August 17, 2021 - In tendering all miners from batch 16 to our freight forwarder on 8/17, Bobcat has officially shipped 68,639 miners to customers worldwide. This is an important production milestone, as it marks the fulfillment of all orders placed before noon May 1st, Pacific Time.
68,639 Units Shipped Worldwide
Of the near 70K Bobcat Miners shipped so far, 51,830 hotspots have been delivered as of today, while the rest are in transit or out for delivery. In terms of frequencies, US915 hotspots accounted for 52% of the total shipped while EU868 and CN470 were respectively at 28% and 20%.
Five and a Half Months in Review
Since opening sales to overseas customers on 3/3/2021, Bobcat has grown at an incredible pace. This is in no small part due to the passion and support that the Helium community has for the People’s Network, as well as their keen level of scrutiny, which collectively helps push production, optimize workflows, and make improvements to the product.
Component Material Upgraded for Improved Durability
One of the earliest bits of user feedback we received dealt with installation mishaps when upgrading the antenna. Along with detailing some of these setup errors in our article "how to handle installation with care," our production department implemented several prevention mechanisms after conducting an extensive review of this issue.
Starting with Batch 16, every Bobcat Miner will have (a) an integrated pigtail with sturdier material, increased thickness from 1.13mm to 1.78mm to protect against excessive twisting; (b) a tighter plastic housing around the antenna connection area with side wings thickened by 0.2mm.
Monitoring and Troubleshooting Experience
Roof installations have become a pivotal part of the setup process for customers who are looking to boost earnings, but in return also presented a problem for diagnostic check ups, which required bluetooth pairing. In response to this, the team delivered a solution - the Bobcat Diagnoser, which not only eliminates the need for bluetooth pairing when running diagnostics, but also includes several useful features related to miner health such as internal temperature readings, syncing height, etc. The diagnoser will continue to be updated with future OTA releases.
As a company, the last five and a half months have proven to be extremely valuable as we have experienced several growing pains that we've addressed and are moving us in the right direction. Although these issues have already been corrected, we will continue to be extra vigilant going forward to avoid similar mistakes from happening again.
Payment Experience, Missed Orders
Due to the complexity of Mugglepay’s checkout experience, our store was flooded with a high volume of orders with pending statuses before we switched to Coinbase Commerce on June 4th. This large volume of incomplete orders caused our system to jump from 6 to 7 digit order numbers and created confusion as to whether we had received ‘a million orders’.
Some of these orders transitioned from pending to paid, but were unfortunately missed as the list received by fulfillment was generated before Mugglepay had processed all the payments. As of last week, these orders were identified and scheduled to ship no later than batch 16.
We will continue to ship hotspots! With Batch 17, we will start fulfilling orders placed after noon PDT on 5/1 with an unchanged lead-time estimate of 12-20 weeks. We will, however, change the batch cutoff announcement from Friday to Wednesday. Therefore, going forward, batch announcements will only be made after all miners have shipped. Expect Batch 17's shipping announcement to be made on Wednesday 8/25.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the lead time on all new orders?
Presently, our lead time estimate for any order placed after 5/1 is 12-20 weeks.
Why are you changing the batch announcement time?
The date of our batch announcements was changed so that there would be a shorter wait time between the announcement and the time customers receive their tracking.
When will order fulfillment switch from 6 to 7 digits?
The switch from 6 to 7 digits began with orders placed after May 8th at 9:45 am PDT.
Why are you sometimes shipping only a day or two’s worth of orders?
As mentioned previously, we experienced a very high increase in orders leading up to May 1st. For example, between April 29 - May 1st there were almost 20,000 EU868 and US915 miners ordered. Each batch shipment contains thousands of units.
I have received a tracking number. It says ‘shipper has generated a shipment label, but the shipment has not yet been handed over’. What is going on?
Bobcat does not generate these labels, the weekly batch shipment workflow is as follows:
Every Tuesday, our freight forwarder picks up a new batch that is ready to ship from our factory.
The forwarding agent then sorts the orders, packs them into individual boxes, and generates shipment labels for all of them.
It is up to the agent to decide when these packages are handed over to DHL/UPS. While they handle this as soon as they can, sometimes a large batch means that processing will take until the weekend to complete.
We do not receive any tracking numbers until the very end of this cycle, which is usually the weekend. From here, we upload the tracking link into our system, so that customers can receive their tracking information via email.