16. July 2015
Things are moving along well. This monday alpha6 production was initiated. If our design verification succeeds, this production run will turn into beta production (beta is used to tune and balance the production and test) equipment. Design verification is supposed to be finished end of July for audio, electronics and mechanics.
In our last update we informed you we were working on removing the distortion originating from the water proofing membrane.
We have found a nice water proofing solution, and I’d love to show how it was done, but sadly cannot due to patent filing process. Hope you understand.
Our audio team is working on fine tuning the production process to achieve consistent audio performance. If there is a small air leak inside the Dash, it will drastically reduce the sound pressure and audio quality. We are very happy with the audio quality at this stage. Audio transparency in particular is an interesting experience.
The (hopefully) final parts have been received and are being used for the next prototype run. We had to add glue ducts and add a few modifications to the construction to improve manufacturability.
The ultrasonic welding process had to be changed from alpha5 to alpha 6 production due to failures in waterproofing and drop testing.
Something as trivial as silicon sleeves need to be tested for durability, transparency, repeatability, bio compatibility and many other things. No one said it is supposed to be easy to make The Dash.
The team is sorting out a few bugs in the hardware, that should be resolved with the Alpha6 prototypes. The electronics team will spend the next 2 weeks on design review checking that the issues have been resolved.
Our alpha5 build from a few months ago had a lot of electronics failing, because we introduced a new chip that had tiny soldering pads. The solder paste grain size was not fine enough resulting in only parts of the pads connecting.
We have changed the solder paste grain size for the alpha6 run and improved the solder paste stencil (I know, it is very technical, but that is our life right now).
BRAGI Operating system & software
Last update we mentioned Blacklight, Essence and Promise software releases. Blacklight production software was released last friday in time for our alpha6 production run starting this monday.
Our next software release called Essence is planned for final release mid August. We have a few bugs that need to be resolved with involvement from 3rd parties, and are relying on deliveries from them end of July.
The android and iOS apps are coming along well, while the Windows App is approximately 3 weeks behind.
It is absolutely unintentional, but the windows app team is missing a qualified resource right now. It has been quite difficult to hire people in Germany who are very experienced Windows app developers. Without additional resources the Windows App will be released 3 weeks after the iOS and android app. We are very sorry, we are doing our best to catch up!
The Dash need quite a few certifications before shipping. FCC, UL, CE, BT, USB and quite a few others. If Alpha6 passes design verification, The entire certification process takes approximately 4 weeks. Current time plan is still shipping early bird devices end of August as planned.
How The Dash works
Chris, our UX designer, has made a short video on how The Dash works.
Chris is the person that has used The Dash more than anyone else on this planet. He is user experience testing The Dash several times a week. A process that takes 4-6 hours for the entire test. Chris didn’t want to participate in the video because he had a bad hair day. I convinced him that our backers wouldn’t care much about his hair. Enjoy.
We are tight on our deadlines right now, but project management has confirmed pending successful alpha6 design and Essence software verification, the current timeline is still valid.
What can happen? A lot of things. We could have faulty components, water ingress, bad assembly process and thus low yield in production, bugs in the software we receive from suppliers or in our own code and a lot of other things. Our list is very long, but we have contingency plans for all of them. None of the issues we see are critical, but could require additional work. That said, we are on track to ship:
Online orders end of September
Shipment time is estimated to 5-10 days with the selected forwarder.
Team BRAGI and Nikolaj
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