Alarm Panel Pro delays & backorders - Jan 2024

Unfortunately we’re experiencing additional delays on our latest manufacturing batch of Alarm Panel Pros (batch 2401), and at this time I don’t have an estimated timeline for when they will be ready to ship.

We received a shipment of Alarm Panel Pros from MacroFab just before the new year, and started prepping them immediately. During our prep and QA process we immediately noticed an quality issue that was affecting an unacceptably high percentage of boards. We contacted the manufacturer right away to alert them of the issue and sent back a sample of the boards for evaluation.

MacroFab engineers have been working diligently all week to try to identify the issue, but as of today we still don’t have concrete answers or a definitive root cause. I’m putting a lot of pressure on the MF team to make this a top priority, and we’ve been in communication every day.

What this means for you is that unfortunately we are completely out of stock of Alarm Panel Pros at Konnected HQ right now. We are doing an enhanced/intensive QA process on the remaining boards in batch 2401 and we are finding some that are passing. These are being prepped and sent out to fulfill orders in the order that they were received.

If you’ve placed an order for an Alarm Panel Pro from late December until today, your order is likely going to be delayed until we reach a resolution of this issue. As we QA more panels that pass 100%, these will be sent out, again in the order that orders were received. We also have a number of Alarm Panel Pros still in stock at Amazon in the US, Canada, and UK. Also some of our international distributors have some remaining stock.

I’ll post updates here on this thread as we learn more.

Good news! MacroFab has identified the issue related to a single component on the board that for whatever reason has failed or was damaged. While we’re still unsure of the root cause as to what caused the damage, we’ve confirmed that replacing that component has restored functionality to 100%.

So far we’ve only had a few handful of the boards from batch 2401 re-worked, tested, and they all are good as new after the re-work. I’m working with MacroFab on a timeline to re-work the remaining problematic boards in this batch, and will update with a timeline when we have it.

I’ve also developed a more robust and automated testing procedure that will allow us to more quickly and accurately QA new Alarm Panel Pros off the line. This event prompted us to improve our QA process, which in the end is a good thing.

Some orders from early January have shipped today. We will continue shipping backorders as we test and validate more.

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Quick update here –

We’re still waiting on a timeline commitment for the bulk of the rework. It seems that Macrofab still hasn’t been able to definitively determine the root cause of the failures. One theory that they are currently testing is that moisture or humidity may have affected some of the component parts in storage and they may not have been baked properly to remove the moisture prior to assembly.

We should hopefully be able to resume shipping the Alarm Panel Pro next week, but at this time I don’t have any firm dates from the manufacturer.

A bit of a setback yesterday, and I’m super disappointed that I don’t have better news to share:

I had a few calls yesterday with our manufacturer who has been looking into the Ethernet quality issue on batch 2401 of the Alarm Panel Pro boards that they produced for us in December. After a few promising but ultimately unsuccessful leads, they’re still unable to determine the real root cause of this problem and even worse is we don’t have a certain and viable fix.

I’ve brought in a 3rd-party engineering consultant to take a look at the problem from a more functional and technical perspective to try and root out the cause of the failure by comparing the signals and waveforms between known good boards and and the problematic boards. They should be getting started on it this coming weekend.

On the bright side, I’ve developed a pretty decent command-line tool for flashing and testing Konnected devices that I’ve open-sourced and will continue to build upon and incorporate into our QA process.

At this point, unfortunately I do not have a timeline for when new working Alarm Panel Pro boards will be ready to ship.

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Well, we’ve ruled out a lot of possibilities but unfortunately still don’t have a definitive root cause for the problems with batch 2401. The 3rd-part engineering consultant that I brought in had highlighted a potential impedance issue, and right now we’re still trying to test that theory by cutting and drilling some Pro panels and using coax wire to bypass some of the circuit board traces and eliminate questionable impedance. So far this isn’t yielding conclusive results, but we’re still trying.

I’ve kinda given up hope that we’re going to be able to timely and effectively repair the boards in batch 2401 to send out to you all. We are going to keep at it to see if there’s a viable way to fix them, but after 6 weeks it doesn’t seem too likely anymore.

Batch 2403 is right around the corner, and MacroFab is doing some initial testing on a first article inspection of that batch to verify that these boards don’t have the same problem. Assuming that batch 2403 is good, then we should have boards ready to ship in the first week of March.

If 2403 is faulty too, then we will have a serious problem. :crossed_fingers:

I will update you all as soon as I know more.

Hi Nate

Thanks for update.
I am currently using both 6 zone WiFI panel and Garage opener, but planing several new home installations for which I was counting on 12 zones panel with LAN connection. It looks like where is some challenges there. I am planning to use HA with ESPHome in the future installations. What will be alternative if, like you said “If 2403 is faulty too, then we will have a serious problem”?

We’re doing a “first article” inspection of batch 2403 this week (I think) so we should know soon. This means that our manufacturer is going to build and test a few devices before assembling the whole batch. If these first few have the same problem, we will have to order new PCBs with tighter impedance control. This will delay batch 2403 by 2~4 weeks.

I will know more soon and will update as soon as I do.

Hi Nate

Thanks for follow up.
2-4 weeks is not an issue for me, but more when that will make me nervous
Did you find the real “root cause” for the issue? Without it it will be a bit of a gamble, even with

Good luck

Everything points to a problem with the PCBs themselves. We ruled out all components or assembly as possibilities. We don’t know exactly why or what was different about how this batch of PCBs was made yet, but we can see that reflections/noise on the traces from the Ethernet jack to the LAN controller chip are causing the functional problem with the boards. MacroFab sources the PCBs from various fabs in Taiwan and other parts of the world.

Any updates on status of 12 zone pro controllers?

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Finally some good news! :partying_face:

We just finished testing the first few Alarm Panel Pro boards from batch 2403 which is in-production now. They’re working 100%!!

As far as we can tell right now, the PCBs from batch 2403 do not have the same quality issue as batch 2401 so we’re going full-speed ahead with it! Currently our estimate is that we will be able to begin shipping these in the 2nd week of March!

Batch 2403 will be enough to fullfill all backorders from the disastrous batch 2401 as well as re-stock our Amazon marketplaces, but not much more than that. We are working on making some quick design and specification tweaks to the Alarm Panel Pro to prevent this from happening again, and will be getting started on batch 2404 as soon as possible. It’s likely that we will run out of stock again in mid or late March before 2404 is ready.

So, if you need to get your hands on a Pro in the next 2 months, it’s probably a good idea to put your order in now :wink:

Unfortunately, we’re probably going to have to write off batch 2401 as a loss. It’s pretty clear that the failure was caused by signal degradation on some of the PCB traces, but we never could identify a single obvious defect or root cause that caused that. If anyone is interested in a bunch of semi-functional Pro boards, maybe to be used for experimentation or harvesting parts, please reach out to me directly. They still work ok for WiFi!

Well … :poop: happens.

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Thanks Nate! Nice to hear some positive news!

Hi Nate, Would love to have couple of the batch 2401 for experimentation.
Conversion Kit and/or Interface Kit
TY!

Hi Nate,

Does everything in the batch 2401 pros work except for the ethernet connection?
If so, how can I get one.

Thanks
Andrew

Yes as far as I can tell they’re fully functional on WiFi.
I have sent you a DM.

Hi Nate, I would also be interested in one for experimentation. LMK, thanks.

Hi Nate, I have one on order and I want to keep that order but I would be interested in one of the 2401 boards too.

Hi Nate, I am waiting for the next batch to come in as I need the ethernet connection, but would love to experiment with one of these as well if possible. Thanks.