Lots of changes at Netgate this Summer, some fantastic and some tragic.
First the fantastic news: we have moved our headquarters and our warehouse operation back to Austin, Texas. We started Netgate in Dallas in 1992 writing packet filtering firewall technology, moved to Austin and wound up also selling high power wireless parts you couldn’t find anywhere else, and we’ve been rolling along ever since. We’ve moved a few times over the years, always into larger locations in order to improve our customer service and manage our inventory in a more efficient manner. We’re certainly happy to be back “home”, closer to friends and family, Tex-Mex and BBQ. The joy of life!
Now for the completely unfantastic and tragic news: Our dear brother Ken Thompson passed away suddenly on August 1. He was managing our Las Vegas warehouse operations, talking with customers on the phone, tinkering with his 1994 Z-1 Corvette, keeping all the balls in the air and then some. We miss him so much and still can’t believe he’s gone from our lives.
We’ve heard from many of our customers about how helpful Ken was, always cheerful and ready to listen and to chat. Thank you for your condolences – it means a lot to us to hear that he was well liked and touched so many lives.
Aloha Ken, Mahalo Nui Loa.
I just realized we’ve been eerily silent for several months now! Lots of good work is still happening in the Netgate sub-basement below our secret HQ hideout in an undisclosed tropical location. (Ok, maybe it’s not that secret a location, but it sounds good.)
One very exciting thing we should mention is we’re pretty darn happy on behalf of our sister company SmallWorks, which has produced a iPhone 4 case that is compatible with LEGO® bricks. So if you’re a LEGO fan, or have an iPhone 4, or soon an iPod Touch (current 4th gen) then you’ll definitely want to check it out! www.SmallWorks.com
Plays with Bricks!
There is a good overview of what may be coming over the next few years for WiFi in a Network World article by John Cox posted yesterday. The full article is here: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/051310-wireless-changes.html?hpg1=bn
Naturally we’d all like a Moore’s Law for WiFi, but it takes a while to gain consensus in the industry and even longer to achieve final publication of IEEE standards. One of the most interesting ideas circulating is a proposal to jump WiFi to the 60 GHz band, which would make it possible to deliver upto 7 Gbps over a very short range vs. 802.11n which can reach 300Mbps.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is also circulating a specification called Wi-Fi Direct, which will allow bluetooth-like device to device connections. This should give IT / Security departments more fits than a rogue AP in the building.
Check out John Cox’s article for a full rundown on all the new ideas and the 802.11 working group alphabet soup.
We are so excited about this we just had to post right away:
Frazier made a really great animated gif of the lightguide for the RouterStationPRO in his copious spare time (ha!), which you can view here:
This works for me in Firefox but not in Safari, so YMMV.
We also have pictures of the final, laser etched design that is currently shipping:
RouterStationPRO case rear view
RouterStationPRO case front view
Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions…we’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for your interest – we’ve had a great response to the Ubiquiti RouterStationPRO case “I may want one!” link on our website. They are being manufactured and we hope to have a more exact ETA for you later this week, but an educated guess would put us at the first or second week of December.
We have made a few changes to the initial design based on your requests and feedback on the prototype cases:
First, there are now NINE SMA sized knockouts for antennas. There are six on the back side and three on the front. So if you really need nine antenna leads then we’ve got you covered!
Second, we’ve modified the light guide holes to be a light rectangle. During our tests we found the holes to be just too small to effectively see through.
Third, we’ve moved or removed some of the venting holes to make room for the additional antenna knockouts and laser etched labeling on the box.
On a related subject, we have priced out custom light guides made in the USA and have found they are all in the $10-20 range in small (500-1000 unit) quantities. Yow! Our intrepid Industrial Designer continues to think and tinker, and it looks like he may have come up with a design in the $6-8 range. This would normally be a few pennies each if we were making them 50,000 at a time in China, but we’re not there yet. We will certainly ask for your feedback on this once we post the updated design.
So stay tuned! When we have a better ETA on the RouterStationPRO case and finalized pricing we’ll post it here and on netgate.com.
As some of you know, our development of the RouterStationPRO case took a short hiatus due to a bout of H1N1. That is some nasty stuff! We’re back on track and making progress…
The really great news is we’ve worked out the final design on the case (with your help) and production starts today. We don’t have an exact date on when the enclosures will be delivered to the warehouse, but it should be this month.
Just so you know, the cases must be cut, endplates manufactured, painted, laser etched or silkscreened, and undergo rigorous compression testing before they can be deployed. ( We’re going to let Frazier drive over one with his BMW M3. Ha ha! Just kidding Frazier. ) All of our manufacturing friends get their moment in the sun, give or take a few days, so it’s hard to say exactly when they’ll be finished.
Now the not-so-great news: custom light guides, especially in low volume, are breathtakingly expensive. We’re still exploring a few options to have them custom manufactured for less and will post updates here. The light guides will NOT be included in the first version of the PRO kits, but will be available separately once we have the “lowest cost and still useful” solution in hand.
We’ve added a zero dollar “yes I’m interested” entry on our website here for the UBNT RouterStationPRO Kit, which has everything you need to get started.
Ladies and gentleman…start your engines!