Saturn-60 Group Buy Status

7/19 Update
We ordered 5 final prototypes from our production supplier on 6/23, just to be 100% sure all issues were fixed. These 5 were supposed to be a rush order, but still took a pretty long time... On 7/20 they let us know they are ready and will ship them to us. Once they are finally here and approved, we can go ahead with the entire production run and ship all the GB orders. All the GB orders are packed up and ready to ship minus the Titan-60s. The light is at the end of the tunnel!!!  Current ETA for when the orders will ship is early September. 
Pictures of the final prototypes: (production color will be purple)
6/19 Update
Hello All,
I wanted to thank you again for your patience with this group buy.  Unfortunately we are still experiencing unprecedented delays with regards to getting the PCB finalized and produced.  The prototypes of the design which we believed would fix all the outstanding issues with LEDs were lost by DHL this past week.  A replacement order for those protos has already been placed.  In the meantime we are continuing to pack up orders sans PCB, in preparation for their eventual arrival.  If you are in North America and would like your kit ASAP without the PCB, and will pay to have it shipped separately later, email support@acekeyboard.co with your order number(s).

As far as updating the timing: The Proto PCBs should arrive from JLC around 10 days from now ~6/28-6/30.  I will test and confirm this revision fixes all previous design issues, and kickoff the production with our intended supplier.  They have quoted the leadtime as 5 weeks.

Again we are so sorry for all these delays. Thank you so much for bearing with us.  We are proud of the final product and can't wait to get it into your hands.
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Hello Everyone,
This update contains full transparency about the status of the Saturn-60 GB and we would like your feedback on how to proceed. Please read on for more details.
 
We have nearly all the parts except for the PCBs.  About 20% of orders have been packed [minus PCBs] so far and we will continue to pack despite not having the PCBs. 
The reason the PCBs are not finished is because the 5 production samples we received on 4/28 had two known issues:  
  1. The PCB-mount switch holes were a loose fit for all the switches I tested. 
  2. There are 8 spots on the PCB where the thru-hole LEDs were not operational. 
Regarding the 2nd point; this is due to some of the grounds being not tied together inside the PCB.  There is a workaround, but it's not ideal. The grounds on the non-working spots have to be connected to working grounds using wire.
We guess the vast majority of you would not even be using the per-key LED Backlight feature of this PCB. Hence why we want your feedback. 
 
In the previous update, we said there were a lot of parts to be reworked from the powdercoater - we got those and there was a huge improvement but still many rejects.  The number of flawed pieces was significantly less, and so while those rejects are sent back for their 4th time, we do still have enough to pack orders sans-PCB and pick up the reworked parts in a couple of weeks and continue to pack when they are complete.
 
Timeline of Activity since the last update:
  • Mar 16 - Paid a 50% deposit for full quantity of production PCBs to secure the price and stock of ATMEGA chips. 5x production samples ordered at this time as well.
  • Apr 22 - Received the 3rd round of reworks from Powdercoating.  Much-improved reject rate.
  • Apr 28 - Received the 5x production PCBs (factory was at/over capacity - this is literally the time it took to get my order from March 16).
  • Apr 29 - Dropped off metal parts back for 4th round of rework due to QC issues. Click here for some examples of flaws.
  • Apr 30 - (Today) Updating customers, asking for feedback on GB  ... if you read this far: here's a picture of the production-sample Titan60 (purple)
When will it really ship?
If the time to produce and receive all the PCBs is the same as it was for the samples, shipping of complete kits may begin ~4-6 weeks from now. 
We think that the PCB production should be a bit faster since they have the components acquired already and have already done the samples, but this is not a guarantee. 
 
Answers to some potential questions:
Q. Can I have a refund on my Titan60 so I can buy a different 60% since it is compatible? 
A. No, we strongly prefer not to do this because we have already placed a large deposit on the PCB production.
 
Q. How much would it cost to ship the PCB by itself later?
A. Roughly $10 within the USA 
 
Q. If I bought a kit with the PCB-delete option, can you ship it now?
A. Technically, yes we can do this.  It is slightly unfair to everyone who got the full kit but yes. 
 
Q. What about the loose switch holes and LED problems?
A. The loose holes will be fixed.  We are seeking your feedback (in this form) in order to decide what to do about the thru-hole LED problem. The side-glow RGB Kit still functions as-intended, as well as all other PCB features. 
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being so patient on this product launch, and thank you for continuing to be excited and supportive.  
All the best,
 Ace

3/29: QC Update #2
About 25% of all the powdercoated parts are currently back with the manufacturer.  For some of the case parts (generally mint gloss), this is their third time being redone due to defects.  +3 weeks from now ETA for them to be back with us.

PCBs are in production!  ETA 4 weeks.

Plan is to start shipping kits as soon as the beginning of May ... so we missed the original GB target of Q1-2021 but trying to stay on track as closely as possible.  As a first GB we just want everyone's experience to be as perfect.
 
Thank you all for your patience!

 

3/8/2021

As was mentioned in January, we have had a few unexpected delays in our supply chain and are trying to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Our standards for quality are high and it is important for us to meet, if not exceed, your standards.  While we wait for the parts to be correctly fixed and arrive, we are partially packing boxes of orders. Our hope is that once the parts arrive, we can quickly finish packing and get them out to all you eager keyboard enthusiasts. 
 
Please know that our number one priority is honesty and building trust with you all since you took a chance on us. In our last update, we mentioned that orders would likely go out a few weeks after the first quarter of 2021, so the estimated shipping date is between April 19-May 7.  

 

1/31: QC Update - Possible delay due to Top Case Powdercoat  

A couple of days ago we received the full shipment of Saturn cases and plates from our manufacturer.

The good news:

-The case parts are fitting better than ever. [Picture]
-The powdercoat colors themselves look great. [Pictures]
-The switchplate finishes are better than the protos. [Pictures]
-All parts except PCBs have been received - new Rev (1.3) is being tested now. [Pictures]


The bad news is that the Top Case halves were all finished incorrectly. They were hung up to be powdercoated using the corners of the cutout for the switches - a very visible area to have bare steel. [Picture]

Our QC standard was shared with the manufacturing company and they confirmed it was not followed, and will take responsibility for fixing the parts to ensure the product is correct.
 
Due to this unforeseen circumstance, we can no longer ensure that the Saturn-60 orders will be fulfilled within Q1, however, the timeline should only be later by a few weeks. Please be rest assured that as soon as all parts arrive, are inspected, and approved, orders will ship out as soon as possible. We will continue to remain completely transparent with you and ensure that the product you've been waiting for meets not only our standards, but yours too.

We are profoundly grateful for your patience. Please know this delay is due to the high standards we've asked our supply chain to follow.
The Saturn-60 is our very first product and we want to make sure that we put our best foot forward. Your experience is the most important thing to us, and we are diligently working to make sure your expectations are met.

12/23: Production still ongoing, still on track for Q1 fulfillment.


The bottom halves have all been bent, and are off to be powdercoated (except a few raw steel ones).

Badges are being produced and should be arriving soon; picture below is just a sample, but final badges will have data in all fields.


Titan60 PCB will need another revision --> 1.3.  There was an issue with the way the thru-hole LEDs were grounded.

11/25 Production underway.  Still on track for Q1 2021 fulfillment


PLATE/CASE:
Production initiated as of 11/11.  Here are some pictures of the last round of samples:  
Album Links:[https://imgur.com/a/dBzeWWk] [https://imgur.com/a/WmiWLmO]
The Sheetmetal manu is more than halfway done with the blanks - which are laser cut []
The remaining parts to laser are the stainless and aluminum switchplates.
PCB:
MechMerlin did the QMK and VIA port on stream [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZTG3hnHL74] some weeks ago, and unfortunately bugs were discovered both with the PCB and with VIA.  The PCB has been revised, and new protos (Rev1.2) are being manufactured currently. From what I understand, the issue with VIA is that the drop downs don't support more than 3 "groups" for Row 4.  So right now the arrow cluster layout is not selectable.   QMK does not have this problem.

10/25. After 10 days we have sold well over 400 units and will close the GB. 

We most likely will still manufacture close to 500 and sell as in-stock extras when the GB fulfills in Q1.
The vendors will tally up and I'll start placing orders for parts within the supply chain.  More updates later this coming week when production samples arrive of cases.

10/19/2020: 300/300 sold in the acekeyboard.co store.  THANK YOU everyone who joined!   

A waitlist may be established for those that were not able to get one and would like to be notified if extras are available. Discussing with Dailyclack and Candykeys about whether or not to keep the GB open for them for a month or to close orders in a week and fully start on production.