Yesterday & today were days of mixed emotions.
We worked relentlessly to provide beta testing units so our backers could say that the earbuds are indeed working great.
But 2 out of 3 the working units slightly broke so the good connectivity was compromised.
Bringing only 1 pair for beta testing is way too risky.
We did not understand why they broke.
That deepened the wound on our pressuring long delays and the need to start shipping before the end of the year.
That was hard emotionally and mentally.
We then recollected ourselves and found the culprit, today.
The antenna is on a flexible circuit. During the assembly process, the flexible circuit tends to wave a bit under the soldering heat. In addition, we have a crucial chip that has tiny pads to attach to the circuit. The slight wave, the bending and our manipulation on the flexible circuit sometimes provide enough tension to make one pad to detach. The chip is still hanging on the board, but not all pads are soldered.
This is not something that provides instant visual feedback. We can only see it on the microscope and even then, it’s very subtle. Check the video here for more info:
During production, the environment to make flexible circuits with the assembled chips on them is so tightly controlled that this situation is unlikely to happen. Those machines cost millions.
Are we still on track to start shipping by the end of the year?
These recent clouds make it harder. Still possible but increasingly harder.
Just like you guys, we’re looking for a more meaningful update next time.
By then, we wish you guys Happy Thanksgiving.