Miuni32 GB#2 Reflection

Hello 2019

The GroupBuy #2 has been wrapped up with the last shipment dropped off last week at the postal office. It was exciting but not 100% frustration free. Here are some thoughts from me.

Things that went well:

  • Design improved with ESD protection.
  • PCBWay.com went above and beyond to make things go smoothly, even when I was at fault. I cannot express how grateful I am with the help and assistance I received:
    • No less than 100 emails for this Group Buy run. Mostly short one-liner emails, but the conversations were quick and clear.
    • On making component selection for the ESD protection update, PCBWay.com promptly responded with the cost of the components and availability. I am just glad PCBWay.com was able to source my top component choice – ESD212 ICs.
    • I selected wrong plating color on the initial order submission. This was a major f*ckup on my part. I still can’t believe I did this! It is almost as stupid as the mistake I made with the Group Buy #1 where I reversed the orientation of the USB circuitry. The PCBs were to have gold plating, except I must have left it as the default in silver. Of course, when I received the samples, I was in shock! I tried to tell myself the color does not matter, but I didn’t want to disappoint the group buy participants even if the majority of them did not care indeed. So I reached out PCBWay.com and asked them to produce the PCBs again with the correct color, and asked for another invoice. To my pleasant surprise, Daphne waived the extra charge and re-made the PCBs at NO CHARGE.

Things that didn’t go so well:

Delay of 2+ months

Delivery was delayed by good 2+ months. It was a daunting responsibility to hold so many people’s money at my hands while trying to steer the GB towards success. I’d do it again of course, but I must manage the logistics better to avoid a lengthy delay (such as design changes… cough ~ESD Protection~ cough)

Mental Fortitude (lack thereof)

I must admit I felt paralyzed on every big decisions I made with this group buy. This includes submitting the design files, checking the feedback, re-submitting the deign files, submitting the final design, making the payment, deciding whether I want the testing done at the assembly line or get samples sent over to me for hands-on testing. I must grow some balls…

What Now?

Budget Friendly Case

It’s about time I spend some quality time at least thinking hard about a budget-friendly case. Miuni32 being a unique 30% board means it is severely lacking a proper, easy to approach case. Ideally a case can be shipped at less than $35, but it probably will take time for me to figure out the design, material, logistics and such.

Amazing Premium Case

You know what I mean here ;). Ingot is being picked up by our liaison this week. Hope to see some photos soon from u/Haaaaaandrew.

Miscellaneous but important stuff

I need to keep on working at Miuni32 repo. Dimensions of the board has to be added. Layer detail needs to be posted along with default configuration.

Group Buy #3 (with no design changes period)

Doing the math, I did not at all make money on this round (yet). I actually lost money on shipping the orders since USPS wasn’t as cheap as I once calculated back a few months ago. The consolation is that I have some spare boards to sell and that I have a robust and tried-and-true design that is ready for production. So I will do another round of group buy in the Spring / Summer 2019. And no, there will be absolutely no design changes! Too painful to do it so soon.

Sample Checks Out + Waiting…

Got the samples last week. I ought to make a video, but I have a final exam coming up very soon… Instead I spent a few minutes inspecting the board and testing the functions. Except plating was done in silver (which got promptly corrected), everything looks good! 

The color-corrected PCBs are already made. I believe they should be done with assembly this week as well. Now I am just sitting and waiting for the *rest of the order*

New Roof in the Air

Guys, don’t worry. This is just something I have queued up for the next year. My focus is still 100% on the current groupbuy for Miuni32. There is so much fun to be had working with you all in the r/mk community. I just need to let it out there. Otherwise, I’d be lying to y’all :).

Anyways, let me talk about keyboard roof for a minute. I have been using two keyboard roofs (one for my Realforce 104u and one for my HHKB Pro2) from GarbageCollection.co.kr in Korea since the summer.

Back then they didn’t have international shipping, so there were a few things to figure out with the good fellas over at GarbageCollection. Overall though, it was a more positive experience than I anticipated: over the top packaging, very swift customer support, and top-notch quality.

The only downside was the shipping cost considering the price of the product.  Hence this groupbuy came was born. Together with GarbageCollection, I will be focusing on reducing the shipping cost for US / Canada. The roof itself isn’t expensive, but the overseas shipping (from Korea where the roof will be made) normally costs just as much. We can reduce the shipping significantly by bundling the orders together.

For now, take a look at a few videos I made below:

GB Update: Miuni32 PCB is in the wrong color…

Discussion over at r/bigtuna

Hello everyone, the gist is that PCBWay.com has run tests and result look good. They also have shipped off a few boards for me to for further testing. So we are getting close!

There is a bad news here though – the surface finish was not done in Purple + Gold Immersion. Instead, it was done in Lead-Free HASL (Purple + silver color combo). So I am talking to them on getting this issue addressed. This is a setback, there is no nice way to put this =(. This is a simple aesthetic issue, but I want to get this done right for you. So even though it will cost me extra, I must own up to it. The components are available and ready over at PCBWay.com. So only the PCBs have to be remade. Normally it takes 4-5 days.

This prolonged delay is quite frustrating, but I sincerely appreciate your patience!