Solarbank S2 - LED issue: Warranty Update
Good news, we found the problem with the S2s!
Bad news: it's random - and doesn't fall into an exact category of serial numbers. It was a batch of incorrect microcontrollers that were used in some units.
Simple explanation: The microcontroller inside of the unit that turns on the LEDs goes to 'sleep mode' after exposure to Solar power for more than 30 minutes. To avoid this happening, the MCU requires adding a 1uF capacitor on CHRG foot pin.
We had lots of input from many backers - thank you for your help! Especially to Hannes and Anton. They're two of our backers from Germany who took apart their Solarbank S2 units to give us feedback and confirm what we were being told from the factory - this is what makes our Kickstarter community so special and we appreciate you so much!
We're now arranging with the factory for the replacement units to be made.
If your S2 unit has malfunctioning LEDs, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your serial number by or before June 1st.
Timing for replacements: Typically production takes 60-75 days, then shipping from Asia to our other warehouses and then shipped out from there to you will take an additional 45-60 days if all goes smoothly. Since we still have not delivered a final quantity to the factory we don't know the exact production time. We'll update you as soon as we have some solid dates. Things are moving with the factory. We'll update again when we have a finalized production date.
Thanks everyone - have a great weekend!
-Adrian and the Solgaard Gang
*note, as a result of this we are no longer shipping S2 units until we have guaranteed correct units in stock. This may impact you if you didn't fill in your backer survey already. Please email email@example.com and we'll help you over email.
A little extra personal reflection from Adrian:
Hi Lifebackers, a quote that I often think of is this:
"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe"
Robert W. Service
I'm frustrated with this situation with the S2 LED issue. It's a huge headache, it's expensive, and it's tons of extra work. A quick google search for a 1uF Capacitor will show you what the issue is - a tiny piece of hardware smaller than a fly causes weeks of work for us. For the sake of the quote, let's call this our 'grain of sand'.
The mountain: We've managed to ship 5+ containers full of products around the world, 4500 bags to countries all over the place. We made the products with a very close eye on all of the details. We tested Solarbanks in sunlight for days straight. But somehow this slipped through the cracks and causes a huge workload for us. We won't bother pointing fingers. These things happen and we're fixing it. If the leopard print pants promise didn't help you notice how committed I am to fulfilling on our promise, I hope that our open communication on this issue will. This will take time, I thank you in advance for your patience as we handle it.
Today I had lunch today with Julio Terra, the head of the Technology and Design Community at Kickstarter. It was my first time at the Kickstarter HQ and it was exciting to see the office of a company which has created such an incredible avenue for thousands of creators. We talked about the current state of Kickstarter hardware projects. I'm so proud of our team and what we've accomplished. Against so many odds, so many challenges and problems behind the scenes that we don't share, we're still here. Now more than ever, I understand why a lot of major Kickstarter launched and projects have fallen by the wayside, some after delivering rewards and some before they manage to do so. I'm proud that we've delivered on all three of our campaigns - and we'll deliver on any future projects we do too.
This is getting a bit long now... What I really want to say - Thank you. Thank you for your belief in our projects over the years. I hope you believe in our vision of helping scale solar technology for a personal level of use. I hope our communication with you is clear, I hope our products are of great quality for you that lasts for years to come.