cardinote_china

Tabophone Gets a Makeover in China

We’ve definitely been flying under the radar for the past year – and it’s because we were in China! This is what we’ve been up to.

In 2015, we have gotten some amazing feedback from guitarists worldwide. Our email inboxes were full of great ideas from hobbyists, instructors and even professional artists. This awesome community has helped us identify weaknesses in Tabophone and discover ways in which it can be made even better.

For Tabophone to improve, we needed to go back to the drawing board. And what better place to build something than in Shenzhen, China: the Silicon Valley of electronics.

Early morning at the famous Huaqiangbei electronics market.
Early morning at the famous Huaqiangbei electronics market.

It’s here and through weeks of exploring that we learned about the latest technologies, electronics and manufacturing capabilities needed to achieve our new goals. We have broken down the original device into its core components so that we can transform it into something better. Think creative destruction!

Mount testing with various guitars using the old device.
Mount testing with various guitars using the old device.
Printed circuit board layout using CAD software.
Printed circuit board layout design using CAD software.

We made sure that every design decision results in a manufacturable product. It’s stress-free to design something for the 3D printer, but designing for manufacturing is another matter – how do you make thousands of parts while maintaining high quality? To answer this question, we visited factories to study how things were made.

Solder paste is applied to circuit boards which allows electronics to be placed on.
Solder paste is applied to circuit boards which allows electronics to be placed on.
Soldering oven bakes a populated circuit board to secure electronics in place.
Soldering oven bakes a populated circuit board to secure electronics in place.
Circuit boards undergoing automatic optical inspection (AOI).
Circuit boards undergoing automatic optical inspection (AOI).
The size of this assembly line is considered small in China!
The size of this assembly line is considered small in China!

We return to Canada armed with the knowledge of manufacturing and a brand new Tabophone design that we are confident to enter production with. When we got our local guitarists to try it out, they were super excited about its new look and extra features. We can’t wait to tell you more :) Hint: that USB cable sometimes gets in the way, doesn’t it?

We’d like to thank everyone who has given us ideas to make Tabophone a better product. We’re always open for feedback or comments.

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Comments

  1. Adam Russ

    This product looks to be promising, and very needed. I'd love to be a part of any beta-testing efforts, and have done so for many other products. I'd also be interested to know if you have an estimated timeline for shipping your product. Looks great!

    Adam
    408-209-2399

  2. Barry Stepp

    I honestly don't think theirs ever been a product I was more excited about getting my hands on. I can't wait to buy this thing. I'd like to throw my hat in the ring as a beta tester as well if that's something you end up doing.

  3. Rainier Trillanes

    Great job Calvin!

    I would like to test out your product as soon it comes out. Let me know when this comes out..

    Rainier

  4. Joseph Simkus

    I can't wait for this product! I often can't write the things I want to play do as fast as I would like to and lose something in the translation. With this product I will finally be able to express myself and save my ideas. Thanks Calvin!

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