Manufacturing update, enclosures complete, and more …

Hello Everyone,

Good news:  the rocker switches shipped on May 16. Our PCB assembler received the complete parts kit for NTH production on May 22. This means that we should receive the assembled PCBs in the last week of June. We are ecstatic to advance to this stage of production.

In other project news:

– We have chosen the Creative Commons Attribution license for the NTH design source. This is a very permissive license that allows anyone to build an NTH or derivative design either for personal use or for profit.

– The final batch of acrylic panels has been completed by Griffen Hollow Studio. Alex at Griffen Hollow provided us with the special oak-panel NTH enclosure shown below. If anyone is looking for a unique enclosure to personalize their NTH, Alex provides an excellent service, and is well-versed with the design.

– After extensive consideration, we have decided to create a Google Group to serve as a discussion community for NTH users. It is not the sexiest option, but it provides a good mixture of universality and (we hope) low maintenance requirements.

– The silkscreens for the NTH t-shirts have been tested and are ready to go. We are using black American Apparel tees. We’ll be offering a choice of sizes XS-XL when the backer surveys are sent.

– Backer surveys will be issued sometime in the next two weeks. We need your prompt response to deliver your rewards.

Important note to backers residing outside the USA:  If your pledge did not include the extra shipping costs for your pledge level, we will not be able to ship your reward until we have received the addtional funds. Please take a moment to review your reward description. If you still need to send the additional funds, please PayPal them to us at nthsynth@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading.

Production Prototypes Complete. Rocker Switches Backordered.

Yesterday we received two “first article” production NTH PCBs from Screaming Circuits.  These are the first NTH PCBs not hand-assembled by us.  The boards look and work great.  This is an important step because it validates our BOM and proves the ability of the assembler to manufacture the board to our spec.

Acrylic panels for the production enclosures are being produced in batches.  Approximately 35% of the panels are complete.  Here is a video of the two first article NTHs in production enclosures alongside the two previous prototypes.  We’re having a bit of fun chaining together all 4 NTHs to create a synced “NTH ensemble”.

We have completed our order of electronic components for bulk production.  In our possession are six boxes full of ICs, switches, pots, sliders and other parts in an assortment of reels, tapes, trays and bags.

We have received all of the production components except for, unfortunately, the rocker switches used in the design (NKK G12KP-YA).  The orginal April ship date provided by the distributor has been pushed back to June 25th.  We have contacted the switch manufacturer about the situation.  Since there is no stock available within North America, we have no choice but to wait for a shipment from the factory in Japan.

If we are lucky, the switches will be shipped sooner than the estimated date.  (We’ll keep our fingers crossed.)  In the meantime, we are planning to do whatever we can to minimize the impact of the switch backorder.  We may have the contract assembly done without the rocker switches.  Then we can complete the boards ourselves, immediately after the switches are delivered.

We are about to place the bulk order for production PCBs.  But because everything is gated by the availability of the rocker switches, we may not be able to begin shipping NTHs until late June or early July.  We appreciate your understanding and patience.  We will do our best to answer your questions and will post new information as the situation develops.

Thanks for reading.  You can find us here at nthsynth.comFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr.

NTHSynth LLC, PCB and Enclosure Production

Hello Everyone,

Some progress of note since the last update:

  • Articles of organization were filed on March 20 and we are now operating as NTHSynth LLC.
  • We have placed the order for the “first article” of PCB production.  Once we receive and verify it, we’ll continue with the bulk order.
  • Screaming Circuits is our PCB assembler.  We have been in contact with the Screaming Circuits marketing manager and are hoping to get some photos of the work in process so that we can share them with you.
  • A local supplier has been identified for the acrylic panels that form the NTH enclosure.  We have placed an order for the first batch.  When we get them, we’ll take some snapshots of the glassy goodness and put them up on Tumblr.
  • We are starting to update the website to reflect the new business and make room for future projects.
  • Based on the lead times involved, we are unlikely to meet our delivery goal of May.  The lead time for the first article is about 3 weeks, and for bulk production, about 7 weeks.  Assuming that the PCBs are delivered with no issues, we’ll be assembling & shipping rewards in early June.  We are working to deliver the NTH as quickly as possible.  Sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience as we navigate the manufacturing process.

As always, we look forward to interacting with you.  The best place to reach us is here at nthsynth.com.  You can also find us at FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr.  Thanks for reading!

Enclosures and Business Organization

Hi Everyone,

We have spent the week evaluating suppliers for the NTH production enclosures, t-shirts, and flash drives and have found good options for each.

For those that will be creating their own NTH enclosure, we recommend Ponoko.  Ponoko accepts the Adobe Illustrator file format, which is the native design format for the NTH enclosure.  Here’s a bamboo NTH enclosure that we purchased in order to evaluate the Ponoko laser cutting service:

In other news, we have received the Kickstarter funds from Amazon Payments.  We will be forming an LLC early next week and will then begin with circuit board and enclosure production.

More news coming soon.  Thanks for reading!

Missed the Kickstarter?

We’d like to offer another huge thank you to our Kickstarter backers!

If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, we are providing a secondary option:

NTH production will commence in mid-March after the Kickstarter funds are received. In the meantime, we are offering the two most popular reward packages for sale via PayPal. If you make a purchase in the next two weeks, we will add your order to the initial NTH production run.

We’ve enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to get started with the next phase of the project.  We’ll be documenting the process here at the blog.  Thanks for reading!

Ponoko Enclosure, Firmware How-To, 2 NTHs Jamming

Hi Everyone,

We’d like share some of what we’re doing as we enter the final week of the Kickstarter campaign.

For those who will be building their own NTH enclosures, we have started to experiment with some online panel fabrication services.   Yesterday we ordered panels for an NTH enclosure from Ponoko.  We are also going to try Big Blue Saw.  Once we evaluate the results, we’ll share images and advice.

We have published the NTH firmware update how-to.  The process of updating the NTH’s firmware takes less than a minute.  We hope that NTH hackers will publish firmware modifications for use by the entire community.

Finally, we have a new video that features 2 NTHs synced in an improvised jam.  When the NTH receives MIDI sync, it passes the signal thru to its MIDI out port.  This makes it possible to “chain” the NTH with additional NTH units or other devices.

Thanks for reading and watching!

New Video: NTH Sequencing External Synth

Welcome, readers from Gizmodo and Make!

Thank you to our Kickstarter backers for helping the NTH surpass its funding goal. Thanks also for spreading the word–we hope to see a large community of NTH users sharing mods and techniques.

We’re not done yet. There is lots of NTH functionality to demonstrate. Today’s video shows the NTH sequencing an external synth.

There’s more to come. Thanks for reading and watching!

NTH T-shirts!

Hi Everyone,

We want to thank our backers again for a great first week!  We can’t wait to put the NTH in your hands and hear the amazing things you will do with it.

Today we are showing off our t-shirt design.  This is the t-shirt that will be included with all rewards levels at $40 and up.  Every pledge gets us closer to our funding goal–and closer to open-sourcing the NTH.

Stay tuned.  We are working on several more updates for the coming weeks!

Thanks for checking out the NTH Music Synthesizer!