When are kits back in stock?
#21
I asked Egon if I could have a 2nd one for Darwin. He said no (for now), but that there were several for Northern Australia already on order. He didn't elaborate which areas. But it sounds as if we might have more join in the north for the coming wet season.
Stations: 915, 966
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#22
(2014-09-04, 12:13)David.Gamble Wrote: W.A. may be a special case - which part? It would be great to get a station up north.
Tom Price WA, in the Pilbara.
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#23
Fantastic, that will make a huge difference!
Stations: 919
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#24
Cool. I'll order as soon as the kits are ready.
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#25
When the kits are again available is it true that they are sent in priority first to those locations that the developers believe need coverage and from that point on down to locations that are already well covered? If so, then a good deal of patience may be needed for those in the United States...
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#26
Hi Folks,

I'm waiting for some month now for kits (Western Europe) and I'm very disappointed to here that there will be no more available for me this year. The infrastructure (servers etc.) will be strengthened with high prio, I read, no more capacity for production runs and other things.

Everybody knows, that the thing is very 'hot' at the moment, many people waiting for equipment to participate. Many of them, including myself, are disappointed about the information we read.

I suggest, that the key people of the project consider a change in strategy, whatever that may be.

I offered help for board order and production runs, there was no reply. Other could be skilled to set up more servers. Is it a funding issue?

Whatever, please take measures so more interested people can participate.

73
Detlef
DD4WV
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#27
Detlef, I am certain your frustration and concerns are felt by many. Perhaps this has come about due to the overwhelming, and unexpected, success of the Blitzortung project. In recent months it has become a 'hot' item, as you have noted. Thus, comes the dilemma of the team setting priorities so that all aspects of the Blitzortung project can move forward in a manner that will mitigate these frustrations.

As has been posted numerous times, the team has made the decision to slow-down the delivery of additional kits so they can concentrate on the server-side of the project while, at the same time, working on other improvements to the overall project. We have asked that everyone should sit back and be patient while all of this behind-the-scenes activity takes place. For those who are patiently waiting to place your orders, we know this is difficult to do.

In the long-run, all of this waiting will be well worth it as the new enhancements are revealed to us in the coming weeks and months.

Remember, this is supposed to be a "hobby" and needs to be accepted by all from that perspective. The developers of this "hobby" project do have other facets to their lives, including family and paying jobs. They are doing the best they can with whatever time they have to work on this project.
Don - W3DRM - Minden, Nevada - U.S.A. --- Blitzortung Station: 808 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-KRNO2
Davis Wireless VP2, WD 10.37S70, StartWatch, VirtualVP, VPLive, Win10 Pro
--- Logitech C920 Pro USB webcam w/Hubble fix
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Stations: 808
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#28
Hello:

I'm sorry, but WHAT IS GOING ON???

I just read that the Fall kits are now out of stock.

I having been trying to purchase kits for months. When I tried to order in June, I was told they may get some more stock in before the took break in July and would get back with me. In early July I was sent email that they would not have stock back in before they left for break, ok. They also said they would send me email to let me know when they had stock available again after the break.

It sounds like they had some more stock come in, but I was never notified like they promised.

I understand it is a small operation, but if you tell people you are going to notify them when you get things back in stock, you really need to do as you say.

And I here that I am not the only one frustrated by this.

I would really like to get one of these, and I wanted to get another kit as a gift for my brother. But looks like that isn't going to happen anytime soon, as kits always seem to be "out of stock".

It's to the point where I am almost ready to give up on this project, because of the lack of good solid communication with people.

Sorry for the venting, but I feel it needs to be added along with other peoples frustrations.

John
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#29
Hi John,

where are you located?

There were kits available by the end of August which were available for interested parties in low coveraged areas and they are sold out now.

In June there was a lot of reporting in the media which flooded the developers with requests. And Egon, who is the only who prepares the kits, was swamped with orders.

But I agree with you, the communication could be much better. I don't like the secretiveness, too. There should be a clearly statement when kits will be back in stock again.

cu Robo Smile
Stations: 92, 1563
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#30
Robo,

I am in the US. I can understand if I was passed over for people in areas that need better coverage, but that was never conveyed to me.

I was led to believe I would be contacted when the kit parts I was interested came back in stock, but that never happened.

I have checked here periodically since they went on summer break. This is the first I heard that kits were available, but are no longer now.

I can't always check every forum that I belong to every day. I have a life, and work, and other projects, just like everyone else.

I trusted that I would be communicated with when things were back in stock, and that didn't happen, so now I am loosing my trust in the developers and project.

It's unfortunate.
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#31
I'm testing some future improvements but is interrupted daily by friendly people who "just" want my private service.
I always answer, and also correspond as best I can in the forum.
It's cozy, but it's time from the development.
My part of the development is driven by opportunities in software development.
Software developers get even more emails and becomes more upset than I am.
They can choose to ignore or respond - if they answer it goes beyond development.
If no reply, they are ignorant.
The easy stuff is done between the answers - the tough gets postponed.
What would take weeks, taking instead months.
Whatever the intention was, given the balance all the time.
There are challenges in the development just to be done - it just can not be outsourced, as it also takes a long time to describe the challenges and changed along the way.
There is no recipe that tells how to make a fast growing network of advanced receivers.
Much to be tested before we can say that now everything is as it should be, and we have no need to make changes soon.
Developments from GREEN to RED due Tobis restless nights and subsequent testing of the Discovery module. - It opened a lot of options, and each option gave even more options. - At one point was drawn a line, and System RED was born.
It was only a short satisfaction using a development kit as engine in the Controller
Right now people are shouting at more of the same kind, but would it be better to have our own board?
Can it be made better and cheaper?
IF - should it be made with SMD components?
IF - should it be made in the Far East?
IF - should there be more channels or fewer channels?
IF - should it stand alone or be combined with the receiver?
IF - should amplifiers changed.
IF - should the filters change?
IF - will they be compatible with earlier system.
There are hundreds of other questions and thoughts
Some are exchanged, some matures.
Should we use the new ideas until we have resolved all previous challenges.?
To produce thousands of System RED, we must be 100% confident that we have made the final product. - We were not with GREEN and we are not with RED.

Status: I'm testing future circuits.
What Egon and Tobias are doing? - I do not know, but I suppose they work, rejects the family, and spend all their free time to improve our system.
The order of their work depends on how much they are disturbed.
You guys know it - late in the evening before going to sleep in, sit straight and make a solitaire - we do not, we sit and solve minor problems, and think about when we will have time solving the big challenges.

I can only speak for myself. I could not think of disturbing Egon and Tobias unnecessarily Smile

/richo
Stations: 584, 585, 2017
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#32
Quote: I have a life, and work, and other projects, just like everyone else.

Developers also I think
Stations: 1235
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#33
Hi,

currently it would be nonsense to sell more and more stations while the TOA system itself is not capable to handle it. It's not a matter of system power (we have enough), but a matter of the algorithms which have to be improved. This takes a lot of time and a lot of research. It's an ongoing process since the project has started years ago and it has got more important due to the fast growing since last year. Please also remember the we introduced the new RED system just a year ago. This year was the first possibility to test this new system under real heavy conditions. It's working well, but there's still a lot of potential in combination with the TOA algorithms.

Also note, that we never shipped so much stations like this year. Lot of them are still not assembled and from our experience several will not be assembled at all. During the last weeks we shipped mainly to regions with (almost) no coverage. It's almost sure that we won't send much more stations until end of the year or next year.

Regards
Tobias
Stations: 538, 672, 1534, 1555, 1696, 1712, 2034, 2219
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#34
Thank you for the feedback, Tobias.

I don't see a problem with buying in parts of the solution ready made (like the Discovery board for example) if that frees up time to work on development of the things that are perhaps more important (like amplifiers and algorithms, and the back-end systems without which we are just some boxes of flashing lights). Unless of course the Discovery is causing you some particular headaches, why re-invent that wheel?

I would not like to see the stations become only available pre-assembled. I can buy any amount of ready-made "toys" that just plug in; Building the station was part of the challenge Smile

Andrew
Stations: 1075, 1472
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#35
When and how will we know when kits are available?
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#36
(2014-09-11, 12:10)tpweather Wrote: When and how will we know when kits are available?
You have to wait Dodgy
Stations: 686, 805
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#37
This kind of communication scheme is intransparent, the conduct of the people in charge is arrogant: "keep them stupid, the idiots"

There are other projects, who can keep there clientele much more happy. Maybe you still can improve, hopefully.

Cheers
Detlef
DD4WV
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#38
(2014-09-11, 18:59)Detlef_A Wrote: This kind of communication scheme is intransparent, the conduct of the people in charge is arrogant: "keep them stupid, the idiots"

There are other projects, who can keep there clientele much more happy. Maybe you still can improve, hopefully.

Cheers
Detlef
DD4WV

I have no connection to the project management, so I am an outsider. Let's address what you are trying to say....

"Maybe you still can improve, hopefully"
They are. They are spending time on the Infrastructure, instead of putting together kits of parts containing a billion little pieces each, some of which are never built.

"This kind of communication scheme is intransparent, the conduct of the people in charge is arrogant: "keep them stupid, the idiots""
Did anyone other than you actually say that? That I think, is your interpretation.

"There are other projects, who can keep there clientele much more happy."
What's to be unhappy about? Everyone has access to the product - lightning locations. Having a receiving station doesn't actually help the station owner locate lightning. The station owner helps others by having it. Just as those others help the station owner.

There is nothing to keep you from building the station without getting a kit of parts. The schematic for the controller and amps is shown, and it can be built. The Discovery firmware and the firmware for the amp controllers can be downloaded.

Look at the pictures of what the kit contains. Making the kits of parts - and procuring, and getting all the parts into the kit - is alot of work.
Also - your profile doesn't say where you live - the current batch of kits were likely provided to areas that were lacking coverage. You may be in a well covered area, so you may be further down the list of priorities. In my case, the closest station from me was 400 miles in any direction. The network needed coverage where I am.

They are managing the network in the best way they can.
Stations: 1156
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#39
No, i'm not waiting for a kit as i have one.

But, as following the discussion about new kits i have to agree with the disappointed peeps in this thread.
The communication could have much much better, actually the communication-strategy seen last weeks/monts has been exactly the opposite vs what it should have been.

- There are a huge demand for new kits who's looks and looks for when they will be available, OK.
- First, in beginning of July, they are out for month-two. OK. But nowhere was any closer status about this.
- When the kits finally went available, was there, if i remember right, nowhere any statements about the limited amount and that they are available only for areas with bad coverage.
- And then few days later they went out for the rest of the year.
- As the creame of the cake was there some kind of "automatic answering-mashine-moderator" who put virtually same answer on all the questions.
With this strategy, and if had waited for a kit, i had been really disappointed too, and, looked for other solutions.

Its of course easy to say afterwards but
1. Why was the network expanded outside Europe if it is not ready for it?
2. Why not expand to just one area at time instead of whole world at once?

// Henkka
Stations: 1600
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#40
Folks, please remember that this project has literally exploded over the last four months, after existing for several years. The volunteer developers (all three of them!), within the last year and a half, produced a brand new, upgraded station type, as well.

There are going to be some hiccups as the project expands, and as the capabilities of the new hardware are worked in to the system. And yes, from what I've seen, that includes revamping the way project kits are sent. But these things cannot be done overnight--especially when project expansion is NOT just about sending more kits.

I know "please be patient" doesn't get you a kit any faster, but I do hope people can understand. This is a volunteer effort from top to bottom, the developers have actual day jobs as well, and the parameters have changed significantly in the last half year.

Of course, if you're itching to solder something, work on another project for now! No one says that's a bad thing. The Blitzortung project is not ending.

Anyone want to guesstimate how much data (bits/second) flow into the BO servers? If you think about it, it's not that hard to understand why a system that was adequate for fewer stations, expanding at a certain rate, is now in need of revamping and improvement.
Stations: 1013
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