Hello again Advanced Vapers!
We know it has been a while since our last update on the mods, but we didn't want to update without anything important to say or a timeline we are confident in. We're definitely at that point now.
Since our last update, the first batch of v3 bubblers have been shipped out with another batch due in a couple weeks. The post processing of the mod's aluminum took longer than anticipated since the machine shop needed a special blasting media to meet our design specifications, but anodizing of mod bodies and buttons should begin this week or next. This includes custom anodizing options some of you have chosen.
We received several chipsets from our PCB manufacturer. During our testing of these we discovered a couple resistors need to be swapped for different resistors, and some other components need their spacing and location adjusted. Overall these are very minor board layout fixes, but it did lead us to make an important decision regarding the mods. In order to prevent any other unforeseen hardware issues and give us the best possible product as quickly as possible, we've hired an outside company- Colorado Electronic Product Design. They're an electronic engineering and design firm, and they will go over our chipset design with a fine tooth comb for any potential issues or possible optimizations. A dozen engineers taking a look at our design will only result in a better product. We had assumed we would be finishing final production on these chipsets already of course, but instead of iterating with our own design team -which would take time- we've decided to contract this local company to give us the best we can make in as fast a timeframe as possible.
We've decided to implement a couple of their initial suggestions and optimizations into the final design as well. The most important of these is to use conductive epoxy to secure the chipset to the enclosure instead of a soldered ground wire. This will achieve two things: First, the chip will be more securely connected to the mod, and second, this connection is conductive in both electricity and heat, so it will ground the chip as well as allowing the entire body of the mod to be used as a heatsink. This much heat capacity should allow the mod to be used more frequently back to back without overheating.
We've never been closer than we are right now, but our commitment to get this right before we ship has not changed. The contracted timeframe for this company to do their work is 4 weeks. They've already been at work for about a week and a half at this point and a lot of progress has been made as our engineering teams work together every day. When they finish we'll have final version chipsets fabricated.
We plan on posting another update as soon as these engineers finish their work and we're on to the final steps. At that point we should have a solid countdown to release. As of right now, we anticipate mods/kits to ship in May and are very confident in this date. These will ship every day as we assemble them.
Due to the fact we're very confident in the timeframe CEPD has given, the progress with them so far, and the fact everything else will be ready and waiting on these chipsets, we've decided to reopen kit preorders. Product pages will be updated on those pages accordingly soon. This will also be the only time we'll be able to do custom anodizing without a significant delay (because we already have the time as we wait for the chipsets) so if you're interested in doing that, now is the best time. We've also included a couple pictures of the custom anodizing in this blog post to show what we mean. If you're interested in having your preorder custom anodized, get in touch with us on the site chat and we'll discuss what you'd like. You can see a lot of possible options on the anodizer's Instagram page found here. This is completely optional.