The main topic of this update is the pre-production prototype feedback. There is also a bunch of points you might be interested in:
Let’s jump in.
Pre-production unit feedback
Not all the packages got to their destination, it appears that customs still hold them. Fortunately, we got some good feedback.
The good stuff:
Things to work on:
Activating Deep sleep
The charger & earbuds battery dying too soon was an important problem which we tackled right on. Sylvain created a system measuring power levels but this was not working well so I suggested using the deep sleep feature which is already embedded in the firmware.
This requires a minor PCB design change.
The mic was announced as not working in the batch we sent. We were using a high-level firmware, which was easy to program and came with pre-programmed mic controls. Since then, we have switched to a “closer to the metal” firmware for more controls, that is quite time consuming. It’s working but not in a great way so far.
Sylvain identified 3 moderate changes on the PCB design to make it work.
Switching the touch controls
The magnet sensor was easy and convenient for prototyping but not quite for users. I suggested using a capacitive touch chip, meaning just by proximity, the magnetic field is disrupted which the chip can pick up and react accordingly.
A few miniature components need to be inserted into the PCB for it to work.
Back & forth – 3d prints
With all this back & forth we had to validate the design with 3d prints. It seemed fine on the CAD software but we noticed some tolerance issues when 3D printing them. We received a new delivery and we’re testing them once again to validate for the mold modifications to occur.
The communication with the manufacturer is definitely slower with this pandemic still raging.
Sending email instructions, Chinese translations included, is not good enough. In this type of scenario, being physically there is simply the best method. For example, solving a minor mechanical issue may take 5 min. The remote process takes around 4 hours, not counting the days before we receive a delivery.
What is scheduled for the next 30 days
Air travel is still heavily restricted, even in China. The owner of our main manufacturing facility in Shenzhen is still unable to get back. He has to supervise at a distance.
For the upcoming 30 days, we plan to make a new PCB design and assemble new circuits for the 2nd batch of pre-production prototypes. Sylvain will do his best to implement the new chip for the touch interface. Of course, validating the files for the mold modifications is the number one priority.
Take care guys
PS. Here’s the video update