· By Yerko SEPULVEDA
Welcome to the latest update on BackBeat G2!
At the moment we are cautiously optimistic that shipping will start in October. Why the delay? Unsurprisingly our two main battles are Covid and chip shortages:
Several of our suppliers in China had to shut down for several weeks due to covid outbreaks. This affected communications, design, and shipping.
One of our key team members was very sick for a couple of months. We're very thankful that he and his family have recovered and are doing well.
This is a historic time in the chip supply business, affecting the design and manufacturing process of circuit boards.
Between design and ordering, we've had several chips become unavailable. The scarcity of components requires research to find new components, which requires time to redesign.
New components also need to be tested and verified for usage. It then takes more time to redesign the electrical schematic, verify again the component availability, and make sample circuit boards for further testing.
We've taken the proactive step of securing key individual components ahead of time. It used to be when you designed a PCB, components were immediately available when ordering. That's not the case at the moment and it's just the reality of the world we're living in.
B. PCB design change
Given the effort required to redesign the PCB, we decided to add an extra feature. We'll be adding a pass-through jack like G1 has:
This will allow you to have 2 main options for connecting BackBeat to your bass:
1. use the BackBeat custom cable that will be provided standard with the unit.
2. use your own cables.
As components start arriving we'll have more details including videos on connection options.
As stated above, we needed to make PCB changes related to new components and revised layouts, so this feature add doesn't add any cost or time.
You can also see from the screenshot above that we have relocated the headphone, auxiliary, and USB charging jacks.
C. We're removing the RGB LED
In testing we found the RGB LEDs required too much current draw, which dramatically reduces the battery charge.
We could reduce the current draw to more manageable levels but then there's not enough light coverage from the RGB LED to make it a worthwhile feature.
So we plan on making the logo a very subtle white, and still use it as the on/off indicator. We're bouncing around the idea of providing backlit transparent color stickers of your choice to customize your BackBeat.
Also note, the LEDs in general will be very low power. They won't be distractingly bright, they'll just be there as a visual indicator.
We'll have more detail on the user interface in a future update.
D. Component ordering
We have the magnets, springs, voice coils, USB charging cables on order and are waiting on delivery.
Rising commodities prices and shipping delays have also impacted sourcing these components comprising the G2, but not nearly as much as the circuit board components.
E. Touch Pad progress.
Firmware that controls the touch pad is about 90% complete. There are several tweaks that we're making as testing progresses.
The photo below is the BackBeat in battery mode. The four out of five LEDs are indicating approximately 80% charge available.
F. 4-blade Spring testing
Following up from update #6, the 4-blade spring design has proved to be a success. We have some nice, even deflection without magnet/voice coil interference.
The rumble is NICE! We're getting it dialed in physically with the spring/magnet/enclosure design as well as adjusting EQ values in software.
That's it for now! We've had several challenges, but are excited to continue making progress on delivering the G2 BackBeat.
Keep looking out for these updates on our website, we'll also start emailing them out.
As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
From the Low End,