It looks like there's been some sort of problem at Macrofab and their pick and place machine (they only have one?!) isn't working.
We expected to have rev2 of the prototype on it's way to us today but unfortunately it looks as if we will not have our boards on the pick and place until March 10th, which possibly puts our prototype shipping out on March 15th after the fab does some hand soldering on our through-hole parts.
It's a delay, one that we've padded our schedule for but a delay nonetheless!
I've tried to reduce the through hole parts as much as I could but they're still on the board. I only recently discovered that I could order 40-pin SMD connectors, so maybe that's an option for another revision. Moving to that means only the speaker would require hand soldering and this could improve the time to produce a board.
Chinese parts are starting to come in
We've also received another batch of East Rising screens from Shenzen. I'm very pleased with these screens as they are sharper and have a far more responsive touchscreen than the MCU Friend screens we were using. The best part is that they don't require another set of pins to support the SD card, and(!), they use microSD instead of standard SD. The finished appearance is much more professional and clean.
MCU Friend (top) vs East Rising (bottom). East Rising is so much nicer . Also notice the EFF supporter logo, activated by secret unlock code!
Speaking of "ordering parts from China": Batteries have been ordered (ETA 3/28), Standoffs have been measured and a sample has been ordered (ETA Friday), Screens and MicroSD cards remain to be ordered. Mostly, I'm ordering based on a build of 300 units on these parts, assuming that some percentage will fail. Our final unit count will be in the 200-300 range depending on pricing, sponsorships, and part availably. We still need more sponsors. Please help!
We sort of got screwed on the batteries as the minimum order was 500, so if you get to DC25 and want an extra battery for your board, we will absolutely sell you one if you'd like to buy one.
How's the game coming along?
On the software side, I think I've repaired the last deadlock/hanging bug in the fight network code. It's very hard to get the fight to deadlock now, but it still deadlocks once in awhile. I need to sort that out and it's very hard to debug.
I wrote a new command line interface to edit the system preferences, as well as an unlock screen to unlock special things via secret codes.
Matt has just about finished the artwork, and it looks really, really good. Now it's up to me to incorporate all of the characters and their respective animations into the game.
UI Detail for the default badge application. I'm Caesar. Deal!
What's left on the game now is the leveling system, code cleanups, some UI tweaks, and implementation of all of the magic unlock codes. The UI is there for unlocking, but it doesn't do much yet.
Bill has also managed to get some very amazing video surprises working, but I'm not going to spoil that just yet.
I'll have a new update around 3/10 and I hope to have boards by 3/15!
Thanks for your interest, you're awesome!