Project update 3 of 4
The short version is that the plastics look good, but the back plates needed to be completely redone and delivery is delayed until the end of January.
The good news is that the plastics are complete and look great (though this shoddy cell phone camera photo hardly does them justice):
First articles of the Rubicon plastics
Unfortunately, the original supplier for the Rubicon back plates produced a full lot of more-or-less unusable back plates. They had decided to purchase a cheaper grade of aluminum — one that is cast, and therefore has pores. So, their plates not only look terrible, but won’t conduct heat across the surface as well as our original design. Also, they made the heatsinks out of brass as opposed to copper, which is no good. Last but not least, they used an incorrect version of the mechanical drawing. Unfortunately, it took yours truly going to China to sort this out.
Our plan B was to have the back plates made locally here in Santa Barbara, California and deliver them in December. However, the wildfires in southern California (specifically, the Thomas fire) have forced us and many others to evacuate or partially evacuate.
So, we settled on plan C. As of now, we’ve found and audited two new suppliers, received quotes from them, and placed orders for the back plates. These plates will have a better anodizing and finish than our original specification. These new plates will be ready in about two weeks, at which point they need to be kitted with the plastics and then sent to the warehouse for fulfillment. We’ve also had the heatsinks remade and they are ready to go. All in all, we expect orders to ship to backers around the end of January.
What should have been a simple manufacturing process turned into an extended lesson on Murphy’s Law. Apologies to all those who were looking forward to the Rubicon sooner. Thank you all for your patience and support.