The Little Bee campaign finished well beyond my expectations last week. The initial batch of 200 units sold out with 48 hours remaining. A big thank you to all of my backers!
Since the end of the campaign, logistical work has been underway so that production can begin. The design and BOM for the PCB assembly has been finalized and the design has been quoted out for the final 200-unit quantity. The main holdup has been sourcing the HMC1041Z magnetic sensors from Honeywell. I had an agreement with Honeywell to obtain a partial reel of parts, but they have been slow in replying to emails in recent weeks. If I don’t get that finalized soon I will need to spend some time tracking down the sensors from a reseller (which I’ve done before to acquire additional parts for my initial prototypes).
There have been a lot of supply-chain shortages recently, but luckily none of the other parts used in the Little Bee have been impacted. Despite any delays in obtaining the magnetic sensors, I should be able to place the PCBA order with Macrofab in the next week as the manufacture of the bare PCB is the longest lead time item.
On the business side of things, I filed the Doing Business As paperwork to operate under the name Beefield Labs (it’s a pun, get it?) which will make dealing with suppliers easier. I also filled for a resale certificate, which will allow for purchasing of components for the Little Bee and selling completed units to Crowd Supply without sales tax.
PCBA assembly, which is the main component of LittleBee, will take about six weeks. Once the units come back, I will be doing the final firmware flashing, mechanical assembly, and packaging. In the meantime, I plan to post more campaign updates about additional aspects of Little Bee’s design.