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Old 01-26-2010, 12:28 AM   #41
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Travis, you won't get any sympathy from me. We all have **** in our lives. Wanna hear mine? Some kid postured himself as a credible vendor, screwed me for $440, and thinks I'm going to let that slide.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:50 AM   #42
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Whose COP system did you think I was talking about paying for? You're seriously too high strung man. I just sent the refund.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:55 AM   #43
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Whose COP system did you think I was talking about paying for? You're seriously too high strung man. I just sent the refund.
Refund received via PayPal.

I may indeed be high-strung. At least I'm credible.

To everyone else: I suggest NOT buying Travis' product(s) until he proves their reliability and gets his business in order.

By the way, isn't this how pyramid / Ponzi schemes work -- get enough investors to pay off the initially bilked people, then get more investors to pay off the previous investors, until you're eventually caught or run out of dough?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #44
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I just have to ask the question of what it really matters. I've been pretty reflective lately. I took a considerable risk to bring the community something that is definitively better. I did it on a margin that was very small, predicting success as I did with other products (the oil pump assemblies were born the very same way). Had people design it for me. Paid my dues (all of last years salary that this job provided) Some parts of it failed. In 30 years no one is going to remember this. Getting worked up about stuff you can't change isn't worth it. I got you the money as fast as I could even ahead of the loan that is still not here yet. I'll be in CT at the machine shop that manufactures the pumps soon, maybe I could buy you a beer for your trouble and we could talk about it.

I can't get too wrapped up in this stuff either way. Instead, I will continue to focus on helping customers the best I can with the products I can provide at the best prices possible. I will focus on making the COP systems right so that customers that are still in this get their parts as soon as possible. I will still innovate and create new products, but adjust my business model accordingly to never sell a product I don't have on the shelf. No matter how long the community has to wait for me to build up the money to release something I won't put anyone else at risk like I did here. If I haven't said it enough I'll say it once more. I am truly sorry to anyone who has been negatively effected. I can't say it enough.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:42 AM   #45
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I can only speak for myself, but I bought a few of Travis' products and he shipped them in a reasonable time frame. I would for sure do business with you again Travis. Also, I know a there are a few guys that feel they went through the ringer waiting for their COPs and then refunds, but it speaks volumes that you are trying to make amends and IMO that shows you care about your business and customers.

Best of luck Travis - keep workin, we'll keep buying...
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:50 PM   #46
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I will ... adjust my business model accordingly to never sell a product I don't have on the shelf. No matter how long the community has to wait for me to build up the money to release something I won't put anyone else at risk like I did here.
There's nothing wrong with taking orders for a product that isn't in stock. The problem started when you took orders for a product that wasn't developed and tested.

1. Raise money. 2. Make product. 3. Sell product. 4. Support product. 5. Profit. Only steps three and four should be visible to customers. Updates here and there are appreciated, but keep your business and excuses to yourself. Nobody wants to hear them. Inside details are one thing if you're big and successful like Bell or FM.

Crash Davis speaking to Nuke LaLoosh in "Bull Durham" -- "Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You'll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you'll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob."
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:36 PM   #47
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This is long, if you can't see by the post, but here it is.

I've been at owning a business for 7 years now. 5 of those years were mostly geared towards the real gear up of operating a business for the last two. I had to learn HTML, PHP, Server interface, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Political Science, Organized Business, Game theory, Computers, Salesmanship, Materials procurement, Contract Law, The legal system, Contracting and organizing labor, Capitalization, and that list doesn't even begin to actually account for the full list. Now many of those particular sections of information are full on careers, and you would expect a person to need 5+ years to perform efficiently in any one of them. I'm on year 7 split between them, so yes there are parts I am very poor on still. There are going to be things I'm bad at but I have to continue learning and more importantly experiencing.

You are correct that in your model there are 5 basic steps. Actually performing those steps is the most complicated part of business, and many of those steps requires probabilistic and risk taking analysis. From how to budget your time, and pay off versus cost there are rational actor models playing out in each section. I think this is more prevalent with my company then with a lot of others because I take on the harder projects. Anyone can resell parts that require little technical support, but who wants to design a superior product and test it?

This particular business model had 3 phases attached. The first phase of upfront capital investment and development I did independent of everyone. I spent all the money on designing the enclosures doing the prototypes, paying for PCB prototypes, components, everything else out of pocket to design the part. We paid engineer(s) of the electrical sort to get everything taken care of. I put the unit on my car it ran for 3 days fine. So I sent it back and he said he wanted to tweak things. My car is the most difficult of all the models to actually run because it requires a tach signal. Later cars only require the pulses for the ignition system. This meant all the years above this are going to operate fine because they only require a portion of the unit that was tested on my vehicle. At this time the market was beating down my door to have the product. People nagged me and nagged me. I received a PM a day about the product, and many more emails in its anticipation. Finally I asked straight up to Alex if he thought we would be ready to go in 2 weeks. Could we fill orders then? He said yes and he would have the orders shipped. The test was complete on my car. The rest of the tragedy was written is basically written history somewhere else on the forum.

So entered the second phase. How do we finance this and make this affordable to people. They have the option of the Toyota COPS system which is 1/4th the cost. I have the market on my side in developing products that are reliable. I have excellent customer support, so people will know that I can pull this off. My product is a premium product that produces a much better spark. Consider this the credit for building the actual components. So I told people, we are offering the units at a reduced cost if you pitch in money now to help finance the building of the units. People then did purchase the product. The money flooded in, and the money flooded immediately out to purchase the parts to build the units. We weren't scheduled to make any money on the COP systems until we hit 20 units we never at anyone one time even reached this number of orders.

Now the third phase hit which is delivery. But, Alex fails to produce a working system all the sudden. I can't get his designs to run on my cars, I can't get them to run on other people’s cars. What do we do? We have to keep the money invested so that I can spend all the money I make on other products in rectifying the situation. So I keep paying out money on design after design from my other sales until the market starts to turn on me.

Now enter the never predicted stage 4 and 5. Alex goes his own away, so the principle designer is gone. Me, the person that was never supposed to touch a solder gun, a piece of wire, or design a circuit board has to pick up the entire project and try to manufacture them personally. If you knew how much I did not like working on electronics, and how much I love mechanical you'd realize what a big step in trying help the customers this was. This has to be done while I manage this more than full time business. All the money that was originally paid by customers is gone and then some. Orders start to come back for refunds. This creates a 2 fold problem. I already spent the businesses savings in trying to fix the problem with Alex. He left. I can't forge ahead and test my own designs to fill current orders without any capital to work with and sales are slowing down because of seasonal variance. So this whole situation has the possibility of collapsing because there is no money, all the money is now invested in parts and design. So now I am forced into one tiny path. I have to be confident that I can fill the orders by myself, and the only risky step to take is to offer others to join into the group buy to just fill the people that left in hopes that I will forge through this and fix the problem. This mitigates the most risk for the most amount of people even though its a risk for all. Otherwise everyone loses their money, and the company reaches insolvency. There are no smiles and no remediation in that situation.

So enter stage 5 our current stage. Sales have picked back up, and as a result I'm slowly both shipping and refunding people to dig the company back out of the this hole.

The current design I sent you actually works fine. The problem I believe is with ESD. I've tested these different types multiple times, and they work on my car. Basically we have 4 igniters in a box wired directly to triggers and grounding the pulses coming off of the coils. This isn't a complicated system and is pretty full proof from a design perspective. All components significantly exceed the ratings that they need to have. The only thing is that IGBT's are very susceptible to ESD damage. This is true particularly when the pins are not grounded to anything. Considering the cold weather up there and conditions its likely a static voltage just took out the IGBT's on the inside. This is particularly true because you said only half the ignition worked on the second unit I sent you, and the 1,4 and 2,3 are isolated. So its probably 1/2 the board was just taken out. The first design that you were sent was also completely different from previous designs. I wasn't happy with that design in the end because I didn't like the harness, they were hard to make, and the finished product wasn't that great looking.

If you find problem with my logic in why I made the business decisions I have made there is a simple solution to not do business with me. I done what my logic at the time lead me to believe was the right decision. I had every probable evidence to believe at each step I was mitigating customer risk. That was my standing as I was going through the model.

In hind sight, what I've learned is that the actual production level product was not in stock for me to test. The prototype level was, and it worked but what does that mean if that's not exactly what you’re selling? I actually asked him to test the 5 he sent out that were defective before he sent them. Alex said he didn't have time, and that should have been the warning light that something was wrong. The actual working units that were a part of the manufacturing run were not delivered to me so that I could personally test them. That was my error, I believed someone when they said they had it under control and they could deliver. Instead I should of said ship me your production run, we'll do one last test of all of them, I'll build up the money to make the production run of parts, then we'll take orders.

Now as far as how I treat people and what I tell them that is different from other businesses. People who get involved with me I treat them like friends. I don't believe in a business model like Walmart ever where you’re just another pain in the neck. One of the things that set me apart from other businesses is that I answer the phone on Saturday and Sunday. I answer my phone at 11PM when a customer has a problem. I don't have a list of how many dollars a conversation is worth to me either, and I try very hard to understand the customer’s needs and I openly recommend other companies products if I think that's what’s going to help them the most. When people ask why something happened I tell them how it is. You accused me of hording everyone's money and living fat off the hog when all I've been trying to do this entire time is to keep customers fiscally isolated from my own fiscal debacle. In the end I believe I have succeeded, because I really see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some feelings were hurt, but no one is going to go without a product or a refund. 2 Months ago, I couldn’t have told you I had the either the strength to make that happen, or the ability. Now, yes I can say that with great confidence.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:54 PM   #48
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This is long, if you can't see by the post, but here it is.
I don't have time to read all that. But in the time it took you to write it (and the cumulative time you took to write your myriad excuses), you could have done some real work instead.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:05 PM   #49
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Well, I'm at school on a break. So I don't have access to my soldering equipment or wiring equipment. Therefore I thought I would do some customer relations. That's primarily for people who are still involved in the buy, not just you. It was work, one of the many things I have to do to own a business is give updates and assist with products. By the way it only took about a half hour. I respond to about 50 emails a day. Writing is pretty quick now a days.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:44 PM   #50
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So Travis,
Ive been interested in these COPs since you first announced them.
What is the realistic expectations you currently have for them? Will they be available within the next 3 months? 6 months? never? Do you think you will be increasing the price?
I've been watching this whole thing closely as well, deciding not to jump on the original group buy since my car wasn't ready for the COP's yet anyway and I was happy to pay a few dollars more to wait for the product to get over any teething issues.

Travis, what do you expect the future for this product to be? I'm sure there are more people like me around who are happy to pay for a good product, but have been waiting until that product is proven. Do you expect to eventually carry this as a regular stocked item?
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:40 PM   #51
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i've been watching this whole thing closely as well, deciding not to jump on the original group buy since my car wasn't ready for the cop's yet anyway and i was happy to pay a few dollars more to wait for the product to get over any teething issues.

Travis, what do you expect the future for this product to be? I'm sure there are more people like me around who are happy to pay for a good product, but have been waiting until that product is proven. Do you expect to eventually carry this as a regular stocked item?
+1
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #52
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Yes, that's the intended idea. When I'll completely unbury myself, I don't know, but its likely that when some new circuit boards arrive things will move even more quickly. I'm not at all happy with my V2.0 design, and the V3.0 design will have the capability to wire upto the Toyota COP system or the weapon-X system. One with drivers soldered on and one without going directly to the Toyota COPs. So there will be a diversification in products. The WeaponX system will go up in cost, and the Toyota COPs system will probably be in the low 300's with everything provided. That a way there are plug and play budget and full race solutions available.

Neither product will be sold or released until its on the shelf, and paid for though. So you might want to be prepared to wait a little while everything irons itself out or find an alternative solution.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:17 PM   #53
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did you included the dwell circuitry now?
bump,waiting for answer?

did you shipped already something?
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #54
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A little off topic, but does this hiccup affect getting the new diode for the Adaptronic in anyway?

Anyone who has dealt with Travis knows he is one of the best vendors out there. He is very involved with the community he is helping develop.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:18 AM   #55
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Anyone who has dealt with Travis knows he is one of the best vendors out there.
"Anyone"...? You sure aren't speaking for me and the others who got jerked around with this COPS system.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:20 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by ViRuS2k View Post
bump,waiting for answer?

did you shipped already something?
Hello Virus,

Sorry about your delay on the answer. The dwell reduction has been yanked for simplicity and durability.

Quote:
A little off topic, but does this hiccup affect getting the new diode for the Adaptronic in anyway?

Anyone who has dealt with Travis knows he is one of the best vendors out there. He is very involved with the community he is helping develop.
No, the diode modification is absolutely nothing compared to building a COP unit. It only takes a couple minutes to do and is very straightforward.

Best,
Travis
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:29 PM   #57
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is it possible to usw the copīs together with your dwell-reducer?

some other news? shipment to the netherlands and austria?
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:26 PM   #58
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So the COPS wont work with the factory ecu anymore?
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #59
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My understanding is yes they will work but it may effect the long term reliability (the same way it does with Toyota cops without dwell reduction) but if you own an early NB you will be use to coil pack failures anyway so you will be no worse off
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:17 PM   #60
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someone get his COPS already?
I am still waiting...
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