The (Almost) All International Update
As noted in an update to Facebook, we had lab time scheduled 11/7, 12/7, 18/7 and then a new one on 26/7 to formally test versions of our hardware for CE Mark and AU/NZ compliance.
Here are the issues and our approach to resolving:
1) On the SmartThings Hub, for CE Mark testing, there is a limit to how long during the course of an hour the Z-wave radio in the Hub can be broadcasting (1% duty cycle limitation). Based on the need to interact with devices and poll devices, there are scenarios where we can exceed that limitation. This is core functionality, so we’re evaluating either firmware modifications to dynamically address and throttle the polling and radio, or fixed strategies to reduce our polling frequency based on device type and other variables. On the upside, this only becomes an issue with very high density networks (lots of devices). We think this will be resolved with firmware, meaning it may not impact production.
2) On the ZigBee module we use, it is susceptible to RF interference above 1.2GHz. So for example, at sufficient power, a 1.8GHz GSM phone might (not will) cause degradation of the ZigBee performance. While this isn’t really a failed test, we are evaluating the size of the risk and how it could be addressed in partnership with the module provider.
We still need to complete some final tests. They are around power source dips and drops in line voltage and harmonic test on the power source. These tests are on our third party power supply which is already CE marked, so we are confident in the outcome.
All that said, we are still hoping to have our CE paperwork to be done by the second or third week of August. We will commence manufacturing as soon as the second issue above is addressed. We have asked our manufacturer for committed lead times on the CE-ready boards (note - they have already built our test boards for us, so this isn’t a new thing) and will provide a specific update on those times as soon as it’s in our hands. To expedite, we will pull components from existing inventory and stock for US and CA orders.
The same issue does not impact AU/NZ compliance (no 1% Duty Cycle requirement) so we are moving forward with documentation and filings for those certifications. In Australia, we need to collaborate with a local agent to file with the actual government, so we are setting up our agent now. This may require an extra week or two before we can formally file.
We know you are anxious. We’re very, very close. Our next update will include timelines for manufacturing so you can start planning for your SmartThings.
And finally (hence the Almost in the title), thank you again to all our Kickstarter backers in the US and Canada. If you’ve not yet received your SmartThings kits, then please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a very good chance we’re still waiting on you to complete your ‘Choose Your Things’ survey so we can ship your kit directly after.