So, we’re done. We’re not selling any kits anymore, and we’re shut down. Just lettin’ you know. If you’re still interested in making controllers and stuff, check out UnoJoy! - it’s my newer project that lets you make a controller using just an Arduino, which, since nobody has to buy anything new, makes everyone better off. Yay!
So I should have posted this about two weeks ago, I guess. Anyhow Maker Faire was a lot of fun, and we even won an editor’s choice ribbon, although we’re one of a number of winners (That’s just the tip of the iceberg – a 30 second Google search will reveal a lot more.. I mean, it’s appreciated and all, but the winners weren’t even mentioned on the Make Magazine blog – the prize seems to consist exclusively of a blue ribbon and a warm fuzzy feeling.)
At any rate, long story short, we were expecting to sell a whole of kits there at Maker Faire. And we didn’t. Now, I’m sure some of it is the market there, some of it is the nature of the event, some of it was our presentation, but in the end, it just didn’t seem like there was enough real interest in actually buying OpenChord guitars and kits to justify continuing with this as a commercial enterprise. There are a few things I’m looking into in terms of getting some funding (like Kickstarter) to get FCC testing and such – it seems like being able to sell full guitars might still be something more people would be interested in – but I’ve got some other stuff I’ve been working on, including other stuff that actually pays money, and so at this point, that stuff is taking priority.
I guess on a certain level, I’m a bit burnt out on the project, too. After stressing about getting a bunch of kits ready for Maker Faire that are now sitting in the basement, it’s a bit discouraging. There are still some loose ends I want to wrap up (specifically MIDI, now that the new board will support an actual MIDI hardware interface), but I’m taking a bit of a break while I do some other stuff and figure out where to go from here, if to go on at all.
I still will be doing support for any kits you’ve bought, and of course the store is still open – I’ll still be shipping out any kits or parts if you order it. In fact, although I should have done this WAY earlier as well, here are some pictures of the new May boards, with all the components in, and with all the wires in:
This is the May circuit board with all the parts in it – there are some extra spaces for things that might come in the future, and the rows of holes by the Frets and Strings ports are so you can snake your wires through them for strain-relief.
Here’s a picture with some of the wires attached. In this photo, I’ve got the wires to the strings attached to a header pin block for ease of detachment/repair (it is one of the prototypes we take to events like Maker Faire, so easy repariability is key!):
Anyhow, as always, if you need any help with your kit, or any questions, e-mail us, comment here, or whatever!
-Alan Chatham, guy behind this all
We’ve arrived at Maker Faire! Today is setup, but we did have a nice time showing off the guitar and the prototype violin this morning for the Young Maker’s day. They’ve got the Singing Tesla Coils here, so it was pretty cool to listen to them, even if the RF emissions they generate knock our guitars out of commission when they run… So while it’s exhausting (we’re staying with friends in Berkeley, and it’s like 2 hours away on the train…), it’ll be a good time!
Also, we’re on Hack-a-Day, Kotaku, and Joystiq, today, along with others – thanks for checking out the Street Fighter video! Hopefully we’ll take some videos of people here in San Francisco with the bass, guitar, and (work-in-progress) violin. Stop by if you’re in the area!