Clockwork

Vakaros

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Anybody get a Vakaros yet?  After many delays it was supposed to have started shipping a few weeks ago but haven't got my shipment notice yet.  Wondering if anyone out there got one or is it still vaporware at this point?

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We've started shipping, and early customers are now receiving their units. Getting our supply chain and manufacturing process set up so that we can do assembly in-house has taken longer than we hoped, but is an important part of delivering a quality product that we are proud to stand behind. Now that we have that process running smoothly, we're 100% focused on delivering units as quickly as we can put them through the extensive assembly, testing and validation process. 


We've built up a large backlog of orders that we're working through, and thus we plan to end the pre-order period and 20% discount on February 3rd. We're tremendously appreciative of all of our pre-order customers, and can't wait to put the Atlas in their hands!

--Jake and Todd

895534190_AtlasEnclosureAssembly.thumb.jpg.591c937ef2f367d6832f62bc547dfe2f.jpg

 

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I have same question,

minimal communication regarding delivery

Ordered aproximate  5months ago

Promised 4th qtr 2018

 

 

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Seems awfully small. Specs make it seem like it isn't much bigger than an iPhone. Does anyone have any pictures of this on a mid 30-foot boat? 

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Here's a couple pictures from a Marstrom 32 that might help you get a better sense of scale:IMGP2633small.thumb.jpg.6841ff5ff2855fb5548638886c26c9b5.jpgIMGP3399small.thumb.jpg.c70494a4ac87e2a331c4da0340aecea5.jpg

 

Physically, the overall size of the Atlas is small (you can put it in your pocket), even though the display size is comparable to a Prostart. This is one of the design features that allows the Atlas work on boats as small as a Laser and as large as a Farr 40. We've also put a lot of effort into display clarity, sunlight performance and viewing angles. The anti-reflective coating on the Gorilla Glass and optical bonding between the glass and the display make a huge difference in the sun.

 

 

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That looks great ,but I am sure customers who are eagerly waiting on new Units would like more indication as to when they might receive their Atlas 

 

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Definitely. We're certainly frustrated that we haven't been able to ship units out as quickly as we had planned. Setting up manufacturing in the USA has proved more challenging than we anticipated, largely due to some of the ongoing global trade instability. As a small company launching our first product, adapting to unexpected increases in lead times and disruptions in component supply isn't easy, and has produced some delays. Now that we've resolved those issues, we're working to increase the Atlas production rate and fill all of our outstanding pre-orders. Units are shipping out as quickly as they come off the production line, and we expect to complete shipping of all pre-orders before the end of March. 


We really appreciate the support and patience of all of our pre-order customers. We wouldn't be here without you, and can't wait to put the Atlas in your hands.

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It's a 4.4" LCD, 320 x 240. All the tech specs for the Atlas can be found here: https://www.vakaros.com/atlas-tech-specs/

Display layout can be customized to match boat and preferences, with dense, information rich screens, graphical displays or simple layouts with big numbers. The Atlas supports digit size up to 40 mm height (two metrics, portrait), or one at 60 mm (in landscape).

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2 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Ok, so the size comparison to a phone is about right. Resolution significantly lower.

iPhone X screen is 6.5". I would imagine this would be pretty hard to see if it where mast mounted on anything bigger than 30'

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I got to spend a couple hours at the Newport boat show (and later at IYAC) with Todd.   He let us take one of the units down the dock to test its clarity.  We got 60 feet away and could clearly see the display with and without polarized glasses on.  One of the guys with me, knows is stuff about electronics and programming.  He spent a good hour quizzing Todd about all sorts of tech stuff i didn't understand.  So I just talked to Tiffany.  

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Anyone get one yet?  I'm still in the production queue.  Nine months and waiting....  Frustrated but looking forward to getting the unit.

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As per Clockwork question, I’m also very curious whether anyone got their (pre-production) delivery - it should have been supplied but there is radio silence on user experiences. Anyone?

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I am order #158

I imagine they are busy trying to get units assembled and out the door.  However, communication and customer support is key to keeping the product selling. 

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Yes, last email update from Vakaros was indicating that they have started supplying - very keen to hear any first impressions of actual customers. 

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Maybe a stupid question,  it says waypoints and navigation,  so I assume that means you could input coordinates of a race course and somehow navigate your way around ?  bearing and distance to the next mark etc ?  or is that more in the realm of a navigation too.  No user manual posted online that I saw.   

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11 hours ago, NYBOZO1 said:

Anyone out there who has actually received a unit?

I worry that it is not gonna happen........

 

It is for sure starting to sound a bit sketchy.  Things lie that always take 3 times the cash to get going compared to estimates - sometimes that means running out of it

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Hi All,

We completely understand the frustration with slow deliveries and we’re sorry we haven’t done a better job of communicating. We’ve been really focused on Atlas production and have struggled to balance that with keeping everyone up to date. Here’s a few updates on how things are going, and some reflection on things we’ve learned along the way:

Atlas Production:
We’re working to get caught up on our backlog, but it continues to be a slower process than we would like. We’ve been working through some challenges in our manufacturing process that unfortunately didn’t reveal themselves until we started producing units in higher volumes.

In particular, we’ve been struggling with poor yields on a critical step where two components are glued together with little margin for error. This left us with a difficult choice between forging ahead using a slow process that sometimes produced quality parts, or taking time away from production to resolve the problem. We ended up completely redesigning our automated adhesive dispensing robot, addressing issues that we had discovered with the first iteration. The new version is now up and running, and working much better, with increased speed and a far higher yield. 

Supply chain:
This is an area we did not give enough consideration to in developing our production plan and timeline for the Atlas. We didn’t appreciate just how painful late deliveries, long lead times or supplier problems can be for a small, new hardware company, and it has been a difficult (and expensive!) learning curve. We’re finally on top of this now, primarily through holding a lot of stock for critical items, and validating multiple suppliers. 

Building a small business:
This is never an easy task, and the process has given us tremendous respect for anyone who takes it on, succeed or fail. We made a conscious decision early in the development of Vakaros not to seek outside investment--we’ve seen what happened to other sailing technology companies that went down that road, and we don’t want the Atlas to end up as another undeveloped afterthought to a larger companies product line. We invested our own time and money to carry the idea as far as we could, and then turned to all of you for help getting it over the finish line. We’ve been overwhelmed with the response from sailors around the world, and we’re tremendously grateful to everyone who has supported us. Vakaros would not exist without you. 

Right now, we’re 100% focused on finishing Atlas shipments for all of our pre-order customers as quickly as we can. Production parts for all pre-order units have been ordered, and the majority have arrived. Delivery is now just a matter of manufacturing time. 

We’ll also be making a concerted effort to do a better job communicating updates and responding to questions. As part of that process, we are working on expanding our team--if you know someone who is passionate about sailing and has a software engineering, manufacturing or marketing/communications background, please ask them to get in touch via careers@vakaros.com !

Thank you again for your support and patience,

Jake and Todd


20190309_210819.thumb.jpg.993d4541dbf2e831c7cac644fa599e8e.jpg

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3849e943-78ea-496e-b380-e2a06f753532.png

Atlas Production Update

 

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We've been working through some scaling challenges, and haven't done a good job balancing that with other important tasks, including sharing updates with you. Weekly Atlas production is increasing as we continue to improve the process and expand production capacity, and we'll be working every day until all pre-orders have shipped.

 

 

 

 

 

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Manufacturing upgrade

We redesigned our adhesive dispensing robot to solve problems that developed with the first version. The new robot (left) is a huge improvement--far more accurate, able to operate at higher speeds and with reduced setup time. 

 

 

 

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Vakaros is growing

We're adding more robots and more people, to help us catch up on production and prepare for the future. We've brought on two experienced software developers to help with the growing ecosystem of Vakaros software. The two 3D printers (right) help us produce fixtures used during the assembly and testing process. While we don't use any 3D printed parts in the Atlas itself, many of the assembly steps use 3D printed fixtures to align and hold parts together while they are bonded or soldered. 

 

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Ping Smarter


The new Ping menu on the Atlas automatically calculates some key numbers for the start: bearings along the line in both directions, the line perpendicular and the line length. It also shows your current position relative to the line--really helpful for making a quick check to see if your start line setup and pings are correct. 

 

 

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Several emails sent and no response for over six weeks.  No reports from anyone here receiving an instrument.  I ordered my instrument almost 10 months ago. 

Is this going to happen?  Have any instruments shipped yet?  Has anyone here got one yet?  They're an SA advertiser and still no one on SA has one?

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Watching the video, above, is pretty telling. On the 15th, they say they're going to do a video a week. Self imposed goal, failed to execute.

The talk is all about the most obvious problems of scaling a technology product as if it were never anticipated. And throughout it all, they just look at each other wistfully, hoping it's just a nightmare and the dream is right around the corner.

There are no facts. No mention of how many units shipped, of what the yields are, of what the backlog is, of how long it will take to clear it, of concrete steps. They talk about working every day, but there's no mention of working every night, which is how startups work. Frankly, it seems they're enamored with the adventure when they should be focused on the mission.

Hiring software engineers and manufacturing technicians is not the solution to this problem. They need a manufacturing engineer who knows how to design for volume and they need some professional management to deal with customers.

They start talking about software and it really goes down hill. Everything is complicated, they always wanted to work on cool features, there's just so much else involved. This is engineering gobbledygook for we never had a realistic plan for our product, our development schedule, our manufacturing, our quality, our reliability, our ramp or our customer commitments.

The close is yet another promise of an update in a week, which would have been half a week ago, a 50% schedule slip.

It's a common phenomena best summarized by two refrains, one aspirational, one realistic ...

Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece
-- Bob Dylan
 
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son
That you better learn it fast, you better learn it young
'Cause someday never comes
-- John Fogerty

 

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we have done a bad job communicating......... and apparently "we don't care!"

what's the difference between scam, and people who take your money and then just go silent?

 

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On 3/26/2019 at 12:17 AM, Moonduster said:

...

 Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece
-- Bob Dylan
 
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son
That you better learn it fast, you better learn it young
'Cause someday never comes
-- John Fogerty

 

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” 
 Pablo Picasso

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Anyone make a bracket for a Viper mast for this supposed device?

I can make an AL one, but a nice Carbon bracket would be sweet!

Thanks,

FD

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On 3/26/2019 at 12:17 AM, Moonduster said:

Watching the video, above, is pretty telling. On the 15th, they say they're going to do a video a week. Self imposed goal, failed to execute.

The talk is all about the most obvious problems of scaling a technology product as if it were never anticipated. And throughout it all, they just look at each other wistfully, hoping it's just a nightmare and the dream is right around the corner.

There are no facts. No mention of how many units shipped, of what the yields are, of what the backlog is, of how long it will take to clear it, of concrete steps. They talk about working every day, but there's no mention of working every night, which is how startups work. Frankly, it seems they're enamored with the adventure when they should be focused on the mission.

Hiring software engineers and manufacturing technicians is not the solution to this problem. They need a manufacturing engineer who knows how to design for volume and they need some professional management to deal with customers.

They start talking about software and it really goes down hill. Everything is complicated, they always wanted to work on cool features, there's just so much else involved. This is engineering gobbledygook for we never had a realistic plan for our product, our development schedule, our manufacturing, our quality, our reliability, our ramp or our customer commitments.

The close is yet another promise of an update in a week, which would have been half a week ago, a 50% schedule slip.

It's a common phenomena best summarized by two refrains, one aspirational, one realistic ...

Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece
-- Bob Dylan
 
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son
That you better learn it fast, you better learn it young
'Cause someday never comes
-- John Fogerty

 

Yep - doesn't bode well for future upgrades, customer service or the ability to actually stay in business.  

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Still waiting. Email i got recently implied  shipping had started but dosent actually say so directly. 

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With a production time of 6-8h pr unit (according to latest newsletter) I really hope they are completing three pr day on average and not one...  

The product looks great, so I'm not regretting to order one (yet). 

 

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Quoting 6-8 hours per unit is a useless measure. That could all be glue drying time and indicates nothing about yield. The appropriate measure is hours of labor per unit shipped or units shipped per day.

More ridiculous is that in the other thread they compare themselves to Apple and Tesla, a good indication of the depth of the cluelessness. Apple and Tesla build products requiring 100s of millions of R&D and billions in manufacturing tooling to hit markets that return billions in profits. Their product development processes are defined by the challenges of scaling.

The vacuous story could not be more different. They've pre-sold a product that didn't exist and that they still cannot build. This is exactly why the pay-pre-production approach is so corrupt. By side stepping the scrutiny of venture capital investors, professionals who look for aspirations tempered by reality as opposed to fantasy. Instead of securing dollars earmarked for high-risk investment and facilitated by professional management, these units have been sold before they were designed. And while there's clearly some responsibility on behalf of the purchaser, the lion's share rests squarely on the shoulders of those who sold what's proven to be dreams and spent the money on what's proven to be nightmares.

 

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15 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Quoting 6-8 hours per unit is a useless measure. That could all be glue drying time and indicates nothing about yield. The appropriate measure is hours of labor per unit shipped or units shipped per day.

More ridiculous is that in the other thread they compare themselves to Apple and Tesla, a good indication of the depth of the cluelessness. Apple and Tesla build products requiring 100s of millions of R&D and billions in manufacturing tooling to hit markets that return billions in profits. Their product development processes are defined by the challenges of scaling.

The vacuous story could not be more different. They've pre-sold a product that didn't exist and that they still cannot build. This is exactly why the pay-pre-production approach is so corrupt. By side stepping the scrutiny of venture capital investors, professionals who look for aspirations tempered by reality as opposed to fantasy. Instead of securing dollars earmarked for high-risk investment and facilitated by professional management, these units have been sold before they were designed. And while there's clearly some responsibility on behalf of the purchaser, the lion's share rests squarely on the shoulders of those who sold what's proven to be dreams and spent the money on what's proven to be nightmares.

 

I would disagree with the statement that the product didn't exist.  They built several prototypes that were being used and tested in the Marstrom32 class.  There is also Melges 24 that is running one.

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22 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Quoting 6-8 hours per unit is a useless measure. That could all be glue drying time and indicates nothing about yield. The appropriate measure is hours of labor per unit shipped or units shipped per day.

More ridiculous is that in the other thread they compare themselves to Apple and Tesla, a good indication of the depth of the cluelessness. Apple and Tesla build products requiring 100s of millions of R&D and billions in manufacturing tooling to hit markets that return billions in profits. Their product development processes are defined by the challenges of scaling.

The vacuous story could not be more different. They've pre-sold a product that didn't exist and that they still cannot build. This is exactly why the pay-pre-production approach is so corrupt. By side stepping the scrutiny of venture capital investors, professionals who look for aspirations tempered by reality as opposed to fantasy. Instead of securing dollars earmarked for high-risk investment and facilitated by professional management, these units have been sold before they were designed. And while there's clearly some responsibility on behalf of the purchaser, the lion's share rests squarely on the shoulders of those who sold what's proven to be dreams and spent the money on what's proven to be nightmares.

 

Sounds as though you may have been through this once or more, Duster.

Telling to have the realities of experience weigh in on the "Vakuous story".

What do you imagine these guys do for day jobs?

Can anyone substantiate having taken delivery of anything other than a prototype?

 

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I know a thing or two about electronics mfg. Moonduster is right. The gap between prototype and product is wide, and they don't seem to be crossing it.

Crowdfunding is great for the few who know how to build a product but lack the funding. It also enables scammers and dreamers. It's impossible to tell them apart, except through reputation.

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Is the Vakaros being offered as pre-sales or crowd-funding? Or both?

Pre-sales would suggest they had product to deliver?

Either way anybody who ponied up last year must be wondering/worried  about their $.

Good bet it has fueled some of the trial/error R&D expenses?

 

 

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"Your unit is in the production batch being completed this week. You should see a shipping confirmation with a tracking number from us on Friday."  (4/5)

Hope this happens...

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Great news Clockwork!

May I ask what your order number is? (To get a feel of where the production rate is).

Also, once you get it, I’d be interested on your experience(s).

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Since my prior post - i have gotten several long email responses from Atlas - descriptions of their efforts, several reminders that they don't have capital so presumably this the customers are funding, no specifics on how many have been delivered, hope that I will have a unit by spring - trying to read between the lines I go the impression that the sins here are ones of in experience and entitlement (hey we didnt raise capital so its not our fault..) and not just a scam.  But the proof will be in the delivery.

 

Would be great to hear from customers who have actually received a unit.

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On 4/4/2019 at 1:12 PM, Clockwork said:

"Your unit is in the production batch being completed this week. You should see a shipping confirmation with a tracking number from us on Friday."  (4/5)

Hope this happens...

So, Clock, any shipping confirmation?

Unit received?

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trying to read between the lines I go the impression that the sins here are ones of in experience and entitlement (hey we didnt raise capital so its not our fault..) and not just a scam

Exactly what's the difference and why should a paying customer really care?

 

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Just so, Moonduster

Think "buyers" are aware that what they were purchasing was product development?

Anxiousness about product release may become the least of their concerns.

What will happen when the unimagined issues become apparent?

Who will fund that?

May make an attractive paperweight?

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Clockwork,  

Do you have a tracking number?  Or simply a promise?

Please let us know when it actually arrives.

Thanks much!

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33 minutes ago, Clockwork said:

After many promises and delays I now have a tracking number that shows it's on its way due here on Friday.

What was your order #?

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On 4/17/2019 at 12:03 PM, Clockwork said:

After many promises and delays I now have a tracking number that shows it's on its way due here on Friday.

Well..?

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:22 PM, Clockwork said:

It’s here. I’ll send pics later. 

What's the verdict?

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Initially I was surprised at how physically small it is.  Once I turned it on I was blown away at how readable it is.  Way easier to read than the prostart.  It's so clear and there's so much contrast that the numbers jump out at you.  No issues with polarized sunglasses.  The software is limited at this point.  Seems to still be beta version. They say the iPhone app to control, configure and add features is 'coming soon'.  I hope that doesn't mean six+ months.   The current set up is intuitive and easy to figure out.  HDG, DTL, SOG, Timer, Heel and Trim are up and working.  I installed the instrument over the weekend and I'll run it through a race on Wednesday evening.

Vakaros Pic.jpg

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:22 PM, Clockwork said:

It’s here. I’ll send pics later. 

how did work?

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Tried it out on a Wednesday night beer can race.  It was easy to set the line.  Not giving perpendicular compass heading or line headings yet.  I'm sure this is because you can't set a gps compass variation to magnetic so the info would be useless until that can be set.  No bow offset either.  Easy and intuitive to set and sync the timer.  The compass is a bit sensitive and no way to dampen.  Same with the speed.  Really not much you can do or customize.  The display is wonderful.  Very easy to see and love the contrasting display backgrounds.  Looking forward to being able to fiddle with the settings and data pages.  Hoping a software update will bring new features like wind direction capture and/or computation, line bias, shift tracking, VMG...  I think it would be cool to have a flashing background on the timer in the last 10 seconds.  We'll see what they come up with.  I see some FB posts about a phone app to do some of this and possibly control the device.  Hopefully not 6 month vaporware.  Our season is getting underway and my ProStart officially gave it up just when the Vakaros arrived...Perfect timing.  Regatta next weekend.

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It would be nice if they opened up their API and let us common folks develop apps for their HW.

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On 4/27/2019 at 8:18 AM, Clockwork said:

Tried it out on a Wednesday night beer can race.  It was easy to set the line.  Not giving perpendicular compass heading or line headings yet.  I'm sure this is because you can't set a gps compass variation to magnetic so the info would be useless until that can be set.  No bow offset either.  Easy and intuitive to set and sync the timer.  The compass is a bit sensitive and no way to dampen.  Same with the speed.  Really not much you can do or customize.  The display is wonderful.  Very easy to see and love the contrasting display backgrounds.  Looking forward to being able to fiddle with the settings and data pages.  Hoping a software update will bring new features like wind direction capture and/or computation, line bias, shift tracking, VMG...  I think it would be cool to have a flashing background on the timer in the last 10 seconds.  We'll see what they come up with.  I see some FB posts about a phone app to do some of this and possibly control the device.  Hopefully not 6 month vaporware.  Our season is getting underway and my ProStart officially gave it up just when the Vakaros arrived...Perfect timing.  Regatta next weekend.

Expensive Device if none of the functions work 

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Got mine!!

Got a text from Todd (Thursday) that they were finishing up my Vakaros and would ship out the next day.  It was on my doorstep Tuesday.  When I opened the shipping box and saw what was inside, I reflected back to my first IPhone I ever got.  The Vakaros was not shoved in a box and shipped out.  The carrying case for the Vakaros is nice and compact, holding the unit, charging cord, mast bracket, and mast track attachment.  When you pick up the unit, you can tell it is well built and solid.  I spend some time that evening getting acquainted to features.  The next day, I slap the Vakaros on the dash of my truck and head to work.  Top speed of 78 heading in that morning.  After work I head to Yacht Club to show it off.  Lots of oohhs and ahhs.  Saturday rolls around and we have a quick race around our lake and crawfish boil that afternoon.  We mount it under our existing race master and it has nice tight look on the mast.  We have been racing the Melges 24 for 10 years and have only ever had a compass and timer.  

  • Visually - Clear and crisp.  
  • Compass - Fast refresh rate compared to the TackTic Racemaster.  The Vakaros would change 2* and racemaster wouldn't move.  
  • Speed - Seemed to be pretty accurate, but nothing to compare it with.  We did win the race.  So we were fast.
  • Heel and Pitch Angle - I really like this feature.  I have always sailed the Melges 24 watching our heal angle and now I can actually see a number.  I think the pitch will come in handy downwind.  
  • Start Ping - Worked really well and easy to use. Our start was a pursuit start so we tested it a few times and appeared to be accurate.  Its something we haven't used on this boat so will have to get used to using it.
  • Timer - It's a timer, it worked.

Full blown test will be in a week and half at the Melges 24 Nationals.

Overall I love the feel of the unit.  It's solid and doesn't feel cheap.  Definitely made well and should last a long time.  I am not an tech geek, so the current functions meet the need we have for the Melges 24.  I would like the ability to have some post race analytics or tracking.  I will be interested to see what the app will be able to do.  I am pulling for these guys.  Taking a risk like this is not easy mentally and physically on anyone.  

 

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On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

Tried it out on a Wednesday night beer can race.  It was easy to set the line.  Not giving perpendicular compass heading or line headings yet.  I'm sure this is because you can't set a gps compass variation to magnetic so the info would be useless until that can be set.  No bow offset either. 

Yep, we track declination but had it disabled while testing. You'll get the option to turn it on in the next release as well as have the finished start screen. Same with bow offset. 

 

On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

Easy and intuitive to set and sync the timer.  The compass is a bit sensitive and no way to dampen.  Same with the speed. 

Everyone seems to have a different taste for dampening, so we're going to offer two options: manual dampening per "channel" or an automagical adaptive dampening that we hope will be the easier option. 

 

On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

The display is wonderful.  Very easy to see and love the contrasting display backgrounds. 

Thank you. We've certainly put a lot of effort into it and wanted to have the best display possible. It's always fun for us to see people's reaction to the display. 

 

On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

Looking forward to being able to fiddle with the settings and data pages.  Hoping a software update will bring new features like wind direction capture and/or computation, line bias, shift tracking, VMG... 

All things slotted for the coming update. Lot to say about all of these features - we'll try to get some info out prior to the release. 

 

On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

I think it would be cool to have a flashing background on the timer in the last 10 seconds.

That's a cool idea. How to convey all the information at a start is always a much debated topic @ Vakaros. We're looking forward to having some great options for you to choose from. 

 

On 4/26/2019 at 6:48 PM, Clockwork said:

We'll see what they come up with.  I see some FB posts about a phone app to do some of this and possibly control the device.  Hopefully not 6 month vaporware.  Our season is getting underway and my ProStart officially gave it up just when the Vakaros arrived...Perfect timing.  Regatta next weekend.

Pretty close to an initial release. It's a pain developing for both platforms. Expect the first version to be pretty limited and new features and abilities introduced incrementally. 

 

Thanks for all the kind words and feedback; it's tremendously helpful!

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:44 AM, Varan said:

It would be nice if they opened up their API and let us common folks develop apps for their HW.

[Todd] I'm sympathetic to this as a software developer. I'd say the chances of an on-device API are low for a lot of reasons, but we will be providing an API over BLE. I'm curious what people would like to do and how many want to do it. 

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13 hours ago, GLAZE said:

Got mine!!

Got a text from Todd (Thursday) that they were finishing up my Vakaros and would ship out the next day.  It was on my doorstep Tuesday.  When I opened the shipping box and saw what was inside, I reflected back to my first IPhone I ever got.  The Vakaros was not shoved in a box and shipped out.  The carrying case for the Vakaros is nice and compact, holding the unit, charging cord, mast bracket, and mast track attachment.  When you pick up the unit, you can tell it is well built and solid.  I spend some time that evening getting acquainted to features.  The next day, I slap the Vakaros on the dash of my truck and head to work.  Top speed of 78 heading in that morning.  After work I head to Yacht Club to show it off.  Lots of oohhs and ahhs.  Saturday rolls around and we have a quick race around our lake and crawfish boil that afternoon.  We mount it under our existing race master and it has nice tight look on the mast.  We have been racing the Melges 24 for 10 years and have only ever had a compass and timer.  

  • Visually - Clear and crisp.  
  • Compass - Fast refresh rate compared to the TackTic Racemaster.  The Vakaros would change 2* and racemaster wouldn't move.  
  • Speed - Seemed to be pretty accurate, but nothing to compare it with.  We did win the race.  So we were fast.
  • Heel and Pitch Angle - I really like this feature.  I have always sailed the Melges 24 watching our heal angle and now I can actually see a number.  I think the pitch will come in handy downwind.  
  • Start Ping - Worked really well and easy to use. Our start was a pursuit start so we tested it a few times and appeared to be accurate.  Its something we haven't used on this boat so will have to get used to using it.
  • Timer - It's a timer, it worked.

Full blown test will be in a week and half at the Melges 24 Nationals.

Overall I love the feel of the unit.  It's solid and doesn't feel cheap.  Definitely made well and should last a long time.  I am not an tech geek, so the current functions meet the need we have for the Melges 24.  I would like the ability to have some post race analytics or tracking.  I will be interested to see what the app will be able to do.  I am pulling for these guys.  Taking a risk like this is not easy mentally and physically on anyone.  

 

Thanks Glaze! 

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I was #90.  Ordered about 10 months ago.

Received 2 weeks ago.

So far, so good.

Suggest you call them.

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10 hours ago, Cosmic Warrior said:

Hello, I paid for mine 9 months ago. No replies to my emails, no order number. No ETA. Super frustrated...

 

PM'ed. 

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We sailed our first full regatta with the Vakaros this past week, Melges 24 Nationals.  Since I have had the boat, we have only sailed with a TacTick Racemaster using only the compass and timer.  As the class continues to get stronger, I decided to upgrade our instruments to include the starting feature and speed.  Prior to the regatta, we used the Vakaros once in a local distance race.  When we arrived to the regatta, we set up with both the TacTick and Vakaros.  After the practice day, we ditched the TacTack since we quickly became use to the Vakaros.  

The Vakaros is very simple to use.  Having never used a DTL function on the Melges24, we tested it repeatedly before the start and it was amazingly accurate.  Too bad it can drive the starts for me, as I couldn't start to save my life.  Speed was as great added feature for me.  Angle of heel really helped a lot for the one day we had breeze.  So far, I am happy with my decision to go with it.

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Why is @Vakaros using the SA Forums as there own personal customer support channel? Makes me not want to buy one. How about you set up good customer support and communication technologies so that your startup issues (issues just about every startup has) don't escalate to the point that your customers have to go to a third party community forum for information about your product. Jus sayin...

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6 minutes ago, Jubblies said:

. How about you set up good customer support and communication technologies so that your startup issues (issues just about every startup has) don't escalate to the point that your customers have to go to a third party community forum for information about your product. Jus sayin...

The vast, vast majority of customer service systems run on a system built, provided, or run by a third party who might actually handle dozens or hundreds of corporate support channels.Just because you can't tell, doesn't mean it ain't real.  

 

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18 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

The vast, vast majority of customer service systems run on a system built, provided, or run by a third party who might actually handle dozens or hundreds of corporate support channels.Just because you can't tell, doesn't mean it ain't real.  

True and point taken. I'm simply pointing out that a thread like this doesn't make the company look very good. Nothing will drive the consumer away like finding a thread on a forum with nothing but complaints of delayed delivery and unresponsive customer relations. I can only speak for the approach our team takes as a software startup, which is to have our entire team on call in shifts to handle customer support. We also have an arsenal of communication streams between the team and the consumer, all of which are third party services, but none of which are staffed by third party representatives. Communication in our culture, even if it is not the news the customer wants to hear, is the key to keeping everyone waiting in line for our product happy. Seeing communication and customer service issues escalate to the point of being posted about here is definitely concerning to the casual consumer sitting by watching. Now with that being said...

I am really interested in the Atlas. We currently use the Tacktick Racemaster, and I am bothered by it on the technology level for several reasons, but mainly it's proprietary network and the fact the it requires additional proprietary hardware to be able to communicate with other networks and devices. I also find it's display clunky compared to what modern devices are capable of. Hopefully new disruptive technologies like the Atlas will eventually solve some of these issues. In the meantime hopefully they get their supply chain and communications issues sorted out. When it's clear they have their supply chain, inventory, and communication improved, they can reach out to me. I'll buy two!

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https://www.velasail

Vela Sailing Supply - Order #23023

Order Status: Awaiting fulfillment
Order Date: Jan 18th 2019 @ 12:53 PM
Order Total: $1,099.00 USD

Billing Details

Michael Ellis
186 se 46 loop
keystone heights, Florida 32656
United States
 

Shipping Details

Michael Ellis
186 se 46 loop
keystone heights, Florida 32656
United States
 

Order #23023 Contained the Following Items:

ingsupply.com/account.php?action=view_order&order_id=23023

Edited by Michael E

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Give these guys a break....

Why is everyone so quick to hate? If you put your money down it is YOUR decision, believe in it, or don't.. Yes it can go either way, but everyone putting down the cash in this kind of set-up should have the intelligence to know what he is doing. 

They started from scratch, are doing something great, probably gave up their day jobs, are making an item which is not easy in terms of production and suppliers. Don't hate from your armchair.

Got my unit arrival in Europe, two weeks ago, order number somewhere in the 150s...

Its a great approach, keep it simple, functions are all I need, screen is STUNNING, super super readable, quick processor etc. Also the bracket mount is engineered with great attention to detail. 

For me personally nothing else comparable on the market for ease of use, battery live, readability and KISS.

 

IMG_2307.jpeg

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Got a heads-up from Jake & Todd end of last week that my device was ready to be shipped and already this Monday before lunch it arrived to my place in The Netherlands! incredible fast shipment!!

As with other people's experience, when you open the package you get the thrill similar to getting your hands on your very first iphone.

Attention is paid to many facets of the user experience; -the overall packaging, -a sturdy yet compact and comfortable carrying case, - and the device...wow! its nimble and the numbers are adjusting instantly - a compact unit and you can read the numbers from miles away.

I'm going to try it today by placing it in the car today; will try it on the boat tonight and thankfully can try it on a competition this weekend.

Keep you posted!

 

Picture below provides a size comparison with an iphone 8 and a iphone 8Plus; Atlas has about a comparable screen width comparison as with the iphone8plus.

IMG_7877_2.jpg

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Have been using the Vakaros Atlas on my boat (Efsix) this weekend for the first time. In brief, it's really an awesome tool and a great enhancement to sailing experience!

- Friday-evening sailing into the low-standing sun and sunglasses on, not an issue for the Atlas - always very clear display readings.

- Having used the Atlas over 3 days and easily more than 20 hours or so, plus a few hours of demoing to friends, without intermediate recharging battery is still showing well above 80% capacity.

- It's true you can see the display from pretty much everywhere on the boat; even when I'm in the trapeze and looking at the display at an angle of 80-89 degrees, you can still read the display clearly. It almost feels like that the more sunshine, the brighter the display is. And when cloudy, not an issue too.

- The overall size is just perfect; anything larger would be bothersome and the display numbers are clear enough to see from way further than my boat length is. It also fits easily in my pocket for convenient carrying when leaving the boat.

 

Thanks Vakaros team! keep up the good works and very keen to receive the next updates ;-).

IMG_7890.jpg

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Hi All,

I have sent a bunch of emails to the Vakaros guys over 3-6 months, but no reply.... Two questions: 

1) How will the unit work regarding heading if it's mounted to a moving base, such as a boom (shown on their website), or on a tacking bracket on a moth. Can the heading be set to run off GPS instead of compass for that situation? 

2) Their website says there is a one month approximate lead time, but from what others have shown it seems it will be much longer....is there anyway to estimate how long it will actually be?   

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On 7/8/2019 at 8:47 PM, Flanman1866 said:

Hi All,

I have sent a bunch of emails to the Vakaros guys over 3-6 months, but no reply.... Two questions: 

1) How will the unit work regarding heading if it's mounted to a moving base, such as a boom (shown on their website), or on a tacking bracket on a moth. Can the heading be set to run off GPS instead of compass for that situation? 

2) Their website says there is a one month approximate lead time, but from what others have shown it seems it will be much longer....is there anyway to estimate how long it will actually be?   

Not that I am an expert but I'll try to respond;

- One can select to show Heading (magnetic) or Course over Ground (thus GPS-based).

- Leadtime, whatever it will be, its worth the wait ;-). this tool is a redefinition of instrumentation, a game changer and nothing compares.

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Got mine in the mail on Monday.  Order number 234.

Threw it on the Melges tonight for the first time, and man... I'm impressed.  Easy to read in the sunlight, I love the ping feature for the line - incredibly easy to use and accurate -  timer is easy to use, and it's just a great little package, period.  Fast data updates.... just great!

Totally worth the wait.  Apart from what it does now, I'm looking forward to an app at some point, and the additional features that they are considering.

In short, I love it... period.  Works as advertised.

Well done Vakaros!  Total win.

DG

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Has anyone got the "automatic low-power red backlight maintains your night vision" to work?   I've been walking around in the dark like a dummy trying to see if it will activate with no luck.....   (I don't see a setting anywhere)

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Has anyone heard anything from the Vakaros guys? I've inquired about the order for our boat via email and facebook. Our order number is in the 300's and the silence is deafening. Our sailing season is fundamentally over, but we hope to see the device we paid for. We really hope they are still chugging along slowly producing units. 

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Similar question.  We received our unit several months ago.  They posted an announcement that an update and phone app was in the works to be available shortly.  Now ... no news, no posts and unanswered emails concerning the update.  I really like the unit.  Hoping to get the features advertised through updates.

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Yeah they gave me a similar answer two weeks ago about the backlight  - the hardware is all in there but the functionality didn't make it into the firmware and that would be coming soon.

So I got a response a couple of weeks ago but no response to my response asking about ETA"s.

With any luck they are getting the rest of the orders out then moving forward with this stuff but it wouldn't be shocking if they just disappeared too!   Mine was order 150,  and I received it a couple of months ago from ordering at the end of Sept last year.  I really like the device, its the best single device I've used but I hope they at least stay around long enough to get an app to us to update firmware to get all the features implemented and change some of the pages.      We just did an overnight race and I had to duck tape a couple of red headlamps diagonally either side to use it.  (it worked and glad i had it, but could have been so much better!)

At best, I'll be excited if they thrive and come out with all the other sensors etc 

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3 hours ago, ScowLover said:

We just got shipping notification on order #339. 

That’s a little more encouraging if they have shipped a couple of hundred in a couple of months.....

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Looks like they shipped 234 on 12-July and 339 on 22-August.  That's 105 units in 28 business days or exactly 3.75 units per day. If they're working 6-day weeks, it's exactly 3 units per day or 18 units per week. That suggests they're still having horrible teething problems and haven't invested much money in manufacturing, which probably means they're hurting for cash or that orders have stopped or both.

This is week 34, there's 18 weeks left in the year. At this rate they'll ship 108 more units this year; expect unit 447 around Christmas.

Does anyone have unit 500? 400?

 

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9 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Looks like they shipped 234 on 12-July and 339 on 22-August.  That's 105 units in 28 business days or exactly 3.75 units per day. If they're working 6-day weeks, it's exactly 3 units per day or 18 units per week. That suggests they're still having horrible teething problems and haven't invested much money in manufacturing, which probably means they're hurting for cash or that orders have stopped or both.

This is week 34, there's 18 weeks left in the year. At this rate they'll ship 108 more units this year; expect unit 447 around Christmas.

Does anyone have unit 500? 400?

 

I don't know anything about manufacturing (wish I did as I have some GREAT/Terrible ideas ;) )  but I do wonder what the appropriate level of investment in manufacturing is.   For sure shipping 3 units per day sounds like there must be a lot of manual input going on there but we dont know what is happening behind the scenes.    I'd also imagine shipping 3 units per day will be more than they need to be producing a year from now so could there be an argument that they might have an appropriate level of investment in manufacturing?  Knowing that you are going to struggle to fulfil a large backlog of orders but not wanting to waste/lost money in the long term from infrastructure that is oversized?

I'm not making a strong argument out of that, the poor communication certainly lends itself to thinking they bit off more than they can chew, at the same time given the long term unit sales/shipping projections,  would you want to scale your manufacturing to the burst at the beginning or long term?

I'm excited with the product and they will get away with it as long as the product is good, but (other than communication, which could be so much better) I find it hard to judge without knowing what cash they started with compared to costs and knowing what their long term projection of units per month is etc.     (finishing with the same statement that I know nothing of manufacturing...)

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The economics of sailing electronics is that you either have to have a full custom business or a consumer business. There's no middle ground in terms of managing manufacturing capability.

This is why you see Navico's strategy with B&G is to manufacture cross market platforms and use the B&G brand for the sailing market, the Lowrance brand for the sports fishing market and the Simrad brand for the commercial market - but it's all the same kit with configured software. That's a strategy. Moderately high margins, moderately large volumes, that can work in the electronics business.

At 1299, discounted 20%, this isn't the full-custom price point. Their customers aren't full-custom customers. They're approach to the market isn't the full-custom approach. They're selling to a select audience but they can't deliver. The reason appears to be that they never had a plan to deliver - the product can't be built.

Their gross revenue for 400 units is $415K. By not investing in manufacturing they will have managed to piss of their customers by not delivering and piss away all that money by taking a year to build the 400 units. By investing in manufacturing, they could have solved both those problems and wound up with a fledgling business that might sink or swim based on the whims of the market. Instead, all they have is sweat. That's an investment that pays back twice.

 

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Their gross revenue for 400 units is $415K. By not investing in manufacturing they will have managed to piss of their customers by not delivering and piss away all that money by taking a year to build the 400 units. By investing in manufacturing, they could have solved both those problems and wound up with a fledgling business that might sink or swim based on the whims of the market. Instead, all they have is sweat. That's an investment that pays back twice.

 

One can argue that the product definition, development, prototyping, de-bugging and design iterations should have been done out of the market, and in well funded, going concerns that is expected.

If this is a startup, and as cash poor as most are, the deposits probably paid for the aforementioned work.

Tooling up manufacturing can be hideously expensive, especially to an IPX rating for the enclosure and associated bits and pieces, Tooling it up multiple times can be prohibitive. 

If they are left with hand assembly and testing, at the 3/day rate, then that can be scaled if it's a matter of hand tools and training assemblers. The time constraint may be testing, and that's harder to delegate, and automate. Once a design is stable and a few hundred are in the field to accumulate user experience and some yield/reliability history then final design/tooling makes sense. 

Not aware that there are many contract manufacturers who are suitable for the specialty aspects of daylight/marine displays, though here's one... 

https://www.3cems.com/marine-electronics-manufacturing_p20.html

 

 

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