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@KB8DOA This morning (19 Jan 2021) R&S shows 13 Kiwi kits in stock. Please get on them immediately and make sure your two backordered units from last July get shipped so this awful situation can finally be resolved.
My sincere apologies for this situation. I never got any answers from anyone, including Seeed, about what happened exactly. I have guesses, but that's all. There is simply no excuse for it.
As noted on the kiwisdr.com page there are three new distributors in the USA and Canada who claim to have stock of the metal enclosures. Everyone else, including Seeed, is out-of-stock.
But we have never heard of these distributors before and have no experience dealing with them. So please use caution. We don't have any information currently on when the enclosures might be available again from the usual suspects.
For the record:
I finally received my 2 units from R&S today.
Delivered by DHL.
Ordered July 2020 - Delivered January 2021.
I am looking forward to getting these up and online soon.
Seeed has a few of the metal enclosures in stock again.
There are more of the complete "kit" versions (MSPR $299) in production, but there are parts procurement issues and shipping delays. If in the Americas your best bet is to order from ML&S (UK) which others have done with good results. WiMo (DE) is awaiting delivery.
You can also assemble most of the kit pieces yourself. Buy the Kiwi board (MSRP $199) from Seeed and a BeagleBone Green ($44). If you want to run GPS get an active antenna similar to the one shipped with the kit (spec in the Kiwi documentation) or an antenna with better specs. Use the Kiwi metal enclosure or roll your own as many people do.
Mouser now has the board version ($199) in stock.
I happened to have a KiwiSDR enclosure on back-order at Mouser - which still shows expected arrival dates - but just now got it cancelled as they are claiming that it is a discontinued product.
Not sure what to think of that.
Distributor stock quote systems seem to be as broken as international shipping.
Seeed is on Spring Festival for another week so I won't be able to ask what the status is with the metal enclosures. I don't know of any specific problems, except that it seems to take ages for them to get built. I think lack of the plastic enclosures is what's currently holding up distribution of the full kits. If you were physically in Shenzhen you'd be able to get these things built for you while you waited in one of the electronics malls.
I'm paying US $165 to get a medium size package sent FedEx from the US to NZ. And I've been waiting since early December for an international air mail letter.
Kinda curious, Mouser was showing 25 in stock yesterday, now 26. Maybe someone put one in their cart and then didn't order. I'm surprised they have not sold out already, usually demand far exceeds supply. I did my part by posting on Twitter and Facebook that Mouser had stock of the KiwiSDR 😀
Perhaps most potential users feel more comfortable buying the complete kit vs the KiwiSDR board and Beagle CPU separately? Plus the whole enclosure issue.
Yesterday I got a notice from Mouser that the enclosure I had ordered is discontinued. However Online Components listed it in stock and said it would ship today. BTW, I strongly suspect that Online Components and Master Electronics are the same company.
I don't get any royalty off the metal enclosure. That's strictly Seeed's gig. So if someone wants to step in and better meet the demand that would be fine with me since Seeed is doing such a marginal job of keeping them in stock. I don't know if it would be worth anyone's time though..
While I haven't gotten a shipment notice yet, the Online Components website has updated the number of enclosures they have from 7 to 45. Price $15.85
Yes, Octopart now says the same thing. Strange. It's almost like stock is stuck in the shipping black hole for months at a time 😕
I got the shipment notice and it should be delivered Wednesday.
The enclosure was delivered today and has been assembled. How critical is the one nylon washer? I didn't find it until I opened the bag with the feet.
Use of the plastic washer is not critical. It just helps the plastic standoff match the height of the metal standoffs with their associated star washers.
What is critical is placing the plastic standoff at the correct location so the traces to the sd card slot are not (possibly) shorted out.
I opened the unit up and put in the plastic washer. It did look like I could have used a second plastic washer on the plastic stand off to match the metal ones. Plastic standoff is in the right position. I did forget to check the antenna screw terminals to make sure they weren't shorting against the case, but I figure they're probably okay since I haven't had any reason to mess with them. Everything appears to be working.
The Kiwi all-inclusive version ($299 USD) is back in stock on Seeed's website: https://www.seeedstudio.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?q=kiwisdr
I would not recommend using the less expensive postal delivery option given the poor state of international shipping these days.
The three new USA/Canada distributors (that have the metal enclosure in stock) now claim to have quantity 2 of the full kit in stock at an excellent price with free USA shipping. See links on kiwisdr.com (Online Components, Master Electronics, Electrosonic Canada).
Since we have little experience with them you should email them directly and verify that stock actually exists and that you can cancel your order with no repercussions. We would hate to see another situation like what happened last year with RS UK.
FWIW, those three new USA/Canadian distributors all seem to be the same company. Still, not a bad price if they actually have stock.
In stock again at WiMo (DE).