Possible Dongle problem with (some) EU devices


Please note: The following article refers to the first version of our Mobile Dongle.

We started shipping our dongles last week, and the first ones have started arriving at their destinations, and we've even seen some people have started posting the results of projects taken with their Triggertrap Mobile kits on-line. As soon as they did, we started getting feedback from people that not all dongles worked properly with their iOS device, even when they did pass all the tests in our troubleshooting guide.

The problem, once we figured out what it was, turned out to be pretty obscure, and is related to European Union legislation: It turns out that there is a legal limit to how loud media players can be. Because our signal processor relies on what is essentially a coded audio signal, we need a certain signal level - and when the volume from the headphone socket is lower than a certain threshold level, the camera connected to your Triggertrap Dongle does not trigger. This is why the app automatically turns the volume up to maximum when it opens.

Shouldn't you guys have tested the dongles?

We did.

In fact, we had what we thought was a pretty extensive testing programme, which involved a dozen testers. However, we made a mistake in how we selected our testers:

Instead of basing our tester selection on geographic location, we selected on other criteria - ones that seemed more relevant to our product. We covered a wide variety of devices (we covered iPod Touch, iPad 1, iPad 2 and iPad 3 - 'New iPad' as Apple likes to call it - iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S), and a load of different cameras; 5 different manufacturers and 10 different camera models.

What's even worse; we were aware of the iPhone volume limitation thing on EU devices, but we tested with 6 different devices that were purchased in the EU. However; they were all purchased in the UK, which, despite being part of the EU, somehow seems to not be covered by this legislation (or, as the UK is wont to do with EU laws, was simply ignored).

So: we thought we had tested on devices with EU limitations, but it turned out we hadn't.

So, to answer the question: Yes, we could and should should have tested more, and tested more devices from more countries - our fault entirely, and it looks like it might turn into an expensive mistake - but nonetheless, we want to make things right. How? Keep reading...

How are you going to make it right?

If you are affected by this issue, we will do everything we can to make things right. If you are affected by this and you bought your dongle before the date of this post, you can choose between:

  1. We give you a refund on the price of your dongle(s).
  2. We send you new dongle(s), free of charge, when we have them ready.
  3. We give you a refund and new dongle(s), free of charge.

How quickly can this be fixed?

We have a solution that will probably work, and the components needed to test this have been ordered, and should be with us in the next couple of days. For obvious reasons, we want to test things thoroughly, with EU devices that we know aren't currently working. So; we're going to get our mitts on a iPod Touch from somewhere in the EU so we can test things properly ourselves. Then, we need to get a prototype built by our manufacturer, and get it shipped to us in the UK for testing. When that is done, we need to run the production run, which will take about 4-5 weeks.

So; we expect to have the new dongles ready to ship in 6-8 weeks. Yes, that is a long time, and yes, we're doing everything we can to make it go faster; but at the same time, we don't want any more mistakes (we've had quite enough embarrassment for one week...)

And finally; an apology

There is no two ways about it: This whole thing is incredibly embarrassing, and entirely, 100% our fault. We thought we had tested for all possible variables, but then the EU leapt out, shouting 'surprise'! before delivering a swift kick to the our sensitive parts.

We're so, so sorry. Please rest assured that we're doing everything we can to get it fixed as quickly as we can.

Sorry.

Haje & Matt Directors, Triggertrap Ltd.

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