VRGO: FUTURE DROPS AND NEW FLAVORS
VRGO wave 2 is finally out! You can order yours here.
TL;DR on relevant information:
VRGO will not be on inventory, and will be only available during drops because it takes up 4x the amount of space as a packet of ramen does, and we simply don’t have the space to keep it in inventory.
Other flavors will also be available in VRGO Soon™
VRGO took a while, didn’t it? That’s because... well, the machine didn’t work when it arrived.
Because of course it didn’t. Here’s the email we sent out to our VRGO Wave 1 customers:
“The long and short of it is, I've been struggling with getting this machine working for months. We've been in contact with the manufacturer and have deployed a huge amount of attempted diagnostics and fixes, and have narrowed it down to the sensor. We're currently waiting for a new sensor to arrive so that I can replace it, and hopefully the machine works and we're able to get the orders out.
When we took the orders for VRGO, the machine was filmed to be working at the manufacturer, and we got samples of the cups with everything going great. The moment it got here, it stopped working, and diagnosing it has been infuriating, to say the least. The worst part about it, and the reason why it's taken so incredibly long to try and figure out the issue was... well...
See, with our luck, this is an issue that has never been seen before by the manufacturer. Because of that, we went through basically the entire manual of fixes, troubleshooting, and everything else. At this point, we're not even sure if the sensor swap will technically fix it, and we might actually need a new machine entirely. This isn't an off the shelf machine either-- It has parts specifically shaped and designed for VRGO, which is frustrating.
The good news is that last week, I did find a bypass which does seem to work. It's... well, let's just say it's a bypass so it's not really how it's supposed to work... but at least it means we can force the machine to work for a few cycles. It's time consuming and annoying to do, but it's functional, at least, and will work well enough to get out all the orders we currently have. I'll be personally doing the bypass to get everything going.
Afterwards, we'll be returning the machine to the manufacturer so we can hopefully get a better diagnosis and fix for a long term solution, instead of having to do the bypass, which is why we haven't taken a wave 2 of orders yet. Once it's completely good to go, sent back to us, and we can confirm it works smoothly, we'll be back to making Vite Ramen GO again!”
After I sent this email, of course, the machine still wasn’t working. I was still having meetings with the distributor’s mechanic. We were setting up to bypass the thing, and then, after some more diagnosis that didn’t go anywhere, I decided to try checking each and every wire, measuring voltages to make sure there wasn’t some internal breakage or something happening.
Everything was going well, and all measurements were reading as they were supposed to be. It certainly wasn’t a mechanical issue, since we could bypass the programming and it’d work just fine, and all input electricity was measuring the correct volts and amps. So what exactly was happening?
Well... Take a gander at this:
The problem here was that the button to activate the machine wasn’t working. Hitting the manual button to activate it wouldn’t work, and auto would work... once every blue moon.
The top wire is the input electricity, and bottom wire would be where the electricity goes into the various components. The manual one wasn’t hooked up at all, and input was hooked up to the auto instead, which...
To be perfectly honest, we still have no idea how the machine was working at the distributor’s and wouldn’t work here. It shouldn’t have worked at all, but somehow did there, and didn’t here. We trusted their word and got video and finished product sent to us, so genuinely cannot blame them there. This was a problem with the original manufacturer.
After that, there were some really frustrating issues with the PCB board not being programmed correctly, and the instruction manual literally saying the wrong things about each program, but, after much frustration and trial and error, I just ended up writing my own instructions manual instead, which...
Hey, at least it’s working now. Knock on wood?
All that aside, let’s talk about VRGO drops. They’re ONLY going to be available for a limited amount of time per month, and we’ll send out emails and post on our social media accordingly. The short and the long reason for this is, simply, VRGO takes... way too much space. In fact, it takes up 4x the amount of space as a pack of Vite Ramen, since the dimensions of the cup make it awkward to pack a lot into one box.
That means if we were to attempt storing all the flavors in our tiny warehouse, we’d run out of space very soon. It’s just not feasible currently to be able to keep it in inventory, and so we’ll be making it to order, with waves, for the foreseeable future.
We’re looking to do it once a month, maybe more than once a month depending on demand and what kind of space constraints we have. If you miss one, don’t worry, we’ll have more incoming! In this way, we also have to restrict the flavors available in drops, as too many different types of flavors at once will also be cumbersome. Likely, this will be split across the original 3 flavors, and then newer flavors, but we’ll see what we can do to make as many flavors available at all times!
Speaking of-- Yes, that does mean that Sichuan Chili Edition and Beef Pho will soon also be available in VRGO versions! As for other flavors... who knows? Still working on and discussing those.
Anyway, that’s about all I have for VRGO for this blog post. Let us know what you think when you get them!
-Tim Zheng, CEO/Founder