V2 Case Complete, and other updates

Greetings, everyone!

At long last, I can finally say that the V2 case has been sent to VooDoo for manufacturing, and it’ll be somewhere between two and three weeks before I receive the full run. I apologize for all of the delays up to this point, and while some of them were unavoidable I know that people have been waiting since July for these.┬áThe case itself will be $10, and will be available on our web store as soon as we get them in. Our initial production run is in Black and Blue, and we’ll be adding other colors when we order more. If you want a different color and have a 3D printer, we’ll be offering the STL files for sale as well. Price is yet to be finalized on those so I won’t give you a price just for it to change.

As for other updates, we’re changing the way we’re approaching conventions.

We went to BronyCon and had a blast. Despite some technical issues with a significant amount of the V2s, it was a place we could easily make back the money spent at, especially because it’s my local convention. Going to Nightmare Nights was great fun, but in the end we didn’t make money, for a number of reasons. And regardless of the fun, if you’re losing money you have to figure out why and change it. We figured out we could, theoretically, make a profit from conventions, IF we had a significantly larger variety of things to sell, along with a few other IFs and guesses. But even then, the profit margin would be very low.

Unfortunately, electronics are expensive to produce and transport, and then there’s the significant costs of getting to, staying at, and returning from a convention. Plus the hassle of all of the paperwork for selling in various states. What we’re going to do going forward is look into finding interested parties to resell DigiBadges and cases at conventions they’re going to. We’re still looking into who to work with for this, so I can’t state anything for certain.

We do intend on going back to BronyCon, and perhaps a few other conventions within easy travel distance, but hopefully with a partnership or two we’ll be able to vastly increase our availability while not spending all of our money getting there.

And for our final update, the V3 is being re-designed.

Again. Yes. I’ve read, re-read, looked at others’ interpretations, and made my own judgements on the FCC regulations regarding wireless communication devices. I feel comfortable in using a pre-designed device, in specific the ESP-12E, to drive the V3 and future DigiBadges. This ESP8266 module is available for a little less than the ATMega328 that I’m currently using, and it also allows for wifi usage and has a built-in flash memory chip – A very similar one to the ones I was planning on using. Additionally, the ESP8266 is more powerful than the ATMega328, and I’ve seen it displaying animated images and images in formats other than 24-bit BMP images. In all, it’ll simplify the design while also adding more capabilities. While the wifi will be disabled by default to save power, it will be there for others to use, along with the IO pins. While the IO pins on the ESP8266 are fewer than what is available on the ATMega328, it’s still more than the zero available on the V2.

And that’s all for today, folks. Sorry about the silence, but holiday times are busy times at my main job this time of year and I’ve also been busy with a few other things. I’ll post more updates when I get them!