The Catcher in the Rye

Owners of my early GDEMU designs can now 3D-print, for free, a suitable tray for their devices that will replace the felt pads stack and make the whole assembly more secure. Here’s how both the old and new design trays look in 3D (this is just the lower part of the assembly):

GDEMU tray (v4)

GDEMU tray (v5)

All this thanks to Michael Pica, you can download his plans from Thingiverse. There is also a tray for Rhea/Phoebe there – these things not only look neat but also prevent the SD card from falling inside the console during insertion/removal and can offer a small organizer too.

In other news, how many of you have watched AMD presentation yesterday? I didn’t expect Ryzen to actually match 6900K once the clocks are not lowered to 3GHz to keep parity. This is not exactly Athlon days being back but close enough. My PC is over 3 years old now, I just suffered HDD failure (nothing of value was lost, I keep backups), I’m really itching to upgrade. But 4C/8T i7 seems like a sidegrade to my FX, I want 6 decent cores at least but I’m not willing to pay Intel tax for what they call “HEDT platform”, and I certainly don’t need expensive 4-channel memory setup. Considering I don’t use AVX2 (I prefer OpenCL on GPU to do the heavy lifing) and that AMD seems to have matched Intel in Handbrake, I think I just found my new CPU. I know a lot of people would still choose higher-clocked 4-core Skylake but let’s face it, even these i5/i7 are starting to lag behing in new games. Maybe surprisingly but I don’t really use emulators all that much nowdays, I don’t need (or even want) that ultimate single-thread performance if I can have the next best thing but with more physical cores. So unless these demos were really cherry-picked I’m pretty much sold.

The bad news is with this performance it’s probably going to cost 800$ but that’s still well below 1100$ for the 6900K. I can live with that, I don’t upgrade that often.

Message From Io

I’m going to open Rhea orders this weekend. Probably on Sunday. There is a problem though.

I was planning on making some devices before opening orders to be able to ship everything quickly, before December. This didn’t work out as I got busy with work-related projects and it’s not looking to improve soon. What it means is I only got a handful of Rheas assembled and really not much free time to do the rest. In fact I even considered postponing the whole thing until January but there is no guarantee I won’t be equally busy after the New Year so…

This is what I’m going to do: Take orders now, ship what little I have and can still make, then leave the rest for January. I will not be shipping anything past first week of December, preferably not even past end of November. It’s a waste of my time since there will be long queues at the post offices everywhere and the shipping time is also longer, and on the top of it the chances of the package getting lost or damaged are considerably higher as well. I should be able to assemble something in that time though.

TL;DR: If you order Rhea assume it won’t even ship before January.

EDIT: Rhea orders are now accepted. Closed.

Always a Catch

I’m almost done with this GDEMU batch but if you got that ~3 weeks estimate and haven’t seen the PayPal request yet then I have some bad news: expect a week, perhaps two of delay. Something came up and I was unable to work during the weekends, which means there is a bunch of GDEMUs that haven’t been finished yet.

It also means I couldn’t start working on Rheas either – that too got pushed back by about 2 weeks from now. This is more or less when I’ll start taking orders for those. In itself it wouldn’t be too bad but by now I know better than to plan anything for December, especially shipping stuff. Trust me, you don’t want that.

Another batch of GDEMU PCBs is already on it’s way here but those are probably not going to be ready before January 2017 – I have to be realistic, there’s only so much time in a day.

Get Lucky

GDEMU orders are open. Again, the idea is to have smaller batches but more frequently. This completly failed the last time thanks to Google and I ended up doing nothing else but GDEMUs for 3 months. I’m not keen on repeating that. So I might have to close in just few hours but if you miss your opportunity this time, there will be another batch.

I’d like to remind you of the recent price increase, the one device per customer rule, and to be patient about your order confirmation – that might take a few days. Make double sure the email addresses you give me are correct.

EDIT: Closed. One hour is all it took. While I realize not everybody got lucky please keep in mind I do try to vary the days and hours I open orders to give people living in differnt time zones a chance.

Don’t Leave Me Now

The good news: All remaining Phoebes have been shipped and I’ve started making GDEMUs again. I plan to start accepting orders sometime next week.

The bad: I need to raise the price of GDEMU by 5 Euro to 115. The USD has slowly crept up vs Euro lately and while this process was slow and the difference is not very big it has affected the prices of components I buy. Mostly it’s about FPGAs, though a little bit here and there added up as well.

Luckily my primary supplier is still able to source these FPGAs pretty cheap compared to outlets like Farnell or Mouser, especially for a guy like me who doesn’t order a thousand each month. It’ll be a very sad day when they run out – for everybody. Though quite frankly GDEMU is going to saturate the market eventually, right? I mean how many Dreamcast users are still out there? So I’m planning on having one more batch after this one and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the last one. I’d really rather have a slow trickle of orders I can take care of during evenings than these big batches because that really consumes pretty much all of my free time. Time will tell I guess, you people keep surprising me.

Anyway, stay tuned next week.

The Top

All Phoebes are done, I’m now assembling the remaining leftover PCBs. I will open orders for those during the weekend but keep in mind there aren’t all that many devices for sale – I will plan for next batch though if there is enough interest.

I actually have some PCBs ready, configured and tested, so the leftovers will be shipped out somewhat randomly depending on what type you want. This should be wrapped up in about 2 weeks and then I’ll be taking GDEMU orders again. I also have a fresh batch of Rhea PCBs and will try to somehow squeeze the making of those alongside GDEMU. We’ll see.

I might actually not be able to keep up that ‘summer’ delivery date for PCE photos but those shouldn’t be too badly delayed. I meant it when I said ‘in working state’. The problem is the analog audio amplifier part, I might choose to cut it out of the PCB and redo later, and just focus on the digital part and more testing now.

EDIT: Phoebe leftovers – orders open. 50% left. Sold out.

EDIT2: I won’t be sending out notifications this time, I’ll just ask for payment now and you will get your Phoebes shipped right away or have to wait up to a week if I need to configure more of that type. If you do have any urgent questions feel free to ask before you pay though.

Storm Column

Well shit. Phoebe ordering window was open what, 5 hours? And you’ve managed to fill the list up.

This time I cut it a bit short, I’d rather have a few spares than explain to dozen people why I have nothing to sell to them. But still, this is way more devices than I planned to build, I figured I will take it slow and the rest will just trickle out. Now I have to hurry with everything so that previous estimate of 4 weeks? Make it 6.

I’ll start replying to emails tomorrow. I don’t want to look at my inbox now.

EDIT: I get asked this a lot so: Yes, there will be another batch. Hard to say when because this is an unprecedented interest in Saturn ODEs. Had you guys (any gals?) been here last time I made Phoebes I would have ordered more PCBs and parts now. And planned things differently.

Also, replying to so many emails takes time, I can’t do this all day you know. Have patience. I can already tell there are some duplicates so let me remind you the one device per batch per person rule is still in effect. On the bright side there should be a bunch of leftovers.