THE ANALOG THING
(October 24th, 2022)
Welcome to the twelfth newsletter on all things THAT (THE ANALOG THING).
We currently have a two month production delay: We wanted to start to
produce and ship the second batch in September 2022, but now October is
over and we have not shipped a single THAT from the second batch.
We get quite a lot of mails from sad and disappointed customers, something
we can fully understand. We, too, are disappointed with the progress of
things - especially as we were so sure that everything would become much
simpler with production here in Germany, but the devil really is in the
We can only ensure you that we are neither niggling nor actively delaying
things. Quite the contrary. The problem is that we depend on many other
component suppliers and contractors.
The good news is that production has finally started as originally
planned in September 2022.
The high-quality tailor made cardboard boxes were also delivered on five
fork lift pallets to our assembly location. The picture above gives an impression
of the mail delivery boxes which had to be folded.
That is, in the meantime while waiting for the PCBs, we have at least started packaging
and shipping preparations.
I (Bernd) still cannot believe how much volume 700 THAT boxes and their
associated cardboard boxes etc. for mail delivery take up. Rikka (my wife),
Joachim (a close friend) and I spent two whole days folding the mail
delivery cardboard boxes, and filling the THAT boxes with the required
accessories (booklet, set of patch cables, power cable, RCA stereo cable,
master/minion cable). (In the end I could fold a cardboard box in about
18 seconds without even looking - a skill I hope I will never need again.
In the following picture you can see Rikka preparing two THAT boxes
Updated shipping estimates
We expect the first BASE/FRONT PCB sets from our electronics supplier
Neuäfer to finally
arrive end of this week (28.10.2022), so that we can start sending
out THATs next week. This process itself will take some time as
we have to assemble and thoroughly test each individual THAT.
Hopefully we can then ramp up to sending 100 THATs per week in
Therefore, the updated table of shipping date estimates now looks as
||Estimated shipping date
|AP1000 – AP1180
|AP1181 – AP1700
|AP1701 – AP1950
|AP1951 – AP2200
A glimpse on our production headache
For the interested, what follows is an overview of the problems
which we encountered during the last weeks.
After we got the first 90 BASE boards it turned out that about half of
these were unusable due to defective coefficient potentiometers.
We are currently investigating the causes for this. In the end we
manually checked 810 potentiometers and have to rework quite a lot of
This is how the eight coefficient and the single repop-time
potentiometer should behave when turned manually (once fully clockwise
and then fully counterclockwise) - no sudden jumps, just a smooth
increasing and then decreasing resistance curve:
...and this is how a typical defective potentiometer looks like when
These potentiometers have intermittent contact and are just unusable.
As it turned out this was the result of a temperature problem during
the soldering phase which has now been solved.
Getting the white paint right was also more complicated and time
consuming than anticipated.
This is the first of the new FRONT PCBs we got. It is impossible
to see in the picture, but the new paint is matted, which makes
a qualitatively high impression.
Analog Consultation Hour
Due to time restrictions on Bernd's side, we have to terminate the
bi-weekly Analog Consultation Hour. We will answer all of your questions
by mail or through the corresponding
Happy analog computing!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding THE ANALOG THING.
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