4Layer Product Line Update

Shank

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Hey all,

I'm writing to you on behalf 4Layer Technologies, a business @Gman, @Aurelio and I started up to serve the needs of the community. Tonight we are launching some exciting new products, as well as making some slight adjustments to our current product lineup. As a community driven store, we want to keep you all in the loop on what's happening, and why.


First, we have the Ashida!
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This is an incredible project by @Wesk to create a portable with the gamecube ergonomics we've all longed for over the years. By scanning a real gamecube controller with his fancy 3D scanner, he was able to recreate the organic geometry of the GameCube controller. Before announcing our storefront and going live, we reached out to Wesk to offer our assistance to bring this project in an accessible form to the community. We worked together with Wesk to design custom PCBs to make our modular boards integrate directly into the portable. This drastically reduces the amount of hand-wiring needed, while making it easy for us to keep inventory in stock.
-The blank Ashida boards will be sold on the 4Layer store here. They can be easily populated with the modular GC+2 and Uamp boards, along with a handful of parts you can purchase from Mouser or Digikey.
-The case files will be released on Wesk's thread here. They are designed to be (barely) printable on a Prusa Mk 3. You can download the files to print yourself, or upload them to a printing service such as PCBWay.
ashida_set_png_1024x1024.png


Next we have the new RVL-PMS Lite!
This board is designed to make Wii portables more affordable. It has all of the features of the RVL-PMS-2, with only 2 omissions:
-The PMS Lite does not have a 1.8v Regulator. In most cases, the 1.8v LDO on the Wii can be used instead of the custom 1.8v regulator, although the LDO is slightly less efficient.
-The PMS Lite does not have a fuel gauge. Instead it will approximate the remaining battery level using the battery's voltage. The RVL-PMS-Lite still supports LED battery indicators and on-screen battery notices, just like the RVL-PMS-2.
This new iteration uses parts that are less affected by the current global chip shortage. We hope to bring the DNA of the RVL-PMS-2 to other consoles in the near future.
We have a large inventory of these boards ready to go. We are accepting preorders for this board, and we plan to ship orders containing them by September 27th.
PMS-LITE_TOP_720x.png



Next, we have a new revision of the PMS-PD!
This iteration (Rev B) is redesigned to use easier-to-stock parts. This new iteration will also be receiving a $5 price cut, bringing the new price to $19.99! 2 of the pins have slightly changed, so make make sure to review the updated diagram before wiring it up.
PMSPD_REVB_1024x1024 (1).png


Finally, we need to talk about the chip shortage.
Our goal is to keep the hobby as accessible as possible. This is why we took the leap of faith and stocked up on chips when we saw the chip shortage on the horizon. We've seen the burden that an out-of-stock inventory puts on a community of makers, and we are working hard to keep our store stocked with the products you need to make incredible projects. While we have a large inventory on-hand, we likely do not have enough of certain parts to keep every product stocked through the entirety of the chip shortage. Specifically the RVL-PMS-2 has many parts that now have extremely long lead times. While the RVL-PMS-Lite will handle the vast majority of use cases, we understand that there are a few applications that require the extra 1.8v regulator. The RVL-PMS-Lite was designed to utilize parts to last us through the chip shortage, and we want to encourage users to purchase the PMS-Lite instead of the PMS-2. This is why we will be raising the price of the RVL-PMS-2 by $5 to $79.99: we want modders to purchase the PMS-Lite instead, so we can continue to keep the RVL-PMS-2.
-With the price increase of the RVL-PMS-2, and the price cut of the new PMS-PD-2, the end price for these 2 is the same as before.
-With the RVL-PMS-Lite and the PMS-PD, the price is $15 more affordable than before.

We have a lot of exciting products in the works, and we hope to share them with you soon. Thank you for all the support so far,

Shank, Gman, and Aurelio of 4Layer Technologies
 

Gman

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Does the GC+2 get recognized by the Switch yet?
The switch doesnt have GC ports so no it's not possible. If you mean the gc to usb adapter it's a quirk with the adapter itself I believe, not relating to the switch. And no we havent test the GC+ with any of the usb adapters.
 

Pacal

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This is so cool!!,
I was wonder if you guys are going to put another Pms for sale for the N64 in the future like the one we had in the bb store?
 
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Thanks to everyone in the 4layers team, those boards are really helpfull and give an access to even greater portable.
i bought some board friday and was curious about this New pms-lite. Thanks for the Price cut on pms-pd .:)
 
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I’m just gonna say that the big 3 running the store are incredible. Thank you all so much for running such a wonderful service as well as helping me and so many others get into this scene.
 
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Are you thinking about having an ashida kit like the g-boy which comes with parts and also maybe a guide like the g-boy and I would really like to start making portables and this seems like a good place to start!
 
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It is very very unlikely that the Ashida will be sold as a kit - however, Wesk has made it very simple to make. He has provided all of the 3D files that can be printed online with websites like PCBWay, and a full updated BOM with links to every product. It is as close to being a kit as it can possibly be, and I agree, it's a great place to dip your toes in!
 
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It is very very unlikely that the Ashida will be sold as a kit - however, Wesk has made it very simple to make. He has provided all of the 3D files that can be printed online with websites like PCBWay, and a full updated BOM with links to every product. It is as close to being a kit as it can possibly be, and I agree, it's a great place to dip your toes in!
Ok thank you I hope that my will turn out right when I start!
 

wiiboy

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I would love to build it but printing the case from pcbway is very pricey. Does anyone have an idea for an alternative way to get the case? I am new to the scene, but I really excited to try to build one. I also can't find anywhere on what wires to buy for the connection and where to buy them.
 

Gman

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if you have a 3d printer, or someone you know, it can be printed on traditional fdm printer. You will need 22awg multistranded wire and 34 awg magnet wire. Check amazon for this.
 

Shank

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Hello all! Today we have some news regarding the 4Layer modular product line pricing.

When we started up 4Layer, a chip shortage was on the horizon, and we made a significant investment in initial inventory. Sales have exceeded our expectations, and while this is exciting for us, it also has had the unfortunate consequence of depleting our inventory faster than we expected. To say the chip shortage has been rough would be an understatement: modified boards like the RVL-PMS-Lite had to be developed after lead times for RVL-PMS-2 components climbed beyond 83 weeks.

Sourcing parts has become more expensive and more difficult every day. We started 4Layer tech with the goal of making portablizing as accessible as possible. Part of that goal is keeping the prices low to reduce the barrier to entry on pricing, and it has been a fight behind the scenes to keep prices low. As chip prices have crept up, we have kept our pricing steady, but we have reached a point where prices need to be adjusted to keep the business sustainable.

Starting February 1st, we will be making the following pricing adjustment:
RVL-PMS Lite: $64.99 -> $69.99
Uamp: $19.99 -> $21.99

As of writing, we have no plans to adjust the price of the PMS-PD and GC+.

As mentioned above, pricing adjustments will take place on February 1st 2022. You will still be able to purchase them at the old prices until then. Thank you all for the support and understanding. The chip shortage has been extremely tough, but we are excited to do what we love and see the continue to grow.

-The 4Layer Team <3
 
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It's really nice to have a dedicated community store for portablizing hobbyists. Thank you for keeping stock for us. We appreciate you guys at 4layer!
 
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I was just looking around to find an update. But is there an estimated restock date for the RVL-PMS-LITE?
 

Shank

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Hello all. We have some news regarding some of our more popular products, and thought we would offer some info on our plans to keep our products in stock amidst the continued parts shortage.

New RVL-PMS-Lite Revision and Backorders

Summary:

-New PMS-Lite revision with all the same features
-New revision is 4mm longer (new dimensions: 34.5 x 36.2 mm)
-New revision has more parts than our tools can handle, so we cannot install it in house
-We are outsourcing assembly, so we will be taking back orders.
-We expect to get the assembled boards back within 6-10 weeks (but possibly sooner if things go smoothly)
-Price will be the same for backorder customers, but price will increase once it is back in stock.

Full story:
Keeping the RVL-PMS-Lite stocked and available has been a fight. We have redesigned the board several times to keep the product and its quality consistent using the everchanging and dwindling part availability. We have a new completed and tested design ready to go, but the design has more individual parts than our in-house assembly equipment can handle. Instead, we plan outsource the assembly of a large batch. To ease things on our end and help us gauge demand, we will be taking backorders. We expect backorders will ship within 6-10 weeks. Customers who purchase during this backorder period will be able to purchase the new revision at the same $69.99 price, while orders placed after the backorder window will see a price increase to reflect the cost increase of this new revision.

For those concerned ere is a picture of the new RVL-PMS-Lite revision inside the same Ashida case. Still a perfect fit.
20220915_192604.jpg



New ForeverPak 64 revision

Summary:
-New ForeverPak 64 revision
-Functionally identical, same compatibility.
-Only changing a part due to part shortage
-Uses FRAM instead of MRAM
-FRAM is more expensive, and other costs have increased. Price will increase by $5.
-Backorder and grandfather pricing ends when we receive and stock boards

Full Story:
Up until very shortly before launch, ForeverPak 64 was planned to be built around FRAM chips. But shortly before launching, we discovered MRAM chips. They met our specifications, were slightly less expensive, and easier to source reliably (and avoid counterfeits). Our FRAM prototypes also had some incompatibilities, and our MRAM had none of the issues. So that means MRAM good, FRAM bad right? That's what we thought, and what we went with in our initial marketing, highlighting the compatibility advantage. Turns out we were wrong. The N64 DEV community was quick to call this out, and through their help, we were able to trace the root of our compatibility issue to a design flaw in our prototype. With a slight adjustment to our prototype, the FRAM was fully compatible with the N64's library. We quickly updated our marketing to remove all references to MRAM, FRAM, and compatibility differences, as their performance/compatibility was the same.

Fast forward to present day, and a new issue looms its head. The MRAM chip we use for ForeverPak is a victim of the chip shortage, with no restock in sight.
With MRAM off the table, we are switching back to FRAM chips, as we are able to reliably source them again. As discussed earlier, performance/compatibility of the end product will remain unaffected. The only downside is an increase in cost, when combined with how our other costs have increased, means we need to increase the price by $5 (from $29.99 to $34.99).

So what does this change mean to you as an end customer of the ForeverPak64? As far as we can tell, nothing. The product should perform exactly the same. But we feel transparency is important, and want to share details of product changes.


Thank you all for the support. We have several products in the works (including some new ForeverPak 64 colors) we are excited to share when they are closer to launch.
 
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