Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 11, 2012.

Update #14

Manufacturing

We have three issues we are solving that are affecting shipping:

Plastic support - One of our molded pieces holding our connector needs to be shortened 0.2mm to make it fit better - the connector assembly cannot seat itself all the way down. The tool is in the process of being changed now.  Subtracting material from a molded part is a bit more difficult and time consuming than adding material because they must add steel to the tool by welding and then re-machining.

Circuit Board - We got our first small production run of PCBA's and they had quality issues. The main culprit was the soldering of the flexible FPC that connects our low-friction connector to the main board. We have adjusted the layout and the factory is building special fixturing and a PCBA test tool to make sure every one works before it ships to us. We err far on the side of risk mitigation and can't ship until we know the parts we send are working and durable. One luxury we don't have are a bunch of production Docks in the wild to see if and where anything fails.

USB power adapters - For the A/C power adapters for the Dock+ versions, we have been testing 4 samples each of 3 different models that we liked (as we mentioned in Update #9). After 1.5 months of real world testing, 3 different ones went bad. That makes all those a non-starter on our end. The good thing is we have kept working on our originally designed charger, intended for future use. We will now be going with it and we have a full court press on to get them made and certified asap.

In all, this is going to put us about 30 days beyond our expected date. We will be spending a small fortune to air ship pallets of parts that are delayed coming from Shenzen.

If you need to change your shipping address, no problem, just email us your info to kickstarter@elevationlab.com and we will take care of it for you.

On the very brightside

Our custom low friction connector assembly is working great. These are technical, high-precision metal and plastic parts that are flat out difficult to design and make. We are the only company to have done this. We think you will be pleased and it will be worth the wait.

Audio sounds louder when its in the dock, especially on hard surfaces like your desktop. Our through-dock acoustic holes are doing their job.

Crushing metal. Stateside we are running like Secretariat. The guys at Treske Machining are doing an impressive job - they have gone to great lengths to dial in their toolpaths and processes to make gorgeous, perfectly machined, toolmark-free and deburred parts. You would think the glass bead blasting and anodizing would hide toolmarks, but it doesn't. That is why the machining has to be so good - and you will all see their work for yourselves soon. They will continue machining as we solve the other issues, so we should have a big inventory of machined bodies by that time.

Here are is quick update video I made of a working sample production Dock

Pressure cooker. You do not know stress until you have a successful KS project. I have had these recurring dreams of the whole internet outside my apartment with pitchforks and torches if we shipped late or the parts were crappy. And everything is magnified - any hiccups cause world-ending lows; when things go right, it's mass euphoria. The Gantt chart I made pre-Kickstarter had a solid 4 week buffer if anything like this had to be re-tooled or changed. At this bigger than expected scale, each of the dependent steps takes longer, so that buffer time goes away and any modifications affect ship time. Looking forward to my first solid night of sleep in 4 months when we can get that first Dock out the door.

Special thanks to Dan Day, our talented and tireless electrical engineer that has seen this project through. Having worked on much more difficult projects like debugging Intel chipsets, he has been meticulous with layout and signal integrity on these docks. An audiophile, you can thank him for the Japanese made ceramic EMI filters, designed for high-end audio, that are on the Dock+ versions. Dan will be taking his skills back to Intel next month and we wish him great things. 

Thanks, 

Casey

Comments

    1. Merrell.small

      Creator Scott C. Merrell on October 12, 2012

      Hi, guys - in your update #14, when talking about the circuit boards, you noted, "One luxury we don't have are a bunch of production Docks in the wild to see if and where anything fails." I guess I just became a beta tester.

      I was an original backer, received Dock+ in black, and loved it, but today the audio out line stopped working. iPhone still plays through its own speakers and charges in the dock, but does not recognize line level out.

      Tried several different audio cables and even headphones to get it to work, to no avail.

      Tried swapping between my phone (4) and wife's (4s) to no avail.

      All devices have been on surge protector since the day I got them, too, so not anticipating a power or surge issue that might have fried the board (and definitely not just this one part of this board).

      Even tried unplugging it all and putting it all back together on the off-chance it was just a loose connection - no dice.

      Would like to know how to get this repaired, or how to secure a new bolt-in circuit board so that I can go back to using the audio out feature.

      Truly love the dock when all features are working - may even buy more for other rooms if we can get this circuit board issue addressed.

      Thanks in advance for any support you can provide.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator David Elliott on May 16, 2012

      I think it's reasonable to ask for updates, but I don't think it's wise for Casey to try to guess shipping dates. When you give a date, that puts you on the hook to either meet that date or give people advanced warning that you aren't going to, and that's a tough situation to be in. I'd rather just hear how things are going. I don't need good news, just news.

    3. 393698-stewie_griffin.small

      Creator Seq on May 15, 2012

      I think we can assume they are working as fast as they can. Wasnt the orig ship estimate "the end of April"? I wouldn't exactly call March 12 "way past the ship date" - at least considering how its pretty standard practice for any BIG company to push back release dates on new tech products - even with all their money and resources.

      reading all this talk about ship dates being missed and next gen iphone rumors and wanting updates and forward compatibility, has brought me to the following thoughts.

      1. There were ALL sorts of rumors from "legit" sources leading up to the 4S release, from it being the 5 to all sorts of details big and small (even new skins that fit different sized phones, that never came true) These meaningless (in the end) rumors even persisted days before it came out. As i had expected to buy my first iphone (when the 4S came out), I learned one thing for sure - to NOT give any rumor much thought.

      2. Even if a new phone DID come out this year with a different connector, this dock was never represented as being compatible with any and every change that apple makes to future phones, never mind that Casey has NO way of knowing what those changes will be or how soon or never they end up coming down the pipe. Its not fair for people to say "well I plan on buying x new phone when it comes out x months from now and this product should be forward compatible for any changes in design".

      3. Considering some of you are saying that you buy a new phone every year, they certainly you know how quickly technology can change or not and it shouldnt be any big deal to expect to have to buy accessories for those yearly updated phones for whatever changes that come. There are tons of charger/speaker/dock type products being produced all the time - please show me any other that will be forward compatible for the next gen iphone IF it has a different connector or sizing.

      4. Im sure we would all have different ideas on how "often" Casey should be updating all 12,521 of us. Who gets to decide?

      5. And, I dont know, maybe DONT buy the new phone right away if it has a different connector and just enjoy your year old phone a bit more like most of us do and enjoy this great dock for longer.
      Nobody is forcing you to buy a new phone the day it comes out.

      I am confident that we will hear when they will ship when Casey KNOWS when they will ship. Him guessing and updating us on best guesses, only creates more potential disappointment.

      Id rather Casey concentrate on getting it done - rather than giving all 12K of us whatever we all think is satisfactory update schedule. Forcing someone to guess is not wise.

      Reading comments on this and other updates - (update 12 comments) Are people really getting bothered that they might not be able to be the "only kid on the block" with one as long as they were hoping. I mean really? I remember when I thought it was really important to have some cool bit of tech before anyone else could get their hands on it cause - man what an ego boost.!!! . Oh yeah - that was junior high school.

      just my opinion.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator David Elliott on May 14, 2012

      @Oliver, I don't see any "outrage" here. I do agree with Tom that more frequent updates at this point would help, though that rarely happens with Kickstarter projects. In general, the later the project, the worse the communication gets.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Tom Moccia on May 14, 2012

      @Oliver No outrage here I just think after the shipping date a short update every 14 days is little to ask, even if it's just a "we are still working hard and doing xyz". Just my opinion.

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Oliver Schoettke on May 13, 2012

      Why all the outrage? I'm ok with the updates we got we got so far. They need to change tools. He's probably not doing it himself so it takes some time and there is nothing new to report. I can understand being a little shy on handing out new dates while still tinkering with parts.

      I'm going to say that it would still be absolutely amazing if they ship with a three month delay. After all - he has 20 times more orders than originally asked for.

      @Casey & the team: I'm glad that you have the passion to make the first production run as good as it can be even if it means enduring unpleasant comments. I'm happy to wait until you think the product is perfect rather than getting prototype-quality to meet a shipping date that was an estimate to begin with.

      Keep up the good work.

    7. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Nathan Stokes on May 12, 2012

      I agree with Jeffrey and Tom. We need some updates due to the fact that we are well past the original shipping date. Not to mention the increased rumors of a different dock connector. What would increase the longevity of this dock is the ability to purchase a swappable low friction 'new' dock connector if the next iPhone changes specs. Obviously it is impossible to know what Apple will do in the future. What will put our minds at ease is first, knowing that this is a viable solution that Casey has thought about, and second, knowing when we'll get our orders.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Tom Moccia on May 12, 2012

      And why are comments posting twice now?

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Tom Moccia on May 12, 2012

      @Benni Not to mention the estimated ship date was originally April. If that was the case and the new iPhone was different no big deal as we would have 6 months to use the dock with the 30 pin. It is now May 12th and we have not received an update since April 27th. I don't expect updates every 2 weeks when the timeline is current but when the ship time has past I would expect more frequent updates especially considering the recent publicity about Kickstarter scams. Now don't get me wrong as I don't think this is a scam at all, that being said I would prefer bi weekly updates after the ship month has past especially considering the nature of the product and the future incompatibility rumors.

      And if your "best dock for iPhone" statement is valid I guess it would have been compatible with the original iPhone considering that is the only one that has truly been named "iPhone". Subsequent iPhones have been called "3G", "3GS", "4", and "4S". According to you the dock should have been called the "best dock for the iPhone 4/4S" no?

      Not to mention considering this is the very first project I have backed (I have backed subsequent projects) it would sure leave a bad taste in my mouth if the very first item/project showed up in September just in time for me not to use it.

      Getting off my soap box.

    10. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jeffrey Siegel on May 11, 2012

      @Benni, People are asking, because if the delivery date slips further, we might get our docks just in time for them to be not compatible with the new iPhone. Most people I know replace their iPhone every year, so it matters to us. Having an upgradeable dock connector, in the event it changes, would future proof the dock for us and be worthwhile. We've ordered 4 of these docks for our house, and it would be a shame if they weren't usable.

    11. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jeffrey Siegel on May 11, 2012

      @Benni, People are asking, because if the delivery date slips further, we might get our docks just in time for them to be not compatible with the new iPhone. Most people I know replace their iPhone every year, so it matters to us. Having an upgradeable dock connector, in the event it changes, would future proof the dock for us and be worthwhile. We've ordered 4 of these docks for our house, and it would be a shame if they weren't usable.

    12. Iphone.small

      Creator Benni Klomfass on May 10, 2012

      why everyone is asking about the iphone 5 compatibility ?
      is was called - "the best dock for iphone" and not "for iphone 5"

      You can't know when exactly the new phone will come out (anyways only in about 1/2 year)
      so if you know for sure that you need to have the new iphone (although the 4/4s is pretty much the best thing) just sell the dock alone or with your iphone to afford the new one...

    13. Photo.small

      Creator AJ on May 10, 2012

      Really wish I could get my dock.. taking forever.

    14. Odd.small

      Creator Rian on May 9, 2012

      From what I am seeing for past few years, it appears, again "appears" iPhone 5 will be compatible with this dock. The only possible non-functional outcome might be resulted from either different connection (no more apple 30 pin connector) or change in shape of the bottom of iPhone, thus, making unable to securely put the phone in the dock, or maybe (in the worst case) both.

    15. Missing_small

      Creator HL Wilson on May 9, 2012

      I agree with the iPhone 5 comments. I'm overdue for an upgrade. It would really suck to finally get my Elevation dock and use it for a few weeks with my iPhone 4, and then send it to the junk drawer because it's not compatible with the iPhone 5.....

    16. _dsc5255-300-68.small

      Creator Kevin Beatty on May 7, 2012

      I hope the old iphone chargers will continue to power the newly anticipated iphone 5. Definitely something Casey should be investigating as I'm sure the majority of the backers will most likely pick up the new phone the day it comes out.

    17. Ios7-icon-gridplain.small

      Creator Andrew Westle on May 4, 2012

      From watching the video it appears that the red PCB is held on by 3 screws, so maybe it is replaceable?

    18. Photo.small

      Creator janschi on May 4, 2012

      Hey Casey,
      like Tom said - it is a bit worrying that the docks might be not working on iPhone 5 if Apple goes for a smaller connector. Would it be possible for backers to replace the connector themselves? Cheers

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Tom Moccia on May 4, 2012

      Well it looks like all our docks will be useless if the latest rumor is true with Apple going to a 16 pin connector instead of 30. Ah the perils of funding projects, just hope I get to use it for a few months before it becomes my paperweight.

    20. Photo_on_8-21-13_at_4.26_pm.small

      Creator Chris @ BiteMyApple on May 2, 2012

      Thanks for the update Casey.

    21. Dsc00131.small

      Creator Michaël Martin, Esquire, MSIR on May 1, 2012

      Thank you for the heads-up. I am sure that it will not be much longer. Thanks again, and take care.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator David Elliott on April 30, 2012

      Quality does take time, but I don't think that they expected to make a lousy product before. So, I think this is more of a case of things going wrong. It sounds like Casey had planned for a month of slip, and it turned out to be worse. The one thing I keep in mind in a case like this is that while we may just have to wait a few more weeks, it means that Casey and his team have to work on this longer than expected. That's not a great position to be in.

    23. Mh_8bit.small

      Creator Mike Heller on April 30, 2012

      Quality takes time.. I don't care if I have to wait longer so long as you make a great product!

    24. Android.small

      Creator Az Nm on April 28, 2012

      yup it I took a long time, and mark question is very importent !

    25. Ns.small

      Creator Nigel Shardlow on April 28, 2012

      Thanks for the update, much appreciated.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator River Cox on April 28, 2012

      I am also interested in the answer to Marks question about the next iPhone. More specifically will it be possible to replace the connector in the doc if apple changes it?

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Mark Galbraith on April 27, 2012

      So will this dock fit my new iPhone 5 when it comes out in October?

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Bryan Lawther on April 27, 2012

      Don't worry about the delays. I'm really glad that you're showing such high regard for quality. I would happily wait till Christmas for a dock that lives up to your aspirations. Keep up the good work

    29. Missing_small

      Creator Josh Lobban on April 27, 2012

      @James Billingham AT&T in the States (maybe not just AT&T?) has rebranded HSDPA+ to 4G. So the new iPhone 4S is "4G" according to their marketing. Apple changed the logo on their network.

    30. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator James Billingham on April 27, 2012

      Erm... his iPhone says "4G". That's kinda weird.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator John & Charisse Harris on April 27, 2012

      Get some sleep we can all wait for the product you had in mind when you started. Thanks for the update.

    32. Missing_small

      Creator John Dill on April 27, 2012

      Thanks for the update! Don't let the rollercoaster kill you.

    33. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Will Buckingham on April 27, 2012

      The entire reason I supported the project was because it looked like such a high quality product in comparison to the alternatives on the market. If quality was compromised to get things out a couple weeks sooner, I'd be highly disappointed. And it really does make all the difference being kept informed of the reasons for production delays. If there's a problem, I like knowing what it is, and what's being done to correct it. That gives me confidence in your business. Don't sweat the delay, and I look forward to seeing an amazing product when it's done.

    34. Visor.small

      Creator brian welch on April 27, 2012

      Hey Casey,

      Thanks for the update. The Thing is.. those of us who have supported you in buying a dock that comes at 2-3x what most docks run.. I definitely appreciate that you're taking the time to make it right. Paying extra for a Thing is fine as long as the product we get is top notch.

      So if it's another couple weeks but the end result is a solid awesomely performing bit of kit... that's fine. Just make 'em last. And thanks for testing the stew out of them to make sure that's the case. *(:

      Looking forward to my two ElevationDocks!

    35. Missing_small

      Creator Keith Arnold on April 27, 2012

      Sample looks great; better to have it right than fast.

    36. Missing_small

      Creator Glenn McQuaig on April 27, 2012

      Another vote for saying, "Don't worry, Casey!" We're still behind you, and not with pitchforks or torches!
      We can wait for something good. I appreciate that you guys are being so particular about making sure the Elevation Docks are outstanding in function. Keep up the great work, don't overstress yourself, and best wishes to all involved!

    37. Photo.small

      Creator janschi on April 27, 2012

      Don't worry, mate, everything will be fine :) It is a great challenge and you are doing a great job!

    38. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Josh Hrach on April 27, 2012

      I paid for a quality dock. If that means taking longer than usual, that's fine. :)

    39. Missing_small

      Creator Anthony Donker on April 27, 2012

      Hey Casey,

      Don't worry, I won't come haunting you with pitchforks and torches :-).
      Although I would've loved to see it shipped, I can understand that sometimes not everything goes as planned (as an iOS Software Engineer I know how things can turn out).

      Thanks for the update; keep it up and good luck with the whole process; I for sure am going to enjoy and appreciate my Elevation Dock when it arrives, and will wait patiently for that day.

    40. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Mark Fewell on April 27, 2012

      With success comes challenges. The fact that you keep us all informed, and with solutions, is what will make you successful going forward. Well done.

    41. Missing_small

      Creator Ian McConnell on April 27, 2012

      Casey, thanks for the update. So glad you are taking the time to produce this to perfection. No problem waiting for you to deal with the unexpected issues of manufacturing. Look forward to using the dock and will appreciate it even more knowing the care you have put into making the best product possible. No pitchforks and torches here, hope you can get some needed sleep knowing most of your backers are happy to wait.

    42. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jeffrey Morton on April 27, 2012

      I'm curious if the phone rests against the rubber backing. From the video it looks like it is suspended by the 30 pin plug. I'm not sure what kind of effect that would have on the lifespan of the dock.

    43. Missing_small

      Creator Ron Hiller on April 27, 2012

      Thanks for the update. As a friend of mine used to say, "it ain't like pouring concrete, it'll be done when it's done". I am certainly willing to wait until you are satisfied with the product. Don't rush it.

    44. 115.small

      Creator Craig Jessup on April 27, 2012

      @Don

      Aha! This sort of thing, right?

      http://img.diytrade.com/cdimg/1472640/22720919/0/1312181792/UK_USB_Wall_Charger_plug_for_iPhone_3G_4_iPad_2_iPod.jpg

      If so, awesome. They're pretty easy to get just about anywhere in the world!

    45. Macleodale_logo_color.small

      Creator Jennifer Febre on April 27, 2012

      I do NOT want you to feel stress or lose sleep on my account. Please find a way to relax and have fun!

    46. Missing_small

      Creator Nicholas Gray on April 27, 2012

      Thanks for the update. I can wait for a quality product. I still have a concern in regards to the compatibility with Otterbox Defender cases. A while back I was told that you would be sending out a second survey. Is this still the case? Please let me know!!!

    47. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Carrie Savage-Zimmerman on April 27, 2012

      Thanks for staying in communication. You're in a big game. Glad to be a small part

    48. Andrew_face.small

      Creator Andrew Gill on April 27, 2012

      Thank you for keeping us in the loop.

    49. Missing_small

      Creator Joseph Bongiorno on April 27, 2012

      Total support for you guys.....cannot imagine having such a response and having to ramp such a large production so quickly.....and confident it will be worth waiting for!!

    50. Missing_small

      Creator Chris Rugen on April 27, 2012

      Quality takes time. We're all here supporting your project because we value quality and understand the tradeoffs. Thanks for the update!

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