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Official Blog: The calm before the storm

July 21, 2009
Posted by: gruso

Another official update from EvilDragon.🙂

Hiya folks! It’s been a bit calm around here in the blog, right? Well, that’s for one good reason: Everything is going smoothly right now.

The first check of the case data is finished, the company started creating the moulds. As soon as the first rough mould is finished (which will surely take a while, the case is a pretty complicated mesh), they are gonna do a first rough case and check that everything fits (with a final board, so that nothing can go wrong here!)

In the meantime, the PCBs are still in production. It will take them a few days longer, as they optimized the machines a bit more in the beginning. This does mean, that the boards will probably ship 10 days later (beginning of August). But it does also mean, that the build quality will be better and the failure rate is way lower. No time lost, as the case company won’t need the board before August. And if the failure rate is lower in the beginning, mass production itself will be faster. So when the cases are ready, we can go full speed ahead!


So everything is going pretty well at the moment. Seems like Murphy is on holidays – which is something, we’re really glad of🙂

Of course, we used the waiting time for other stuff. The first prototype of the TV Out cable is working, we are now designing that thing and optimizing it (i.e. put IN and OUT on the connectors, decide for the colors, etc.)

Another thing we’re working at is CE / FCC. You might have seen the discussion on the gp32x.com boards. One guy said, that you need a final PROTOTYPE for FCC. The company I did ask said, the final UNIT is needed. I’m going to find out, if a prototype is enough – as that would mean, we can do FCC and CE at the same time and do have all the needed certificates when the Pandora is ready for shipping! That should speed up everything🙂

Michael also did some quick checks already, the Pandora doesn’t do any bad things, radiation seems to be within the allowed areas. It’s just a rough test, but if there was something really wrong, we could certainly find it out that way. The only really critical part for radiation might be the WiFi antenna. But that is something that can be fixed within a few days, so we’re positive CE / FCC will go smoothly. That’s it for todays posting. I’ll make sure to keep you informed!

Source

53 comments

  1. Ha i got in first! Pandora rules, even if its an eternity late!


  2. so what….
    august is a real date now?

    I mean…the real real date?


  3. No, August is when the boards ship to them, not the final completed units to customers.


  4. Ok so in august case and board will come together, then FCC and CE and the teams test of the units. Looks like another 2 month to me..


  5. “As soon as the first rough mould is finished ‘which will surely take a while’ ”
    Statements like this beg for clarification. These companies should be giving estimates you can pass onto us ;D

    Otherwise the recent lack of news has been good news.

    @crasher, How the hell did you get August as the release date for the Pandora? August was for the first boards, who the fuck knows when the cases/tweaking will be done.


  6. Looking at everything they’ve still got to do/check we’ll be lucky to get this for christmas i reckon🙂


  7. Who is murphy
    Did i miss something on the forums


  8. Hey, if I don’t get it by late September/October, I’m giving up…


  9. @PoisonedV
    Don’t know if you’re being serious but,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy%27s_law


  10. October sounds over optimistic TBH.


  11. TV cable has inputs?


  12. Wow! just 2 more months!!!
    😉


  13. Great news!

    But be careful, CE/FCC certification can be a real pain in the ass. I hope the hardware was designed having CE/FCC in mind, or otherwise you can have important problems. I designed some extremely sensitive measuring instruments in the past and had a lot of problems with immunity tests.

    Anyway, the Pandora isn’t an “extremely sensitive measuring instrument”, and also I had to do the tests with a 10 V/m field, instead of the 3 V/m field used to test most consumer equipments (I suppose the Pandora is included in this range).


  14. Also in my experience, it’s risky to start mass production before doing the CE/FCC tests. It is possible that if something goes wrong you need to modify the PCB…

    The same goes with the cables. I suppose the TV out cable, and other cables supposed to be used with the Pandora must be plugged in the unit to do the tests, so it’s not recommended to start producing the cables before testing if they will need a ferrite core for example.


  15. I still estimate the device will not start shipping after November.


  16. I’m kind surprised you guys still think in months. 2010, the year of the pandora!


  17. So basically nothing new since a month !
    My position in the queue is near 4000… I wonder if any other nowadays machine couldn’t do it better.

    I don’t care about clamshell and finally I don’t care about D-pad. Just want a powerful machine less than 400€ (my Pandora cost me 340€ with a TV-out cable !!!).

    Only need a tiny powerful machine with OpenGL 2.0, a keyboard, wifi, 1/2 USB, and x86 would have been a lot better😦

    Something like the UMID M1 mBook but cheaper would do it well.

    Sadly I do regret “purchasing” my Pandora for the moment… It’s Been a year since I don’t buy any portable system for it.


  18. Oh Murphy Oh Murphy where might my Pandora be,
    Please have no more suprises for me,
    Mass production has started and the case almost done,
    Then after shipping we can all have fun,
    But I know you too well to let this be,
    Just close you eyes until after the FCC.


  19. Empi is right. Early (Feb) 2010 seems like a reasonable date the Pandora will be in our hands – IF everything goes fine from now on.


  20. Almost a year of waiting… anyone else is loosing the interest for the pandora?


  21. It’s possible it could come out in 2010, by then they will have lots of cancled orders.


  22. @Shiftplusone, Oh, I knew the law but I didn’t really make the connection right there.


  23. Muhahahhahahahahaaa!

    I officialy adopt “out in 2 months” as tertiary rule number 114563.


  24. Come on, guys… there’s no way it can be in 2010. That’s more than Two Monthsͭͫ…


  25. I’m guessing if we’re lucky, we might see these by Christmas. If things don’t go well, it could be spring 2010. Wouldn’t this suck if this has all been one very big financial scheme to take your money and run? I’ll have to admit I was panicked when I tried to cancel my order but was told since I used an AMEX to pay for it, it would be impossible to get a refund. Hopefully this thing will be done and shipping by the end of the year so I can then build fun and interesting things on this wickedly powerful platform. If it isn’t, I’m putting the slot for my order up for sale to the highest bidder. My patience has a limit of 16 months. Please be aware I’m not bashing the development group, it’s been a learning experience for everyone, but I don’t think I will ever be an early adopter again or fund an experiment like this again. I’d rather just buy something and have it in my hands a week later. My idea of a good time does not involve checking the forums once or twice a week to learn how much longer the delay will be.

    Hey this is just how I feel. It is what it is and short of having a working unit in my hands in the near future, not much is going to change it.

    Hopefully I’m wrong and we do get the units sooner but past experience has taught me that I’m happier having lower expectations.

    Gruic


  26. In case anyone missed it, the case mould being started is great news. It’s the 1 month long process that has been putting Pandora “two months” away from us for so long. Once that mould is done, we can put that meme on the shelf… and pull it out again for batch 2.😉


  27. i am just hoping that FCC and CE dont throw a spanner in the works and that they dont need to remodify the case so much that it adds time to the process. however even in an ideal world we have 45 days from now to go plus assembly and posting around the world at a minimum. i fully expect there to be no delays for software because we can always reflash things. in my eyes thats gonna be more than two months. i dont mind though. the pandora is just as relevant as it was a year ago and unless you are the kind of person who always buys the latest everything, most stuff lasts a good 4 or 5 years of usefulness anyway. hell i still play my gameboy!


  28. I seriously don’t get all the naysaying. This puts it MORE likely to see it by October, not less. I tell everyone its release date is January 2010, but I’m being pessimistic there, not optimistic.
    “Looking at everything they’ve still got to do/check we’ll be lucky to get this for christmas i reckon”
    And what is that? The first MP board can be sent to the plastics factory without any testing. They just need it for fit. The plastics factory will have the test case by then, and they can check it for fit and start making the case mold. So a (realistic) estimate is having the case mold done by mid/late September. 10th of August MP board is done, gets to Europe by 15th, ship to china by 25th, then ~35 days to test fit and produce the case mold and you’re still in September. then they should have cases for at least the first 100 by early October. While the cases are being made, they can finish CE, test all 100 boards, OK the rest of the boards for production, and test the TV out cable. So in mid October when all the 4000 cases arrive, they’ll have the first 100 boards tested and ready to ship out. They just have to assemble everything and ship it, which should be able to be done within a few weeks (for the first 100 it shouldn’t be too difficult.) So optimistic estimates make it look easily possible to have it out by October. You must be ridiculously pessimistic to predict February 2010. I would say that’s a reasonable “cut-and-run” date, but I seriously doubt there will be delays that severe at this point. I think even if you account for 2 months ™ delay it’ll still be within this year.

    I think y’all are thinking too serially. Initially the team’s estimates were inaccurate because they overestimated the amount of parallelism (and also didn’t expect the bank crash, didn’t know all the steps they had to do, &c.), but now there actually are quite a few things that can be done at the same time.


  29. I am a bit surprised at some of the potential ship jumpers since so many people polled said ‘I’ll wait forever’. I wasn’t one of them. I’ve stopped reading the forums and am only infrequently checking the blogs. I will probably check again on 1 Aug. I am getting more interested in the SmartQ 5 or maybe the 7. I bought the P to use as a PDA/mini laptop and an occasional game as well as to support the process. Just about out of patience and I did not pay with AMEX. I really appreciate the more frequent/substantive updates. They have kept me on the hook this long.


  30. I’d say Pan(d)ovember…

    But Pandecember makes more sense…


  31. You know, I ordered a gp2x f200, and with that order I got a cardboard mock up of the pandora. That was so long ago. I thought that it was available for purchase at the time when I was reading everything on it. Then it was upwards of 8 months that I could even order it. I have been dreaming about this baby for so long, though its not even near the 900mhz processor, and the 1 gig of ram the team innitially wanted, it’s still better than anything competing on the market. I want this, but my money has been lost in the loop for a very long time, and i’m beggining to regret being a pre-order guy. I won’t back out, but i’m dissapointed that there have been so many delays since the team said it would be ready by May. My gp2x f200 sees a lot of use because of this though, I wonder if thats my life lesson. “Always keep a gp2x on standby for emergency or long sessions of boredom”


  32. All I’m saying is: instead of pushing your expectations back a month or two at a time, look behind and see how many times that has happened and adapt. Getting disappointed has to do with unrealistic expectations. If I get this baby early 2010 then I’d say it’s a job well done by the team.


  33. I am a bit surprised at some of the potential ship jumpers since so many people polled said ‘I’ll wait forever’. I wasn’t one of them. I’ve stopped reading the forums and am only infrequently checking the blogs. I will


  34. I’m just afraid the ‘wow’ factor is gone (not for me – for the market). The Pandy would be awesome last year, this year’s end it’s good, beginning next year will be OK, mid next year will be so-so… get it?


  35. I don’t think the P will lose its appeal to the emulator-homebrew game enthusiasts. It’s just that it’s starting to fall behind in the “pocketable computer” game and that’s a bigger market, regardless of the gaming controls or the developer’s intentions. I’m afraid the source of buyers has dried up and even the pre-orderers are starting to cancel despite steady (but veeeery slow) progress.


  36. I’m fed up of waiting. I’m fed up of talking about waiting. I’m fed up of speculating about release dates. I’m fed up of reading speculation about the release date. I’m fed up of pointless comments like this one (sorry). I’m fed up reading detailed breakdowns that indicate when the release date might be. I’m fed up reading that the Pandora will still be amazing when it comes out. I’m fed up of reading that you think the Pandora isn’t exciting anymore. I’m fed up of people critisising the Pandora team. I’m fed up people praising the Pandora team. I’m fed up of Pandora videos. I’m fed up of the lack of Pandora videos. I’m fed up case prototype pictures. I’m fed up with people being patient. I’m fed up with people being impatient… i’m just fed up with it all.

    Sorry for that. I just got that feeling you get when you follow a TV series for years only to give up on when the plot goes nowhere (X-Files?). This whole drama has worn me out… i’m not backing out though.


  37. I’m just concerned about it’s commercial success – or shocking lack thereof. And although this ordeal (delay, silence, youtube video, delay, more silence) is to be expected of such a team – as in, nonprofessional console makers – I still believe I’m entitled to give out my 2c worth of comment🙂


  38. @ashdjones: you might want to try valium.

    I’d get yourself a two month supply…


  39. I’m going to set my pubic hair on fire.

    … and now it’s on fire.


  40. If people are so fed up with waiting and talking, and complaining about and defending this thing when no one else cares what anyone else has to say, perhaps it’s time to turn off the computer and go play outside?

    I hear the English countryside is gorgeous this time of year.


  41. You’re simplistic – this is a community. Is your suggestion to being fed up with politicians going outside and play? We are the blood (aka, buyers) of this thing and there’s unrest. We voice it. We debate it amongst ourselves. How else is a community leader (like Craig) going to know something is causing unrest? By the amount of ZERO comments on his posts? I mean… come on. I just got a tweet from him saying how good Outrun Arcade looks on his Pandora. Damn right I’m feeling unrest right now😀


  42. @ Zenbot: or try a belgium pub….


  43. I don’t know what I did to deserve not being accepted, but it’s your blog, you call, I guess.


  44. (I was talking about comment #6683, which is awaiting moderation)


  45. LOL@mario here I am Reading this on my iPod having a dump Reading some shocking posts and along comes yours…I’m forever in your debt for making me laugh and helping this poor fella clear his constipation godbless ya son!


  46. When they took the initial orders for the Pandora last year, was any of the components complete, were they all developed in 2009.


  47. Each new day I want more and more one of this beatiful pandoras. But I couldn’t afford it when i could enter in one of those lists… I think that maybe it could be a good idea to make a new list so that anyone who preordered could jump off an give his place to someone really wanting one of this little beasts. I imagine that if someones pays another one the exact amount of money he paid everything would be okay an no bank could tell anything to the team.


  48. > “I don’t know what I did to deserve not being accepted, but it’s your blog, you call, I guess.” (sickofitall)

    My bedtime is what it was. FYI there are certain keywords (like buy, sell) that put comments into the moderation queue, to help catch spammers. Sometimes innocent comments get caught too.


  49. Well, all this waiting has enlarged my capacity for patience. My girlfriend preordered a pandora though, and the slow trickle of videos no longer satisfy her. I wish someone could offer a penetrating insight as to how I can resolve the situation. If only they started selling the Pandora in stores, if only I could buy it now.


  50. The only thing I can suggest saying is that we’re so excruciatingly close now, it would be a massive shame to give up. The beginning of case mould creation makes it real. No more PCB revisions, no more d-pad tweaks, just production!

    I think there are quite a few pre-orderers who are no longer satisified by blog updates or videos, so she’s not alone. But we’ve waited this long, and it’s going to be worth it.


  51. 🙂

    (hint: spam filter)


  52. Very sensitive filter it is😀


  53. Valium sounds like a good idea.

    See what happens when you bottle it all up?



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