Friday, January 02, 2009

A late re-post

Wow, the last week has been hectic, christmas celebrations, family visits, a new TV to install (my main christmas present), New year celebrations, and I totally forgot to make any new year resolutions. I'm not going to either as I never manage to stick to it.
Anyway, due to all this and my travels, I totally missed Paul Schreiber's 2008 round up, perhaps more of you have too, so I post it here for those who have missed it. Biggest news in here is perhaps the release in 2009 of the E-340 super saw VCO, basically a dressed down 520 cloud generator, which is still not released, but this could finally happen this year too. Looking forward to it. Oh yeah, it's a big read...


a) first order of business: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone. I hope everyone will have time to goof off with their synths, build some ancient kits and Internet shop to boost the economy. If you got $20 and a Steam account, get Defense Grid *immediately*.

b) the 15/10% off sale has 1 more week to go.

c) As been the theme for many years, I never get to ship out as much at the end as I like. I will be able to ship a bit next week as I do not have to report for work until Jan. 5th. I ran out of MOTM-000 breadboards, but they arrived yesterday. I also want to ship the MOTM-940 backlog. I was able to remove John Neilson from the 'longest suffering MOTM customer' status only to be replaced by a fellow New Yorker.

d) I looks like for 2008 ~ 250 MOTM (not Frac, that was ~ 80) modules will be shipped. Not a stellar year (in 2001 I shipped almost 1200). However, most of the existing kit backlog are 300/310/480s which I also plan to begin kitting up Jan. 8th. I expect MOTM-380 panels by the end of the year and the last panel to order out will be the MOTM-700s. I have to space these out a bit: since I no longer have a steady CEM IC revenue and a typical panel order is about $2000 I can't do more than 1 at a time right now.

I an fully stocked with pc boards (they all came in yesterday, over 400 of them of various models). That first week of Jan. I need to make more MOTM-960s as I have 1 left (but parts to make 75).

e) The MOTM-730 VC Divider will start shipping the 3rd week of Jan. Remember, it's in the shopping cart now (but not on sale).

f) 2009 will finally start to show the result of what I started in June 2006: not offering full kits (but most of the parts) will allow me to finally open the R&D floodgates. No longer constrained by circuit topologies, board formats/brackets/design rules like pad sizes I can start to release modules that have been dormant for many years (like the Fixed Filter Bank). I am also going to switch over (by March or so) to a new series of pc board mounted pots from Beckman (well, now called BI Technologies). The only real differences are:

1 - the shafts are 5mm shorter, so the knobs will be closer to the front panel. Don't worry, you anal folks can torque the set screw up the shaft to have 1/8th wavelength of sodium light coplanerity :)

2 - the touch is like the *old* Spectrol 148 pots (the black ones, not the white ones). It is not as 'light' as the Bourns.

3 - the pots are conductive plastic only. I have been using cermet a lot (mainly because in 1998 cermet was all Mouser stocked, not for any design reason). These are more temperature stable BUT the life of a cermet is 20% of a conductive plastic AND these BI pots have a (gulp!) 1,000,000 minimum rotational life.

g) Saving the biggest for last: in late April to early March I will be offering Euro Rack modules. The first is called the E340 SuperSaw VCO. It is a digital VCO that has up to 8 detuned sawtooths and sines. It's not a full-blown Cloud Generator, it has maybe 40% of the features. Yes, there will be a Frac version. More details to follow :)

I still plan the 520/521 MOTM modules, it's just a matter of time and revenue right now. In December, I've had to buy over $12,000 of parts and so I need to get the existing backlog out before diving into Cloud Generator's complex CAD design.

Thanks to everyone for putting up with me, I know that I can be erratic but I've held on almost 11 years now. Hang on a bit longer and see what I have planned for 2009 and going forward.

Paul S.