Catchup + reply to backer questions on comment page
With this update we're trying to catchup on unanswered questions on the comment page.
Approaching production shipment and launch of the FS-X, our team is busy with lots of operational issues. This has left us with less bandwidth than we would like to post very frequent replies (as compared to the period of the campaign itself). This has not gone unnoticed. And of course, we appreciate that it is precisely at this moment that backers can get understandably nervous and so in a way they need more contact and feedback with the creators.
We apologise for keeping you in suspense. In our defense, we're still within the 3 month period from the date (May 18th) at which we received our funding, but that said, it is a shame that we couldn't get the FS-X to you sooner.
We are just as frustrated by this delay as you must be, and we don't enjoy making you wait, because we are just as keen as you are to get the FS-X in your hands. The technology we use in the FS-X is very advanced, unlike other Bluetooth speakers. Of course, we do use some off the shelf components, but we can't fall back on the notion that this is a design that is "mature" or has been used before in other products, because in crucial aspects we are ahead of the curve. So, when something like this crops up, we need to be absolutely 100% sure that every aspect of the design is rock solid to avoid any disappointment later down the line.
Before getting into the detail of this, note that in this case, it has nothing to do with obvious missing parts for final assembly that are easily replaceable i.e. cables, plastics, fittings, batteries, etc. It has to do with the electronic circuitry, which is part of the FS-X's secret sauce, so we've agonised a bit over how much information to share.
As background, and to help explain, here’s a paragraph from update 33 explaining the max SPL level.
“We finished our max SPL measurements for the production version of the
FS-X...........The max SPL has been increased to make it sound louder than ever, without distortion even at high volume.
The Frankenspiel Team
The Frankenspiel Team
........Basically, to cut a long story short, the way we have been able to achieve this is by putting more power through the system, partly through circuit re-design, partly through specifying improved component values.”
Off-line, away from the final assembly preparations, while doing long-term full-power testing, we identified that a crucial electronics component was prone to overheat. While not posing any threat, nor lessening the audio quality, we felt that, if left uncorrected, this may lead to backers encountering problems down the line.
Some of the technical stuff in the FS-X is pretty advanced, and for that reason we don't want to risk giving away our secret sauce by going into too much detail. This is one reason why we didn't immediately rush to put out a lot of information on this.
To put this into context, the part in question seemed to conform to specification, had got through quality control checks, and this problem would not have been picked up in finished goods quality control. The issue, it turned out, was that the amount of current that the component could handle was less than was stated, and to be extra safe, we decided it needed a higher value to run cool.
Diagnosing and fixing the problem was relatively quick, but finding a replacement part (in quantity) that was sure to be able to do the job has taken more time than suppliers or we had anticipated.
This has been raised in several comments:
All incoming components are subject to quality control checks as indeed are all finished products.
The issue we described with the electronic component is not something that would be picked up by outgoing final product quality control checks. It showed up in continual long term testing of FS-X. So we are avoiding a situation where FS-Xs might have to be recalled. There is no room for compromises here, "better late, than faulty".
We had space on the line booked. When we have visibility on the component we will again book space. How long it takes from arrival of component to "out of the door" depends on lots of factors, including the following:
- time for incoming quality control inspection;
- availability of the line;
- how many people, (work stations) are on the line;
- the lapsed time per unit to assemble;
- the time to inspect finished goods;
- the time to pack finished goods.
As soon as we are able and have an accurate date set, we will update on this. We will try to manage things so as to minimise any delays, without of course compromising quality.
The Frankenspiel Team
P.S. -> Launch Party
For those of you attending our launch party, Friday 8th August, remember to message us your name and the name of your plus one for the free guestlist. For more information on the launch party visit update 35 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frankenspiel/frankenspiel-fs-x-the-bluetooth-speaker-that-can/posts/930591).
Of course there will be the chance to make pics/video's, we will also be making a video which we will post for everyone who can't be there in person.
There will be a separate room where at the beginning of the event it will be possible for backers to look and listen to the FS-X. We'd suggest doing this at the beginning of the event. The FS-X will be the mono/stereo version, note that this will be a production model, not a prototype.