Glitch X Frost Current Status

We were sailing quite well into the new year of the Tiger, just about 3 months behind schedule, and have hit a pretty epic wave, but TL;DR we will overcome it and are working very hard to make sure it impacts the timeline as little as possible.

A handful of errors in the PCB design has rendered 2/3 of PCBs unshippable. All white and blue solder PCBs have a physical design error where the reset function is broken - it can only be reset by shorting multiple points - Hunter attributes this to when he updated kicad, which changed the fill settings in his design and caused a broken connection. This was then overlooked and given the production go-ahead. It was not tested until we received the final units this last weekend. It didn’t affect black units that were made back in September, but white and blue units made in Dec - Feb. For white hot swap PCBs and black solder PCBs, the silkscreen has an error in it that shows some kicad labels under the diodes, which ruins the PCB art. Black hot swap PCBs don’t have either problem and are fine to be shipped and used.

These are obviously big issues that are unacceptable in a production unit. They have to be remade, for you to receive what you paid for. We discovered these issues over the last weekend. While Hunter began looking into it, we also consulted our friend Yiancar, who many of you may know as an experienced PCB designer based in the UK, who has designed dozens of keyboard PCBs. He has fixed and updated all of the PCBs to his production process over the last four days, working late nights for us. He has his own factory that works with him directly, and he handles all communication so as to keep things smooth and quick. His design and production process is not affected by the MCU shortage as he uses ARM instead of ATMEGA (P.01 Ultras as originally designed with ATMEGA have now tripled in cost since we started production last year). As such, his turnaround will be significantly quicker than our previous manufacturer Elecrow. And as would be expected, all PCBs will be preflashed and will work with VIA out of the box.

What does this mean for timeline? To be honest, I don’t know yet. Yiancar just completed the final PCB designs yesterday (Thursday), and I hope he will be able to send out for the final quote in the next day. We should be able to quote and pay, then start production as early as possible next week. We should receive an ETA with the quote which I’ll share here as soon as I have it.

Hindsight is 20/20 but all that matters now is that we respond to the situation with a timely solution. It's unfortunate but part of doing business and being a small team. We get obsessed with small details, and then big things can somehow get overlooked. We are all human and mistakes happen. It's what we do after that is important, and we are tackling this head on. A large amount of money and product has been lost but what's more important is that we don't lose your support and faith in us.

Base Pieces
I’ve been chasing up the factory since the 15th of Feb for updates - they’d originally told me they’d be back on the 8th and finish around the 15th - but turns out they didn’t go back til the 15th. They’ve now updated me that they’re delayed by about 1 month, so are due to finish on the 11th of March (2 weeks from today), and will be shipping out to our main factory at that time. The reason they gave is higher QC, which has slowed things down even further. This has been the communication since December (that they’re working hard to meet QC) - I’ll keep the pressure up and do my very best to not let that slip further. And will keep you updated here regardless if things are moving or not.

Other Pieces
All other pieces have been completed and are packed and ready to go. Once the factory has all base pieces, they will be sent out to the vendors. In the next 1-2 weeks I’ll be confirming how they are sent and how long that will take to reach each vendor.

In addition all STRATA:COMMAND TKL units will be completed at the same time and sent to vendors. Yiancar is also producing the special edition PCBs. In order to keep things simple, all Yiancar PCBs will also have the rotary encoder footprint on ‘PAUSE’ (top right key).