Straight from Gideon’s mouth.
The Ultimate-II+ hardware is stable and in full production. Every few months a new production batch is started, that matches with the demand. Currently, the boards are on stock. Plastic cases are on stock as well. I almost ran out of speakers for the plastic case, but they have been ordered and will arrive within a few weeks. Hopefully delivery will not experience much hick-up.
Available, but limited stock. New tape adapters have been ordered, but production won’t be finished until mid-August.
- The very first production boards have been shipped in April and May 2018. These are V1.1 boards, about 110 pieces.
- EMC tests have been carried out on these first production boards, and the Ultimate-64 has passed these tests with flying colors. Yey!
- The production of the first batch of V1.2 boards is finished, and all 420 boards from this production batch have been shipped in October 2018.
- The third production batch (Also V1.2 boards) has finished by the end of 2018, and most of the 540 boards from this production batch were shipped out in December 2018 and January 2019.
- The fourth production batch (300 pcs) has completed, and the vast majority has been shipped. However, there are some orders that have never been paid for. They will soon expire, so more U64 orders can be satisfied from the remaining stock.
- The first U64 Elite production batch (230 pcs) is still in the factory. Today I received pictures of the Elite boards after SMD. The firmware with Elite-enabled features has been delivered to the factory last night, so testing can start. I expect the first Elite boards to be shipped before the end of July. That is, if no unexpected technical issues show up. The 10 prototypes of the Elite boards were OK, so I don’t expect much trouble, but one never knows. In the end, the joystick swapper was added last minute prior to production. 😉 Please note that not all U64 Elite orders can be satisfied with the current production batch of 230 pcs. A quick estimate shows that I can satisfy orders up to 190917 with this production batch.
- Purchase of components for the next production batch has started some time ago. The first FPGAs have already been delivered.
Automated planning software for the U64 / U64-Elite orders is not finished yet. I have still have to check manually what I can ship when, and experience has shown that I don’t have much time for that, due to continued firmware development and processing of pending orders. 🙁
Speaker for Drive Sounds for U64
The speakers for the U64 for the drive sounds are on stock.
U64 User Port Extension
Unfortunately, the User Port extension for the U64 has a flaw in the 9VAC generator. It can be fixed by replacing the chip for another type. However, I have to do this manually, one by one, and it takes time (5-10 min per board). If not explicitly requested, User Port adapters without 9VAC will be delivered.
Sometimes updates and communication is a bit slow. I do my best to respond properly to questions and problems. In this, I think the response to customer problems should take priority over new sales and shipments. Then, there is the software development, which includes bug-solving. As an engineer, I have the tendency to give my soul to it, … which sometimes means that planning issues, or rather: planning questions remain unanswered for some time. My apologies for this. I know it can be frustrating when individual questions regarding orders and planning are not answered. However, in the bigger picture, I do try to keep pushing everything forward. I do keep an eye on the dates, and try to order on time, and supply the data and answers to questions from the different factories involved.