So many rings and things and man the house is in chaos because IT IS HAPPENING!
Closer and closer we get everyday to what we’ve been working towards for almost three years now: the FenixIV we envisioned, in your hands, making happy beep.
Thanks to our lovely assembly houses and factories we managed to get all the insides and outsides for the first batch in-house before Christmas. We did a tour of the Netherlands to pick it all up as there are no delivery services more loving, more careful or faster than us .
Post-Christmas we started by breaking all the boards out of their production frames. We sanded the sides and put them through our test-jigs. These jigs (see picture) perform a whole suite of automated tests. We also did visual and mechanical inspections galore. Followed by either a little red arrow sticker pointing at an issue or the coveted QC PASS sticker. Stijn tackled any arrows until all boards were perfect and passed Quality Control. Doing all of this for the insides of 25 Fenixes took us about a week with four people. We really underestimated the amount of time this would take. Please check out our Instagram for pictures and videos of the process.
The following week we attached most of the boards to their front panels. This bond is then sealed with 334 rings and 115 knobs. Screwing on all the rings and clicking on all the knobs of one FenixIV takes about two hours. Meanwhile screens were prepped and tested, brackets applied and attached to the front with fiddly sticker frames. During the week we tweaked a screwing-ring-on-tool – thank you Marcel. Cases were prepped by attaching the silicon feet, brass standoffs and the I/O board. Our main interconnect sticks one-side to the boards on the front panel and then the other side to the I/O, combining everything together like the cheese in a sandwich.
Unfortunately we ran into a few snags with some of the cases and the fronts. The front panels have stand-offs welded to them – shot at them actually – and sadly a few of these came off. So we will be going back with them to have them reshot (roadtrip!). A bunch of the cases don’t fit perfectly to the front – and instead of fixing this with some expert hammering – the people from the factory are coming round today to pick them up, make them perfect and try to figure out why this happened. We are talking only tenths of a millimetre here so we are confident that this will be fixed and that we will have fitting cases back next week, but it’s a disappointing bump in the process.
We are now in week three and there are six FenixIVs that have been going through burn-in for 48 hours that we can take out later this afternoon and start calibrating. All going well these six will be our first Fenixes that are completely and utterly done hardwarewise. We will pack them up securely and wait for the next six to cycle for 48 hours. Then the whole first batch is going to have to wait on some final improvements of the software and the last letter in the manual.
Latest hopeful shipping date is now set for the end of February.