Dear Uthernet II Interested parties,
I am pleased to report the survey was a great success. Thank you so much for your awesome support of the Uthernet II project.
Before I continue, I would like to thank the people who have assisted me in getting this project to the point where it is now.
We all owe Oliver Schmidt a large thank you for his many and continuing open source contributions on the Contiki, IP65 and also ADTPro programs. Oliver consulted with me in the early stages of this products development, on which chip should be chosen for this project and provided all the primary software support to ensure the correct operation of the hardware. After that he went on to provide drivers and enhancements to Contiki, IP65 and ADTPro.
Ewen Wannop is another force to be reckoned with in the Apple II software world with his own suite of programs for GS/OS, that use both the Uthernet I and II cards. Ewen developed both the original Uthernet I and II link layers that make it possible to use Marinetti and associated apps on GS/OS.
David Schmidt continues to enhance and support ADPPro. David was responsible for an early test version of ADTPro that was compatible with the Uthernet II.
On the hardware front Kilian Leonhardt suggested a solution to resolve compatibility issues with the Apple II+ and Unenhanced IIe and Daniel Kruszyna suggested a solution for an issue with the interrupt line.
Last but not least is my sincere thanks to my alpha and beta hardware testers whose additional testing help give the confidence to proceed with production of this project.
Jonno Downes, Ed Eastman, Sean Fahey, David Finnigan, Bill Garber, Daniel Kruszyna, Kilian Leonhardt, John Keoni Morris, Andrew Roughan, Oliver Schmidt, David Schmidt, Nigel Sheldon (CL), Antoine Vignau, Ryan Wallmow, Ewen Wannop, Sean Zabriskie.
To date there have been 277 respondents to the survey.
Since sending out the survey, another option for board assembly has presented itself.
I was contacted by a local Canadian company, Circuits Central, who offered to bid on the assembly job.
So why am I mentioning this option verses just continuing with my original plan of producing the boards in China?
As mentioned in the survey, given the quantities we are discussing, these boards must be machine assembled to ensure a consistent quality and be produced in a timely fashion.
Having them made in China has some benefits like lower cost and reasonable execution but it also presents a few challenges on my part.
- First time trying to execute at this scale.
- Communication with Chinese manufacturers can be challenging at times.
- Initial Inspection for a run must be done by photograph (assembly line cannot be held up waiting for sample testing).
- Two runs cost more than 1 large run (assuming a smaller initial run in order to make sure quality and functionally is met, followed by a second larger run).
By choosing to go with Circuits Central
- I would be partnering with a local business located 30 minutes from my home.
- Has a good reputation/track record in the electronics industry since 1996.
- Will produce a few sample boards for me to test before committing to the rest of the production run.
- Significantly increases the chance of project success while helping to reduce risk.
So having explained all of this, my decision then is to partner with Circuits Central in Canada for the assembly. The bare PCB’s however will still be manufactured in China.
Based on the results of the survey and other factors, the card will be offered at an “introductory price” of $59 USD per card. Orders will be filled based on the color chosen in the survey (Green, Red, Blue, Black).
World wide shipping would still be $10 USD flat rate per 2 cards.
I believe this offer provides the best blend of value and quality while reducing the manufacturing risk to a manageable level.
So to place a pre-order via paypal, please access the ordering page at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/order.htm
This introductory price offer will be valid until August 31 2015 EDT.
Once I have enough pre-orders to get underway, I will post a production status page with your order number so you may follow along with project updates and later shipping status.
I expect the manufacturing process to take approximately one month given no delays. After receiving the cards, I will be filling orders after hours/weekends. Given the quantity of cards to be tested, packed and shipped, please bear with me as I process the orders.
You will find the current FAQ at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/support.htm#faq.
Thanks again for all your encouraging support.
.ps Please feel free to share this email if you know someone who did not fill out the survey and may be interested in this offer.