't wait to see the quality of German manufacturers.
You have to open the already open Pandora to see the quality. The case is still chinese technologie :)


@ED: Thanks for answering all my questions, you are the best. Despite all the waiting and delays the trip is totally worth its money B)
 

Darkknight512

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ED, maybe it would be fun (if they let you and if you have time), make a video every 2 weeks or month of what is going on in production, daily problems and whatever is interesting about it. I bet it would be pretty cool and educational.
 
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