Production and add-on progress

Production and add-on progress

Important: Please make sure that your shipping address is up to date! You can change it on your Crowd Supply account page. Please also check out the delivery status page.

Hi there, and welcome to our monthly status update!

TL;DR: Since our last update, we’ve sent out mini batches 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. This is the highest volume we’ve produced so far, but not as high as we ultimately aim for. We’ve fallen behind with pre-assembly due to the aforementioned staffing issues, but we’re catching up, and the ramp up is still underway. The development of the add-ons is in progress.

First up, let us share a beautiful and very original picture that we love very much. It’s made by Yukio Miyamoto. He is a masterful illustrator who also happens to be an awesome backer of ours.

Your recent feedback

The feedback you keep giving to us continue to be amazing.

The following is an interesting one. Did you know that when armed with a USB OTG cable, you can connect your UHK to your Android phone, and you can probably also control the mouse pointer? (Recent Android kernels tend to support USB mice.)

Lastly, this one made us laugh out loud:

Please keep them coming! We’re excited to hear about y’all.

Add-on progress

Production does keep us busy, and we can’t yet devote as much time for development as we’d like to, but we’ve made some progress with the add-ons.

The following is sitting on my desk, and it might just be the weirdest keyboard ever.

But most importantly, this Frankenstein keyboard is a proof of concept! This is 1 UHK right half and 3 left halves interconnected. The top left half simulates a left add-on module, and the top right half (which is a left UHK half) simulates a right add-on module.

The keyboard halves and add-ons communicate via the main I2C bus of the UHK. The right UHK half is the I2C master which initiates all communication on the bus. The rest of the devices are I2C slaves. From the standpoint of the firmware, there is no difference between the left keyboard half and the add-ons.

I basically dremeled a protoboard to size, and created a passive 4 port 4P4C hub out of it to interconnect the pieces. Then I added test keymaps for the add-ons, and reflashed the firmwares of the left add-on and the right add-on module, so that their I2C addresses don’t clash with the I2C address of the left UHK half.

This proof of concept works as intended, and now I can type on all the 4 keyboard halves, making me seem like I overcompensate for something.

As you can imagine, this is the first step of many to follow. Next up, I will extract the part of the firmware that will be shared across the add-ons and the left half, and then create separate firmware projects for the add-ons, utilizing the extracted code.

Then I’ll attach the peripherials specific to the individual add-ons to these development UHK left halves, and write firmware code to drive them.

In the meantime, András will finalize the plastic cases and mechanical design of the add-ons, so that they’ll be optimized for manufacturing. This will, in turn, enable me to design the custom PCBs of the add-ons.

In a way, developing the add-ons is like developing additional products – 4 products to be exact, and even though we’ve gained a lot of experience, realistically speaking, there’s no way the add-ons will be ready by the end of August as originally planned.

Given the above, we’re changing the estimated delivery date of the add-ons to the end of December which should be more realistic. None of us are happy with delays, but we’d much rather take our time than compromise the quality of the product even the slightest bit. According to your feedback, it’s the right thing to do.

Thank you for reading this update! As always, we’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK, and we’re looking forward to talking with you on 2018-07-12.

By | 2018-07-06T01:18:43+00:00 2018-06-14 16:58|add-ons, news, prototype, tech talk|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Fiss June 14, 2018 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    You know…a good addon would be a USB hub… just saying. :) But not a critical one, so I'm OK waiting until you guys have some time to brainstorm, haha. I'm really liking my UHK for portable use. It's now my go-to for my 2-in-1 tablet since it can replace the mouse so easily. Any idea what the turn-around for ordering stuff like new cases or keycaps would be right now? Again, just curiosity, no hurries. You are doing awesome!

    • László Monda June 14, 2018 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Fiss, We wish we could create a USB hub add-on, but unfortunately the bandwidth of the UHK I2C bus is 100kbit which is nothing compared to the bandwidth that USB needs. Very glad to hear you like your UHK! New orders should enter to the end of the queue, so if you order now, it's expected to deliver around the date that you can see at the end of the delivery status page.

  2. Jos June 19, 2018 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Thanks for another update. It's nice to see the project progressing each month, and I'm happy that the first orders went out. I'm eagerly looking forward to next month, when my UHK is set to arrive. :-)

    The add-on delay is a bit unfortunate since I also ordered two of those. However, for me the add-ons are merely 'icing on the cake'. The real productivity and ergonomic benefit has to come from the UltimateHackingKeyboard itself, with the add-ons nice extras. So the delay of the add-ons is no problem and totally understand it.

    Good luck with the further progress. It would be cool if the add-ons are shipped out in December, because that would make 2019 a more calmer year for the UHK team. :-)

    • László Monda June 19, 2018 at 7:45 am - Reply

      Thanks for your understanding, Jos! Yes, we'd like to get things wrapped up by the end of 2018. Excited to deliver your keyboard soon! :)

  3. IzK June 19, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I'm just curious. Why have you choose a miniusb connection for the connection with the computer? Was there any specific reason to chose it over a microusb, for example?

    • László Monda June 19, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      It's more robust mechanicall according to my experience, although some say otherwise. In any case, we'd like to use USB-C for the next UHK revision.

  4. chrisd June 19, 2018 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Fully stoked that my order number shipped in batch 10. Any idea on shipping time to deliver to the U.S.?
    Congrats on getting these things out the door.

    • László Monda June 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Exciting times! Generally, it takes about 2-3 days for us to ship to Crowd Supply. From that point on, it should take a couple more days for them to ship to the US. You're welcome to mail them to orders at crowdsupply dot com.

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