DATA Shipping, Available In-Stores, & New DATA Firmware Download

Whew! We made it, just got to Berlin for the SuperBooth! We’ve been working non-stop for weeks trying to get ready for the show while concurrently producing and shipping hundreds of DATAs, it’s been total madness and we’re very grateful for all our friends who pitched in to make it happen!

On April 8th we started shipping the DATA 2nd run and now all of our pre-orders have gone out, as well as the majority of retail stock. The DATA is now, or soon to be, in-stock at the following stores:

NORTH AMERICA

EUROPE

And at last, we're happy to announce the NEW DATA FIRMWARE is now available for download!

Download the firmware file below and follow the update instructions in the DATA’s User Guide:
DATA FIRMWARE V01.01.00

The firmware adds the new XY scope and “minimal display mode” to the Oscilloscope Program, adds the Triple Wave Folding mode to the dual Waveform Output Program, as well as adds improved encoder knob handling and many little system wide fixes and optimizations. 

We probably won’t be updating the manual until we get back from SuperBooth, so in the meantime if you want to try out the new firmware’s features, here’s a few things to know:

  • To access the XY scope and "Minimal Mode" options in the Oscilloscope program, just hold down the Menu Button for 2 seconds (top right most button) and you will see the top menu items change. To get back to the normal top options (CUR-TRIG-TIME), hold the Menu Button again. 
  • The new wave folding feature of the Wave Out program can be accessed via the “Modes” pop menu at the top right of the screen; select mode “FOLD” or “CLIP”. 
  • Also, for reference you can see these features in use in the video from the NAMM trade show a couple months back.

 

     

     

    Production Update

    It’s happening! The DATA PCBs arrived at WMD’s facility last week and they made a test run of populating the SMT parts on the boards. They sent us the test units last Saturday and we did the final assembly and inspection over the weekend (big ups to William, Mickey, and the WMD team for their on-point service, as always).

    Everything checked out and we green-lit the run on Monday. WMD is running the boards on their pick-and-place machine currently and we’re expecting to get our first shipment of populated DATA boards the end of this week or early next week; hope to start shipping out DATAs end of next week!

    Thanks for being patient everyone, the wait is almost over!

    Production Update

    DATA 2nd run production is currently about 2 weeks behind schedule. We had a few things come up: 

    First, the face plates were cut with an error in interior hole dimensions, so that the buttons, jacks, etc. didn’t fit through them. Luckily this was caught before powder coating and silk screening the lot of them, and our laser folks acknowledged their error and fixed the issue without additional costs to the run. The face plates have now been re-cut and powder coated, we should be getting them back from the silk screen shop later this week. 

    Second, our circuit board fab in China got backup up during Chinese New Year (really need to start marking this one on the calendar). I just heard from the board house today and they said our order is now 2-3 days from being completed. We ordered boards back in January and they usually take 7-10 days to produce, so this has been a fair amount longer than expected. We’ve got all our parts at WMD’s facility in Colorado, so they’re ready to go with populating the SMD as soon as the PCBs arrive.

    The final assembly on our end for this run is much quicker than the last, since the last board rev required adding a few SMD parts by hand and now those are machine populated. With the PCBs being shipped in the next few days, we should be able to get DATAs out within the next few weeks. As soon as the pre-order units are out we’ll start on filling the retail orders for this run, which we’re still aiming to get out by the end of March. 

    Thanks for being patient, we’ll keep you posted on developments! 
     

    NAMM 2017 Update: New DATA Features in Development

    NAMM 2017 is over! It was a blast, but it's good to now be back in the lab and continuing forward with the DATA's next round of production, the new DATA firmware, and our next products.

    At the show we announced a handful of new features for the DATA, to be included with the forthcoming firmware update. Some of the new features are:

    • XY Scope for viewing Lissajous curves, our most requested feature to add!
    • Improved Scope Drawing. We optimized some of the display functions in the scope allowing for even faster and smoother screen updates.
    • Minimal Display Mode for the Scope, turns off the grid and on-screen controls.
    • Wave Folding Mode for the dual Oscillator program. In addition to the Clip waveshaping, there's now an option for Triple Wave Folding the waveforms.
    • We're also working on the encoder handling routines to make the encoder input smoother. 

    Here's a video from the NAMM show with our friends at Analogue Zone  demonstrating some of the new features:

    We're testing everything in the DATA system thoroughly with these new features; so far so good! Once we're satisfied there are no bugs and everything is working well, we'll post the new firmware on the site for download. I estimate it'll be ready in the next few weeks, though you know how it goes with estimating : )

    The DATA User Guide is here!

    The wait is over - the first version of the DATA User Guide is now available for your viewing pleasure! 

    DOWNLOAD THE DATA USER GUIDE Version 161229

    We're working on some video tutorials next, so stay tuned for those! And we're also hard at work on new stuff for the DATA's firmware, which includes making the encoder knob a little less sensitive, as well as adding the much-requested XY scope program.

    Couple of other updates:

    We'll be at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, on January 19–22, 2017. We're in the big WMD synth block again, Booth 5000 Hall B, stop by and say hello!  

    The DATA 2nd Run Pre-Order is now closed - thank so much to everyone who ordered!!! Production is in full swing now, still shooting for shipping 2nd Run orders February 2017, which is next month - oh my, busy times here at Mordax HQ! 

    And if you didn't get in on this Pre-Order, not to worry, as we've got stock going out to our retail partners (around the world), just as soon as all the 2nd Run Pre-Order units are all out. Our target for retail deliveries is March 2017. Some shops are already taking their own DATA Pre-Orders, so be sure to check in with your preferred modular dealer and grab one!

    DATA 2nd RUN OPEN NOW & Support Information

         

    DATA 2nd RUN - Now Taking Orders

    Now that the DATA’s 1st run is shipping (thank you so much for waiting 1st run friends!) and the feedback has been good, we are now ready to open ordering for the 2nd run of the DATA.

    We’ll be starting the 2nd run process immediately, as there’s significant lead times for various elements of production. Our target for shipping the 2nd run units is February 2017. While our 1st run took about 6 months longer than expected, the 2nd run will be much a smoother process. We're going into the 2nd run knowing what to expect, we now have our design perfected, our supply chain worked out, and our production methods proven.

    Also, a note to retailers: As planned, the 2nd run will include some retail orders. We will be sending out our wholesale ordering information to our list of interested retailers in the next few weeks. So if you’re a shop owner, hang tight for a little bit longer, we’ll be in touch shortly. 

     

    DATA User Support Information

    We’re almost done with the initial draft of the DATA’s User Guide, should have it out next week. We started out writing a “Quick Start Guide” and soon realized that is a ridiculous idea for a module as deep as the DATA; it has now morphed into a full manual. Once the User Guide is up on the site, we’ll be starting on a series of video tutorials, to be posted on our YouTube channel. 

    In the meantime, our initial launch DATA introduction video on our YouTube channel is still fairly relevant, as many of the functions (e.g., the Oscilloscope) still operate in the manner covered in the video. And of course, if any DATA users ever have questions, feel free to ask us directly for assistance at: contact@mordax.net

     

     

    Production Update

    It’s looking like we’re just a couple weeks from shipping now! The above video is a quick look at our first run of DATA modules being produced at WMD's facility in Denver, Colorado.

    Yes, WMD manufacturing, in the state of Colorado. We had a slight setback in June when we surprisingly had to switch manufacturers, but now production is in full swing. Last week William at WMD overnighted us a test run of populated DATA circuit boards for approval. We completed assembly on those units and everything checked out great. We should have the full run of populated boards back here in the next week.  

    Also, we’ve been working on the CNC machine, fabricating the run’s worth of display windows and screen mounting brackets. Those wrapped up last week, so we’ll be able to hit the ground running once the SMT populated boards arrive. We’ll be doing the final assembly, QA, and boxing here at Mordax HQ and then we can ship these DATAs out!

    Lastly, we’ve been getting a lot of inquires regarding the next production run of DATAs. Very soon after we’re shipping the first run we will be opening up orders for the second run. When orders open for the second run we will be sending out notification to the Mordax email list members. Sign up for the email newsletter if you haven’t already and you’ll be the first to know when we’re taking orders for the next batch of DATAs.

    Production Update

    Exciting times, everything is coming together nicely; it seems we’re on the home stretch now!

    Last month we received the re-powder coated and silk screened faceplates from American Metal Specialties which did not pass our initial QA (~35% of the order) and now have all the front panels for the run. While the high error rate from the first go was frustrating, we were very impressed with AMS’s commitment to quality and their willingness not only to rectify the errors, but also offer to collaboratively develop a plan for their printers to ensure the next run goes smoothly.

    The DATA's production test build

    The DATA's production test build

    In mid-May we received the final revisions of the DATA’s circuit boards and now we are just about through with testing them; everything fits together beautifully and is working as designed! We were waiting for these boards rather anxiously, as there were a number of design changes. Most critical was the display’s 50 pin connector; mechanical tolerances were tight, but as you can see from the image, everything fits together perfectly, with a new edge profile cut that allows the display’s flexible “tail” to wrap around the front control board and meet with its connector on the rear board. We just finished up testing the SD Card sub-system last week and have just a few more tests to complete with the I/O scaling. At this point we’re fairly certain no further PCB revisions will be required before ordering the production’s panelized boards, which we hope to do by the end of next week.

    New display mounting with PCB edge cut

    New display mounting with PCB edge cut

    We met with Josh and Lars at Darkplace Manufacturing the last week. The meeting was good and it seems there will be no trouble getting the DATA's SMD population completed quickly at their facility. The entire run is estimated to take only a few days to populate with Darkplace’s awesome pick n’ place machine, though it will take a few weeks to get the stencils and PCBs in prior to starting population. We can’t wait to see that machine in action; we’ll try to capture some video to share with you!

    One little chip = 4 channels of 16-bit hi-res control voltage goodness

    One little chip = 4 channels of 16-bit hi-res control voltage goodness

    Lastly, in the previous production update we had mentioned that we did “a bit of feature creeping” on the DATA back in January, which lead to re-visiting the circuitry design, and ultimately to our “extended” production period. We upgraded the power system, added an internal signal routing matrix for run-time calibration, added additional signal scaling, and made a host of other tweaks. But the biggest addition we made was giving the DATA a new digital-to-analog converter (DAC); we replaced the DATA’s original 2 channel 12-bit DAC with a high-end 4 channel 16-bit DAC. So now the DATA is capable of outputting 4 streams of precision CV, or 4 trigger/gate signals, from any of it’s output jacks. We haven’t worked these extras into the current function's code just yet, but as you can imagine, we have plans for all this CV power!

    Our reasoning behind these additions was to deliver a better product, with more capability and a longer life cycle (e.i., we don’t plan to make a DATA mk2 anytime soon). We hope you’ll agree it’s worth the extra effort and time.

    Production Update

    Production of the of DATA is coming along, albeit slowly. A friend who is a veteran embedded systems designer once told us that everything in the world of electronics takes about 5 times longer than expected; I would now have to agree.

    DATA_panels2.jpg

    We received the faceplates from our manufacturing partner a few weeks ago. We QA’d each faceplate at the factory and ended up pulling about 35% of them, mostly due to issues with the application of the black graphics (smudging in the DATA lettering at the top and bubbles in the black around the display window). The pulled plates are now being sanded down, re-powder coated and silk screened; we were told they will be ready for pickup next Tuesday. Despite the high rate of error in the order, the faceplates that did pass QA are excellent, improving upon the original test plates. Specifically, the new plates use a more contrasting grey color in the rings around the buffered through outputs, and the alignment of the Mordax logo green and black graphics at the bottom is much improved.

    The main hold up though, is PCBs. We couldn’t help ourselves and did a bit of feature creeping back in January, which after the Chinese New Year PCB factory issue in February (noted in our last update), cascaded into a significant delay. After that we ended up needing to do another revision, which we’re hopeful will be the last. We’ll have these boards back soon, then we can test them, and if they are good, move forward with assembly.

    We’re a month and a half passed our initial target date now, and while such delays are a fairly common scenario in the tech world (I’m looking at you Elon Musk!), it’s frustrating for everyone involved, especially our supporters. We want to get these out as soon as possible, but even more pressing is our commitment to deliver the best product possible and get it done right. We really appreciate everyone’s patience during our “extended” production period. Thank you!

    Production Update

    February is almost over! Production of the DATA is progressing, though unfortunately, as is often the case the first time around, it is taking longer than we’d planned…  

    Our new target for shipping is by the end of March. When we ship we'll be sending out individual email notifications to those who pre-ordered; shipping will occur sequentially in the order the pre-order reservation was received. Order numbering started at #0100, so if you are order number #0166, your DATA will be the 66th unit produced and sent out.

    If your shipping address has changed since you placed your pre-order, please send us a message and let us know. Some folks have already contacted us about this; there’s no need to message again if you already have notified us of your new address or other shipping needs and have made note in our log.

    DATA Production - Current Status:

    • We spoke with our faceplate manufacturer yesterday and got an update; all of the faceplates have been laser cut now and the powder coat and silkscreen graphics are pending. The estimated time for completion of these is the first or second week of March.
    • Originally we had planned to mount the display brackets (and boards/standoffs) to the faceplates with rivets, but after doing some more manufacturing research we discovered structural adhesives, which are often used in auto manufacturing in the place of welding for metal/metal and plastic/metal bonds. After acquiring all the application equipment, we CNC'd new brackets and conducted the mount tests last month; it has an amazingly strong bond to the powder coated finish, which passed all of our initial testing, including our thermal extreme stress tests (freeze/oven). 3M claims it’s stronger than steel rivets; we’ll have to do some destructive tests soon to see just how far you can push this stuff.
    • Production PCBs are almost ready! One thing that set us back in our timeline was Chinese New Year, for which our board house (based in Shenzhen) was closed for the majority of February; a good lesson for us, now we know to keep informed on the holidays overseas! Luckily, our manufacturing partner in Portland that is handling the SMD population quoted us 2 days for populating the entire run of boards (their machine can place upwards of 30,000 parts per hour, such a crazy device!). Through-hole population and test/inspection is estimated to take a week or two after that.
    • Most of our specialized parts (display screens, MCUs, etc.) have come in, still waiting on a couple more.

    Thank you for your support with the pre-order and for your patience as we work our way through the first round of production; we promise it will be worth the wait  ; )

     

     

    DATAx2_in_rack_500-3.jpg
    DATA Brains! (ARM MCUs)

    DATA Brains! (ARM MCUs)

    Display mounting bracket test

    Display mounting bracket test

    DATA Pre-Order SOLD OUT!

    The DATA Pre-Order for the first production run has SOLD OUT! Thank you so much to everyone who ordered! 

    If you missed out on the Pre-Order, we'll be doing a second production run later in 2016; to be notified of the next run, please sign up for the Mordax mailing list.

    We’re still aiming to be shipping by the end of February. We’ve been working like crazy every day (and night) here at Mordax HQ, testing, coding, ordering parts, and doing final PCBs revisions. Stay tuned for more production updates!

    New website & the DATA Pre-Order is now open!

    We have been working on this for a good long while now and are happy to finally get to share it wiith you.

    The Data is a multi-function eurorack module. It features a 4 channel oscilloscope modeled after our bench scope, two spectral display programs, and a tuner. Beyond its measurement and display capabilities the DATA is also a source of signals, with its dual waveform generator (digital oscillators), clock source/div/mult program, and our latest program the voltage monitor, which in addition to monitoring signals, can also send out gate messages and continuous cv values.

    Check out the product page and demo video for more info.