QCX-mini manufacturing update

Hans Summers

Hi all

Quite a lot of people have been asking about QCX-mini. 

QCX-mini manufacturing has slipped a couple of weeks longer than my estimated "4 weeks". But all is going well now...

I had some trouble with component sourcing, mysteriously Digikey... made me very angry actually... Digikey trade compliance were asking questions about why I want to ship a reel of 2500pcs Si5351A to Hong Kong. Even though I'm not a new customer it's, it's not the first time either, I've made the same order to the same recipient many times before! "Who is the recipient",  "what are they for," blah blah. I explained they're for ham radio, and they're just going to be assembled on a PCB in Hong Kong then shipped to Turkey and US for distribution. Despite answering all questions within 1 hour, and 5 calls to digikey customer service, compliance asked similar questions 3 times, in all three cases never acknowledging my answers... though customer service said they'd received them so it wasn't a comms problem. I don't have any objection to questions. Fine. But the sheer inefficiency and lack of response was staggering. After 10 days of messing around and still no end in sight, I told them to cancel it, and bought the reel from Mouser instead , who shipped it promptly without issue. 

We also had to get a potentiometer custom manufactured and the yellow/green LCDs custom manufactured too. 

Latest problem is apparently my 5-in-1 top PCB design... normally PCBs are panelized and SMD'd in a set of 6 (or more) like that, then separated later. But the top PCB design is such that the amount of cut away material is too much to be able to break apart the boards without damage. So the factory had to come up with a different method for manufacturing it. I tried to understand what they are doing but I gave up, anyway in reliably assured all is well.

The 1000 enclosures are all finished, cut, CNC'ed, drilled, laser etch printed, packed. 

Current estimate is that the PCB assembly (SMD soldering) will be completed on 17-Nov-2020. It's the last step in the manufacturing process, everything else is done... then the boards will ship to me. 

So, still on track for 1,000 Christmas stocking goodies. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

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