It was suggested that I could make a map showing where these boards have ended up so here it is. Just put this together quickly, it shows the nearest town/city to the first 20 and will be updated when the rest have been posted.
View Chessboards in a larger map
As mentioned earlier I’m using the time whilst waiting for the PCBs to machine the parts needed for the remaining 30 kits. As soon as the boards are ready those kits that have already been paid for will be despatched and I’ll be finally able to invoice and send the remaining 20. Once things start moving they’ll need to go out fast. I’ve ordered 40 PCBs which will cover the existing orders, the rest will be used for a small batch of ‘handmade’ boards which will be fully assembled and working. (I may yet regret that….. )
The ideas have been piling up for future projects, at least 4 that I would like to work on once these are completed. The nixie thermometer is currently in limbo awaiting a decision, if that’s accepted it would make invesing in further designs much easier. I have an idea for a USB powereed ‘desk toy’ that will demonstrate the chessboard’s wireless pieces but require much less construction. Plus a VFD thermometer, clock and others.
For now though I would like to end the year by completing all the kits that have been requested. Next year I can start on the ready built boards……
Having recently had a batch of PCBs for another project made by a local manufacturer I would like to replace my handmade chessboard PCBs with professionally made boards. It’ll save hours of painfully slow engraving, snapped drill bits and probably about 10 days of machine time which can be used to make other parts. I don’t want anyone who has already received a kit to be left feeling short changed but at the same time don’t want to be tied to making the PCBs when I know they could be done faster and better elsewhere.
If you’ve already received a kit and want to replace the engraved PCBs I will supply a replacement at cost price including postage – or you could keep the original boards knowing that only 22 of them will ever exist.
if you’ve paid for a kit and are still waiting I’ll be contacting you directly shortly.
I know this should have been decided much sooner but until now I couldn’t be certain a batch of 40-50 boards would sell, a lack of confidence on my part. The piece PCBs will still be engraved as I have a large number of them already made.
Another question for those already building – are the ready assembled parts useful or not?. Again if they’re not needed it will save some time and I’d like to get all the kits out before the middle of December.
Edit to add – they’ll have black solder resist, same as this board but without tracks on the top as they’re not double sided and probably not with component markings – unless there’s enough requests for them.
As mentioned earlier I’ve had a couple of dropouts from this batch and combined with the convenience of working in decimal multiples I’ve decided to just switch to 2 batches of 10, followed by whatever is needed to mop up any stragglers ;). This should help speed things up a bit for those later on the list. I’ll send out invoices to the first few in the second batch shortly.
I don’t expect this to delay things for those who have already paid as it’s already been more convenient to prepare things in batches of 10.
I’ve also been considering casting the piece bases from epoxy resin as an alternative to routing them from a block of laminate, the finished result should appear virtually identical once assembled and using epoxy instead of a later synthetic keeps it authentic to the current style. Anyone have any opinions, ideas or objections to me doing this?.