We're pleased to announce that a preliminary release of the PFx App for Android is now available on the Google Play store. It does not yet have the same level of functionality as the iOS App--but more updates will be coming soon. We thought it would be better to get the preliminary version of the App out sooner rather than wait for it to be fully developed. Android users get to have fun sooner rather than later!
iOS App + Translations
We're pleased to see the positive response to the iOS app--lots of folks have downloaded it and are using it. Thanks to some very generous and clever backers, the next release of the iOS app will also be available in German (thanks to Alexander Ehle) and Dutch (thanks to Ronald Vallenduuk)! Other languages are pending and we welcome any volunteers for translation! ;) We have a new GitHub repository which we are using for international localization development--drop us a line if you want to contribute.
Good news for LEGO train fans! We've just updated our sound effects library with a bunch of new train sounds. These sounds have been carefully chosen and remastered for use on the PFx Brick and can be combined with our new downloadable profiles for extra customization. The sound files have been tagged into these major categories:
- Bells - loop-able bell sounds representing both mechanical and electric types
- Horns - an extensive combination of popular horn sounds from Nathan, Leslie, etc. mastered in both long and short versions
- Misc - miscellaneous sounds including couplers, squeals, grade crossings, etc.
- Whistles - a collection of steam whistles representing a range of locomotive types
The biggest addition to our downloadable resources are new pre-configured sound profiles for steam and diesel locomotives. These profiles combine carefully mastered sounds of actual engine/prime-mover noises which automatically playback based on motor speed. This gives the ultimate simulated sound experience of real locomotives! You can customize the profile with your preferred horn or whistle sounds as well as customize the remote control actions for sound playback. The PFx Brick even has "random" playback of sound effects further enhancing the realism. Combined with the customization of motor speed curves, acceleration, and deceleration--a sound equipped LEGO train takes operation to another level!
We plan to add more sounds effects and profiles in the future. In the meantime, checkout the new profiles and have fun customizing them for your models!
In Jan 2018, we started to ship PFx Brick rewards to our Kickstarter backers. This process is going to take many weeks since we are doing production and fulfillment in parallel. We are shipping our Kickstarter rewards in backer order--that is, the order in which pledges where made during the campaign. We may deviate from this process based on availability of items or other factors--but more or less it will be in backer order.
We would like to apologize to those folks who placed Pre-Orders for the PFx Brick expecting shipment starting now. We received many more Pre-Orders than we expected and have had to procure more parts and extend production to accommodate. Also, we only think it is fair to our Kickstarter backers to fulfill their reward shipment before the pre-order shipments. This means pre-order shipments are going to take many weeks to start shipping. We are sorry and do understand your frustration. In fact, if you are a pre-order customer and are not satisfied with this shipping schedule, we will offer you a refund of your pre-order purchase. Rest assured we are doing all we can to get everyone's order processed and shipped.
The good news is that shipments are occurring everyday. The pipeline of production, testing, packaging and shipping is continuously flowing. We are finding ways of making the process more efficient and will continue to make more improvements. At the end of the day, we want everyone to get their PFx Brick as soon as possible!
The first release of the PFx Brick mobile App for iOS is now available from the Apple App Store. It includes most of the key features we wanted to implement for a first release such as pairing of multiple bricks, emulation of Power Functions IR remotes, full access to brick configuration, and multiple control panels. We plan to add much more in future and welcome any suggestions from you for improvements, features, etc.
A short video showcasing the use of the PFx App can seen here...
You can download and try the PFx App even if you don't have a PFx Brick. Its available from the Apple App Store.
Achieving our certifications for the PFx Brick gave us the final "green light" to ramp up production. As a result we have been very very busy!
So far, we are tracking on schedule to start shipment in Jan 2018. However, this does not mean everyone receives their items in Jan. The fulfillment process will be pipelined in parallel with production and will likely take at least 3 months. We will start fulfillment in the order of backer pledges--that is, we will start with the first backer to make a pledge and proceed down the list to the last backer.
Sometimes its difficult to appreciate the process behind making electronic products like the PFx Brick. Some of you may be surprised to learn that we didn't just have the bricks made in some anonymous factory in China. Instead, we operate like Swiss-watchmakers: all PFx Bricks are hand crafted and assembled in-house. This gives us the following advantages:
1. We have direct control on quality
2. We have direct control on production schedule--we are not at the mercy of external suppliers.
To achieve efficient in-house production we have designed tools, jigs, workflows, and processes to build the PFx Brick to the highest standards of quality. So far, we are very proud to announce that we have achieved 100% yield on our assembled/tested PCBs! thought you'd appreciate a behind the scenes look at the Fx Bricks lab, and how we get things done...
First, here's a look at Fx Bricks HQ! Our lab space--optimally arranged for production...
Precision manufacturing requires precision tools!...
A sea of assembled and tested PFx Bricks...ready for final assembly into the housing...