Production update - May

Gecho v2 production update - May

During the past three weeks we were busy (apart from shipping whales), with designing, testing and planning the production of new lizards.

Silicone buttons

The production samples have arrived. Ain't they beautiful? :)

Three colours for now - translucent, sunflower yellow and bordeaux violet. We may add more later. Lime green or neon green has been suggested, only we cannot agree on an exact shade, please help!

We will add better photos when complete box arrives, also the sun was not great for today's photoshoot.

One important change to the front panel is that there will be no notches. Originally we wanted to make two versions, one for a complete enclosure (with notches) and one for the front-panel only DIY kit (option #4, which you can mount into your own box or even make it into a Eurorack panel). But then we realized that it is better to add another "frame" inside, to hold side panels together, and only have one version of the front panel; it will look better then. Samples of the updated panel should arrive before end of May, and this time it will be in matte black finish.

The box is on the way

And it looks a bit different. Because it is a bit larger than in the previous version, our experienced craftsmen were afraid that the lid might accumulate moisture over time and warp, so they are adding two vertical pieces of wood to the sides, to make it more rigid. Also, the hinges are upgraded since the previous version, they are made of metal, and hold the lid at an arbitrary position without accidental slamming. Follow them on Instagram if you want to see what else they're up to! ;)

Powering options

There have been more questions about powering, as not everything was explained clearly - so let's address that.

The 14500 Li-Ion rechargeable battery looks like the standard AA, and only one is required. The difference is that it works with 3.7V instead of 1.5V (or less, in case of rechargeable AA, unless it is a Ni-Zn cell that works at 1.6V). The picture shows three different batteries that you could put into the same AA holder. Only the top one is rechargeable.

Gecho will accept any of these but you will need to tell us how to configure it - so we can either install 3xAA holder for three standard disposable or rechargeable cells, or 1xAA for 3.7V Li-Ion. Once the board is configured for either option, it will only work with that one, unless you use the soldering iron. Don't worry, you will get a chance to update your order shortly before shipping, if you change your mind about this.

In case of DIY kits or complete units that use Li-Po, no soldering is necessary. There is a screw terminal instead, so you can easily connect the Li-Po. If your complete unit is coming with AA holder (single for 14500 or triple for standard batteries), you of course don't need to do that as the holder will be already connected.

And here it is, powered from newly installed Li-Po. The photo doesn't do it justice; it is notoriously hard to capture true colours of LEDs with a digital camera, as their spectrum is very narrow banded, they will oversaturate CCD pixels and appear mostly white. This looks a lot better in reality.

If you plan to get the Li-Po, make sure to find one that has a protection circuit - to prevent overcurrent and undervoltage, that can lead to damaging the cell or fire hazard. Here you can see how such circuit looks, it is the tiny green PCB board near the wires, with some elements on it - typically it is this kind of circuit.

You may encounter numerous types of Li-Po, with or without connectors, therefore for simplicity we decided to install the wire terminal. There are various sized connectors, also some cells come wired in opposite polarity - we cannot rely on assembling one connector as default. The worst case scenario, you may need to cut away the existing connector from your Li-Po and plug in the red and black wires where they belong.

When it comes to choosing cell's capacity, there is a discussion going on the forum about the Glo board; in compare to that, Gecho draws about twice as much power (90-110mA), thanks to all the LEDs and IR sensors (wich have bright LEDs in them too, only their light is invisible).

What happens next

During the next week we are starting preparations for manufacturing of electronics, there are some technical details that need to be discussed with the factory. Also we are ordering MIDI and USB cables, hundreds more of buttons, final samples of acrylic enclosure and all the other mechanical elements, to make sure everything is matching together well down to fraction of a millimetre, after the recent small redesign. Haven't had chance to make more demos recently, as the hardware was requiring all the attention, but there will be time to update you on the new features in next weeks during the downtime while waiting for things being manufactured.


Lime or neon green on black and gold faceplate would look incredible!!

Samples ordered :)