Everyone breathe again…

The “T0” (first production test) plastic enclosures arrived from China on Friday. Ironically, it seems to take longer for DHL to get from Shenzen to Hong Kong, even though they’re very close, than it does from Hong Kong to Toronto!

My previous post mentioned some of the defects (tooling marks, shrinkage, lack of holes for screws) that are somewhat expected in the first production test. Even with those minor flaws I was still ecstatic to hold, for the first time, a ‘real’ Wimoto enclosure.

The difference between the 3D printed, even “Digital ABS”, and injection moulded part is considerable. Our logo looks much crisper, the overall definition of the part is much greater and the feel of it in your hand is different — much stronger, much more ‘solid’ feeling. The addition of polycarbonate (PC) into the plastic resin mix has added that additional strength (less flexing) and also provides a plastic with a higher quality finish (sheen).

Family

Here’s what the family of plastic parts look like. Two different main enclosure bodies, the bottom plate (which should have screw holes for the tiny M1.2 screws), and the clear acrylic lens part that gets glued into the Climate, Grow, Water, and Thermo. The Sentry has a different assembly for the large hole in the top of the main enclosure that you can see as the white polyethylene piece in the above photo.

Grow

Fancy plastic enclosures don’t mean much if the brains that go inside them don’t fit. Luckily, everything fit just fine πŸ™‚ You can see a Grow board in this image and part of a Climate cropped at the bottom. I was able to breathe again once I’d checked!

LED placement

You can see four gold coloured pads in the third hole from the left in this photo. That’s where the RGB LED lives and making sure that things ‘line up’ is called “fit and form” testing. Other than a couple of very minor tweaks to the electronics boards, we passed fit and form testing!

Bottom

The bottom plate has a recess for a 25*25mm (1inch*1inch) sticker that contains a QR code to help you configure the device and some regulatory information.

Proto and final

On the left you’ll see one of our prototypes. The battery holder is a formed piece of metal that fits around the battery. This would have meant removing the entire Wimoto electronics assembly to change the battery. It also means you can potentially put the battery the wrong way around. We searched high and low and found a battery holder that fit our enclosure, was reasonably priced (this was the hard part), and only allowed the battery to be inserted correctly and from the bottom. I think you’ll all agree the battery holder in the picture on the right is a better solution. Although it cost three times as much in terms of parts, it will create a better experience for our customers and also likely reduce the number of support requests or boards damaged.

We’re doing a little more testing, and then we’ll be giving the electronics fabricator the green light. We’re making steady progress, although I realize some of you would prefer things were happening faster, it’s important to ship a quality product too.

In fingers

11 comments

  1. Rob Daniells · ·

    looks good…keep at it, and thanks for the update….

  2. Good some progress; what about the software? Can you also show us some update of the app?

  3. So cool! Really wish to get those πŸ™‚

  4. No updates to this? What happened to shipping out before October 31st? It’s November 10th and still nothing. Please provide an update. Thanks.

    1. Glen,

      We have an update coming that gives a “State of the Nation”. It’s also important to post *meaningful* updates and not just an update for the sake of it.

      Please bear in mind that the scale of this project is significantly bigger than originally anticipated. It’s a lot more complicated (and more expensive) than when we thought we may be making a few hundred rather than thousands of units.

      The good news is you get a better product; the bad news is complexity equates to additional time, costs and effort.

      -m

      1. Sorry to post this hear but I didn’t know where else. I was in my local Home Depot today and saw this Quirky Spotter thing. Looks like a guy named Dennis Fong developed this with GE. He’s out of Canada too. Is this some kind of copyright issue and are you aware of this product? Looks like they have most of the same sensors, an app, and appears to work off wifi. http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll42/Dopalgangr/340d914c20631d8d4f6dfd591e79b566_zpsbdd43295.jpg

      2. Hi Glen,

        We can’t really stop people coming up with similar ideas and marketing them.

        This is the first time I’ve seen these — thanks for sharing.

  5. They may be similar, but I think they probably should have had delays in their production as well:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/smart-home/quirky-spotter-multipurpose-sensor/4505-9788_7-35831735.html

    1. Hi,

      I’m not sure I understand your comment? Are you saying they should have delays because we have?

      This product is Wifi and not Bluetooth Low Energy based…

      -m

  6. Hi Marc,

    Wimoto production has been delayed because you want to have a quality product.

    The Quirky Spotter is, quite literally, a quirky product by the CNET review (with a mediocre/bad rating).

    My conclusion: Perhaps their production should have been delayed to ensure the quality of their product.

    1. There’s definitely a balancing act between getting a product to market on time and with sufficient features and quality to make it attractive.

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