Mouse Production Updates

OCT 30, 2020
Photos of the PCBAs being made

Today we received photos of the PCBA's in production.

This is really good news!


They have been delaying production for a long time it's great to see it actually happening. Once started PCBA production is usually very quick.

OCT 20,2020
PCBAs should arrive soon

Hello,

Despite some issues regarding the PCBA supplier that required us to renegotiate our contract with them, we have some positive news.

The PCBA’s should be done on the 24th or 26th at which time, we will finally be able to move into the final assembly of the remaining units. Although the supplier has not proven to be the most accurate in the past, they are in possession of all the sensors and parts for the production of the PCBAs and we have worked out all known issues that were causing delays. We have an optimistic attitude at this point.

We understand that the delays have been difficult. But we also believe the unique quality of your mouse will be worth the wait and that you will really be happy with your product.

Thank you very much for your patience. We appreciate you all so very much.

Jonathan

JUL 28, 2020
Two batches shipped, but some difficulties with our PCBA supplier

We have sent out two batches to customers and we have had good responses.

We have been stalled because we are having more issues with our PCBA supplier.

The supplier was having difficulties assembling the PCBA and decided to make some changes to make the mice easier to assemble. These changes have made it easier to assemble but we are having issues with them finishing the project. We are working to sort out the issues and hope to have good news soon.

Our plan is to send out one more batch with Gold and Rhodium and then a final batch to fulfill all the orders.

We understand your frustration and I have been delaying an update waiting for good news. I still hope have good news soon.

Thank you,

Jonathan

JUN 4, 2020
We expect the second batch in about two weeks

We shipped all the first batch. We are expecting to ship the second batch in about two weeks. We have been shipping by backer order with two exceptions. We do not have the Gold and Rhodium ready yet and we will be shipping the international orders as a group at once. We have updated our site with a more complete manual. You can see it here: https://exovault.com/pages/mouse-support

Thank you for your support we are happy to in the fulfillment stage of this Kickstarter.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

MAY 6, 2020
Shipping first units next week

We are happy to be able to announce that our first units will start shipping next week.

They are beautiful.

Orders will ship in the order that they were received.

This is only the first batch we will continue to make them and ship them as they are ready.

Things continue to be slow, do to the virus and other factors, but we are moving forward.

Thanks

Jonathan

APR 16, 2020
The first 130 working units

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

MAR 17, 2020
We are slowing down do the Corona Virus

EXOvault is based in NYC and we will mostly be working at home until things here improve.

We hope things get better soon. We will be working on this project during the crisis but, things will be slow.

I drew this up today with the hope that NYC starts a mobile testing campaign:

If anyone needs CAD or design services related to the Virus, EXOvault is willing to donate its time.

Thanks

Jonathan 

FEB 27, 2020
PCBA production is resuming

We received word that the PCBA factory has begun to resume operations. This is good news! They did say that there are still a lot of people who have not been able to return to work due to travel restrictions. This means that it might still take a while for them to get us the finished PCBA's. We are holding tight and will get your mouse to you soon. Thank you all very much for your patience! We value your support!

Sincerely,

Jonathan

FEB 12, 2020
The PCBA factory set to open February 17th

In China, all the factories are required to make a virus protection plan before they are allowed to go back to work. The factory has to file and have approved specific measures to control the spread of this virus in situations where people work closely. They have been working on their plan this week. This is a difficult situation and it's important to all people that they control the spread as best they can.

This means a delay for us. I wish I could say how long the delay will be but I cannot. There will be a huge backlog when they return to work. We are a small project for them so we will not be in the front of the line.

I'm writing the factory daily. They are good people and I hope for the best for them.

Please have faith that I'm working as hard as I can to bring you your mouse.

It will be an object you will love forever but I'm afraid we will have to wait a bit longer.

Thank you,

Jonathan 

FEB 4, 2020
Delays due to Coronavirus

We at EXOvault hope that the virus is quickly controlled. We hope for a swift recovery to those infected.

The factory that is producing our PCBA is shut down until at least the 10th.

We will let you know as we hear news from our suppliers.

Jonathan

JAN 16, 2020
Making progress

Our PCBA supplier only made us 200 boards. We thought they made the entire production run but they decided without telling us that they wanted to make 200 first to be careful in case there are issues. This is frustrating but the logic is sound. A set back of 200 is recoverable a set back of 2000 less so. We plan to have 200 assembled next week.

We thank you for your patience we are almost there!

Jonathan

DEC 26, 2019
A few setbacks

We found the dongle was having interference issues. We decided we had to change to different chip and manufacturer. The new chip is made by nordic and works well. This took a week or two to figure out.

We had to reprint the quickstart guide due to an error.

The FCC certification was delayed due to the dongle issue.

Our production dials came in with the wrong color printing. We now have the correct dials.

We really appreciate your patience we hope to have it to you very soon.

Here are the mice are black and silver waiting before assembly. 

DEC 1, 2019
Video of Rhodium production sample

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

NOV 6, 2019
Photos of production

Here are some photos of production. I should have shared these with you earlier.

They are beautiful parts! We hope to be able to show you completed production units next week!

NOV 4, 2019
\Stamping Die

Here is an image of the stamping die we had to produce to make the new hands.

You can see where we stamp out the dial hands. Dies like this are pretty incredible.

NOV 4, 2019
Problem with dial hands

We had to remake the dial hands. The hands were not connecting to the shaft of the motor correctly.

We had to redesign them and remake them.

This meant making a new stamping die. It was a lot of work.

The new hands have been tested and work well. 

SEP 17, 2019
Production sample and packaging

Here is a short video of a production sample and our packaging!

It is really great!!

AUG 28, 2019
Production samples ship this Saturday

Things are moving forward. Our PCB supplier will be sending final production samples this Saturday.

They had a few setbacks soldering the scroll wheel sensor and the motors to the board. Solder temperatures were too high and damaging the sensor and the small wires in the motors. It's amazing how the dials and scroll wheel sensor have delayed our production. We did not see them as a issue when we started.

It looks like we will be able to ship before the end of September.

Thank you all so much for your support. We will send out a special thank you when we finish this.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

AUG 8, 2019
Our mouse has a functioning brain

The new PC board arrived yesterday.

I'm happy to announce that all major functions work great!

The scrolling issue has been resolved!

We will now start production of the boards.

I have been told that they should take about three weeks to make.

We will then assemble and ship!

JUL 24, 2019
Side dials in operation

We are still waiting for the final prototype. They said last week but they have not shipped yet.

They did send video of the dials working.


This video shows the battery dial reacting to change in voltage:

Here is a video of one of our prototypes:

We will let you know as soon as they ship the new board.

Thank you,

Jonathan

JUL 9, 2019
Images of the New PCB

We just received photos of the new printed circuit board. They look great. We are told that the final prototype should be ready by the end of the week! They have not been great with their time predictions so far but we are close.

JUL 2, 2019
Image of the new PCB

Here is a drawing of the new PCB. They say the one last week had a flaw. They have a new one that tests good they are putting the components on it now. Modern PC boards have very tight tolerances and are best assembled by machine. It is a careful slow process to put the components on by hand.

JUN 26, 2019
Video of the mouse working

Here is a short video showing what is working and what we are working on.

JUN 18, 2019
Scroll wheel change and change to USB C

We are still struggling to get the PCB perfect. We sent our sample to PixArt Imaging Inc. They are based in Taiwan. We were able to get a solution to our problem.

The problem was not the 8-bit vs 12-bit, but rather the sensors speed limitation in tracking curved surface. The sensor is made to tack both a curved and flat surface. It can track a flat surface at much higher speed than a curved surface. We were tracking the outside of the scroll wheel. By moving the sensor to the side of the wheel closer to center of the wheel, we increased the sensors ability to track and decreased the information it needed to track. The engineers are great at PixArt and I thank them for helping us diagnose the problem. We are no waiting for a new PCB board to test!

We are cautiously confident this will be our last prototype and we will go into final production soon.

We also changed the connector to USB-C!

Thanks so much for your patience.


Jonathan

JUN 4, 2019
We got a new sample but decided it should be better

We reviewed the latest PCB board sample. The performance of the scroll wheel was not up to our standard. the other functions are good. I spent the last week learning about the PIXART PAT9125EL. This is the chip that we are using to sense the scroll wheel movement. Its an engineering marvel. A tiny camera light source and computer. It is the future but it has been difficult to integrate as it is new technology.

I believe the issue is still a buffer overrun because the chip by default delivers 12-bit data and the USB HID default for wheel movement is a 8-bit path. I believe I have found the solution. There is a not very well documented 8-bit mode of the PAT9125EL. The engineers are now working to set the chip up in that mode.

Our other solution might be to set up an 12-bit data path for the wheel movement or mathematically convert the info form 12-bit to 8-bit. The 12-bit data path is not standard for scroll wheels so I'm reluctant to go that direction. 12-bit is 16 times more data than 8-bit so if we mathematically remove a lot data we need to make sure its data we don't need. Scroll wheels usually have about 40 ticks per revolution so 8-bit is fine. Our scroll wheel will have much higher resolution but 8-bit should be plenty of room if we set it up correctly.

The engineers should get back to me in the next few days with a solution.

Thanks again for supporting this project. 

MAY 23, 2019
Final prototype ships the 25th

Thank you so much for hanging with us.

Our electronics engineering team will ship us the final PCB prototype on Saturday the 25th. They say all is ready.

We will make sure everything is good. If everything is good we can assemble all the mice and ship in a few weeks!

Thanks

Jonathan

MAY 2, 2019
Getting very close

We have a fully working prototype. The dials and all functions work. We are having some issues with the scroll wheel. Most mice use a optical encoder to register scroll movement. We are using a camera that actually looks at the wheel to register movement. This is the same type of technology that modern mice use to track the main movement.

This will be better than existing scroll wheels as it offers better resolution.

Our original PCB used this sensor and it worked great. Our new development team is having some issues integrating the sensor into the mouse. The issue is the sensor outputs 12 bits of data but Bluetooth is a 8 bit channel. We need to translate the 12 bit data to 8 bit in such a way that your get the right information to the computer.

Essentially we need to get smooth slow wheel movement without overloading the channel when the wheel moves quickly. The 8 bit channel is smaller so we need to exclude some information but make sure we exclude the right information. This can be done and we are working with the sensor manufacture to make it happen.

The Engineering team will meet with the sensor manufacturer in the next few days to solve the issue.

We also found some small mechanical issues with the main buttons. We are making a few small changes to make the buttons work perfectly.

We will be getting the updated PCB in about 4 to 5 days. If all is well then we can have the PCB boards made and you will shortly be getting the most beautiful mouse ever produced!

Thanks

Jonathan

APR 18, 2019
Just received the working prototype

I'm so very excited!

After all this time it's great to have a fully functioning prototype.

I did find some things we need to improve.

The dial work and are really fun but they sometimes display incorrect information. Not bit deal we just need to adjust some programming.

The scroll wheel feels great but also needs a bit of software tweaking.

The mouse connects both with 2.4G and Bluetooth. Both work great but I have always preferred 2.4G.

Here is video of the mouse in operation!!

Thank you all for hanging in with us!

APR 15, 2019
The last prototype will be shipped to me tomorrow

I just got an email from the PCB manufacturer. They say they have a fully functioning prototype they are sending to me tomorrow. If I approve it they say then can start final production of the PCB boards. The Mechanical parts are ready. They said they should be able to make the the PCB board in a about two weeks.

That means we are close!!!

Thanks

Jonathan

APR 4, 2019
We are told that the PCB will arrive next week

We were hoping to get the final PCB board prototype last week. They had a few more details to work out and I was just told I can expect it next week.

The mechanical displays have turned out to be very difficult to make in production. Specifically finding the zero point for the display indicators. It has given to me a lot of respect for watchmakers. We have had many working prototypes so far but to get everything ready for production is difficult.

We recently had to change motors as the supplier we chose had a 6 month wait for the motor we selected. We found another motor but then had to design a new mount for it as it was made to mount differently. Things like this have led to a few redesigns and changes. It's one thing to make and object but to make thousands that all work perfect within a budget is difficult.

We are very excited to get the new PCB next week. I hope to be showing some great video!

Jonathan

MAR 25, 2019
Final Prototype Functional

The new mouse PCB is functioning and integration with the pix art sensors is complete. Wireless communication is successful.

Once all functions are fully tested by the end of the week, we will start final production.

The machining is done.

We estimate 1-2 weeks to produce the PCB boards themselves and to complete the mouse.

We are still looking at a late April Ship date!

The EXOvault Team

MAR 15, 2019
New PCB design to start testing

Our new engineering team has finished the new design of the mouse PCB.

They have the new boards and will now assemble them to do testing.

They say it will take between 10-14 days to complete production after the testing is finished.

MAR 5, 2019
We want to apologize and explain the delay in shipping the mouse

We hired an electrical engineer to design the PCB board last March. He assured us that it would be ready for production in November. The board design was not ready in November. He continued to tell us the design would be ready in a week or two. He did not finish the design until January. The prototypes came back in January and we realized his design was very hard to produce and he did not know how to program the board. We hired outside programmers. We had all the parts working separately but not as an integrated whole. The last thing to be figured out was that finding the zero point for the display motors. He told us for three weeks he would have that finished at the end of the day. At the end those three weeks, we had to pull the plug and go with a larger engineering firm that has designed mice before. That was about three weeks ago. I had to take out a loan in order to pay for this new firm. I was reluctant to let you know of the specifics of our difficulties as I was hoping they would be overcome as I was being told that we were only days away from a final design.

I take responsibility for my choice of trusting the engineer. We will bring this product to market. As an apology to all of you for waiting, we will give all of you a 30% discount code for other EXOvault products with your mouse.

Please accept my sincerest apologies.

The new Design firm plans to have the board ready for production in a few weeks.

Jonathan

FEB 7, 2019
Video of dial working

We have made the mechanical parts and our amazing chassis is waiting for a brain. The PCB board required some revisions to allow for ease of production and small design improvements. The original timeline had us finishing the PCB design in November and we regret to be behind. The good news is we have a met all the design objectives and have a programmed, working design ready for production. The PCB board will be produced in China and the whole country is currently on holiday for Chinese New Year. They will return to work in a week and we hope to have the PCB boards being produced right after that.

I pushed the limits of EXOvault past work with this project. Though I have years of experience with design and mechanical engineering, my experience with state of the art embedded connected software is more limited. Therefore, I brought in a gifted engineer to do the PCB board. He cares deeply about the quality of the product. No bit of code or PCB design leaves his desk before it is perfect. This is the heart of the delay he cares more about the end result than the deadline. The upside of this is your mouse will be truly a state of the art piece of technology. Believe me when I say I share your frustration with the time it has taken us to bring this mouse to you. Please understand that it will be worth it. This mouse will be exceptional.

We hope to be shipping in a few weeks. Included is a short video of the mechanical dial in operation.

Thanks

Jonathan

DEC 19, 2018
To those that have not filled out the survey, we need your shipping info

Please fill out the survey we sent you from info@exovault.com. If you have any problems you can write to info@exovault.com and we will help you out. You can also send your address to info@exovault.com with a confirmation of the reward you want. It's more accurate if you enter your address in our system especially if you do not live in the United States.

Thanks

Jonathan

DEC 12, 2018
Survey glitch

We found a problem with the surveys. Some people were seeing extra items unrelated to their pledge tier. We have fixed it. If you had problems please retry. If you finished your survey everything should be fine. We will be double checking all pledges and rewards. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks,

Jonathan

DEC 7, 2018
Our PCB board is ready for production. A month delay

The electronics behind this mouse are no joke. Traces, holes, masks, daughter board and 84 components each one placed with precision to let the electrons flow just so. This PCB is a bit more complicated than one might envision for a simple device. In our modern age, nothing is simple but this mouse will be awesome.

All the extra work has put us about a month behind. We now plan to ship in the beginning of January.

The production of the mechanical parts is going excellent. Below are production photos.

NOV 19, 2018
PCB boards are amazing and complicated

We have been busy getting our PCB perfect. The current evolution of electrical engineering is an amazing thing to be a part of. The IC we are using will draw less current than the natural discharge rate of the battery in its sleep mode. It will be able to go into sleep mode as you read this sentence. To make all these things come together in a product is a lot of work. We have started production of the mechanical parts but the PCB has been holding us back a bit. We hope to have it ready this week. The good part is the boards can be made very quickly once the design is ready. We have also had a few delays with the survey. It will go out in stages and we know most of what we need to know already. We will start sending out surveys this week. We have been focused on making sure the PCB is right. Thank you so much for your support we are still hoping to ship in December we will keep you up to date.

NOV 5, 2018
Busy with Production

We have ordered thousands of little parts. We have metal and wood getting ready for machining. We are programming the IC and laying out the final board. We have been busy. We will try for a weekly or bi-weekly update with more specifics and photos. We are really excited to make our first production samples in the next week or two and show them to you. We will send out a survey this week.

Thanks

Jonathan

OCT 2, 2018
Parts are on Order

We have started to order the parts for the mouse!

It super exciting to see this come together so many amazing parts. we really appreciate your support!

SEP 28, 2018
Scroll wheel and middle click

I use the scroll wheel a lot in daily use. When designing this mouse I felt the scroll wheel could be better, a lot better than what most mice offer. Most mice incorporate middle click into the scroll wheel. I believe that does not work well as it's very hard not to scroll while clicking and necessitates a more complicated less solid design. By simplifying the design we were able to improve the core functionality of the scroll wheel. Our scroll wheel uses two ball bearings making is solid and smooth. We will also be tracking the outside surface of the scroll wheel with a camera improving the scroll wheels resolution. I believe in daily use you will love our scroll wheel. For middle click, I personally map that to a side button that I can click with my thumb.