After some (let's call it) work I finally reached 250 followers on the project's Instagram profile (https://instagram.com/bikepixels). As I'm developing a product for cyclists and geeks I'm targeting this kind of profiles when I publish content, including the documentation of the product developing process, some news and from time to time beautiful bikes that I found somewhere.
After reach more than 100 subscriber to the project's newsletter I decided that to celebrate it, it was a good time to prepare and send my first newsletter ever.
To get this first subscribers apart of having a newsletter section on the LP I just added some call to action like encoring the readers of the project's blog to subscribe. And time made the rest as it also took me some months :D.
On this first newsletter I just informed about the projects progress and added the excerpts of the lasts 3 blog posts. Bo now 12% of the mails have been opened!
After two weeks of waiting, the PCBs for the new version of the Bike Pixels Rear prototype have finally arrived.
To select the manufacturer I sent the design to 5 companies asking for the price for print 10 or 100 units. Only 3 replied (the order was very small) and finally I selected the one who gave the average price. As a general rule I think it is better never to work with the cheapest. And the truth is that the manufacturer has done a good job. It's true that it didn't look as I expected (especially the texts on the PCB) but it's the fault of the design as I used too small a font. In the next order they will be perfect :D
Finally I've finished and sent for production to a manufacturer the second version (aka. known as v0.5) of the PCB that by now will contain connexions and switches of the new Bike Pixel Rear prototype.
As Bike Pixel is intended as an Open Hardware Project, during all the design process I am using only Open Source software which may give some head aches. At the beginning for the PCB design I was using a software called Fritzing. It is really easy to learn and use package. Using it I've designed some custom components, breadboard view, and of course the PCB itself. But when I send the generated production files to some manufacturers it resulted that they are faulty! Probably the exporter is buggy or who knows but in the end I have to redo everything.
So I've decided to chango to a more pro tool called KiCAD. It is still open source but it is supported by some manufactures that give some hints and standards about the produced designs and even work with the native formats. Of course it is more difficult to use and learn but it was worth it. After redo everything (schematics, custom components, etc.) the design documentation is now looks almost professional (unless for me ;) and the generated files have been send to a manufacturer this week (06/07) and should be ready next week!
Learning about hardware manufacturing, electronics and product development while I'm designing and constructing a set of bicycle light.