I have finally finished picking through all the bugs in the Chip Maestro code! The code will be emailed to all dev-kit backers soon after this post goes up, so keep an eye on your inbox. As previously mentioned, all dev kit backers will also receive the programmers necessary to upload code to the Chip Maestro, so get ready to hack great new features for it! Additionally, if you backed for a regular Chip Maestro, you'll also be able to create your own code for it, but you'll have to source your own programmers.
I am also currently learning about one aspect of producing a device in quantity I failed to address: yields. Not every blank board will come out of the factory perfect, so it is important that I standardize my own process of assembling dev kit boards in order to ensure that any variables that go into assembly are minimized. To this end I ordered another batch of boards and parts, and built a soldering oven to solder the surface mount parts for me. I'm also refining the MIDI signal being passed to the microcontroller to make it more robust in environments with potential interference.
Every time I make a change to the device, I test each board for many hours to ensure that it will withstand the rigors of being thrown into a gig bag, hauled to an event, and quickly slammed into an NES because the stage manager gave you 3 minutes to set up (actual test case). While the software is being picked over by the devs, I will make sure that the hardware will withstand the test of time. After I finish adding my MIDI signal improvements, I will ship out the dev boards to dev kit backers. This is the time the development forums will go live. I've been playing with various forum frameworks for a while, but I haven't had the time to tailor one and upload it somewhere for hosting. I will devote all of my time to the forums once these boards are out the door. If someone would like to give me a hand with this so it's up early, that would be great!
Thank you again for your backing and patience so far! I can't wait to see the Chip Maestro being used on stage everywhere!
Edit: If your shipping address has changed, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll update my spreadsheets. Thanks!