Dear ClearView Goggle Receiver Customers,
ClearView technology is designed to have many performance advantages over standard definition, analog video receivers. Our customers have come to expect ClearView to be the best in any field of comparison. Consequently, in recent video tests, nobody was as surprised as we were, to see our ultimate range performance not measure up to our expected standards. Since this was not the case during product development, we immediately began a detailed investigation to discover why our ClearView Goggle Receiver performed below expectations. The investigation is near completion and we are confident that we know the reason for the performance shortfall.
The problem was traced to a manufacturing error internal to our 4 layer circuit board. What we found was that the inner 2 layers of our PCB had been inadvertently swapped. This does not make any of the actual circuits fail to work, (every circuit trace still goes where it should), but it does change the required 50 ohm impedance of the trace between the antenna connector and the RF input stage, when these inner layers are swapped. And since there is no clue from the outside that it was built incorrectly… and the resulting decrease in range performance was only about 6dB, it was hard to spot.
Here is what we have already done and will do going forward to correct the problem:
1. The PCB has already been re-released to manufacturing to be fabricated again – and this time fabricated properly and inspected to be so, in the shortest possible time. At this moment, we are about 1 to 1.5 weeks from having new units ready to test.
2. As soon as we have the newly built units in hand and taken a day or two to validate the build, we will release a few for a 2nd round of tests.
3. Placing of components on the problem PCB has been halted and will resume only with the new and verified to be correct, PCB. (Fortunately, we were able to halt things before very many units of our large build were started).
4. Going forward, all units shipped will be part of the new build. 100% of all units will be tested to verify that they have sensitivity that lives up to our standards.
5. We will be issuing a recall of all ClearView Goggle Receivers shipped to date in an orderly fashion, along with the balance of the preorders, when the new units are available. If you own a ClearView Goggle Receiver, please watch for an email with more information.
While these steps do present a significant cost for us, it is very important to us that our customers get the best product possible.
Fortunately, the reduction in ultimate range does little to impact normal use where the receiver is usually well within range of the transmitter. The difference in performance may never actually be a factor in actual use. Stability, noise reduction, glitch prevention – all these are not significantly affected. So if you already have a module in your possession, you can still use it with confidence until it is recalled.
The Silver Lining:
All new units will have a thermostatically controlled fan with proportional speed control so it is much quieter on average, yet still cools very effectively when needed. There will even be a new menu item that will allow you to modify fan behavior to suit your preferences.
We are painfully aware of the time the rollout of this product has taken and how patient our ClearView fans have been. Yet the choice to delay things just a little more, rather than to ship a product that doesn’t meet our standard of excellence, was the only option consistent with our way of doing business. We sincerely hope that you agree.
Ira S. Faberman
President, Iftron Technologies, Inc.
If you missed Bardwell’s read on this along with his comments, please see this: https://youtu.be/3E5jeDhJWOM