50/50

The good news is I’m almost done assembling half of the GDEMUs preordered. I still have to test and pack them though.

The bad is PayPal is still locking me out of every payment for 21 days. For my own good apparently. This will continue for 60 days.
The plan was to pay for the production of the first units upfront and then streamline the assembly with the money received. No such luck, I’m afraid, and I’m pretty much at the spending limit I’ve imposed on myself. Anything more and I’d have to stop the shipping as well, which would be counterproductive.

So, I have no other choice but to make a short break untill PayPal releases at least some of the money from the very first payments. I will also not do any EMS shipping for now as this easily eats away funds for a couple of registered letters. Please don’t blame me for that, there’s nothing I can do to speed this up. I hate PayPal with burning passion but I had no choice but to agree to their terms – bank transfers from outside EU are really costly. Still, some people were nice enough to pay via bank transfer so thanks to them I got as far as I did.

Please stop asking when your unit will be ready – if you’re on the list you’ll get it in due time. This is a one man show. I’m pretty sure you’d rather get your unit a bit later but properly tested.

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Strange customs

I’ve sent out first few units to have some feedback. However, doing it this way is rather inefficient – I need to prepare a batch and send them all at once. Which is what I’m aiming for after this weekend.

I’m going with the list but so far I’ve only picked EU orders as it’s usually less hassle – no customs, no additional taxes, cheaper postage too. Next week I’m going to try USA and Canada to see how it works out. Basically there is a lot of confusion as to whether or not I need to have CN22 sticked to the envelope. It’s so small and light it gets sent as letter, so technically no need for CN22. On the other hand it does contain “goods” and not documents…

Problem with CN22 is I can’t put 100 Euro on it as value anyway or you will have to pay import duties. So it needs lower value, probably also be marked as a gift, but then why bother with CN22 at all, customs might decide to inspect it anyway. I’ve heard small envelopes like these tend to get by witout CN22 just fine, and it’s less paperwork for me so I’m going to try that way first.

Aaand closed again

That’s it folks, the main list is full and I have even put some requests on a backup list in case a unit or two free up because someone changed their mind. So, no more to sell.

If you’re still interested in getting GDEMU do not despair just yet, I’m evaluating some options. Watch this space, but be patient, these things take time.

Now I’m going to focus on assembling the v5’s that have been requested.

Hot stuff

Here it is, the very first v5 unit assembled, I haven’t even cleaned it properly yet:

GDEMU v5 PCB front

This is what you’ll get, without the SD card of course 🙂

That’s the good news. Now for the bad: I dun goofed up and there will be a tiny wire added on the back on some units – but don’t worry, it’s fully functional. The wire fixes the oops.
One of my suppliers also messed up and sent me less parts than ordered. Turns out they had less in stock than what their system showed. I should have the rest on first week of May.
And finally I’m still waiting for some additional soldering equipment, which I might finally get this weekend. Hopefully. Or else this whole assembly thing is going to take a while.

Oh and by the way, I’ll stop taking preorders soon because the waiting list is almost full. I will take a bit more than I can sell in case someone changes their mind last minute. Again, you will not be asked to pay anything unless I’m sure I can deliver.

If everything goes well (and trust me, so far it’s a mixed bag) I will have some v5 units ready for shipping on Monday.

Prototype demo

A lot of people asked to see a video of GDEMU running, so here it is, courtesy of a tester:

GDEMU v4 demo

Note that this is a v4 unit so it has a “remote” attached with a flat cable. The v5 will only have one button on the main PCB and no remote – but will also feature solder points for additional up/down buttons should anyone want to mod their Dreamcast case and add those on their own.

As you can see GDEMU is very easy to install and use, doesn’t need any BIOS mods. You just swap out your GD-ROM drive and put the unit in it’s place. Having said that, my testers asked if it’d be possible to boot a simple menu for choosing the image to load – the answer is yes, I’m working on it, but it’s not a high priority task right now.