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The world's first JavaScript microcontroller. Develop intelligent devices quickly and easily.
The world's first JavaScript microcontroller. Develop intelligent devices quickly and easily.
1,692 backers pledged £100,710 to help bring this project to life.

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Postage Update

Posted by Gordon Williams (Creator)
18 likes

Just to let you know how things are going... Last week we packed all the Starter kits, and we worked over the weekend to get the Ultimate kits together. I have just returned from the Post Office, having posted the last of the 500 parcels!

This means that all the KickStarter rewards have now been posted and should be arriving with you over the next few weeks. I know a lot of boards have already arrived.

When you get your board, if anything doesn't work or if the instructions aren't clear enough, please let me know in the forum so I can update it for others.

Web IDE

Some people have said that they don't think the Web IDE looks very polished. That is definitely true - so far the look and feel of it has been neglected in favour of making sure it works reliably.

I know a lot of you are web developers, and the Web IDE is just HTML and JavaScript so I'd really appreciate it if someone wanted to try and improve it. Everything you need is on GitHub

Some of you have also noticed that the Web IDE uses 100% CPU on one of your computer's cores when it is connected. I know this is irritating, but don't let it put you off - Chrome M34 will come out in a month or so and it should fix this.

USB Connector

We've noticed that the Espruino boards that have been sent out have USB connectors  that are less strong than we had hoped, so please be careful with them. They're not exactly fragile, but if you push the USB plug up or down relatively hard then you could lever the connector off.

Before everyone complains about this: yes, some of you did point out that the Micro USB connector might not be strong. However I asked Seeed about this specifically (I even destructively tested prototypes), and was assured that the connector they supplied was in use in many designs and that they had never had any problems. Even so they said they would epoxy it down just in case, and I added a bigger ground plane and vias to try and provide some extra strength.

It looks like there have been a few bits of bad luck and that wasn't enough though. However don't panic - your board isn't fragile and the connector won't fall off if you breathe on it. Just don't apply loads of force to the connector and everything will be fine.

I will be redesigning the board before I produce another batch of Espruinos, however Seeed are currently looking at ways of strengthening the boards that they have already produced before they send more out, so shipment of the pre-order boards will be delayed by a few days.

Documentation

Now all the kits are out I'll be working hard on more documentation and example projects. Please let me know on the forum if there's anything specific you'd like to know how to do, and I can better tailor the types of projects that I put online.

Shipping Update

Posted by Gordon Williams (Creator)
16 likes

One more quick update on how things are going...

Seeed are just finishing shipping off all the single boards and Low Power Wireless kits from China, so if you pledged for one of those you should be getting it in the next week or two I hope (depending on shipping).

In England, I've now shipped about a third of the rewards:

  • All Multicolour light kits
  • All Wireless Experimenter kits
  • All WiFi wireless kits

They're sent first class within England, or Airmail outside England - so they should be with you pretty soon.

That leaves just the Ultimate and Starter Kits to pack and send out, and I hope to get those done by the end of this week. If you signed up for a pre-order, I'll be billing your card as soon as I get confirmation from Seeed that they're ready to ship your order out.

When you do get your board, just head to http://www.espruino.com/Quick+Start for instructions on how to get started.

If you do have any questions, problems or suggestions (especially where documentation is concerned), please check out the forum at http://forum.espruino.com - I imagine I'll be pretty busy trying to support everyone initially so please be patient though!

And finally...

Next week (on wednesday) I'll be speaking at the first Oxford Internet of Things meetup in Culham Science Centre. It'll be a great way to mark having sent out all the KickStarter rewards, so if you're in the area and fancy coming along then please sign up. I believe they still have around 20 free places...

thanks again - it's extremely exciting knowing that the Espruino boards are going to start arriving soon!

Happy New Year!

Posted by Gordon Williams (Creator)
25 likes

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! There's good news in store!

1500 of the 4000 Espruino Boards arrived with me in England on Christmas Eve, in two huge cardboard boxes. We've been busy testing them here on a range of different computers and Operating Systems.

While doing this, we noticed that firmware updates weren't reliable on some Windows PCs. We spent the last few days tracking this down, and with ST's help we finally found the problem and fixed it. Not only does it make firmware updates fast and reliable on everything we've tested, the same fixes allow us to speed up the Web IDE's communications with the Espruino board too.

I've now packaged up all the Multicolour light kits ready to ship (above), and will soon be starting work on the other kits too. I've also sent the final shipping list off to Seeed (a few more people remembered to give me their addresses over Christmas), and they will be packing and shipping all the individual boards as well as Low-Power wireless kits over the next few days.

I'd imagine that the first of you will start seeing your boards arrive in a week or so, by which time I should have added a lot more information and a few tutorial videos to the website, which should really help with getting started.

I can't wait to see what happens when the boards start arriving!

Espruino Production

Posted by Gordon Williams (Creator)
28 likes

The bad news first: As you've probably guessed by now, It is certain that you're not going to get your Espruino boards in time for Christmas.

However: All the boards have now been made and tested (there was a lot of testing to do - see the picture below!), and the first batch of boards is now with the courier on its way to England and will probably arrive with us soon after Christmas.

All the kit contents have arrived too - and there are a huge amount of them! The picture below shows just a fraction of them (servos, cables, temperature and ultrasonic sensors, and a just some of the 10,000 LEDs!)

That all means that in early January I'll be able to ship everything out - entirely on schedule. There are some more good bits of news too:

  • Delivery of parcels is always a pain, so for all the kits I've chosen cardboard boxes that can just about fit through a letterbox.
  • A few of you were asking how you'd turn things on and off from Espruino, so I'll be including a relay board in the Starter and Ultimate kits. It's got two relays with screw terminals, so you'll be able to start automating things really easily.
  • While I was ordering the parts for the kits I also came across Pyroelectric motion sensors (the things in motion-activated security lights). They open up a whole load of possibilities for projects (like lights that light themselves up when they see you) - and because I'm ordering in higher volumes than I expected I've managed to include those in the Ultimate kit as well.

On the software side, things are progressing well. There's been a lot of work done on the Web IDE, and masses of improvements to the Espruino software. The version of software on the boards that are shipping is a few weeks old and we've found a few bugs in it, but when you start the Web IDE it'll detect the software version on your board and will be able to update it to the latest release - all without having to install any extra software!

I've done a bit of work on the Low Power modes too, and with Deep Sleep enabled Espruino now draws just 110uA. It's such a small amount of power that just putting a damp finger over the power header doubles the power consumption! It means that Espruino can run for 2 years on a standard 2000mAh mobile phone battery.

I'll be putting some example projects online that really take advantage of this - things like data loggers and wireless temperature sensors.

Thanks for your continued support - and I hope you have a great Christmas!

- Gordon

Missing Postal Addresses

Posted by Gordon Williams (Creator)
14 likes

As I said in the last update, there are still 30 people who haven't given me their postal addresses. I don't want to put their names online, and there are a lot of you that are worried that you may not have given me yours.

So, I hastily created this webpage:

http://www.espruino.com/did_i_give_my_address.php

If you're worried, just enter your e-mail address and the webpage will tell you whether you have filled in your address and telephone number.

Note: you don't absolutely have to fill in your phone number - it'd just be a really good idea.