More FAQ, Airbase/Airvault Update, and Android App Underway
6 months ago
– Thu, Aug 08, 2019 at 01:07:53 AM
Thanks to everyone who has written in with feedback, both positive and negative! Posting some more FAQs below. It sounds like some units have had unexpected charging behavior, and we've seen reports of shipping damage too. We want to help with everything we can, and make it right with a replacement if we're unable to share tips or repair any issues or defects that users are experiencing. But overall, most of the reports are good! It's deeply fulfilling to see so many people having fun with their new toy.
That said, this was a really difficult technical undertaking, and not everyone is happy with the result. If you're in the "unhappy" camp, please give us a chance to make things right by sending us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with specifics. We're here to help.
What is going on with the comments board?
After eight campaigns, I understand that frustrated comments are part of the Kickstarter game (everyone's gotta have a place to vent). But the dynamic is moving beyond a forum for public accountability—for which we are 100% game—to a stock and pillory. And the worst part is that we can't do much to help there besides take the lumps and apologize. There's no issue tracking, no ticketing, no photos or attachments, and no way to protect your personal information if we need to share tracking or request address info. In sum, it's a really challenging forum to moderate, with no moderation tools.
We have about a dozen people who are really unhappy, and who aren't afraid to say it. We've offered repairs and replacements to anyone who needed one.
All in all: if we did something wrong, we want to fix it. If you hate your grinder, we want to make things better. If you love your grinder, we want to celebrate with you. Please email us, early and often: email@example.com.
My grinds are full of static. What gives?
Wish we could overcome the laws of physics, but static is a frustrating constant in coffee grinding. We did use an anti-static coating on the catch cup, and I'm unaware of anything in our materials or design that would make the grinds more prone to static - nevertheless, it can be frustrating and we want to help!
Here are a couple anti-static hacks:
1) Before grinding, drop 2-3 small drops of water in a couple locations around the beans in the hopper. That should significantly reduce static in the catch cup and help out with beans clinging to the burrs as well. We recommend this only for grind sessions where you're using the beans immediately, of course.
2) After grinding, but before you remove the catch cup, wipe the front of the grinder/cup with a damp kitchen towel to relieve built-up static.
The hopper lid doesn't seem to be airtight.
The lid should be creating an audible "snap" when the lid is pushed on to the hopper. The gasket can be removed and re-positioned if it's not creating a good seal. Shoot us an email or a photo if that's the case!
I'm having difficulty adjusting the grinder collar.
It can be difficult to move the collar tighter if beans are "in the way" in the burrs. It'll be much easier to adjust the collar while grinding (typical practice for most coffee grinders), and of course more practical to do it that way than when the hopper is empty. We'd recommend starting with the mid-grind adjustment, and send us a note if it doesn't do the trick!
My grinder stops suddenly, mid-grind.
1) The catch cup may have popped out of its seat and disengaged the microswitch (by design, the microswitch stops the grind when the catch cup is removed). It's a safety feature for the direct-drop burr configuration, but it can act out unexpectedly. Here's what to do: There's a little round bump on the grinder body, and a matching indentation in the bottom of the catch cup. When you push the catch cup in in preparation for grinding, you should feel a small click and be able to see the indentation engage. That'll ensure that the microswitch is activated, and allow you to grind. You can also use a finger/hand to keep the catch cup in if it's popping out habitually, although at that point you're welcome to email us; it really ought to click into that indentation so you don't have to stand there holding the cup in ;)
2) The battery may be running low. A brief charge may do the trick, or an overnight plug-in will have your grinder fully charged. Relatedly: grinding on a finer setting does require more torque (and battery power), so you may see reduced battery life if you tend to use finer settings; frequent charging is recommend.
3) Email us if neither of the above solutions seems to help. We want to get you back to grinding!
What's going on with Airvaults and Airbases?
Both are in tooling review, CAD complete. We're working with a different factory given the relationship challenges we experienced earlier this year with our original partner.
What's the status on the Android beta app?
We're in crunch mode to finish. We have the Android build fully working in our dev environment as of 8/6. We had a setback this week and needed to replace our Auth0 authentication with Google's FireBase Auth. It's actually a great improvement, but was an unexpected time sink. We don't have a firm date but Android release is the sole focus for our dev team right now. It's in the "one week left" phase, which can sometimes actually mean one week but more commonly means "we're nonspecifically close but don't foresee any more major hurdles."
That's it for now! Thanks again to everyone who has been emailing feedback, both for the grinder and the beta app. It's so wonderful to build and improve this ecosystem with a group of thoughtful backers behind the mission to help us make things the best they could be. Your feedback has been invaluable, and we're deeply grateful for it.
The Voltaire Team