Tales of an Assembly


EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,796
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
I know most of you noticed already - but the first emails to place the final order of the Pyra has been sent to the first 25 preorders, more will follow as we continue the assembly.

I concentrated on preassembling as many units as possible, so I didn't visit the boards and didn't read any threads yet... but I'll try to follow up and reply to all the questions you've had.

Before I start telling a bit about how the mass assembly went, first some information about how we'll proceed from here.

1. As the first 200 units are not fixed by the date of the preorder but of the Pre-Preorder, I cannot tell a "Pre-Orders until date xy should have received their email". This will be the case AFTER the first 200 pre-preorders have been fulfilled (which is less than 200 in reality, as some have cancelled their order at some time). Until then, I'll let you know which pre-preorder number we're currently at.

2. If you are within the range and should've received your email but didn't, please contact me (either by PM, email to shop@dragonbox.de, on Discord or IRC).

3. The first produced batch of PCBs are a bit more of 500. I'll order the rest when the first 100 - 150 have been delivered, so there might be a short break after the first 500.

4. We have around 386 fully coated cases. The remaining ones... didn't work out, but more on that later.


Now, onto the assembly itself :)


Assembling the units didn't work flawlessly. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the first batch of Pandoras we created. There are some tolerances here and there that can be optimized in the mould that will make assembly a lot faster and easier.
This is something you can't really find out with small production runs - as it can be these tolerances only affect 10% of the units. So with 10 units produced, it would be a single unit... but that's not enough to determine whether that's a real tolerance issue or just an issue with that one PCB.
With 1000 units, it's 100 units that need special treatment... and that's something you don't want.

For example: The left nub. It hangs on some units. The fix is easy: Remove about 0.2mm plastic on the inside of the case. That's not much, but doing so makes it work on ALL units.
As disassembling the units in which the nub hangs takes too much time, I'm removing the plastic up front on all cases. When that's fixed in the mould, it's one step less I need to do.

Another small issue was that there are some plastic remnants at some areas of the case. We'll cut these before we do any of the assembly, and it doesn't even take long - but if that can be fixed upfront in the production, it makes life easier and assembling units faster.

All in all, it went pretty well, the units look gorgeous and only a few issues remain. But it's more work than it should be, similar as it was with the first revision of the Pandora, and we'll continue improving it in the future.

The quality of the end product is mostly fine, there are just a few things which define the first batch ;)

1. The battery cover is a bit hard to open. The issue lies in the cover, not the backside, so if that's an issue for anyone, we can offer a replacement later on.
2. The stylus is also sometimes a bit harder to pull out than it should be (probably due to the added color coating in the case). it wears out over time, but we'll also try to fix it.
3. All shoulder buttons work - but the travel distance of the upper shoulder buttons on some units is a bit short. I'll also figure out how to improve that so they feel the same on all units.

Apart from that, the final units turned out to be pretty cool. I especially love the semi-transparent logo on the backside of the cover. If you use two different colors on the LEDs, it's an awesome looking gradient from one color into the other!


What's up with the case coating?

The reason we couldn't start earlier with the full assembly was that I was not satisfied with the coating.
The first batch had quality issues, the second had a lot of units that scratched very easily.

So the coating company had to further analyse and define a program with an exact amount of color / clear coating.
The end result is awesome! The last batch I received looks awesome and it's pretty scratch resistant!

Unfortunately, the first two batches weren't good enough for me to deliver them as final products.
Which means: A bit over 600 of these cases can't be used for the final units.

The company agreed to pay for another production run of these 600, as it was their fault, so it's no financial loss for us.
In fact, it saves us a bit of work, as it means we can do the tweaks to the moulds before the production, so we only need to do the additional manual work on the first around 350 units.

However, I am fully against throwing these cases away and I also don't want the company to make a huge loss, so I will try to get these coated shells from them as well and sell them for the production cost price in the shop.
So you will be able to get imperfect replacement cases for a pretty cheap price and the full payment will help to lower the loss of the coating company.

I think that's a good solution.

So much for today. This week, we'll ship the already ordered units and probably send out the next emails. In the meantime, preassembly and assembly will continue.

And I will start a section here at the boards where I let you know about the status and quirks of the OS as well as how to report bugs, so we can start to improve the OS :)
 

elvissteinjr

Very Active Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
766
Age
25
Location
Germany
2. The stylus is also sometimes a bit harder to pull out than it should be (probably due to the added color coating in the case). it wears out over time, but we'll also try to fix it.
3. All shoulder buttons work - but the travel distance of the upper shoulder buttons on some units is a bit short. I'll also figure out how to improve that so they feel the same on all units.
Truly the second coming of the Pandora, eh? The Pandora stylus pretty much merged with the case back then after all.
If the shoulder buttons are better than any of the prototypes I've touched before (always either didn't or barely worked) it should be fine for me.

Good to hear that there are no major drawbacks or flaws on the first units, though. I know things always get improved a little later on, but I've also been secretly hoping to not lose out by deciding to support the project as early as possible.
 

matzesu

Forum Addict!
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
11,556
Age
37
Location
Germany,, Saarland, at home
On my Pandora, the Stylus also had that Issue, and a Foam Pad on the Shoulderbutton was not on the right place..
You ditnt meantioned Foam Pads on your Twitter Show yesterday but Springs, which is cool and should stay on place..
The Stylus should be an easy fix: whe just have to pull it out and push it in enough times until it works.. ^^

Are the next Emails depending on the chiping of the ready orders, or could it be that some gets an Email on tomorow morning?
 

pyrat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
670
I concentrated on preassembling as many units as possible, so I didn't visit the boards and didn't read any threads yet... but I'll try to follow up and reply to all the questions you've had.
Ok. As gratitude for the news I'll try not to derail this thread for some time...


What's up with the case coating?

The reason we couldn't start earlier with the full assembly was that I was not satisfied with the coating.
The first batch had quality issues, the second had a lot of units that scratched very easily.

Unfortunately, the first two batches weren't good enough for me to deliver them as final products.
Which means: A bit over 600 of these cases can't be used for the final units.

However, I am fully against throwing these cases away and I also don't want the company to make a huge loss, so I will try to get these coated shells from them as well and sell them for the production cost price in the shop.
So you will be able to get imperfect replacement cases for a pretty cheap price and the full payment will help to lower the loss of the coating company.
Sorry if I'm missing something, maybe because I did never have a Pandora or something.
Why would one buy a lower quality case in addition to the higher quality case that ships with every Pyra ?
Just to have an spare if it ever breaks ?
I mean some people want different colors or transparent cases for the look of it, or to be able to paint them artistically. That's something you don't get with the standard case.
But what do you get from a second lower quality case?
I could buy a Pyra with a lower quality case if the price was lower, without the higher quality case, but once I got the high quality case because I can't buy one without case, because it is not good enough for you to sell, why would I buy a second case ?
Or are you going to sell each component independly in case (no pun intended) people want to build their Pyras themselves.

So much for today. This week, we'll ship the already ordered units and probably send out the next emails. In the meantime, preassembly and assembly will continue.
Thanks you very much for your work. PLease remember to rest a little when you feel like it.
And I will start a section here at the boards where I let you know about the status and quirks of the OS as well as how to report bugs, so we can start to improve the OS :)
Good idea. Will be nice to read.
 

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,796
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
Sorry if I'm missing something, maybe because I did never have a Pandora or something.
Why would one buy a lower quality case in addition to the higher quality case that ships with every Pyra ?

To do some modifications, for example. I know someone added an internal USB hub into the Pandora (as it didn't have one), or shoulder two additional shoulder buttons. Any physical modifications are easier if you have a spare case to try out :)
 

pyrat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
670
To do some modifications, for example. I know someone added an internal USB hub into the Pandora (as it didn't have one), or shoulder two additional shoulder buttons. Any physical modifications are easier if you have a spare case to try out :)
Oh, yes. That makes sense.
 

blackxpot

Still Fresh
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
4
Age
32
I mean some people want different colors or transparent cases for the look of it, or to be able to paint them artistically. That's something you don't get with the standard case.
But what do you get from a second lower quality case?

I think you've answered your own question there. Some people might want to try painting the cases with the bad coatings.

Some also might want them as spare parts or collectibles.

In any case, it can't hurt to have them available at cost price right? Better that than just throwing them out.
 

Phlyra

Electric
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
1,168
To do some modifications, for example. I know someone added an internal USB hub into the Pandora (as it didn't have one), or shoulder two additional shoulder buttons. Any physical modifications are easier if you have a spare case to try out :)
So what is cost price for one of these cases?
 

pyrat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
670
I think you've answered your own question there. Some people might want to try painting the cases with the bad coatings.
I thought they would be better painted on the inside of a transparent case for protection of the paint. But there aren't infinite transparent cases anyway. And, yes, someone might want to have it painted on the external surface, because it looks better to them.

Some also might want them as spare parts or collectibles.
Really ? Well, if they like that more power to them.

In any case, it can't hurt to have them available at cost price right? Better that than just throwing them out.
Sure, sure. I was just trying to understand whether I'd want one. I had the feeling I wasn't understanding all that one could make with them. And I wasn't, so thanks for telling me.
It was always clear that if you have something already, and you don't need it, and have a web shop, putting it up for sale won't hurt, no matter how many you sell. The question was more like do I want one ?
The case modding prototyping sound like the best reason, but sure, to each their own.
 

Farox

Certified Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
2,181
Age
53
Location
Italy
Website
rbnet.it
1. The battery cover is a bit hard to open. The issue lies in the cover, not the backside, so if that's an issue for anyone, we can offer a replacement later on.
2. The stylus is also sometimes a bit harder to pull out than it should be (probably due to the added color coating in the case). it wears out over time, but we'll also try to fix it.
3. All shoulder buttons work - but the travel distance of the upper shoulder buttons on some units is a bit short. I'll also figure out how to improve that so they feel the same on all units.
None of this are really important to me (ok maybe the shoulder buttons..) but i'm sure i'll love my Pyra.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rSl

matzesu

Forum Addict!
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
11,556
Age
37
Location
Germany,, Saarland, at home
At least you can open the Battery Cover, even if it’s a bit hard, but this shouldn’t be an big issues , as whe are about to be Pyra Owners, and not everyone is hard enough for getting a Pyra Owner ^^


Send from something, i guess ^^
 
  • Haha
Reactions: rSl

TrashyMG

Sarcasm Dispenser
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
11,088
The shoulder button issue is the only thing here that's a bit concerning. Does if make them hard to use?
I'm guessing not, but I assume there will be some that don't like the inconsistent feel of the button click travel distance between the top and bottom.
 

matzesu

Forum Addict!
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
11,556
Age
37
Location
Germany,, Saarland, at home
I wouldn’t bother much about the shoulderbutton issue, I mean in comparison to my Pandora, they’ve should be still awesome even whit a bit less travel,
My right Shoulderbutton didn’t even work, and Pyra got 4 whit springs ^^


Send from something, i guess ^^
 

pyrat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
670
None of this are really important to me (ok maybe the shoulder buttons..) but i'm sure i'll love my Pyra.
I agree. but it feels good that ED says so. I mean those that are earlier in the queue will be happy to have a Pyra sooner because the issues are not important. But those of us that are later in the queue can at least find consolation in that we may get a unit with some minor issues fixed. Everyone has a reason to be happy.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
235
Location
carmel, indiana - united states
I agree. but it feels good that ED says so. I mean those that are earlier in the queue will be happy to have a Pyra sooner because the issues are not important. But those of us that are later in the queue can at least find consolation in that we may get a unit with some minor issues fixed. Everyone has a reason to be happy.
Speak for yourself. I'm earlier in the Pyra queue because I missed out on getting my Pandora as I found out about it just a bit too late and wound up in the group of people who paid craigx, but never received the Pandora they paid for from him. I bought(pre-preordered) the Pyra early so I wouldn't risk missing out again (I do trust ED more than craigx, but still, sometimes shit happens...). To me the issue with the shoulder buttons is very troubling (PlayStation 1 emulation is a very big part of why I wanted a Pandora to begin with and now Pyra as well) and IS important to me. So no, I'm not exactly happy. I'm sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place, I either get my Pyra earlier as I paid earlier, likely winding up with a problematic issue with the shoulder buttons, making it possibly harder to use it for one of my primary interests, or I delay payment in order to potentially wind up in a batch of Pyras that potentially have the shoulder button issue fixed and risk winding up in the same situation as with the Pandora and not getting my Pyra that I paid for, repeating the whole debacle again.. I want to be clear, I'm not blaming ED for any of this, I'm just left feeling a bit frustrated and unsure of what to do.. :|
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
14,730
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
Some may even say that it's the best year since the 1GHz Pandora release. :^)
Meh, it knocks the year that contained the 1GHz Pandora release right out of the park!
Post automatically merged:

I'm earlier in the Pyra queue because I missed out on getting my Pandora as I found out about it just a bit too late and wound up in the group of people who paid craigx, but never received the Pandora they paid for from him. I bought(pre-preordered) the Pyra early so I wouldn't risk missing out again (I do trust ED more than craigx, but still, sometimes shit happens...). To me the issue with the shoulder buttons is very troubling (PlayStation 1 emulation is a very big part of why I wanted a Pandora to begin with and now Pyra as well) and IS important to me.
So it's a good thing the ED is tending to those Pyra cases so that the shoulder buttons seem similar in action, I'd say!
 
Top