The end is in sight
Hello dear backers!
It's been such a busy few weeks here at Vela Labs, and I've managed to let more than a month go by without a backer update. In a few short days the first complete Vela One flashes should be coming off the production lines. Here's an update on where everything is now.
The Vela One is made of several main parts, and these are all being made in different factories around the world. They are all descending over the next week on a factory in the South of England for final assembly.
The big aluminium chassis parts were completed a couple of weeks ago and sent by sea from Hong Kong. Apologies for the terrible quality of the photo from the factory! They have just passed through the Suez Canal, and as I write they are around 100km off the southern coast of Crete. They will be arriving in Southampton early next week, from where they will be taken by truck on the short drive to the factory.
The big purple plastic rear cases were finished last week, and are being sent by air freight from Shenzhen. After a three day pause for the Dragon Boat Festival, they are being cleared by customs and are booked on a convoluted series of cargo flights starting tomorrow, eventually ending up at London Heathrow on Sunday.
The super-tough front screens are being CNC-machined from polycarbonate at a factory in Romania. The production of these finishes today, and they will be sent by truck to the UK tomorrow. These will arrive in the UK at the weekend, for delivery at the factory on Monday.
The big one! The PCBs are being assembled as I write this, at the factory in England. They will be tested next week, and then the same factory will assemble the complete product.
The reflectors for the LEDs were delivered a few weeks ago, as were the LEDs themselves (the biggest payment I've made for this project!). The little plastic inserts that cover the drilled "V" logos on the side are being laser cut tomorrow. No need for ocean freight there: it's 2 minutes walk from my lab in Bristol!
I'm travelling down to the factory next week for the start of general assembly and I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures. Those of you with calendars will note that it's the end of the month on Tuesday, meaning we're not going to hit our revised June delivery date. My sincere apologies, but I hope to have the first ones ready to ship very soon.