June 25, 2013   Posted by: Dr. Ace Jeangle

Update on 7inch status

UPDATE 22-Jul-2013: we finished new PCB design and made tests that were positive. New PCBs and components are ordered, we will do our best to start shipping for opened pre-orders end of next week.

Short version:

After-production tests showed that we have problems with design and need to go for one more re-design/production cycle. Therefore, we are returning money for all pre-orders, and will open sales only after the products in stock are assembled and tested.

Long version:

Last weeks we had real hell here. We assembled first batch of 12 displays and found that almost all of them have serious problem with video synchronization. Others have problems with video colors. It took a lot of time to go through all checkings and tests to figure out that problem is not with schematic, PCB, LCD, components, EMI, but with LCD side connector. Let me show you our current LCD connection – it looks like this when assembled and bonded to bottom side of LCD:

LCD connection

“Finger” part of PCB is used as a mate connector for LCD, it has contact pins on bottom side:

PCB finger

PCB thickness is 1.6 mm, thickness of this “finger” is 0.3 mm.

CNC milled

We ordered third-party CNC milling of “finger” part to reach required thickness. And that’s the source of problem – real thickness is 0.2-0.25 mm and it varies. As a result, some pins don’t have solid contact with LCD connector and we get problems with synchronization and colors. Its pretty clear that we have to re-design this connection part between PCB and LCD. It will take several weeks additionally.

What we are going to do:

  1. We will re-design connector part. Currently, we consider two approaches: rigid-flexible PCB or normal PCB with FPC connector and short (1-2 cm) FPC cable.
  2. We received your pre-orders several months ago, and still can’t supply product. We can’t keep you waiting anymore, therefore we decided to offer you one of following:
    • we refund your money and provide $15 discount coupon for any current or future purchase in our web-shop
    • alternatively, we can offer our current 10″ bundle as a substitution
  3. We will collect your decisions to specially created e-mail: [email protected] – please provide your full name and order # to help identify you and your order. Next week, Monday (1st July) we will proceed to refund money by default to anyone who didn’t select any option.
  4. We will continue to work on 7inch integrated product, and I will publish our progress in Twitter @ChalkElec and here in blog.
  5. We will open stock after we get assembled and tested units.

I personally receive many emails, tweets and blog comments with requests about release date and status, and we are executing all possible approach to release it as soon as possible. We worked very hard, often stay in office till midnight, and going to continue with this routine until we get it done or turned into Zombies.

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Dr. Ace Jeangle -