Webshop migration and manufacturing progress

Webshop migration and manufacturing progress

Effective immediately, the Crowd Supply UHK pre-order page is closed. You can place orders in our own webshop from now on. Please read on for the details.

Hi there, and welcome to our monthly status update!

TL;DR: We’ve opened our own webshop! We’ve churned out 7 mini batches since our last update, which is the fastest we’ve ever produced. A ton of firmware progress has been made, but we need testers to fix a very hard to reproduce bug. We’ve received a lot of nice feedback from you, including a review.

Let’s start with the webshop migration, which is admittedly quite boring, but important.

Webshop migration

If you don’t plan to purchase more items from us, feel free to skip to the next section.

Crowd Supply has served us well. We launched a successful campaign, and they have been taking pre-orders up until this point, but now it’s time for us to take our own orders.

We have always wanted to run our webshop, because it allows us to provide the best possible customer experience. But setting up a decent shop is easier said than done. We’ve been very busy with bringing the UHK to market, so it’s taken quite some time for us to make our shop happen. Luckily, our efforts have come to fruition, and now our webshop is up and running.

At the same time, we’ve closed our Crowd Supply shop, so going forward, you can only order from our webshop. In the spirit of transparency, we’ll share everything you ever need to know about our shop. Please read on.

Delivery status

The delivery status page that contains the order ids of Crowd Supply orders will also contain the order ids of our webshop. I’m working on integrating this page with our webshop, which may take a week or two.

Please note that our webshop has just recently started, so its order ids are in the hundreds vs the order ids of Crowd Supply which are in the tens of thousands. To make this distinction clear, the order ids of our webshop will be prefixed by “#”.

Our first-come, first-served delivery policy will not be affected by this transition regardless of which webshop you ordered from.

New shop features

Our new shop offers quite a few advantages:

First, you can choose three separate currencies: USD, EUR, and HUF. The prices of the relevant currency will be shown. This results in no conversion fees if you happen to use one of these currencies.

Second, you can pay not only with your credit card, but also with PayPal. Over time, we plan to introduce further payment methods.

Third, there are separate product pages, and the pages of configurable products contain a visual product configurator. You can see a preview image that shows the exact product that you’ll receive.

Fourth, our webshop generates proper invoices. This is mainly beneficial for company purchases.

Shipping

When it comes to shipping, the first thing to highlight is delivery times. So far, we’ve directly delivered from Hungary to the EU, which is great, because it only takes about a day or two for the packages to arrive. Delivering outside of the EU however has been less than ideal because we previously sent those packages via Crowd Supply (Portland, USA). It takes a couple of days for them to receive the packages, then it can take a week or two until they forward them. It’s especially painful for countries outside the EU and USA because it can take as much as a month to receive the package starting from the day we shipped it!

This had to change, so going forward, when you order from our webshop, we’ll send the package directly from our factory in Hungary to you which shouldn’t take more than a couple of days regardless of your country.

When it comes to shipping costs, Crowd Supply has a very simple pricing structure: shipping free to the US, and $24 to everywhere else. This clearly doesn’t reflect the actual cost of shipping, because it does cost money to ship goods to the US, and the shipment of smallish packages is often cheaper than $24 outside the US.

Our philosophy is that we don’t want to earn or loose on shipping. We will simply pass the shipping cost to our customers. We use DHL, and we’ve made quite a good deal with them. The current shipping costs are based on the weight of the package, and your destination. You can see the actual shipping cost on the cart page of our webshop. For example, it currently costs $15.14 to ship a UHK to Switzerland, $19.03 to the USA, and $29.93 to Japan. For some of you, it’ll be cheaper, but for those of you who will pay more (mostly because of your location), it’ll be a lot faster!

Multiple / aggregated orders

If you have made orders on Crowd Supply, feel free to make further orders in our shop. In this case, please specify the same email address as on Crowd Supply. This way, we’ll be able to aggregate your Crowd Supply and non Crowd Supply orders, and ship them once if you happen to be from the EU. The reason order aggregation only works for EU customers is because we need to ship non-EU orders separately via Crowd Supply.

If you make multiple orders in our own webshop then the shipping cost will always added for every single order. Given that we’ll ship your orders together, the actual shipping cost will be lower. The way we’ll make this fair is that upon delivery, we’ll take the sum of the shipping costs you paid, subtract the actual shipping cost of the package that contains all your orders, then refund the difference to you.

EU VAT

Please note that this section only applies to EU citizens and companies. Feel free to skip to the next section if it’s not relevant to you.

According to tax laws, VAT must be paid when purchasing goods within the EU. The VAT rate of the origin country applies, which is 27% in Hungary. This means that given a $100 product, the final price will be $127 with VAT included, unless you’re a company.

Some of you may have noticed that this seemingly wasn’t the case so far. Our items did cost the same worldwide, the EU included. This was possible because we actually reduced the net prices of items for EU customers to offset the VAT, so we were willing to take a heavy hit on our margin for making our pricing more competitive for EU customers.

Starting from now, we won’t offset our prices anymore, and VAT will be applied. If you don’t want to pay VAT in the EU, your only choice is to purchase the goods as a company. In this case, you’ll have to provide your company’s valid EU VAT number on the checkout page, and then VAT will not be added, and it will not be featured on the invoice.

Discounts

The 10% discounts are still in effect in our new shop. We’ll remove the discounts of non-module items once all these pre-orders shipped. Afterwards, we’ll remove the discounts of module items once all these pre-orders are shipped.

Who to contact?

Regarding the items that you purchased on Crowd Supply, contact them at orders@crowdsupply.com. Regarding the items that you purchased in our webshop, contact us at support@ultimatehackingkeyboard.com.

Manufacturing progress

Since our last update, we’ve sent out mini batches 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22, which is, yet again, the highest volume batch we’ve produced so far. The production throughput of the last month is 84% of what we planned, so we’re quite close, and working to increase it further.

We’ve just looked into the stats and realized that we’ve already shipped most of the pre-orders. We shall proceed further.

Firmware progress

Eric, our intern has been hard at work. He’s implemented the macro engine, vastly improved the debouncing algorithm, fixed various bugs related to secondary role handling, and more. What a huge step forward! All of these changes are part of the latest pre-released 8.4.4 firmware.

And still, the latest stable firmware release that is recommended and which is flashed in our factory is 8.2.5 which is 152 commits behind the tip of the master branch! This drives me crazy. And why’s that? Because of the freeze bug.

This bloody bug makes the UHK freeze once in a while. The trick is that it’s extremely hard to reproduce. On my UHK, it hits less than once in a month. On some others, it’s considerably more frequent, and occurs on a daily basis.

I could go on and on about this bug, but the bottom line is that if you want to use the new features and improvements while still having stability, then please flash the latest pre-release firmware, subscribe to the freeze bug GitHub issue, and let us know your findings. We’ll release new firmware versions shortly, and will ask you to test them for stability and share your feedback. The faster and more detailed feedback you provide, the quicker we can fix this bug. And you can always downgrade to 8.2.5 if the freeze bug hits too often before we fix it.

Your feedback

Kyle Holgate, an awesome backers of ours wrote a review about his UHK. It’s a very nice write up, and you’re welcome to read it.

Meanwhile, Max, in this true style, was busy with pimping his UHK yet another time, created the most nuclear UHK to this day, and made quite some noise on reddit. Please keep up the great work, Max!

You guys keep sending us your nice mods and feedback all over the interwebs. We’re honored and delighted!

Thank you for reading this update! We’ll be keeping you updated on all things UHK, and we’re looking forward to talking with you on 2018-09-13.

By |2019-01-15T17:43:54+00:002018-08-16 21:24|manufacturing, news|15 Comments
Increase your productivity by never leaving the home row. Improve your posture by typing on two, separate keyboard halves. Remap keys in any way you want. Experience how a keyboard can be different, yet familiar.

15 Comments

  1. Anibal August 17, 2018 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Hello team, awesome work so far and I can't wait to get my keyboard. I was hoping we would get an update on the status of the addons on this update. Can you share anything regarding the addons? Thank you

    • László Monda August 17, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

      We've actually made some progress with the modules. We have refined their internal mechanical design. They'll contain spacers and FFC cables to hold and connect the PCBs inside of them. And I started to extract part of the firmware that the modules will share. The reason I didn't include this into this update because it's not a whole lot of progress. We're doing our best, but we're swamped by production. We're looking forward to deliver all pre-orders, so that we'll be able to devote more time to the modules.

  2. Oleg August 17, 2018 at 7:54 am - Reply

    It takes even more than a month if you ship through CrowdSupply.
    My order was in mini batch 12, which was shipped to CrowdSupply's distribution center on Jun 25.
    43 days later, on Aug 7, they finally sent the order to me. In my estimation, my keyboard will arrive in Russia after Aug 20.
    So, it could take two months if you ship via CrowdSupply :-(

    • László Monda August 17, 2018 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Oleg! We're very sorry about the delay, and wouldn't have thought that it takes so long for Crowd Supply to forward packages. Unfortunately, we don't have control over them. That's why we decided to do the fulfillment ourselves. Thank you for your patience!

  3. Sean August 17, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Can't wait to get mine. Thanks for all the hard work on your side from you and the team. From what I've read (and I've read a lot – followed from the start) it's looks like it's the best programmer's keyboard currently on the market. I get frustrated with mine now because it's not a UHK and I can't move the mouse or split it in half etc :) I hope you can ramp up production. It would be great to see this keyboard on Amazon, Best Buy, and the rest, or if you could handle the order numbers from a YouTube review from Unbox Therapy, or a similar massive source. From what it looks like you guys are making about 20 per day? Could that ever be 50 or 100 per day in the foreseeable future? I guess there would be a temptation to throw the problem at a manufacturer in Shenzhen if the order sizes demanded it and they could guarantee quality? Do you feel a threat from the copycats? Mistel etc? I guess what I'm asking is: You guys have such a quality product which I think tons of people would want if they knew about it, can you ramp up production, or are you happy moving more slowly with growth?

    • László Monda August 17, 2018 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Thanks for your excitement and nice words! We plan to gradually ramp up production, and move to a larger facility eventually. That way, production will be a lot faster, and we'll be able to meet the output you mentioned. Your estimated production output is correct. We always plan to do manufacturing and sales ourselves, so moving manufacturing to Shenzen or selling via Amazon or Best Buy is not expected. We're happy with where we are now, and confident that it's the best long-term strategy given our future plans. We aren't feel threatened by copycats. Mistel creates much lower end products, and there's another clone in the making, but both fall short in a number of key areas. Maybe we should open up as an OEM, so that copycats could simply come to us, and buy white label UHKs instead of copying us improperly. :)

  4. Bob Cochran August 17, 2018 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    I have been following your reports for a long time now. I might order a keyboard. I believe from your monthly reports that you do want to produce the best quality keyboard possible, and the keyboard is indeed of very high quality. Another influence on me may seem a little strange — I think you are also near the company the produces EK Waterblocks, used for liquid cooling a desktop computer's processor and heat-generating peripherals. I bought an EK system a year ago, built my wife a powerful computer with it, and that system is going very strong. The quality of the EK parts are excellent and so is their customer service. That makes me think professionals in your region have a very strong ethic to produce excellent devices, and your blog posts each month demonstrate that to me.

    • László Monda August 18, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Thanks for nice words, Bob! Just checked out EK Waterblocks, and they seem to offer very high quality products, indeed. I'm proud to be compared to them. We're committed to building high quality products, and we're here for the long haul. Thank you for considering to supporting us in the future!

  5. Karol August 23, 2018 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Hello Laszlo,
    I think I have found a bug in your shop. The keyboard and palm rests are: 304.80$ and 69.85$. When I add them to my basket and hover over my basket icon I see: 240$ and 55$.

    Do not think the price should be different from what is shown in the shop itself, unless you thought different.

    • Karol August 23, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Maybe I could still get that price if it shows in the basket? One last promo for finding bugs ;)

      • László Monda August 23, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply

        Well played, and nice find, Karol! :) We're aware of this bug, and will try to fix it as soon as possible. Thank you very much for reporting!

  6. Anonymous August 26, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

    It's really sad that you don't manage to reach your production throughput. Your argument for slow assembly in one of the earlier blog posts was that you don't want to fire people later on because there's no work for them anymore.
    You've been assembling for months and most of the slowdowns were fully predictable.
    I'm sure you'll manage to fix this so that the orders won't get delayed by more than two days from now on.

    • László Monda August 26, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Our argument still stands. Production is affected by numerous factors, and the slowdowns weren't actually predictable. We're doing our best to further optimize production.

  7. Mrinmoy Das October 9, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Have you guys migrated/Or have plans to migrate, existing backers/buyers from crowd-supply?

    • László Monda October 9, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      We don't ever plan to migrate them. Crowd Supply orders have only been imported into our order fulfillment system. New accounts will be created in our webshop upon new purchases.

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