MRCC - MIDI Router Control Center

Created by Steven Barile

A modern reinvention of the MIDI router by Conductive Labs

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Manufacturing update
10 days ago – Fri, Apr 02, 2021 at 01:26:06 AM

Hello lovely backers, 

Here in Portland Oregon Spring has sprung, and we got a glimpse of sun and blooming tulips, daffodils and hyacinth. Meanwhile in Shenzhen, our man Gordon and his team are busily and carefully guiding the manufacturers making the parts for MRCC. 

The schedule hasn't changed from the last update. We are still hoping to have MRCCs completed for shipping around end of April.

The MRCC main board PCB assembly will be complete this week, and the mezzanine boards next week. Here are a couple of pics from the 2nd test run of the mezzanine boards. 

Setting up pick and place for the mezzanine boards
Partially assembled mezzanine boards, and solder paste mask for OLED electronics on the back side

The enclosure extrusion is done.  They are now being CNC machined for the holes. As mentioned previously, the enclosures are the long pole in the schedule. We expect them to be completed about 2 weeks from now, at which time the final assembly of MRCC can begin. 

Flattening and testing (pretty close to flat on this one)

Beta testing has continued to help us uncover some good issues. The firmware is pretty much feature frozen, so just doing bug fixes until it ships. The biggest issue recently discovered was a report that Sensel Morph MIDI controller didn't work in MRCC host ports. As a USB MIDI class compliant device we expected it to work. We took a look at the host code and discovered an issue when enumerating a particular composite device descriptor.  Now that it's fixed we have high expectations for the host port compatibility. It was already working well, now its even better! There are a couple of bugs left to tackle, then FW is done for first ship. Steve also wrote a special firmware for manufacturing test and burn in.  We have a long list of to-do features and suggestions that we will prioritize and work on after your MRCCs ship. Once you receive your MRCC, be sure to join our forums to share your thoughts and help us prioritize the feature list.

Backerkit Kickstarter Surveys

Great job Kickstarter backers for getting the surveys returned. There are still 18 outstanding, most of which had emails that bounced. So if you did not receive a survey but expected to, visit this link to check your email address and request resending the survey:  https://mrcc.backerkit.com/ 

That's all we have for now! 

Darryl and Steve

Schedule Update and Kickstarter Surveys from Backerkit
about 1 month ago – Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 08:47:16 AM

Hello Backers, we've just met with our manufacturing rep and received a manufacturing schedule update.  We wanted to share this asap to maintain transparency and keep you all informed. 

Some of the parts suppliers are reporting that they cannot complete our orders as fast as we'd like. The power supplies won't arrive until end of March, and the enclosures until 2nd week of April. This puts our ship date, best case, at the end of April. Whether we can make end of April or not depends on: 

  • The parts being delivered when the manufacturer says they will 
  • How long the assembly process will take to make enough to fulfill all of the orders
  • A couple of days for delivery to the fulfillment warehouse
  • And a couple of days for the fulfillment warehouse to receive and prepare shipments

We know its been a very long wait for MRCC, and we are truly sorry for the significant miss on our part to recognize the challenges we would face in the implementation of MRCC. We really thought it would be easier than The NDLR! We were wrong. The hardware is more complex, the assembly more complex, and the firmware had its own challenges. We had such an easy time getting to the prototype stage and it worked so well, we were overly optimistic about what it would take to get MRCC to the product stage. 

The good news is, we are essentially done with development and just waiting on delivery of the components to complete assembly. In the meantime, Steve will continue to dial-in the firmware, addressing any issues raised by the beta testers. 

Backerkit/Kickstarter Surveys

We delayed the surveys by a couple of days waiting for a critical mass of responses from the smoke test. We've received 8 out of 12 surveys now, so we pushed the button to send the rest of the surveys. We don't know if they all go out at once or in batches, but you should see them soon. If you don't see the survey by March 15th, you can use the email address you used for the Kickstarter campaign to have Backerkit resend the survey. Here is the link:  https://mrcc.backerkit.com/ 

In the meantime, if you are moving, you can change your address on Backerkit up to when we lock them.  We will provide ample warning before addresses are locked.

Also note, the postal provider we use (easyship.com) does not accept PO Boxes for International shipments. 

MRCC Quick Start Guide

If you would like a sneak peak, we've got a draft of the MRCC Quick Start Guide and User Manual on our forums. You can find them in the MRCC area:  https://conductivelabs.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=14 

MRCC Box Sample
MRCC In the Box

Thank you for your support, and good health to you all,

Steve and Darryl

Happy Year of the Ox!
about 1 month ago – Sun, Mar 07, 2021 at 06:02:54 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Pilot Run MRCC Units Have Arrived
2 months ago – Thu, Feb 04, 2021 at 06:42:36 AM

Greetings wonderful backers,

Yesterday we received the first samples from the MRCC pilot run. If you are not familiar with the term "pilot run", it means a practice production run to work out the kinks before committing to the entire production run. So how did it go? Splendidly! Everything is working as expected, with the changes from the prior samples checked out and verified to be working to spec!

Production MRCC!

The new OLED acrylic screen cover looks and works great. The new black interior USB ports are an improvement,  and the connectors are all aligned with the holes now. Silkscreen printing looks better aligned now too.

There are a couple fine adjustments to make, as we found three mechanical issues:

The first is, the holes for the light pipes are too small by a fraction of a MM. We expected this could be the case due to the hole size changing in acid-wash and anodizing, but we estimated too small. We were able to take off 0.168MM to make the light pipes fit perfectly in the new samples, so we know what to do.

The second problem is that we are not really pleased with the finish of the enclosures. It's more "matt black" this time, as desired to reduce reflections, but the aluminum brushing is inconsistent. It may seem minor, but some people (like us) would find it unacceptable. Our manufacturing rep will work with the metal fabricator to get it right before we make your MRCC after Lunar New Year.

Lastly, there were some potentially skin snagging barbs on a couple of corners of the endcaps. We don't accept bleeding on the MRCC. Needs more buffing.

New Nearly Flush Rack Mounts

Hey, what's that green button next to the MRCC logo you may ask? That's the Standby button. Hold it for a couple of seconds to put MRCC into Standby mode, which turns off the OLED display, LEDs, USB hub power (configurable) and stops taking input, without having to power off the MRCC with the power switch. Short press the green button again and it brings you back to where you were before standby. 

Next Steps

We are sending some pilot units to select beta testers which will help to inform us of any bugs, usability issues and topics to cover in the manual. We'll publish an early draft of the manual on our MRCC forum soon, once we've done some editing to clean it up. Be sure to join our forums at:  https://conductivelabs.com/forum 

If you have any trouble joining, send us a message via the contact page on conductivelabs.com.

Besides working the beta and addressing any issues, we need to complete the box packaging design, get the regulatory compliance test results, and spin up our warehouse fulfillment company to be ready to ship them to you! Pretty exciting to finally be this close!

Between now and March, we will see if we can't make a couple more demonstration videos. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: Subscribe

All the best,

Darryl and Steve

The New MRCC Samples Are In
3 months ago – Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 04:09:39 AM

The new samples of assembled MRCC circuit boards arrived at our manufacturing rep tonight. We spent some quality time testing over Zoom, and.... they are working great! They should receive the new enclosure samples tomorrow, but we are moving ahead with the pilot run. Exciting!

Production Candidate MRCC Sample

It's a tight schedule, as China is implementing travel restrictions so people are leaving earlier than normal to go home for the Chinese New Year holiday, including our enclosure manufacturer! Fortunately, our manufacturing rep talked them into making the pilot parts before they go. They are not making the Remote enclosures though, but we can live without those until they get back from holiday. In the meantime, we'll make a temporary enclosure for testing.

What else is new? We tested the Remote 7 with a 50 foot long Ethernet cable. According to the MIDI specification 50 feet is the maximum length of a MIDI cable, so that's as long as we are going to support. 

Remote 7 on a 50 foot long cable

That's all we wanted to share for now. We'll be back with another update once we've received assembled MRCC samples in Oregon. We expect those to arrive in the 2nd week of February. We are still shooting for shipping Kickstarter perks in middle of March, and pre-orders around end of March.

Wishing good health to all,

Darryl and Steve