Hello Everybody! Welcome to the new site! The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity. I apologize for not keeping up to date with blog posts. I plan on being a little better in the future.
When I last updated, I had just finished up with the first thermostat and had set about to find some support for the product. Well, I did find some support, in the form of The Cap and Hare Homebrew Club of Fort Worth. There I was able to find the several “beta testers” I was looking for as well as a great forum to get support and feedback. For that I will be forever grateful. Thanks guys!!
After finding the beta testers, I felt I had received enough positive feedback for the product that I could create a business around it and start selling. I quickly realized that I had a TON of work to do! I then set about some of the tasks required for creating a business: creating a DBA (for now), bank account, creating a web presence, etc, etc. All fun and exciting things, but also time consuming… Building one thermostat was a lot of work, building 10 more in the same fashion was unreasonable, so I had to redesign quite a bit of the device for produce-ability Designing a printed circuit board was the first step, in concurrence with re-selecting many of the components. I more than doubled the size of the character LCD from a 2 row by 16 character screen to a 4 row by 20 character screen. I also changed the user input from an Up, Down, Select type interface to a scroll wheel with a select button. These two changes were a HUGE improvement to the user interface/user experience (UI/UX). I also changed the microcontroller to a newer model of the Microchip PIC18. The newer model has many more energy saving features as well as more program and data memory to allow for the software additions expected for this new version. The new additions lend themselves to a much better product, however at cost of more design and development time.
So, at this point, I’ve got 10 beta versions completed and have started distributing them to the beta testers.
The new website is up and running, it is still a work in progress, but I believe it is to a point that it is presentable. Feel free to browse around the site and let me know what you think (links are on header at top of this page). Feedback is always appreciated!
Many exciting things have happened in 2012, and many more exciting things are looming on the horizon!
So, Happy New Year to you and yours, and here’s hoping a great 2013!