Production Notes18 Mar 2007 10:40 am

Things have been very busy at the Cafe Electric shop.
The good news is we we shipped about 15 controllers in the last month, on the other hand we took orders for more than that in the same time frame. Jack and Carrie have been doing a great job building controllers while I scramble to manage orders and procure parts in time to keep them working. There are the usual problems with late deliveries and sources drying up requiring me to find new ones, but aside from the fact that I waited a bit too long to place the order for more machined copper we’re doing pretty well. For now we still have another months worth of parts and after that we’ll be stockpiling subassemblies until the copper is ready.

The Quad pick and place robot arrived on time and is quietly waiting in the corner for me to finish the new designs and program it. I’ve been so busy keeping the shop rolling that I’ve had little time to redesign the main PC boards to work with available parts and be optimized for the Quad. We have enough of the obsolete parts for about a month of production, and then we’ll be stuck if the new boards are not ready. I have finished the control board, am about halfway done with the gate drivers and then can attack the Hairball.

In other news, my friends at Peak Moment TV released a interview that they recorded back in June. I’m very happy with how it turned out, you can see it here if you like: Interview with Otmar

Thanks again for all of your patience,


7 Responses to “Late March Update”

  1. on 26 Mar 2007 at 11:49 am Matthew Drobnak

    Sounds good in one way…but bad in another. How many are you still behind on? I’m getting money in 2 weeks to get started…Right now the Zilla will be my longest lead time item. How long are we looking at currently?



  2. on 15 Aug 2007 at 12:24 pm Jeff Walin

    What good is a prodiction blog? It has not been updated in five months!! I have spent the money and ordered a controller from a dealer. Can you please just spend 15 or 20 minutes and update your customers on the production info?

  3. on 28 Sep 2007 at 10:17 am Rick Beaver

    As a small business owner, I can understand your problems. I have found that when we started growing there were a lot of unforeseen problems. You need manpower, but with that require more tools, space and time to manage it all. All of it cost money. I really wanted to buy one of your controllers, but waiting 6 months will not be a good option for me. My business went form about 1.4 mil. in sales lat year to 2.4 this year. A big increase. So you tool up, but always have the thought in the back of your mind, what happens next year. Will the sales be as good? Will we have to lay off workers? It can get overwhelming. It’s not an easy life owning your own business. The big and most important item that I have found to be true is that you have to keep the quality to the best standard you can or someone else will. Also if you can’t keep your customers happy, someone else will step in to fill the gap. This has been my situation. So you either step up production or open the door for others to take your place.
    Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. It will get better.
    Take Care

  4. on 21 Oct 2007 at 5:01 am Michael

    Hello Otmar.

    How is the PCB redesign going? How is the QUAD working out?

    I am an owner of a contract PCB assembly business and EV/Hybrid enthusiast. I am personally working on a 1990 Geo Tracker conversion.

    How can I help?

  5. on 21 Jan 2008 at 9:05 pm Otmar

    This reply is very late since comments have been getting lost in spam for many months. I’m sorry about that. I think I dug all the real comments out of the pile.

    Jeff, you are correct that the bloq doesn’t help much if it is not updated. It’s even worse when all the comments get lost due to thousands of spam comments. We’re finally back in business on comments though I’m sure it doesn’t help with your order.

    If you ordered your controller from one of our dealers, you can always ask them how it’s going. In this case many things happened, but lead times are still at 4-6 months, so there is not much updating to do. If you ordered direct from us, you can always bug us on email for updates.

    Rick, yes there is a lot to running a small business that most people are clueless about. I chose a level of risk for my employees and myself and grow at that rate, beyond that the customers will have to wait. I don’t see them lining up to help when the economy changes and business drops again.

    Michael, I did finally run some boards on the Quad, a year after I got it. Very nice to see it running. I expect that to be speeding up as I configure the other boards for it.
    Where are you located? How efficient is your shop? (military/medical houses are useless to me). I’m always open to alternative production help, but I have limited resources to spend on evaluating potential shops. They have to be exceptional or I’m not spending my limited time on them. But even without the outside help, production is getting much faster.


  6. on 17 May 2012 at 12:25 pm Jeff

    The URL for the video is now

  7. on 17 May 2012 at 2:58 pm Otmar

    Thanks Jeff,
    I updated the link to yours.