It's been a while since the last newspost, so I guess it's time to give you some updates about what's happened
1. Cases, LCDs, Batteries
The parts from Craig have all safely arrived. Enough cases for 1300 Pandoras and enough batteries for 3500
Only about 500 LCDs were left, but Fatih already got 600 new ones for me, so we're safe with these as well.
Craig forgot to include the small parts (buttons, DPads, Light pipes, etc.) and sent them to me last Wednesday, so these should arrive here as werll soon.
Fatih also organized 1100 more AC Adaptors for me.
We hope the next 4000 cases will be finished mid March (just in time for the next 1000 Pandoras). We made some tweaks to prevent the most common cracks, and I should get a sample within the next week. Once I can confirm these changes (nothing major), production will start immediately.
2. Parts for the Pandora PCBs
We've got all the parts for the first 1000 PCBs and I already placed the order for the parts for the next 1000 (since there's a leadtime of 4 - 6 weeks for some parts).
So we're safe here as well.
We already got enough of other parts like WiFi antennas, volume wheels, EXT connectors, etc. for the next 4000 or more units.
3. Pandora production
As soon as I get the remaining small parts from Craig, we're starting to pre-assemble as many cases as possible, so we only need to put in the PCB.
The bare PCBs are expected to be finished about February 10th and production will happen shortly after.
So, yes, it's about 2-3 months weeks before the production starts!
Please don't expect that we'll ship units right away - while I'm getting some help here, these still need to be tested, assembled, etc.
I think we should see the units shipping from around February 22nd on.
I hope we can keep up with the production - GC should be able to produce 250 units per week, and as we're building these units ourselves at home (AND shipping them!) at the beginning, we might be flooded with work.
So don't be too angry if we're a bit slow at the beginning - in worst case I'll hire more people to help and after the first 1000 units have been finished, full assembly will also take place at GC.
4. Information for all new preorders
As production is nearing, I'll send out eMails to everyone who preordered a Pandora since September 2011. These eMails will include a confirmation for the payment as well as the adress and you will still have the chance to add any items you want from my shop (Retrodes, Everdrives, SD Cards, etc.)
Of course I'll also let you what payment remains.
5. Information for all old preorders
I'd really love to send out all the remaining preorders out first - but unfortunately, this is not possible.
The reason is simple: I need about 250,000 EUR to produce 1000 Pandoras and that money needs to come from somewhere.
So I need to sell new units first (the new preorders) to get enough money to have the next 1000 units safe and then the remaining ones will all go out to the classic preorders.
I'm aware that that's pretty annoying for all of you who have been waiting so long - but I can't do much about it (unless someone donates me about 300,000 EUR )
However, I know some of you would like to pay more money to get the unit earlier (basically the same as the Premium unit).
So I'd like to offer such possibility as well. As every upgrade gives the project some more money, I can actually deliver MORE units per batch to old customers as well, so it's a win-win situation.
I also know though that there are users in the community who safed their money for months to afford the preorder, while there are some who've got enough money to easily pay for the upgrade.
So my idea is this:
Anyone CAN upgrade to move up the queue, but I want to let the user decide how much this is worth for him.
I need to set a minimum amount (maybe 75 - 100 EUR?), but if someone really wants to support what we're doing and likes the Pandora, he can pay more and therefore help deliver the units faster to old preorders as well.
I don't want to make this decision right away, I always want to get your opinions first, so please let me know what you think about it and if you have any improvement ideas, let me know as well.
6. Upgrade your Pandora to the new PCB
As mentioned before, I want to offer the possibility for any owner of a classic Pandora to upgrade to the current PCB, which offers 512MB RAM.
For 150 EUR you can send in your Pandora and get the PCB replaced replaced with a new one.
The old PCBs will be fully tested, put into new cases and sold as refurbished versions for a lower price to new customers.
Therefore, if there's anyone who really needs more RAM (mostly for desktop usage) has the chance to upgrade it and any new users who want to get it mainly for gaming can get these units for a lower price.
The money made from these upgrades will also be used to ship out more of the old preorders.
I'll setup a website for that upgrade when the production has started and will let you know.
7. The kernel and the OS
Both notaz and DJWillis as well as more devs from the community are working on getting a new OS as well as kernel to work.
ArchLinux for the Pandora already uses the current version of the new kernel (3.2) where notaz fixed a lot of issues already, but there are still some issues left. For example, Bluetooth is not working yet, audio is causing issues and the NAND access is a lot slower. Stuff like SGX, WiFi, keyboard, both SD Card Slots, etc. are already working fine.
The new kernel will be mandatory for the new units - as the old one can't access to more than 256MB RAM
So when you get the new Pandora, the system will report 256MB RAM until the new kernel is ready.
DJWillis is still working on moving to the current openembedded version. There are some bootable images, so we're getting there, but there's still a huge amount of work left to do.
Anyone who would like to help out can contact DJWillis on #openpandora (FreeNode).
8. TV Out Cables
It's weird how something simple like cables with a few connectors can cause more issues to be produced than everything else.
Well, you might remember that the old company didn't want to do them anymore.
Then Fatih tried to find some more companies - but they all wanted a minimum order of at least 10,000 cables.
Then suddenly (just before CNY), the old company contacted us and told us they want to produce them again...
We haven't heard anything since then from them, so we're not sure what the actual status is.
Working with Chinese companies can be totally weird sometimes...
Anyways, I'll also ask some German companies now, they might be a lot faster and more reliable... and they will do lower quantities as well.
That's everything for now - quite a huge status update post. In case you have any further questions, let me know.
I'm open and will answer all questions faithfully (if I know the answers )
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