Millicarat Email to Nam - Feb 21, 1998
This was an email JB sent to Nam on Feb 21, 1998 - a month after the Millicarat introduction in Tucson. It shows some very positive customer reactions. Unfortunately, there just weren't many of these people!
I hope this message finds you well. There is good news from the Scale Front. About 18 months ago, Duncan and I decided to dump the Ceramic Sensor design, which we just never could get adequate creep performance out of, in favor of improving the existing BeCu spring design. Slowly, over the 18-month period, we redesigned first the springs, then the pan, the pin, the cable, and the ceramics... The result was good, much improved thermal performance and significantly better creep than the G-50 sensors.
I rewrote, virtually from the ground up, the DSP program for more versatile averaging times and intelligible logic. And came up with a new Calibration program (in Visual Basic) for Hal and his new Robot friend Dave.
The case got some changes to accommodate the new springs and provide RFI shielding from the outside world.
I think the only thing unchanged was the circuit!
Marian announced she refused to go to another Tucson show without a new product, and we endeavored to come up with functioning prototypes by February 2. I really don't know how it all came together, but somehow it did, culminating in an all-nighter the evening before we were due to go to Tucson. We had eleven prototypes by 4:30 am, and the Taxi picked us up at 6:15 am!
It made a great hit, was declared "a winner" several times at the show, and as we returned Bill took one over across the pond to Antwerp where it made a huge hit at the world's second largest diamond company, Eurostar.
Bill had the nerve to drop it (the only one on earth...) on the uncarpeted floor when asked about its shock resistance. I couldn't have done it! And it just worked fine!! Wow!
Friday Bill called from Antwerp to say his trip was "going very, very, very, very well" (I don't know how that compares to "Extremely Well") ... he gets back on Tuesday.
Of course, I wonder if we can really make them work as production scales!
Well, there is an update. When you come over next there should be interesting things to see. A new Robot named Lisa is in the works...
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