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This project was successfully funded on February 11, 2012.
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 email@example.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.