Closer and closer … but not here yet

So, it’s mid-April. I started working on the custom-made scopes in April 2012 (that’s not a typo — it was four full years ago!). My sourcing co. prez returned last week from his latest trip to China to check on (among many other things, I’m sure), the second set of samples from the second microscope factory.

He, his engineer, and I just ended our conference call. And, just like always, it seems: some maybe-good news and some definitely mediocre news…

The maybe-good
The second factory has fixed the ‘up-side-down part’ in the eyepiece that caused rejection of the first sample set this past January. Mechanically/physically, everything in this second set of samples seems good.

The pretty darned mediocre
However…. and here we get back to my commitment: “if it’s not right, it’s not acceptable”: The English reticle, at the outer edges, seemed distorted. We have (and always use!) what’s called a ‘standard slide’ — it’s a certified microscope slide marked with exact ‘hashmark placement’ that allows one to look through a scope and verify/validate the hashmarks on a scope’s reticle by matching the hashmarks up. It’s how we make sure the reticle is accurate. (And, if it’s not right, it’s not acceptable. {sigh})

The metric reticle was (what, again: different factory, same problem!?) flat-out wrong. At least (is this a consolation?), the second factory wrongly multiplied a DIFFERENT factor than the first factory. (Hmmm nope, no consolation there!)

My sourcing co. left the standard slide and a metal-bodied and a plastic-bodied Tooke Gage with the factory engineers, after working with them to make sure they knew exactly and precisely and completely what is needed. The factory promises a new set of samples in ten days. (I’ll believe THAT when I hear they’ve done it! But sourcing co. prez will call them on the 28th, and if they say they’re done, he will send in his ‘guys on the ground there’ to go check, before they send the third set of samples over here for review.

So, once again, I must rely on your patience for what I sincerely hope will be only a little bit longer till we finally get the new enhanced scopes actually manufactured.

As always: if it’s not right, it’s not acceptable. And that’s non-negotiable.