1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Dismiss Notice

We've started to order things!

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    196
    now correct me if im wrong, and maybe this is what @m@t may be thinking. i remember a maybe September when ED started the pre order, then went to November and then February. now i totally understand how making something from the ground up takes a lot of time and im all for ED and those guys taking it so that when we get it, it works and we can all have fun. i also know that ED has been up front with us about things and maybe what i remember is wrong and im good with that.
     
  2. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,428
    I do remember that being an estimate. But an estimate is just that, an educated guess. If it's wrong, that doesn't make it delayed.
     
    spud42 likes this.
  3. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    196
    thats what i was thinking. i never was expecting it at those times, it was very wishfull:D
     
  4. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    7,903
    Location:
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    You should see a doctor about that. There are treatments for tinnitus these days.

    In other news, I remember the 'predict the pyra production date' thread, and I suspect we're already well past any of the dates posted within a month of the thread going up. It's not been bumped in a while, so maybe we're already past all of the guesses. None of us expected it to take this long.

    ED's news posts always explain the steps he's taken, so shows us why it's taken this long. But I'd still have a hard time overestimating how much extra work there is each time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  5. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,428
    The best way to see why it's taking so long is to sit on the IRC channel, where all the development discussion happens. You can see the issues they're having, and watch them overcome them one at a time.
     
    mrpalmtop likes this.
  6. Zwerg01

    Zwerg01 Still Fresh

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    It has more to do with incompetence, not with issues. I've never heard of a hardware project that took so much time, even if it only was a "hobby" project. An it is still under development. If you have a closer look at what happened in the last three month (one issue fixed, two new came up plus some additional and unplanned changes) you can calculate, that the Pyra is also not released within the next 6 month. But everyone in this forum is lurking for the release date next week, because of his birthday, Christmas or easter. Now to come back to incompetence. Why this all happens? The long development, the delayed project. And it is delayed. ED said: When we have 1000 preorderers, we will start mass production. There is a lack of knowledge about project management. There are for example, no requirements managed. This is the reason why it took so much time with the keymat. Defining a force that is needed to press a key. Tell company you want this force. What really happened? I want it stronger. I want it weaker. No stronger again. Stronger. A little bit weaker now. OK, now I want coated. Coat is to thick.... and so on. And this takes sooo much time and cost a LOT of money. So 200€ per pyra are only paid because of stupidity. And it is stupidity. These are exactly the same problems the Pandora project had. Lessons NOT learned! And please no: Best product as possible posts. You can create the best products without so many iterations. I work in R&D department. When have one! hardware designer. He creates an B-Sample, then we try out to find ALL the problems, not one after every new pcb run, then there is near-series production run, and after that, the product is sold 100.000 times a year! And it is in cars where you have special requirements to safety and security. So prototype, near-series, series. That's it. No more PCB-runs....
     
    m@t likes this.
  7. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    7,858
    ED + hns +others are not Samsung, can you realize that ?
     
    ClockworkCoder, lukey, zedr0k and 3 others like this.
  8. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,163
    The closer this gets to the finish line the more vehement become the detractors.

    We're all anxious to 'get there'. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure how far away it is, but I'm pretty sure it isn't a train.
     
  9. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    16,307
    That's 100% because you don't usually get the level of insight that you're getting here. Seriously. Any major product from a big company you don't hear about until it's ready to go. The PS3 was announced in May 2005 and didn't get released until November 2006: that's 18 months, but how long were they developing before they announced it? The PS4 had a shorter time between announcement and release, only 11 months, but it's believed that it had started development in 2008: 5 years it took them to develop, but you wouldn't have heard about it until less than a year before it was released.
    If Sony will spend 4 years in the dark developing their system, with all their resources and expertise, I don't see any reasonable way a person can complain about a small team taking the same length of time to develop their console while being far more open about development.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  10. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    6,095
    Location:
    Uncanny Valley
    ...and doing it in their free time ffs.
     
  11. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    7,903
    Location:
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    And even for Samsung they have different versions upon different versions of keymats (or at least they did, while they still made phones that had keymats and worked with gloves), but it's slightly quicker for them because they have half a dozen people working full time whose only job is to chase up orders from manufacturers (plus hundreds testing prototype units), while all this project has in that front is ED who has a full time job already, a forum and server farm to administer, a wife to support on top of anything the Pyra project needs. Samsung at al have similar numbers of versions of parts like keymats, but they rattle through them over the course of a few months.
     
  12. Razy

    Razy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    I don't think an electronic component of a car can be remotely compared to a complete computer which is the size of a classic GameBoy. The car component is in most cases a controller with finite states and simple functions that doesn't run an operating system, doesn't have much RAM to handle (if any), no sound, graphics, or a dual-core CPU that runs at 1.5 GHz, and it certainly doesn't have to control how to feed power to all that and also charge its batteries (which it doesn't have anyway). A car component usually has much competition and therefore it lives in a rich ecosystem, which gives ample room for it to be based on something that exists already in some shape or form (the off-the shelf solution as pointed out by @Grench ). On the other hand, there is hardly anything that resembles the Pyra out there, and the Pyra can only draw inspiration from the virtue of being the spiritual successor to the Pandora, which was pretty much invented out of thin air itself. The lessons that were learned from the production of the Pandora are being incorporated into the methods of the Pyra's development. And those lessons have been plenty, the forum itself holds proof of that.

    Now, I might be a newcomer to the boards, but I took my sweet time about researching the whole idea of the Pyra and Pandora before committing to the pre-payment voucher. I could see the testament of the Pandora, an actual and real product, and I could see the openness of Michael and the inclusivity of the boards. Furthermore, the open forum discussions and the newsletters gave me strong indications that there is a lot of attention to detail involved in the development process. Most crucially, I was fully aware that the core burden of the development and production was being handled by only two people, Michael and Nicklaus (*), who have family lives and careers of their own. With all of the above combined, the only logical assumption to make was that this device was gonna take a very long time to materialise (most of that time has passed already). As far as I am concerned, there cannot be, by any stretch of the imagination, a reasonable expectation of a timeline or guesstimations of a release date. Even if Michael himself had given fixed dates, I wouldn't have been surprised to see them broken again and again. And I would have been totally cool with that. Because, even if I don't quite understand the technical complexity of this undertaking, I can empathise with the sheer volume of effort that is required and that's actually being put into it every week by just 2 people who have families and jobs that sustain them, since doing this doesn't.

    I took all of this into account and still decided to enter into this contract by purchasing a pre-order voucher. It was an informed decision on my part and I've never looked back since. The same information that I had a year ago is still available to everyone, and anyone could easily reach the same conclusion that I did at the time: that the Pyra will take a while. Those who complain about delays should have foreseen this. Those who think they could have managed the whole affair better should try doing the same tasks Michael has to do and then see if they'd end up behaving like how Craig did (those events are in the historical records of the forum). And those who have regrets, they can still cancel their orders. I did my research, and so should everybody.


    (*) Correct me if there's more people involved. Also, I'm aware that there has been a tremendous amount of help from the community as a whole and from individual members whose names elude me.
     
  13. Kippykip

    Kippykip BFG 9000

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    'STRAYA
    Uhhhhhh I think it was 2006 fam
     
  14. edgex004

    edgex004 Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,123
    I work in R&D as well. Good luck finding and fixing ALL the problems with an alpha board in a reasonable amount of time with a team of two part time engineers. It is pretty common for a full team to take 3-6 months of testing and tweaking to go from prototype to near-series. Then add in hardware issues found by the software team after they get their hands on the near-series boards and you risk having to run a near-near series to implement architecture that should have been designed in from the start.
     
    _jr_, mecksg1 and spud42 like this.
  15. vcoleiro1

    vcoleiro1 Hardcore Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,021
    I fully understand people like m@t posting such comments. And I fully expect over the comming months ,. that there will be a growing number of people making comments like that. And if the Pyra isn't launched by mid year or so , IMO ED runs the risk of the media picking this up and going all out on this. Frankly bad press of a nature that brings back memories of the Pandora delay would be disastorous. It's all well and good talking about how ED never mentioned a launch date - and that's true. But that doesn't mean people are not going to lose patience over time - especially those not close to the project, . Ive got to be honest, it's getting to the point where even I am wondering when the Pyra is going to launch. The project has been going for years. ED always said he would not start the pre-orders until he was pretty much ready for production. When Pre-orders did start there were some minor issues that ED thought would be addressed quickly. Obviously that didn't happen, and we have been waiting ever since for a list of growing new issues to be addressed. As Levi said, even all of us long standing followers of the Pyra did not expect it to be this long. From an outsiders poiint of view, it didn't help that tentative dates were then thrown out there. They obviously have a different weight with people not close to the project.

    To all that, this isn't like other projects where the creator goes silent and even stops providing refunds - ED has been very comminicative and has honored refund requests. So if anyone got fed up there's always that out. Again, compare that to other projects which go silent and don't provide refunds.

    Why am I saying this, I'm concerned. Patience doesn't last forever (even with no launch date ever been given.) least of which with pre-order backers who don't know the back ground and ED very well.. At some point if the Pyra still hasn't launched , things will likely go pear shaped with a number of backers then complaining followed by bad press . I know this observation isn't really helpfull, It's not like I'm offering a solution . I just hope the Pyra launches soon.

    I'm kind of glad m@t made his comments, although yes, I know, no specific date was given by ED. Why am I glad then, because I consider m@t's comments and loss of patience as being one of the first warnings that things might be starting to turn patience wise ie the first crack in the dam. Though I'm not sure whjat more ED can do if anything to speed things along while maintaining quality. Hopefully the remaining issues are addressed quickly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    FaeMinx, triblelife, levi and 2 others like this.
  16. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    I think this is exactly why Ed wasn't willing to initially step into a kickstarter campaign with the Pyra. It would attract a lot of people who are unaware of the process and destroy the overall good vibe within this community.
    For me, the entire making process, the waiting for news, the discussions and the anticipation are part of the experience. I've said it before, the Pyra, is not like some soul-less bulk item one can buy at any electronics shop.
    In my humble opinion people like Zwerg01 and M@t would be better off waiting with purchasing until the unit is done and ready. It would safe a lot of people annoyance, including themselves.
    No one forced them to pre-order and I'm sure Ed would refund when asked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    FBnil, drock, erico and 13 others like this.
  17. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    18,982
    Location:
    Ingolstadt
    How many projects with that size have you followed?
    I am not aware of ANY hobby project that's nearly as complex as the Pyra.
    Do you know any hobby projects that involve a 12-layer PCB with a really small size and such a modern SoC? I haven't seen one.
    The OMAP5 is A LOT more complex than the OMAP3 in hardware design. Just the software that TI suggests to run simulations upfront before even starting production costs 90k EUR.

    Please point me to remotely complex projects that's being run by just a bunch of people. I'm happy to learn something new.

    You might not realize that there are many, many, MANY little things that are customs solutions, which are anything but easy.
    Yes, we could've simply got some reference design for a mobile device (as GPD, JXD, many chinese tablets, etc. do), change the layout a bit and be done with it.
    That would be easy.

    What's different?
    Here are some examples:

    • We've got two MicroUSB ports and want to be able to use both for charging. Sounds easy? Well, yes, at first. But there's no charger chip out there that actually supports TWO USB ports. Addtionally to that, USB needs to negotiate the maximum allowed current... and the USB protocol needs to work as well. No easy task, and a pure custom solution.
    • Similar are the SD-Card slots: The OMAP5 doesn't support as many SD Card / eMMC-Slots we're offering. So we need some muxing to be able to handle that. That's also a custom solution that doesn't work out of the box.
    • Design which supports a replaceable CPU board in that small footprint? Also doesn't exist.
    Additionally, it doesn't help that the OMAP5 isn't supported that well by TI.
    There are many unfinished drivers and other things. Remember we needed to use a rotator chip as TI's implementation of TILER to rotate the screen slowed it down to 10 - 12fps?
    We trusted them when they told us TILER is not meant to rotate a full screen. So we looked for the chip.
    Well, finding the chip, implementing it and getting it almost to work (without VSync) took about 6 - 7 months. Then zmatt came in and fixed the TILER, and suddenly it worked without the chip.
    That was great, yes, but it did cost us quite a few months, and we certainly didn't expect that issue.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Depends. The list of issues is getting smaller, we're fixing more and more stuff.
    We're coming closer, we're not stepping backwards.

    Yes? I see a lot of people who post here anticipate the release, knowing it will take as long as it will take.
    And only a few who are getting really impatient.

    I guess you should reread the post. It says that we've got the funds for the full mass production when we got 1000 preorders.
    It doesn't say we will start the mass production as soon as we have 1000 preorders (that wouldn't make any sense).

    Sure. I didn't know you were with me when all of that happened.
    Here's what really happened:

    I'm ordering the keymats from an austrian company (production happens in China though, as there are no production companies doing that in Europe).
    I got some testing samples (with exact forces on them) so I could give them the exact requirements (force needed, travel distance needed), which they told the chinese company.

    So much for your theory that we didn't give clear requirements.

    What happened? The keymats we received had a too high travel distance and needed too much force.
    Sadly, neither the austrian company nor I had the specific measurement machine to accurately tell what was wrong with that.
    So we assumed what we got was what we ordered (they never had any issue with that chinese company before, and they're regularly working with them) and therefore lowered the travel distance a bit as well as lowering the required force.

    The result was that the travel distance was too little. Force couldn't really be tested, as the carbon pads did make the contact with the PCB too soon.

    That's when I visited them, as something was clearly off here.

    At that time, they had bought a 3D scanner for exact measurements, so we checked the keymats we got.
    The result: The travel distance of the first keymat did NOT meet our requirement (it was 1,2mm instead of the requested 0,9mm), so our first change (to 0,8mm) was wrong because of that.
    The new one was correct (as we could measure now).

    We couldn't really check the force though (sadly), but the austrian company is buying the tools for that right now so we can make sure our requirements are set.

    Another issue was, as you mentioned, all the coatings:
    While the keymat manufacturer has produced a lot of keymats, they NEVER produced a keymat like that.
    A keymat that needs various coatings to we have semi-transparent buttons with different colors AND plastic tops on top?
    There's a special coating that prevents air bubbles to appear when the tops are glued onto it.
    As it turned out, that coating affected the keymat material. They've never used it before, so that was something they also didn't know.
    So they now made a stencil layer so that the coating affecting the materials is ONLY on the buttons, not anywhere else.

    How would you have handled that?
    Would you have spent 50k for measurement devices so you can check the keymats yourself our would you have trusted you got what you ordered?

    Yes and no.
    Yes: It takes time - but only because the requirements have not been met and I wasn't able to check that.
    No: It cost less money, as it wasn't our fault, so the changes to the molds and the later revisions have been paid by the chinese company.

    To speed things up, we could've done various versions at the same time - which means we would've needed multiple molds for 10k EUR each.
    That would've been costly indeed.

    You know a company that can create the full Pyra for 200k EUR?
    Awesome, please introduce me to them.

    I actually asked a couple of companies in Germany. The offers I received was about 150k EUR for the PCB design and 200k EUR for the case and molds.
    And that's without a keymat yet.

    That's about twice the budget we used for the Pyra.

    Yes and no.
    Yes: The Pandora had huge delays with the case design as well. The problem is: There's no budget to use the best company available. I've got a plastic injection company just round the corner from my home - but I cannot afford 200k EUR for the case and molds (we're getting them for 60k EUR). So yes, it takes longer, as they are certainly not as experienced as a huge company in Germany, but it is affordable.

    Lessons NOT learned?
    Well, I moved to European companies as I can visit them easily when there are any issues, which has proved out to be a good idea so far.
    Sadly, that doesn't mean that everything works as smoothly as you think.

    What will you do if the companies are not delivering as promised?
    Switch to a different one half-way through, hoping they will be better (and having to restart and lose the money you paid so far?)
    If I had 1 Million EUR funds, I would've probably done that, or used more expensive companies in Germany right from the start.

    The funds were never there though, given its size, it's a low-budget project.

    One note: I never stated that. That's mostly coming from community members.
    I am just stating I want it to be AS GOOD as possible (which doesn't mean it'll be the best product).
    It will have issues, downsides, sure. We'll have a lot of compromises here and I plan on improving the case later when the Pyra is selling well (it can be made at least 3 - 4mm thinner, but would need some redesigns that require new molds).
    The case is changeable though, so I can offer it to everyone who already has a Pyra at that time.

    However, what we're fixing are showstoppers. A gaming device where the DPad doesn't feel good is just not feasible.
    A case where the shoulder buttons aren't properly working is also not acceptable.

    We ARE doing the last tweaks that NEED to be done. Not the ones that would be NICE to be fixed.

    Yes, though that depends on the complexity and the available sample layouts.
    As metioned: Intel, Rockchip, etc. all provide sample layouts which you can copy 1:1 onto your layout and most likely have a fully working product right from the start.
    We have the schematics from the uEVM, but that doesn't have any batteries included, only one SD Card slot, a totally different power circuit, etc.
    So we had to do that completely ourselves - whereas others can just use the existing circuits.

    Yes. And?
    That doesn't say anything about the complexity of the stuff he's doing.

    As Audi is in Ingolstadt and I know many companies that produce stuff for Audi, I know quite some designers there as well.

    Car sensor systems, for example?
    The hardware usually is a fixed SoM (system on module) which has everything you need, the sensors are connected to it and the software is even a universal software used by many different car manufacturers and just gets the branding changed and features enabled / disabled.

    We don't have a SoM, we had to CREATE our own one (that's the CPU board).

    Another aspect in the automotive sector: There's a lot of space and things are huge.

    Often it's possible to use 2-layer PCBs, sometimes 4-layer PCBs. And you usually don't need to use small footprint BGAs, which means that you can easily modify connections, replace complete parts, etc.
    So with one sample, you can often rewire things and change parts until everything works as planned and then use a prototype for testing.

    With a 12-layer PCB with BGAs, it's simply not possible to change traces that are below a BGA or inside the PCB.
    You can only change it, produce more PCBs and see whether that fixed it.

    Additionally, things are REALLY complex here. If the battery readout in the OS is wrong, what's the reason?
    Hardware issue? Maybe. But is it the Palmas, the charger chip, the switcher for the USB port?
    Or is it part of a software issue? Maybe. But for which driver?

    It's not that easy to find out.

    Feel free to ask your hardware guy whether he ever needed to design such a complex device as the Pyra (one 12-layer PCB, one 4-layer PCB and a 2-layer PCB) with so many features and customizations at once.

    There's one important thing you mentioned:
    "Special requirements to safety and security".

    That means that things are LESS complex and as simple as possible (depending on the needed features).
    Instead of ONE system that does everything, you usually create systems working independently for themselves (sensors, etc.) and then combining them into the full system with various communications.

    It's WAY too dangerous to have ONE system handle too much. Which is the total opposite of what we do with the Pyra.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 22, 2017, Original Post Date: Mar 22, 2017 ---
    BTW: I received a first version of aTc's PyraOS working on the current prototypes yesterday.

    Just found the time to install and boot it. :D

    I'm currently at a hotel near Frankfurt, so I don't have a good camera with me (only my old Droid4), so the screen looks blurry... but in reality, it REALLY looks awesome!

    BTW: I REALLY do love the viewing angle of the LCD.
    Looking at it sideways doesn't change the brightness or readability at all.

    Here are the quick snaps:

    IMG_20170322_195503.jpg IMG_20170322_195635.jpg IMG_20170322_195649.jpg IMG_20170322_205857.jpg IMG_20170322_205915.jpg
     
    remjey, drock, Haraldur and 32 others like this.
  18. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,163
    I wish the forum software had not merged the happy news post onto/into the lengthy explanation post.

    @EvilDragon, thank you for sharing those snaps with us! It is great to see an assembled unit running the OS in landscape!
     
  19. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    7,903
    Location:
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    Thanks for those photos - it's really cool to see the system booting properly again!

    And well done on being able to provide that detailed and level-headed answer - something many of us posting in response were unable to do.

    Is that list public by any chance?
     
    Jan-Nik and Haraldur like this.
  20. Kippykip

    Kippykip BFG 9000

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    'STRAYA
    WOAH Looking sexy!
    That's awesome news, is the battery life improved with the new OS?
     

Share This Page

Loading...