So it is common knowledge that the previous-gen PCB had one major achilles heel: unreliable and unpredictable switches. Personally, we were not aware of how big of an issue this was until the first batch of Xenith’s. With a relatively small first batch, we had blown the switches on ~$5k with of product. In our QC testing we managed to catch most of them, but a handful of customers still had issues.
This is simply not acceptable, and is the very reason why the second batch was delayed so long. Some of you may not be aware, but BKB kits are used by quite a few colleges/universities in the USA. This has allowed us to build relationships with great professors, and in particular one of the largest engineering universities (by enrollment) in the USA. At this particular university, single motor tayto kits are the basis for a multidisciplinary introduction to engineering class. We were able to work with a few of the TA’s and students pursing advanced degrees to troubleshoot the switch and find a reliable solution. They did a lot of work in a short time, so all the credit goes to the (soon to be) engineers! With that said…
Meet the improved BKB Xenith V2!
Q: Whats different?
A: We have swapped/upgraded a few key componets to the switch circuit. This results in a far more reliable switch with no physical change to the outside of the Xenith. This batch does have MR60 connectors instead of MT60.
Q: What testing have you done?
A: The upgraded Xenith has been through 3,000 power cycles at 58V with flawless operation. It is hard to provide a number of cycles the previous gen was able to complete because it is so inconsistent. Some would fail at 1 cycle, 5 cycles, or 100 cycles. The students were not able to determine why this issue occurs on some switches, while others function normally. While it did not effect every PCB, it was definitely a large enough problem that needed to be addressed.
Q: Whats the price?
A: Same as before! $229
Q: Are they in stock?
A: Yes! We have very limited stock available now. More will become available in a ~2 weeks as we need to do some manual work to each ESC (for reasons you can assume).
Q: I have an old Xenith, now what?
A: Well, if the switch has not failed by now you should be just fine! We will not be offering an upgrade where you send back a V1 Xenith due to the amount of precison manual work required to change the components on the PCB.
Q: What firmware will be installed?
A: FW23.46 will come pre-installed. There have been a few issues with 5.X firmware, so we cannot continue to take the risk of sending non-stable firmware. You can upgrade it at your own risk.
Q: Are there any challenges?
A: Yes, as with any change to a product, there is a minisule chance that the changes will cause some kind of issue. All of them were related to the switch circuit, so the functionality is still the same. I am confident in the amount of testing that was done, but risk is still there. In the event that something does happen, we will fully stand behind what we sell.
Q: How easy is it to setup?
A: With FW23.46 guided setup only takes ~5 minutes! It is far less intimidating than the full VESC Tool. You can download the Xenith Easy UI here: How to set up the BKB Xenith - buildkitboards
Xenith Easy UI Sources are available here: XENITHUI · Build-Kit-Boards/FOCBOX_UI@e7d7488 · GitHub