Mark II Manufacturing and Production Update

Originally published at: Mark II Manufacturing and Production Update - Mycroft

FCC Testing

The big news this month is that the Mark II has officially passed FCC testing and is certified for sale in the USA!

The European certification known as CE requires another week of rigorous testing, but we don’t expect any issues. The remainder of the CE tests are scheduled for the week of August 8th.

Hardware

To achieve FCC certification, there were required modifications to the SJ201, our audio front end custom PCB. The principal changes were updating the circuit layout, and replacing a few components (resistors, capacitors). It also required some minor changes to the display mounting. All these changes were to reduce Electronic Magnetic Radiation (EMR). EMR is important as excess EMR could cause interference to other electronics devices; we would not want that!

We had to do some changes to the housing design due to the addition of a new part (ferrite bead) inside the Mark II. Some of the intricacies in the molding design also took more time than projected. This along with the changes required due to the EMR meant that we have gotten behind schedule on the plastics. To speed up production of the plastic housing and make up for some of the lost time, we have brought on another manufacturer – Protolabs – in addition to Zero Tolerance. This will enable us to have more of the components manufactured in parallel so we can get the first units out the door as soon as possible. We will also be using 3D plastic printing for some internal parts where the injected plastic would have taken too much time. The quality will be just as good, albeit more expensive. We will convert these to injected plastic molds as soon as we can.

Packaging design is underway. The main packaging is very close to done. Work on graphics and inserts is in process.

Picture of the main Mark II housing hot off the mold this week! This is one of the most complex plastic molded parts.

Final SJ201, our custom audio PCB.

We still are projecting we can start shipping in September. This is highly dependent on the plastics all coming together in a timely manner. We will keep you all posted!

Other good news, we received the speakers, more Raspberry PIs, XMOS, and TI Audio chips. These are all difficult to procure parts. We have enough for the first few production runs in our inventory, with more expected in a timely manner. The factory preparations for assembly and testing are proceeding well. Workstations are in process of being put together, assembly instructions are almost complete. Woo hoo!

Software

On the software side, we are focusing on 4 areas in the final sprint before shipping:

  1. Further polishing the base experience – includes finalizing the on-device services, improving the wake word response so that you no longer need to wait for a beep, and a new Mycroft Radio Skill for live streamed music.
  2. Backend polish – including improving the onboarding experience when you pair your first device, simplifying navigation, improving your membership management controls, and giving some of the UI a touch up.
  3. Hardware testing – as outlined in the last update, we’re continuing to build out the automated hardware testing and QA processes to ensure that every single device arrives in perfect working order.
  4. Software deployment – finalizing the software update and deployment channels allow you to select the level of updates you want to consume – getting the latest updates as soon as they’re available, through to sitting back on the most stable release possible.

 

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Any plans on releasing the files for the new housing design, so that those of us who received the devkit can 3d print it?