Hey everyone, Ryan here.
It’s been a busy seven weeks here at Arsenal since the campaign ended and we’re making great progress. Today’s post focuses on some behind-the-scenes style updates that show what we’ve been working on and where we are in the process. So let’s jump into it.
The team and I have been hard at work getting everything in place for our pilot runs. Before going to production, we will do two pilot runs where we make 1,000 Arsenal 2 Standards, and 1,000 Arsenal 2 Pros. The goal is to fine tune the manufacturing process so it can be scaled up for the production run. Right now there’s a lot of back and forth with our manufacturer to make Arsenal 2 easier to assemble and to eliminate risk on the production line, as well as ensure the manufactured Arsenal 2s meet our performance requirements (such as processing speeds, bus throughputs, durability, cosmetic, etc). Our electrical engineer has spent a lot of time working on specification documents for every part of the manufacturing process, and we're getting close to finalized specs so we can complete the pilot runs.
As units come off the line at the factory, they will be plugged into our “Flash/QA rig”. Our software running on that machine automatically boots up the Arsenal 2 over USB, performs a series of high level software tests to check that every hardware component works as it should, then writes the initial firmware image onto the Arsenal 2 (this allows Arsenal 2 to operate as well as load any future firmware updates). If a hardware component doesn’t meet our standards, then the unit doesn’t go into a box.
The Flash/QA rig is reusing some of the code from Arsenal 1, but since most of the hardware has changed, we’ve needed to do a lot of work updating the tests.
If you’re curious, I put together a quick video discussing more of the details on the pilot runs and the QA process:
As for where we stand overall, we remain on track for shipping to backers in June 2021! As a reminder here’s the timeline we posted during the campaign:
Arsenal 2 Standard has passed all of the required testing for Regulatory approvals, which is a great step! Now we're compiling/reviewing all the reports/applications/paperwork to get our official approvals (FCC, IC, SAA, etc.). The design of Arsenal 2 Pro is different from Arsenal 2 Standard (ie. the enclosure, circuit design and antenna), so it has to go through its own set of tests and approvals. That review is currently underway and on schedule as well.
The next major milestone for the hardware side is getting parts on order, as it takes some time to get all of the necessary components in (the bill of materials is 59 unique components representing 444 parts that go into each Arsenal 2 package). We ordered units for the Pilot Run on Arsenal 2 Standard a few weeks ago, and will be placing a purchase order for the rest of the Arsenal 2 units next week.
That's all for now. Thanks for everyone's support, and I hope you all have a great holiday season!