Hello all! In an earlier update I mentioned that I'd shown in testing that we were having problems with parasitic inductance, which was meaning the rise time was much longer than in earlier tests. Essentially what this means is that it was taking a long time (around 2-3us) to get to peak brightness, which meant that we were missing out on a lot of light. I knew that this was solvable, as the earlier prototypes didn't suffer from this problem. I've spent the last few weeks working on a new luminaire design (the bit that holds the LEDs, reflectors etc), as this seemed to be the source of the problem. The new boards arrived last week, and I'm happy to say that they do solve the problem! As well as fixing the inductance issue, the boards are also simpler, lighter and much quicker to assemble.
And there's more good news! All of the test photos that you've seen were shot using the old luminaire, meaning that all of my estimates of GN, exposure etc were based on the lower power device. I'll be doing proper tests over the next week and will report back with the results, but it looks like we'll be over 30% more powerful. I'm planning several very exciting new real-world photographic tests over the next month so hopefully we'll have some cool new shots to share soon.
The new luminaire was only one part of the revisions that we're working on. Inevitably, testing showed up some issues with the rest of the electronics. Almost all of these are simply about getting things to fit better inside the case, and changing some of the electromechanical parts (knobs, buttons etc). These changes are almost done, and we should have the new control boards next week, along with the final revision of the LED board (we're moving a connector and adding some mounting holes).
The final part of the puzzle is the enclosure. James Lamb, our superstar industrial designer, is working on a new version right now. These are a few small changes to accommodate the new luminaire, as well as DFM (design for manufacture) improvements to make it simpler to build.
This all adds up to mean that we should have the final design for the whole device in a couple of weeks.
I've been spending a lot of time over the past few months talking to manufacturers in China and Europe. I'm really pleased to say that we'll be doing the electronics and final build here in the UK. It's a bit more expensive than China, but a whole lot easier to supervise, and the turnaround for revisions is a lot quicker too.
This post originally appeared as a Kickstarter backer update.