Time Since Launch

Created by cw&t

Start a new epoch with a single use forever launch clock. Make time your own.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

22:34
24 days ago – Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 07:50:49 PM

Lots has happened in the last 24 hours for Time Since Launch.

Yesterday we received 1,000 borosilicate glass tubes + samples of assembled boards from our board house in Massachusetts. The glass tubes are great. The PCB assemblies are problematic, read on...

Warped PCB assemblies

We now have 4, fully assembled sample PCBs on hand. The boards and components look great, but the entire assembly is warping after going through the reflow oven.

Warped PCB assembly
Warped PCB assembly

We suspect the board is warping because the battery clips are expanding in the oven. They get soldered in its expanded state, then when it cools off, the battery clips shrink, causing the deformation.  

This is important because the stress in the board could potentially compromise solder joints over time.

This is a disappointing hiccup for us. We are in conversation with Worthington to figure out the problem and arrive at a solution.

We programmed all 4 boards anyways, and assembled them. It works even with the bend (and straightening into the glass tube assembly).  

Assembling the 3 test boards, first full prototypes!
Assembling the 3 test boards, first full prototypes!

So far we've received:

  • 2,000 LCD panels 
  • 1,000 sets of turned aluminum end caps 
  • 1,000 stainless steel launch pins 
  • 1,000 glass tubes
  • 1,000 packaging stickers
  • 1,000 cases
  • 1,000 split rings
  • 1,000 custom aluminum ID tags

Still waiting on:

  • 1,000 packaging inserts (quoting)
  • PCB fabrication (currently troubleshooting warped boards)

We're getting really really close!

A couple more pics are below. We hope you have a wonderful holiday week (if it's a holiday week for you).

Much love,

Che-Wei + Taylor

Warped PCB assembly
Warped PCB assembly
Glass tubes
Glass tubes
Packaging
Packaging

21:34
about 2 months ago – Sun, Oct 21, 2018 at 12:10:10 AM

Happy October!

Things are starting to come together!

We are living with 1,000 units of packaging. It's cozy, but we love it. We received 50 glass tubes, 12 were broken :( but those will be replaced and the remainder is in transit.

The final piece is the PCB. We are slightly delayed (~2 weeks) on that front. We received the prototype today. We are currently checking it over, and hopefully going to approve it by early next week. If all goes according to schedule, the PCBs will be printed and received (~11/23) and then assembled in Massachusetts. From that point on, we'll begin to receive partial shipments, with a delivery date of all 1,000 by 12/15.

If all goes according to plan, Time Since Launch will start shipping in early December.

So far we've received:

  • 2,000 LCD panels 
  • 1,000 sets of turned aluminum end caps 
  • 1,000 stainless steel pins 
  • 38 glass tubes

Left to go:

  • PCB fabrication + assembly
  • finalize + order packaging inserts/sticker etc.
  • Assemble in house + ship

Boxes...

 more boxes...

 and more boxes...

A box.

Time Since Launch packaging. It has a test marking on the top, the final design coming soon ;)
Time Since Launch packaging. It has a test marking on the top, the final design coming soon ;)

Sending love.

Hope you are staying cozy + warm.

Che-Wei + Taylor

10:50
3 months ago – Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 08:57:57 PM

Update time!

Hope all of you are well. It's the 20th, so time for an update.

Parts have started piling up in our studio and we're closing in on the home stretch!

So far we've received:

  • 2,000 LCD panels
  • 1,000 sets of turned aluminum end caps
  • 1,000 stainless steel pins

Currently in transit:

  • 1,000 plastic cases ...snazzy packaging..(has arrived at the port so we're awaiting curbside delivery)

Still to go:

  • Glass tubes are almost ready to ship. We had a hiccup with a first manufacturer, they ended up not being able to make the required chamfers as specified, so we switched manufacturers.
  • PCBs are in production! We're working with a board assembly house in Massachusetts. Very excited about this!
  • Final stickers/paper insert for the packaging.

If all goes well, we should be assembling and shipping by the 1st week of November! We'll keep our fingers crossed. 

Below are some photos of stuff!

Love + hugs,

Che-Wei + Taylor

20:47
4 months ago – Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 08:52:18 PM

Hope all of your summers have been going well. It's the twentieth, so time for an update!

Things are coming along nicely...

Prototype TSL launched 28 days ago at midnight to test accuracy of real time chip reads 20:47 ... 8:47pm. Looking good.
Prototype TSL launched 28 days ago at midnight to test accuracy of real time chip reads 20:47 ... 8:47pm. Looking good.

The prototype TSL we launched 28 days ago to confirm the accuracy of the new Epson crystal. It's only been 28 days, but so far so good.

The hardware

Top of production samples of turned aluminum end-caps.
Top of production samples of turned aluminum end-caps.

We're steadily gathering all the individual parts to start assembly. The production versions of the turned metal endcaps have shipped and arrive in a few days.

The glass is in the works. We are going back and forth a bit with the manufacturer to ensure they put the correct chamfer on these parts. In the most recent sample they left out the chamfer (which makes the glass prone to nicks), but luckily we caught it before they started production.

The electronics

Josh is making one final prototype board to double check everything before we place our first production PCB order. 

One challenge we've been grappling with is mounting the through-hole LCD displays onto the PCB. Most board houses will surface mount parts, but it's an extra task to mount through-hole components. The spacing around the LCD pins is so tight, it seems like our only reasonable solution is to solder them by hand. We want to make sure this is done perfectly, so our plan right now is to build a jig to hold everything in place and solder all 34 LCD pins on each board ourselves. The production LCDs are on their way to us, so more to come on this soon.

We are still getting quotes and deciding on the right PCB assembly house to work with.  We're aiming to have that resolved within the next couple weeks.

The packaging

Time Since Launch packaging sample in white.
Time Since Launch packaging sample in white.

A thousand units of our final packaging are on their way to us! Once they get here, we'll get cozy with them as we try to find space to store them while we assemble your TSLs.  EEEK. It should at least make for some funny photos.

That's it for now.

Hugs + we'll update again on the 20th unless anything comes up in the meantime.

best

Che-Wei + Taylor

On 3 ...
5 months ago – Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 08:37:12 PM

We hope all your summer's have been going well!

Here's our first production update. These will come on the 20th of every month until your Time Since Launch is in your hands. We're trying to keep these as informative and as unspammy as possible ;)

Testing the electronics

A couple nights ago we met with Josh who has been diligently refining the hardware and software. He's going deep into the electronics and software to make Time Since Launch awesome under the hood.  We love the look and feel of Time Since Launch, but the engineered on the inside is even more beautiful. We'll go more into more detail in a future update as we approach the production version, but for now we'll outline some significant changes.

Above is a video of our penultimate board with all the critical features.

The flash

Right as we launched this campaign, we decided to add some "juice" to the moment you pull the pin by adding a couple super bright LEDs that will flash on launch. We tried a few placements and we settled on having them centered on the back.  We also played around with the flashing sequence (one big flash, blinking, alternating, etc).

Chip switch

After doing some research and testing, we decided to switch from using the (super popular) realtime chip, DS3231 to the Epson RX8900. The Epson part is more accurate  and works better with our backup power scheme for battery changes. The chip also has way better documentation.

~4.4uA draw

Right now in normal counting mode, we are pulling ~4.4uA of power. Our earlier prototypes we were drawing 6uA.  This is a pretty big improvement on an already incredibly low power device, and puts our projected battery capacity at ~75 yearsWHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! (caveat: the batteries we spec'd are rated to only leak 5% of their capacity over 20 years, so they should last much longer than 20 years, but nobody will know how long they will last until we put it to the test!)

Sample of custom foam insert on packaging (actual packaging will be white, not orange).
Sample of custom foam insert on packaging (actual packaging will be white, not orange).

Packaging

We've ordered the packaging! Above is the sample foam insert. TSL sits display facing up with the launch pin resting in the deep well. Our boxes will be white, not orange. More on that to come.

That's it for today!

Enjoy your next few weeks and we'll fill you in on more stuff in a month.

Love + sweaty hugs,

Che-Wei + Taylor