TL;DR - 10 pre-orders and another run will happen.
I've had a fair few enquiries regarding the XO106r5 recently, mostly asking when it will be available again - in nearly all cases, the answer has been "I haven't got a clue".
The main sticking point is the availability, or lack thereof, of the ATTiny85 microcontrollers which house the oscillator firmware. As I write this, I'm still being quoted lead times into mid-2024(!) for the through-hole part, which I would normally use, and each module requires four microcontrollers - one per oscillator.
However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel (and the light is not necessarily an oncoming train)
It would seem that the availability of the SOIC version of the ATTiny85 is much better in that a) they're actually available and b) if I ordered them now I'd have them early next week from a reputable supplier. I'd then use SOIC-DIP adapter boards to mount them onto the main PCB - the end result would be the same.
I'm planning to do another run of 10-15 modules, albeit with some caveats:
- First, these would be offered on a pre-order basis on the understanding that there'd be no module shipped until the pre-orders are filled.
- Second, there'd be a downpayment of at least £50, with the remainder (probably around £70) payable when the modules are ready. The total cost would include shipping, international or otherwise. You would be invoiced for the remainder when your module is ready. THIS DOWNPAYMENT WOULD BE NON-REFUNDABLE UNLESS I'M UNABLE TO FULFILL THE ENTIRE RUN, IN WHiCH CASE EVERYONE WOULD GET REFUNDED.
- Finally, the initial downpayments would pay for the cost of fabricating mainboards and panels, plus any additional components I might need (mainly potentiometers, but I'd need to source the MCUs too). - panel fabrication in particular is very expensive for something that's 22HP wide..
I may offer customisation options (eg. Davies-style or micro-knobs) but that's still up in the air at present.
I get that there's a certain amount of trust involved here, but I like to think that people will not think that I'm going to take their money and offer nothing in return. If I can't fulfil my obligations then I'll refund the money - simple as that. Ideally, I'd like to keep the initial downpayments in escrow but I've not found a sane way to do that yet.
Basically, if enough people are interested, it'll happen.