Buried under orders right now, working on it best I can

Well, this is bad timing, but I’m just plain swamped with orders again lately. Bad timing because I was JUST starting to get ramped up for the Midwest Gaming Classic too! I’m struggling just to keep boxes heading out the door right now much less increase inventory ahead of the show. However I am catching up and hope to have all my CURRENT retail orders shipped by the end of the weekend, and wholesale within a week.

This brings me up another problem, I’m running short on PCB’s right now for a number of products. While I’m doing my best to keep ahead of it there’s a chance a few products may have some short availability issues in the next month or so. This is mostly because as I re-order PCB’s I’m doing a comprehensive update to all the designs to convert over into surface mount formats when possible. The goal is to reduce assembly time and cost, to get profit margins up, so I can start paying down some of this business debt. I don’t see any price increases with these changes, since it’ll be a labor and cost savings, but finances are so tight right now I won’t be able to include any price reductions either unfortunately.

So, here’s a list of what’s running short and upcoming changes….

Williams 6/7 digit bench displays – 10 PCB’s left: These will be getting a major SMT parts conversion for all IC’s, will be a HUGE labor saver. Also adding the much-requested mounting holes in the corners.

Solenoid / Special solenoid testers = 67 PCB’s left: Minor redesign to make the test points SMT parts, possibly the resistors too. Decent labor savings there. Adding fiducials for placement machines.

Drop Target Sliders – 24 PCB’s left: Minor change to a silkscreen error, adding fidicuals for placement machines.

Switch matrix tester 11 PCB’s left: Changing the buttons and diodes to surface mount, and the WPC24 jumper to a DIP switch, all SMT. HUGE labor saver. May add some mounting holes too on these. So glad I am DONE assembling the first run on these, the tactile buttons were such as major pain in the ass.

The Part Numbers Are Out Of Control!!!!!

I knew this day was coming, and it’s not too terrible yet, but I’ve kinda lost control of my part numbering sequence for products. Between computer failures, changes in how I keep track of documents, and various other self-inflicted issues, I really need to get my part numbers back into some version of order.

For most products you won’t see any changes, and most of you don’t go by part numbers anyway, but a couple part numbers may need to be changed in order to get the system back under control. I’ve been building up BOM’s for each product, or at least the vast majority of them, and also am working on a master sheet to control all the part numbers. It won’t be overnight that I get things back under control but it’ll be happening sooner rather than later.

End of 2016 Sales Updates – “A Great Year”

Folks, I am humbled, very humbled. After a great 2015 it turns out 2016 was even better. I blew right past my goal for the year, sometime around August or September. We’re talking 44% net sales increase from 2015 to 2016. From a business standpoint this is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. Heck I even technically turned a profit after factoring in debt on interest. I’m not looking to shoot for the moon, my year to year goal is still 10%-20% improvement, which makes a year like 2016 so much more special.

So, I can share more good news!

I’ve been working hard to make my production more efficient and moving heavily into surface mount technology. This allows me to reduce component cost, reduce labor, and improve production speed. For this reason I don’t see ANY price increases ahead for the first half of 2017, and possibly not even for the 2nd half. The better profit margins are going to be invested into debt reduction and starting to save up for some significant capital projects. I’m eyeballing some basic benchtop surface mount machines that are so tantalizingly within my grasp. Cross your fingers and let’s see if I can pull it off. I don’t want to go further into debt to do it so it’s time to start saving up a larger operating fund.

The simple fact is that I’m mainly assembling everything by hand, and that limits how complex I can make my designs. If I can swing a couple critical machines I’ll be able to automate quite a lot of my processes, which will open up a lot of doors to newer and fancier products and improve my production rate on existing products. So if I can save some cash for new machines, make my production more efficient from a labor standpoint, and reduce costs …. then I can release more new products and keep prices low.

So 2015 was good, 2016 was great, what’s 2017 got coming? So far it’s shaping up to be another great one.

Black Friday Sales Updates

I’d like to thank everybody who made purchases during Black Friday weekend. Once again I can call this sale a success.

I’ve had a few moments on the past year or so where I’ve fallen behind on shipments by a couple of days, and this weekend is no exception. In just three days, sales totals were about what I expected to see in a single month this year …. and more than I’ve seen during three month stretches a couple years back.
It will take me a few days to get caught up with orders I’m able to ship with the parts on-hand, and I did run out of a few parts needed as well.

So if you’ve ordered a Bench Display, -52 LED AUX adapter set, or 3D printed items, I’m doing my best to get everything shipped by December 1st. I need a few connectors and other parts here and there to complete these orders for everybody.

Shopping cart problem fixed.

It appears the shopping cart problem has been corrected, and should be working properly again now.
Sorry for the delays and such, and thank you for letting me know about the issue.

If there’s any other problems please don’t hesitate to tell me at hans@siegecraft.us

Shopping cart issues

Not sure what’s going on, but had a few reports that people can’t complete transactions with the shopping cart. Looks like it’s something to do with the shipping module of the software.

Working on it now, will post up a response when fixed.

Bally AUX board LED adapters now available!

Ok, they’ve actually been available for a bit, but I was a bit buried to sell these in large numbers.

The AUX board adapters for classic Bally machines are now available, and up for sale on the website.

-52 Style Adapters available here….
http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=63&controller=product&id_lang=1

This set ONLY adapts the auxiliary lamp driver board, not the main lamp driver board. Both this set and the Classic Bally/Stern LED adapter set, part number MB-07-011 are needed to convert a full game.
Compatible with Space Invaders, Xenon, Flash Gordon, Eight Ball Deluxe (All versions), Fireball II, Embryon, Fathom, Medusa, Elektra, Vector, Speakeasy, Mr. and Mrs PacMan,

-42 Style Adapters available here….
http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=62&controller=product&id_lang=1

This set ONLY adapts the auxiliary lamp driver board, not the main lamp driver board. Both this set and the Classic Bally/Stern LED adapter set, part number MB-07-011 are needed to convert a full game.
For use with Kiss, Future Spa, Centaur, Centaur II.

Pre-Production boards on order for Bally aux LED adapters

MB-08-010

Big news, I’ve moved the long-delayed bally LED adapters for the aux boards into pre-production status. Prototypes functioned, but had some dimension issues, so they got a near complete redesign. I move to surface mount resistors in order to clear up some bottom-side interference with the SCR’s on the aux lamp board. This also made the board smaller overall, which will clear up most potential interference inside game machines. It also drastically simplified the issues I was having to make the board compatible with all three locations I need it to function. Then it simplified the bill of materials, and reduced overall cost of the PCB. It’s a win-win-win all around.

But there’s still ONE little spot that I need to make sure there’s no interference before I commit to a few hundred of these things. So I have a final 10 piece pre-production set on order now, should be here end of next week. These will go on sale for early adopters below my cost of manufacture.

Good news all around today

Two pieces of good news, one of which is a whole new class of products.

First things first though, I managed to have a discussion with my wire supplier, and it looks like I am able to keep prices under control for the harnesses. So for now I will be holding off on those price increases.

Second news, I have a vinyl cutter on the way. Assuming it works properly and I can figure it out, it means I’ll be starting to add some pinball related vinyl decals to the website. I have a few ideas to start with and will of course expand over time. I’ll also be doing various rocketry and car related stuff as well, so expect a big selection eventually. I won’t be getting into stencils, mylar, or WPC silkscreening though. Not the direction I want to go right now.

Beware, a couple price increases coming

Bad news, cost of wire has been steadily going up, and has risen about 20% or so since the last time I priced out the various testers that have wiring harnesses included. So in the near future I’ll be having to raise a few prices to compensate. It won’t be a huge increase thankfully, but it will be an increase. Expect it to kick in around July 1st or so.

This will affect the bench displays, lamp matrix testers, switch matrix testers, and the separately sold harnesses. I don’t expect it to affect any other products.