A BRCK Technical Update: Oct 2014

I've been a bit remiss in my updates to everyone about what's going on within the BRCK house. In short, we've been sleeping few hours as we try to do a whole load of updates, fix bugs, add new features, and create an overall better experience. I asked Jeff, Wesley, Reg and Emmanuel to put together a list of the recent changes, which you can see below. Design An updated quickstart guide for the BRCK

  • Push out new version of the quick start guide for better UX
  • New shop design (Improved UI/UX)
  • New expedition BRCK symbol
  • Adding admin UI features to help the BRCK support team
  • Improving UX by tweaking the UI based on user feedback for both the Cloud and the Local dash
  • Fixing UI bug issues on the Cloud and Local dash
  • Cleaning up the blog design
Cloud and BRCK OS
  • Improvements on the Cloud to BRCK communications. This relieves some load from the BRCK when it receives communications from the Cloud. This mainly affects the changing of Preference settings. This is more of an efficiency fix that a bug fix.
  • Fixed a bug on the BRCK that caused the local dashboard not to appear.
  • Improved the reliability of the WiFi connection between your computer and the BRCK especially when trying to configure a connection for the BRCK via WiFi Bridging. At the moment the BRCK will sometimes drops the WiFi connection. This fix reduces that frequency and the chances of this happening. There are still a few more improvements to be done here, but this step improves from the current experience.
  • Added a more reliable BRCK software update feature. This will allow the BRCK to automatically update critical software. It generally also improves the update process from our current process. There are a few more additions to be done such as exposing this via the Cloud to allow a user to install custom software packages.
  • The chart visuals have been revamped and you can now filter the upload/download stats by connection. In coming weeks, we'll roll out the deep dive analytic pages. These will enable you to have wider view of your BRCK's activity; battery, network stats etc
  • The BRCK API is out and in beta! It goes without saying that you must have a BRCK to access and use the API. If you don't have one, visit and we'll be happy to take care of that problem for you.  
  • What can you do with the API? In it's current state, you can query a BRCK's basic info and it's status data. If you so which, you can use the latter to build your very own BRCK dashboard. For early access, email us at support(at)brck(dot)com
  • What's in the offing? A notifications system that will enable you to receive an alert when "X" takes place.
  • While we've been working on the core software a lot, the GPIO expansion slot code is not quite ready, we're very close to having it working, but it's not there yet.
Hardware [caption id="attachment_730" align="aligncenter" width="770"]The new 3d printed GPIO case prototype for BRCK The new 3d printed GPIO case prototype for BRCK [/caption]
  • We've made a revision on the primary board to ensure more stability. Currently being tested.
  • A software patch to solve the issues with accessing the local dashboard. We're testing it now, and our workaround is a small USB drive in the USB slot to fix the reliability of the onboard storage, that was preventing the offline configuration tool loading. Currently being tested.
  • We've tested out a number of solar panels options, amplifiers and antennas. The best of which will go up on our shop for sale.
  • We've been working hard with our plastics suppliers to clean up small issues on the rubber parts. The change of material will allow for even better robustness in the field without marking as much as the original Santoprene parts.
  • A revision on the GPIO expansion board has been completed. Currently in testing.
  • With the build rates going up, we've also had to invest heavily in automated testing. BRCKs now self test in the factory without as much human interaction.
As you can imagine, there are quite a few things we've been working on, beyond even the items listed here. Many bug fixes on all fronts, testing and modifications, and of course business-side work around the shop or partnerships. We'll have some really fun news to share around the MRTR (hardware expansions) in the next couple weeks. Standby for more!

Written by ehersman

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