Hello everyone, apologies for the delayed update, but I come bearing good news! Last week, I received 250 new Programmable-Air boards and am currently going through QA procedures for them. I will be shipping the first completed batch of devices to Crowd Supply this week.
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I realize that I changed the shipping date multiple times for this batch of production. The main reason for this delay was that I changed production to be primarily done in China instead of here in New York. Believe it or not, this was done primarily to increase the board quality. After the last production run - when I hand soldered all the throughhole components - I was not very happy with the quality of the solder joints and the mess that flux from the solder left on the boards. It took a lot of cleaning to get the boards clean, and they still weren’t great looking. So, this time, I had the hand soldering done in the factory in China as well. As you can see below, the results are great!
Secondly, in the last production run, I had a lot of boards (~25%) fail because of faulty valves. Programmable-Air uses CJV23 valves that are primarily used for toggling oxygen flow in some medical equipment, and in coffee machines for controlling steam and hot water flow. In the previous batch, I used second hand valves, because I liked the idea of upcycling them, and because they were the only valves I could find. Replacing the faulty valves took a lot of time and caused shipping delays. So this time, after a lot of work, I got a hold of the manufacturer and bought new valves. This was a little tricky because the manufacturer typically only deals with order quantities of a million units. I had to convince them to sell me a small amount, and even then, the minimum order quantity was twice the number I needed. So far, having tested ~50 boards, I haven’t had a single failure from a faulty valve, so I’d say it was worth it!
I want to thank you all for the patience you’ve shown with this project and I can only hope that the wait was worth the while.