A short update and a Crash shoutout
Before we go onto the news, wanted to give some friends a shout-out for the Crash #100 Edition right now on Kickstarter. If the wonderful previous edition is anything to go by, you would be barking mad not to jump on the campaign and back it right away: there are only 6 days left to do so! Click here and back it!
The short update
This will be our most frustrating update yet. The reason for the radio silence of late (there should have been an update two weeks ago) is because we were due to get big news on the keyboard on September 22nd, thus why we held posting. After all, the keyboard is the very last thing between us and shipping, there’s very little to report other than tiny items.
For unknown reasons, our partners taking care of the keyboard missed the deadline, and we’re still waiting for them to forward information on how it’s all coming together. They have been working over the weekend -- particularly important since next week is a week-long holiday in China, where the keys injection is taking place (although they’re headquartered in the UK)
There are three points we’re waiting to confirm before the greenlight for the keyboard:
1. The membrane composite keys ensuring Caps Shift is always pressed first
If you have been following our updates closely, you will recall we’ve ditched the original Sinclair solution of having three layers on the keyboard matrix and adopted a two-layered approach to ensure the pressure needed for a keypress to register remains low, comfortable. In order to use two layers, the composite keys (arrows, delete, any keys that require Caps Shift + a key) have their contacts made of two halves. This works well, but if there’s anything that causes the membrane to deform (say, a heatwave or a speck of dust) and makes the wrong half of the two halves to become more raised, it means the key half will be ‘pressed’ before the Caps Shift half, resulting in the wrong order of pressing to achieve the composite result (so, instead of a Right Key we get an 8). Thus we are making the Caps Shift half slightly raised by 0.3mm, ensuring it is always pressed first before the other half is pressed.
2. Keys print quality
Although we’ve been assured there shouldn’t be any problems with the printing on the keys, we wanted to confirm all is well since the surface of the keys is not flat, but inverse domed like the original Spectrum+, 128 and QL. We’re particularly keen to see the keys with a lot of printing on them, such as the numbers with the graphics symbols and Delete.
3. Key injection quality
This is the most ‘safe’ part of the process, but still has to go through the keen eye of Phil to ensure all is well via injected plastic samples. They should be ready by now... Lastly, when the keyboard is assembled, we got to put it into the case samples to confirm all dimensions are perfect (although we never had any failure of dimensions during the entire project, everything just fit first time).
What happen next? We hope that while the UK HQ enjoyed the weekend, the Chinese subsidiary was full on at work as agreed, thus we should have news and images to share in the next couple of days. As soon as we get the information we’ll post an extra update to keep you abreast of how things are progressing.
We’re deeply sorry and disappointed with this delay… Internally, we expected to be shipping by now in the worst case scenario, the keyboard really threw us off track. All other bits of the project are lined up, just waiting for the keys to make their appearance at last.
A bit of proper red
Since the last updated featured a case with a glitter-red logo on it (don’t ask), here’s the correct red applied to the logo as it should be. ;)
Stay tuned -- we’ll should have good news shortly and move ahead with the project!