Yesterday SMS started the production preparation process for the manufacturing of all the 2B boards and Daughterboards in Nottingham, which kicks off next week. We’ll be on site Tuesday 21st to test the first batch that came out of the assembly line, running them through the gauntlet to make sure all is well with the Spectrum Next heart and soul.
It’s a special moment to witness the final version of the Next board taking shape at last… A product of the Next’s community efforts and feedback over the past few months, the 2B features the small improvements such as the PSU capacitor that got suggested by those who own a 2A version. Both remain fully compatible, though -- a testament to the team’s focus on quality and the roots of the Next project.
Behold the 2B coming out of the oven!
With the final keyboard matrix done and tested on the Next hardware back in London, we’re happy to announce it works a charm, super light touch. It’s operation is within the original parameters to allow for a good keyboard feeling, and the matrix is now being stress-tested for the material resilience back at the manufacture plant’s lab.
We’ll now push on with the injection of the keys and assembly of the keyboard, before shipping it to the case manufacturer for attachment and shipping to the UK.
With the final adjustments of the case requested by Phil, we have now tested it with screws inserts to allow it to be opened/closed multiple times without damage to the plastic threads. While this is a departure from the original plans of having the screws going into the plastic itself (just like in the original Spectrum and Spectrum+) we felt the hobbyist nature of the community required something built to last when allowing for opening and closing of the case for upgrades or hacks.
A side effect of this decision is that the plastic gets a pressure mark on the outside, so Phil and the moulders are working on this final issue before giving the case the greenlight for mass production. This last adjustment will not cause any further delays, as the keyboard is the last item to get done before final assembly and shipping.
Next week we’ll have another update directly from SMS showing the 2B boards being tested, so stay tuned!!!