Helium

The First Supercapacitor-Powered Portable Speaker

Jan 20, 2014

Status Report: 1/20/2014

Short version: we’re a few weeks behind schedule - but everything is looking good.

Dear Blueshift customers,

Here’s another quick update on progress toward shipping your Helium & Copper speakers and Capacitizer kits.

Strongly-positive news: Blueshift has moved into a new, bigger shop space in industrial SE Portland - pretty exciting. We’re sharing the space with Ruckus Composites - they do carbon fiber repair and fabrication, mostly bike frames plus some other crazy projects. I’m super excited to be here; good stuff is going to come out of this building.

The less-good news: looks like we are going to miss our January ship date for the first 25 speakers. Both the delivery of Bluetooth chips and the fabrication of the bamboo cabinets are taking longer than I had planned for. My best guess on our first ship date at this point is mid-February - later orders will be affected less, if at all.

The delays come from sourcing two custom parts - the Bluetooth chip and the cabinet - instead of customizing/building them in-house. So, while this slows us down in the short term, it will reduce the amount of Blueshift labor in the final assembly process, and should increase quality overall. The other good news here is that the Bluetooth chips won’t take the 6-8 weeks I was originally quoted - more like three or four.

Beyond that, things are looking great. A super smart electrical engineer is going to do a final review before the PCBs go to production, which is awesome. Along with that, the open-source program is getting up and running - I’ll bet that some improvements start to appear through that channel as well.

The electronics schematic is almost finalized. On that front, the final layout for each Helium speaker and Capacitizer will use the same main board with the supercapacitor charge circuitry, audio amplifier, Bluetooth transceiver, and all the related inputs/outputs (same board with different settings for mono/stereo). The mono and stereo versions will then have different boards that house the supercapacitors and necessary cap-balancing circuitry. This allows for independent replacement/repair of the capacitor bank or the main board.

My apologies on the delays! As Hofstadter’s Law states: Everything always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Thanks, everyone, for all of your support! More information coming soon!

Sincerely,
Sam Beck
Founder, Blueshift


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