Saturday, June 07, 2008

So what about the Cloud Generator+ Expander?

Some readers asked me what is to happen to the cloudgenerator, when will it be coming out.
It just so happens that on the MOTM group at Yahoo, Paul just provided the answer, here it is below:

The reason I went ahead and 'brought out' the MOTM-730 ahead of the CG/CGX has to do with the CAD system upgrade I did about 2 years ago.

I use OrCAD schematic capture, I have been since *1986* when I was a beta tester :) And, every MOTM module up to and including the MOTM-650 was designed in OrCAD......for DOS!

However, I switched over (very late, at the "last and final offer we mean it REALLY" letter) to the Windows version. I did not want to 'plunge it' with the complicated CG/CGX so I decided to use the '730 as the guinea pig. The mistakes I made had nothing to do with switching over the CAD, it was me being an idiot.

I now can navigate my way around the new Windows version (it is very different than the DOS version) and now am ready to tackle the CGX first, then the CG electrical CAD. Both schematics are 90% done as of today, tomorrow is going to be a "CAD day" emphasis to correct the '730, send the 3 other boards in that set out for production, and finish up the CGX schematic so Eric and I can review it (Eric is the lead designer, I just try not to screw it up). Robert Rich is the 'System Architect's and I am the 'Head Peon'.

We will "sign off" next week on the schematics, I will then start the pc board CAD and the mechanical CAD (with assistance from Tim 'Servo not MST3K' Parkhurst') around Wednesday of next week. I want to ship all existing MOTM 2.0 orders before then.

The mechanical CAD is about 80% done for the CGX as well, there are 4 boards and the LCD panel, but not as complicated as the '730 is. There is a breadboard up and running so we have code that can do everything except the full USB librarian function (if anyone wants a FREE CG/CGX set of modules and will write the librarian for *both* Mac and PC, email me off-list).

My plans right now are to have a few production-ready CGX prototypes in mid-August.
I will then turn attention to the CG itself, which is mechanically done (I have 63 finished panels sitting in the garage for....errr...a long time) but the pc board layout will be very involved (probably a 6 or 8 layer board, hoping for 6).

I would say right now shipping the CG/CGX set will be around Nov 1st. The *current* backlog has 95% of my available bandwidth until it is shipped out. I and planning 8 consecutive days in late June/early July for purging the backlog (my day job is in 'Summer Shutdown'). The sooner I can ship the backlog, the sooner the CG/CGX ship out.
Eric & I are confident of the overall design, it is not more of a CAD/manufacturing issue and getting the final code ready to ship.

Paul S.

So there you have it, hot of the press :-)



Post a Comment

<< Home