Tsyklon Labs Outreach for February 2016

Happy February everyone! The weather here in the Mid-Atlantic USA has been cool and sometimes snowy (and for today, we have what is called “wintery mix” by the locals). I am thankful for my wife, dogs, and soldering tasks to stay warm. There are a lot of exciting developments here at Tsyklon Labs this month, so let us get on with it!

First, we have received two of the four sets of printed circuit boards for the Chaos Divider module. They turned out very nicely and we are super excited to get the last two sets in a couple of weeks (I forgot about CNY). If you would like to see them, we posted some pictures on Instagram:

A large portion of the parts have begun to arrive, so building has begun this week in order to fulfill the pre-orders (thank you for your support!). Feel free to follow along with the build process on Instagram.

Second, we have added a couple new pages to the website. One is called the Udarnik DIY Gallery. In Russian, an Udarnik is an efficient, productive, enthusiastic worker. It seemed a fitting title for a page dedicated to your DIY builds of our products. There are a couple of builds up now. If you want to show off your work, let us know! Also, we have added a product support page for everything that isn’t a PLITKA module. User Manuals, DIY Build docs, Firmware, etc. will be posted there. Here are the links:

http://tsyklon.com/udarnik-diy-gallery/
http://tsyklon.com/product-support/

Third, in the time between ordering Chaos Divider parts and building Chaos Dividers, we have resumed progress on the Belka and Strelka circuit. We will be releasing the Belka and Strelka as both a Eurorack module (which you have seen) and one of our STARDOG pedals. We will be working again with Hannes and Elizabeth at Papernoise on the STARDOG series. My only design requirement was “make them cute… and bad ass”. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. And if you haven’t guessed, all of the STARDOG pedals will be named after the Russian Star Dogs.

Fourth, MOAR PLITKA! We have received a lot of great feedback for what we can do to improve the PLITKA 1U tile modules. One of the issues that came up is that the circuit boards for our PLITKA modules are too “tall” to fit between the rails of Vermona racks. To address that, we have updated the Eagle files for the circuit boards to give them a couple of millimeters of extra clearance top and bottom. We still need to update the BTN MASHR, TRACE, and TrLOGIC modules (mostly because we have some nice upgrades coming as well as the addressing the circuit board size), but everything else has been uploaded. We are also moving to 2mm thick PCB material front panels and moving away from the 3mm acrylic panels. To take advantage of “economies of scale,” all of the face plates will have two sides, so one faceplate design will work for two different modules. Also, we have three new PLITKA tiles coming soon. Two utility modules and a single knob, Russian Germanium transistor powered overdrive tile. We have ordered the prototype circuit boards this week and are excited to put them together, tweak the designs, and release them!

Fifth, and finally, a word about International Shipping costs. The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently increased the cost of International Priority Mail shipping. For some locations, the cost has risen as much as 50%. While I am investigating some shipping aggregators in order to bring shipping costs to more reasonable prices, we have had to change the shipping prices in the Storenvy shop. In the meantime, we can offer International First Class mail. It does take a little longer (three weeks instead of two in some cases), but the prices is about half to 2/3 that of International Priority Mail. For those that request it via checkout note or direct email, I will ship the parcel First Class, then re-fund the difference in price between First Class Parcel and Priority Mail price.

I know this was a long update. Thank you for making your way through it. As always, thank you very much for your support. Spasibo!

-Frank
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