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A tiny Wi-Fi development board. Arduino + Wi-Fi + ARM Cortex M3  + wireless programming + REST API = awesome.
A tiny Wi-Fi development board. Arduino + Wi-Fi + ARM Cortex M3  + wireless programming + REST API = awesome.
A tiny Wi-Fi development board. Arduino + Wi-Fi + ARM Cortex M3 + wireless programming + REST API = awesome.
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5,549 backers pledged $567,968 to help bring this project to life.

How it feels to deliver a product

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Hello Spark friends,

Many of you have received your rewards by now; we hope you're enjoying them! And don't worry, those of you who haven't; they're on their way and coming soon. We're still shipping, so don't worry if you haven't gotten a tracking number yet!

The last week has felt like the Kickstarter campaign all over again; the activity on our forums has exploded, with people sharing awesome projects and others seeking help with issues. The feedback has been extraordinarily helpful as we learn what we're doing well and what still needs some work.

Keep the feedback coming! The whole team is here to help you through set up and to learn more about the features you'd like us to add. If you run into any problems with set up, here's a few resources to help:

http://docs.spark.io/#/connect

https://community.sparkdevices.com/t/spark-core-troubleshooting-guide-spark-team/696

Community contributions

We're continuing to see some awesome tools and libraries built by the community. Here's a few goodies to add to the list:

SPARK API HELPER: http://jflasher.github.io/spark-helper/

TWEET FROM A SPARK CORE: https://github.com/SaraJo/spark-tweets

Keep 'em coming! We're loving the contributions and we're eager to share with the rest of the community.

Battery Shield issues

Unfortunately we have some bad news to share for our backers who got Battery Shields. Yesterday we uncovered a flaw that causes them to behave inconsistently, and we are recalling them to the factory to be reworked.

I know this comes as a disappointment, but we'll do our best to make it right. This mistake is without question our fault, and we're going to get it resolved as fast as possible, and with as little impact to you as we can manage.

The current plan is that the battery shields will be removed from the distributor, but the rest of your rewards will be shipped out regardless. This way the delay on the battery shields won't cause the rest of your rewards to be held up. At this point you'll have two options:

1) Select a different shield (Relay Shield, Shield Shield, or JTAG Shield) as a replacement, which will be sent out quickly.

2) Wait for the Battery Shields to be fixed and returned to the distributor, which might take another 2-3 weeks.

We will follow up in the next couple of days with a personal email to each of the backers who ordered a Battery Shield. Keep your eyes out for this email, as it will have the information you need to make your selection.

A few hundred battery shields have already been shipped out. If you receive a battery shield with your other rewards, don't worry - we'll still send you a replacement. Just hold onto it or, if you want, you can fix it yourself; we'll post the fix on the forums. It's a simple fix if you're handy with a soldering iron.

So what happened? The Battery Shield has a battery management circuit that maintains a constant output voltage from the battery. If the voltage drops outside an acceptable range, the battery management circuit shuts off the power to protect your circuit from erratic behavior caused by low voltages.

Unfortunately the circuit was set incorrectly so that this voltage protection is too sensitive, and shuts off frequently. This happens once the battery has been discharged, so our manufacturing tests did not catch the issue.

Luckily the issue can be fixed by removing a couple of components. This makes it a good candidate for rework, which is why we're sending the shields back to the factory to be fixed.

New features and bug fixes coming soon!

Thanks for all the feedback you've sent via the forums, email, twitter, etc. The input you give us determines what we'll do next. Here are some of the things we've added to our backlog based on your feedback:

  • Better support for libraries, including community-generated libraries
  • A mechanism to control the RGB LED
  • More ways to control power consumption through sleep levels
  • Wrapping some of our messy tools for local development in a cleaner command line interface
  • Better troubleshooting information based on LED colors
  • Making "Smart Config" more robust on different types of networks (have to work with Texas Instruments on this one, but we've collected great feedback)
  • Simplifying set-up over USB, especially for Windows (signed drivers)

Not all of this will get done right away but it's all on our minds now, thanks to your input!

Thanks again for all your support; good luck with your projects, and please share them with us so we can share them with the world!

- Zach and the Spark team

middleca, Dan Larsen, and 16 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Michael V. on December 20, 2013

      My cores came in the mail last night. I have to say they are packaged very nicely and the boards look awesome. Can't wait to get started with them. Thanks again for a great kickstarter.

    2. Creator Fabian on December 19, 2013

      Hi, like to find out on the expected delivery of my reward.

    3. Creator Binoy Xavier Joy on December 19, 2013

      Any update on my core? I had opted for Battery and Shied Shield too.

    4. Creator Matthew Williams on December 16, 2013

      My reward showed up the same day as my 3Doodler did - it was a Kickstarter Christmas!

      By far, one of the best presentation and packaging of a Kickstarter (or other) product that I've seen. I had it fired up and was controlling the on board LED in minutes and was blown away at how easy it was. Bravo!

    5. Creator Eric Albert on December 16, 2013

      And today I got my "dual" core set! Fantastic!

    6. Creator Andrew - Armikrog Army on December 16, 2013

      @Peter I'm still waiting track number for my CONNECTION KIT too
      Should have just ordered x5 cores :D

    7. Creator Eric Albert on December 15, 2013

      Yup still patiently waiting for an email or package for a pair of cores... but good to know things are moving out to delivery.

    8. Creator Spark IO on December 15, 2013

      @Peter Maker Kits are among the last to go out, simply because they were one of the last items to be assembled. However everything should be shipped out in the next few days, so it's on its way soon!

    9. Creator Peter Elmered on December 15, 2013

      Great update, Thanks!
      Are you shipping the maker kits last? Is this due to the higher complexity(more compontents)?