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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We are shipping!

We have officially started shipping the iGPS360 module on Monday, October 27, 2008!

It has been a long weekend with little sleep. Today is the second day of shipping and I just returned from the post office. It is time for a little work-break so I decided to write an update for the blog.

Over the weekend, we have been full-time busy with organizing orders and arranging them in the proper sequence, finding the quickest way to process orders, making labels, printing invoices, printing customs forms, packing, sealing, printing postage, etc. It looks like we are getting the hang of it now :-) although the first packages took a rather long time to prepare.

I certainly have to thank my wife for doing most of the database stuff, cross-referencing orders with the pre-order list and generating order processing list over the weekend.

Some other things have come up along the way as well.

According to the post office, Italy and Canada are high risk countries for lost/stolen packages and as such we strongly advise you to use Express Mail International (EMI) insured shipping, which has tracking and insurance (we note that Orange Gadgets is not responsible if your package gets lost or is stolen after we hand it to the post office, see the Terms of Service on the website under Shipping Liability Limitations). If you have already placed your order without insurance, don't worry; before we ship any module to an address in Italy or Canada, we will contact you with the option to upgrade your shipping to EMI. Also, for new orders, shipping rates to Canada and Italy have been updated in the online store.

I hereby sincerely thank all of you customers who have placed an order for the module and for being and remaining patient while we are handling orders. There are currently about 250 orders that we need to catch up on. We have handled up to database entry number 106 now. I hope to have a better estimate at how fast we can handle/process/ship orders by the weekend.

Also, a new version of xGPS that officially supports the iGPS360
module at a baudrate of 115200 (5Hz refresh rate) is expected to be
released within the next week or two. For the latest software updates, please visit Xwaves blog. In their latest post, they have released a nice desktop map download tool to go with the xGPS software.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shipping update

Things have been extremely busy since last Thursday. I have been swamped with orders, email inquiries, housing supplier and getting modules prepared for testing and shipping.

In advance, I would like to thank everyone for their continued patience. Please remain patient in the week(s) to come. I am working as hard as I can, and that is pretty much non-stop, except for eating and sleeping and the other necessary living habits :-)

I have not been able to meet the 10/22/2008 shipment date.

Here is why: I have been in touch every single day to get updates from the housing supplier. Unfortunately, nothing goes perfect the first time, and so with the housing. The quality of the housings and lenses were not up to par and things had to be redone. They actually had to do 5 sample runs for the black housing and three sample runs for the lenses. Hence the delay. Unfortunate, but this is out of my control. I hope you understand.

So now for the good news: I have talked with the housing manufacturer today and they told me all parts have been finished and quality checked and will be shipped today for Friday delivery. At last!

What you see in the above photo are the first 32 modules inside of their final housings (these are housing from the 5th sample set which were approved). These modules are waiting for their lenses. Every module is individually serialized and the little removable sticker you see on the top of the module is its serial number.

Considering tomorrow's news delivery date for the housings, I have set new shipping date for Monday 10/27/2008. At least the 32 modules above will ship on Monday and whatever else I get finished over the weekend.

Now, a repeat of some things, as I get emails about this every day:

  1. Orders will be handled according to your database entry number (assuming your order is PAID for). This is to be fair to everyone who signed up and to make sure that the people who signed up first, will get their units first. If you have pre-ordered but not paid, we will skip over your entry. Your database entry will only become active after you have paid for your module.

  2. The current expected ship date for the first iGPS360 modules is 10/27/2008 (there has been additional delay with the housing as explained above).

  3. Keep in mind that not all 1000 modules of the first production run will be ready by that date as they come out of production bit by bit. We expect having all 1000 modules back and shipped before the end of November. So we value your patience after you have placed your order.

  4. We will send you a confirmation email once your order is packed and ready to ship.

Some important notes that you should follow with respect to the online store. If you don't follow the instructions (like providing your database entry number and returning to the store after you paid with PayPal), it means much more work for me to fix up your order and order status and your order could get delayed:
  • Make sure to enter your database entry number during checkout of your order. If you omit to do so, your shipment maybe delayed. There is a comment box for this.

  • The online store has detailed product descriptions, so please take the time to read them as they might answer questions that you have. For remaining questions, please email

  • Performance of the website will depend on the amount of traffic, so if things are a little slow while accessing the online store, please be patient for pages to complete loading.

  • Please report any website related problems you encounter to

  • For questions with respect to the details of your placed order, please email

  • Please verify your order details online by logging into your account and viewing your order history.
    If you see anything that is incorrect, immediately send an email to and provide your full order details, like name, shipping and billing address, order id and customer id.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Online store is up and running!

After some more delay, the online store is finally up and running.

You can now place your order for the iGPS360 module (and some other goodies) by clicking here or by accesing the Orange Gadgets website and clicking on ORDER in the top menu bar.

When you place your order, make sure to mention your database entry number in the comments box for your order during the checkout procedure.

If you have lost your database entry number, no worries, I will be sending out notifications to all of the emails in the database later today/tomorrow with your database entry number in it.

If you don't have a database entry number, you can get one by signing up here

Orders are going to be handled according your database entry number (assuming your order is paid for). This is to be fair to everyone and to make sure that the people who signed up first, will get their units first.

The current expected ship date for the module is 10/22/2008 (which is still subject to change depending on the arrivals of the housings). Keep in mind that not all 1000 modules will be ready by that date as they come out of production bit by bit. So please be patient after you place your order. We will send you a confirmation email once your order is packed and ready to ship.

With respect to the new online store a few notes:

  • Please report any website related problems you encounter to

  • For questions with respect to the details of your placed order, please email

  • Performance of the website will depend on the amount of traffic, so if things are a little slow while accessing the online store, please be patient for pages to complete loading.

  • The online store has detailed product descriptions, so please take the time to read them as they might answer questions that you have. For remaining questions, please email

As the online store has kept me pretty much busy non-stop for the last couple of days, I still have quite a few emails from people to answer. So if you haven't heard back from me, thanks for understanding and being patient. I hope to get back to my email as soon as I get done with the database notification emails.

As you can imagine, today is a big milestone for myself and Orange Gadgets and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the blog and the product.

Thanks, PmgR

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Software partnership

Orange Gadgets and xWaves have formed a partnership for distributing and developing software and hardware for a GPS solution for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Orange Gadgets will focus on hardware development and volume production of the iGPS360 module and will develop software utilities specific to the GPS functionality of the iGPS360 module. This software will be bundled with Xwaves' xGPS navigation software.

Xwaves will focus on development of the xGPS navigation software and implement full support for the iGPS360 module. Xwaves will also become a European distributor for the iGPS360 module.

With our combined efforts we hope to bring you the best GPS application and utilities for your iPhone and iPod Touch.

Note that Orange Gadgets will be handling the first production run orders for all people that have signed up on the pre-order list. The online store will go live later today so keep an eye on your mailbox and the blog.

Based on feedback from the housing supplier, the expected ship date as of now for the first modules will be 10/22/2008. Depending on what your database entry number is, your unit could ship at a later date.

Brief update (midnight 10/15/08): I am still working on properly securing the online store so it will be a little longer. I will post a new post once everything is ready to go. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Still counting...

We are still counting down...

Another week of hard work has passed and of course as usual there is the good news and the less good news. Let's get the less good news over first.

Last week I received a third sample set of the housing, expecting that this would be the last sample set before running the real production housings. Unfortunately, the housing was still not exactly as expected and more touch-up work needed to be done. The manufacturer promised to get new samples to me by past Thursday, but this did not happen. He told me on Friday noon that the mold was ready for sampling again, so I hope to get the fourth sample set on Monday. I will be on the phone with him first thing Monday morning for a status report. This will impact the ETA of October 15.

Now for the good news. On all other fronts things have been progressing very well!

I have received the first production sample boards back and all are fully functional! Production of the remaining boards is currently in full flow.

Regarding the online shopping cart, integration with the PayPal website took much more time than expected, but this morning I finally made a breakthrough and from the testing I have done so far, it looks like the shopping cart is now properly being transferred to PayPal.

Everyone who signed up on the pre-order list should be receiving an email later this week with an order-link to the online store. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time to do it!

This week I have also been working on automated testing of the modules (every module is quality controlled before it is shipped). I have been working on hardware related to the testing as well as software. The photo above shows a test-board for simultaneous testing of 8 modules (if module through-put is not fast enough the test capacity of the board can be expanded). Besides electrical testing and visual inspection already done at the board fabrication and assembly house, complete functionality of the GPS module will be tested as well. This includes USB and dock connector interconnect functionality, back-up battery check, visual LED inspection, GPS check (TTFF and SNR) and A-GPS functionality.

In the meantime, let's keep our fingers crossed for the next sample set of the housing!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's been a while and you probably have been wondering what is going on. Well, here is the latest update:

  • PCB panels/boards
    Last week I received the first PCB panel with 100 boards on it (see photo above). As some small changes were made compared to the previous revision, I wanted to make sure that the panels are fully functional before committing them to production. I separated two boards from the 100pcs panel and built a module with one of the GPS engines that I still had available. Everything turned out to be working great.

  • GPS engines
    The GPS engines also arrived last week and in order to make sure everything is OK with them as well, I assembled the second PCB board (from above) with the new production GPS engine. And guess what, everything is working as it is supposed to work.

  • Antennas
    The antennas shipped a bit earlier as expected and arrived just today. I will do an inspection of them and then they will be delivered to production.

  • Housing
    Last Friday, I also got the second set of samples of the housing. The logos are nicely touched up now and have a smoother finish than the rest of the housing, so they look really nice. Some other small things were not taken care of properly however and the mold will need another round of touch-ups. I am currently waiting for this new set of samples (expected tomorrow) before I can give the final approval to run production quantities.

  • Online store/shopping cart
    I have almost completed the online shopping cart, but still have some issues with properly integrating PayPal into the checkout procedure. I hope to fix those in the upcoming few days. Once that is done, the shopping cart will go online. For all of you who are curious, I will keep you guessing at what other items will be in the store besides the GPS module...

  • Shipping and handling
    I have also been getting ready to prepare for shipping of the modules to you. It's amazing how much overhead is involved in all this, from searching for envelops, labels, postage equipment, printing supplies to actually ordering all of them, both for domestic US shipping and international shipping. I hope I have got everything covered now.

The first fully assembled production parts are expected to become available next week. After that, each module will be fully tested before it is shipped out. The estimated date for shipping of the first modules will be around October 15.

As soon as modules come out of production and are tested, they will be shipped subsequently. Note that testing and shipping is going to take up most of my time starting next week, thus please understand that there can be some lag between the time you place your order and the time the module is actually shipped (as tested modules become available bit by bit from production). Once your order ships, you will receive a confirmation email.

Paid orders will be handled in sequence of how they are stored in the database. As of today, there will be enough units available in this first production run for everyone who has currently signed up on the pre-order list.