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Production SENTRY 2.0: Evolution of console-sized gaming PC case

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
233
414
The Black Ridge on Aorus B450 board thing:


It fits, but the AM4/AM3+ bracket is still at fault making it lie on one of the onboard components. I did not disassemble it yet to check which one is it, but I've heard the plastic being crushed when I tried to tighten the screw closest to the chipset.

Not fun, luckily the board is still alive, but I'm not sure if I have proper pressure or not because of this and the fact that if I tighten the screws to the max, I literally see the the PCB under the socket making a bulge in the middle of the board, so I'm not recommending this. Also the way the brackets are made doesn't force the cooler alignment on the CPU because you have M3 screws in like 6 mm holes so there's a ton of leeway and because you are mounting it from the bottom of the board, I assume I smeared the paste all over the CPU while trying to center the screws in the mounting holes. So once again - potentially great cooler, mind blowing poor implementation of AM4 support.

This thing's fin stack is huge. As you can see it obstructs first 2.5" drive slot and partially the second one including the bracket, so you can fit only one 2.5" and still have to figure something out how to mount it because of this.

I'm not sure if it performs so great with it's stock 92 mm fan, and 120 mm fan under the fin stack requires so niche ram modules that I'm not sure if I care about it at all, so the excess of fin stack outside the fan may not be used so much. For comparison, I've used T318 with 120 mm slim noctua fan for the last week and I feel like performance both in temps and acoustic is comparable, but with that, I can do two 2.5" drives without a problem. I'd also be thinking about simply mounting a 120 mm slim fan over NH-L9i/a radiator for same effect.

Anyway you have it if you wanted to know if it fits and how it fits.
 

JohnCA

Cable Smoosher
Dec 2, 2018
9
8
Just out of curiosity, why do you guys think this campaign is doing worse than 1st one?
I mean, this time you got a much bigger youtuber exposure, a more famous/trustworthy brand, and a polished product...
Maybe the SFF market is a bit down nowadays because of high tdp components being launched?
 
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bluntwrapped

What's an ITX?
Apr 21, 2019
1
0
3) 23 mm NH-L9i radiator + VLP (very low profile) memory sticks + standard 120 x 25 mm fan
#296 here :) You guys are doing a great job. Was dissapointed to miss out on the first version so happy to be a part of this one.

I was wondering, have you tested the NH-L9i with a 120 x 25mm fan in this position? Interested to know how it compares to using the stock Noctua fan.

Cheers
 

skiphix

Chassis Packer
Jun 25, 2018
16
27
#296 here :) You guys are doing a great job. Was dissapointed to miss out on the first version so happy to be a part of this one.

I was wondering, have you tested the NH-L9i with a 120 x 25mm fan in this position? Interested to know how it compares to using the stock Noctua fan.

Cheers
I don't own a l9i / l9a, but I have done some research based on reviews, forum posts and videos.

My understanding is that, if you use a fan duct on the 15mm fan, a 25mm fan upgrade will not make a worthy difference in thermals and the system will be quite louder.
 
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ZombiPL

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
DR ZĄBER
Apr 13, 2016
208
646
Just out of curiosity, why do you guys think this campaign is doing worse than 1st one?
We see it in some different way... "if you do not know why is something happening, then it is mostly because of the price/money" (it is a "saying" we have in Poland")

Yes, we had a great exposure and we are pretty sure we've reached most of people who really wanted such product like Sentry PC case, but if you want to get answers why numbers aren't higher, then some of them are below:

1. Price: €230 = ~$260 is a high price. Yeah, it is a really high price and we are aware of that. But at this moment we can not do anything about it. We are ordering Sentry 2.0 elements from our subcontractors and they dictate prices. Our profit is about 15% and if we assume there will be no problems with sent cases, then we will get maybe 20-25%, which most of the time we will spent on improvements. We talked with some factories in Asia about it (we searched some sub-subcontractors to get better prices), and they were astonished that we are not getting 100% of profit with such high price. But remember, we are not manufacturing our Sentry cases in Asia. Most of our elements are manufactured and quality tested in European Union. If you want to compare price of Sentry with other PC cases, then please just check where those other cases are being manufactured. As a company, we treat Sentry project as an advertisement of our DR ZĄBER brand. When we wanted to make it cheaper, then most of possible sub-manufacturers asked us for 10 000 units order and more. I don't remember a crowdfunded PC case which reached at least half of that. In such situation we just can not lower the price, because we are manufacturing "on demand". It is a true on demand, premium product, designed, manufactured and tested in European Union with EU standards, and even if we want it to become as affordable as it can be, the predictable low volume of orders is blocking us. It means, even if we want this case to be cheap, we can't do it, mostly because our sub-manufacturers dictate their prices, and if we won't get 5-10k orders, then the price won't change.

We understand that Sentry is a "right" design, which should become a standard, but at this point it is very expensive in manufacturing, and only small fraction of enthusiasts can afford it. We will try to change it, but it will take some time.

2. We wanted to offer our case for €230 euro. We informed everybody that this will be the price for Sentry 2.0. When we wanted to start our crowdfunding campaign with this price, there was an misleading information in the indiegogo form, that we won't be allowed to use the EUR currency, even if Poland is in the European Union. We were forced by indiegogo to use US dollars. For some reason many people think that €1 = $1. In 2016 it was true, but now situation is different. 1 EURO costs more than 1 dollar. It means 230 euro doesn't equal 230 US dollars (but ~260-261 USD). We sent many engineering samples to our reviewers and we wrote them that this case will cost 230 EURO. And most of the time they said the proper expected price... but remember - in Euro. Many people were confused when they saw 260 USD while they thought it will cost 230 USD. We never said our new Sentry will cost 230 USD. We said it will cost 230 EUR (similar price to other premium kickstarter cases, but this is not made in Asia) and many people felt that we lied to them, while we didn't. Currently EURO is stronger currency than US dollar, and this is something we just can't change.

3. Almost 1/3 of the price are taxes. Almost 9% of the price is an "Indiegogo tax". We can lower it by selling pc cases directly from our website but probably we would need to use "Paypal" to make those payments safe, and it also costs like 6-8% of the paid price. Everyone wants their share...

4. We sent many engineering samples to reviewers and we said there are no strings attached. We did not give them any dates or deadlines when they will have to release their reviews, and we even didn't say what they can or can't do with their samples. We just wrote they can do whatever they want. We said it is a community project and we want true, honest reviews. Everything was OK, until many of them decided to release their reviews at the same time (which we didn't expect). Because of that, many people thought we paid all of those reviewers and those reviews were "paid reviews". People just hate paid reviews, because they do not know which information is real and which is not (everyone hate "bs"). Sentry 2.0 reviews weren't paid, but because we said everyone can make a review in the way they think it will be the best for them, then some of them showed up in the same time, which was a bit weird (but not intended).

5. We have thousands of subscribers for our newsletter, who wanted an information when Sentry will be available. For sending emails, we were using a service from our country, which wasn't very efficient (only 15-25% of emails were opened by recipients, because most of those emails were sent to a spam folder). Because of that most of our subscribers didn't get an information that Sentry will be again available. Now we changed our newsletter system to the one which guarantees a lot bigger amount of delivered/opened emails. We know it is late, but we changed our old newsletter system as soon as we got statistics about current deliveries from our old email notifications system. Right now 40-60% of our newsletter emails are being opened by our subscribers, which is quite ok.

6. Expected delivery time of Sentry 2.0... Unlike many other crowdfunding campaigns, we wanted to be fair towards our backers. We wanted to show them the real dates. We did not want to set dates, after which we would need to say "sorry" every time we couldn't achieve them. We made Sentry 1.1 and we knew how much time it takes to manufacture similar product. We have this knowledge. Basing on this information we made some estimations for best and worst scenario when our Sentry 2.0 cases will be sent. Because we set a maximum number of possible to order cases to 5000 units, then the worst case scenario for delivery was set to December. This date is quite realistic for this number of cases. Many people was scared when they saw this date, because they do not want to wait that long. As engineers we prefer to give our client the best information we have, than lie saying something which will give us better profit. Crowdfunding is full of campaigns which are scam, and we would like to change it. Our campaign is real and true, and we just want to give our "customers" the best information before they will decide to back our project. Costs are real, delivery times are real and product is real. If people want to be "fooled" by saying they will get their product faster, then Sentry crowdfunding campaign is not for them. Our company is for over 2 decades on the heavy industry market mostly because we are honest with our customers. When we started this and previous Sentry crowdfunding campaign we decided we prefer to not get any funds, than gathering funds from writing some marketing, misleading information. We just do not want to do that. We know, that other companies use some marketing tricks, but as I said... we just do not want to do that.

7. Sentry is still being compared to other premium cases, but the main criterion is always the price. In such comparison, when you won't add other information, Sentry won't ever win. Sentry won't even win with plastic, a lot bigger Node 202 which you won't fit in a laptop bag. Price kills the whole conversation. We, as a small company, do not have a power to fight with many of such comparisons, and the only thing we can do is to give our future clients the best, true information. If you want to get a true premium case, then probably there is no real competition for Sentry... mostly because it is made "to your order". Just check where most of "premium" cases are made. You will find out that they are made in Asia with molds and automatic assembling machines which are used for other PC cases, which aren't "so" premium" and are made in thousands. Then you will find out that this "premium" factor will disappear. Most of people do not know how expensive is the manufacturing process if you do not have molds and automatic assembling machines, and because of that they think Sentry is an overpriced case. In our opinion Sentry isn't expensive case if you consider the small quantity in which it is made. But we do not have power to inform most of interested people why mainstream cases can be as cheap as they are, and why Sentry is more expensive... but we are doing everything we can in this matter.


We hope this campaign will allow us to get funds to improve manufacturing process, and maybe (in the future) to make next Sentry cases a little bit cheaper... but we can't promise that right now.
 
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SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
233
414
As per our price tag being high, but it's what we can do right now, there's something I'd recommend you guys checking out.

Linus talked on last WAN show a bit about making of their new water bottle, the margins and the shipping prices which feels really familiar to what we're dealing with, so you might as well check it out:


Similar price / margin / manufacturing subject is a Gamers Nexus mod mat. It's 100$ but it's a mat and an anti static wrist clip, but it's something that you could assume that for example any huge mouse pad vendor could do for lets say $30, and it might be true. But GN isn't pushing tens of thousands of those with worldwide distribution and they are handling this with their small team at least as the QC and order/shipping handling goes, and it's what supports their channel.

But once again, for the price of two mod mats you can go and pick a SFF case manufactured at lian li where both lian li and the designer has their margin in it and it seems like there's a ton more work to be done with a case than what a manufacturing of such mod mat seems to be, i.e they spend some time to perfect the material and printing, but it's still a fabric and printing, some coating etc, doesn't seem like tons of manual work and assembly like with PC cases.

I believe GN had few videos on their road to delivering the mod mad, production issues, prototyping etc and also they made quite a lot of factory tours recently.

So good food for thoughts in these two subjects.
 
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Brude27

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jun 21, 2018
111
147
@ZombiPL @SaperPL I don't see how anyone could view the Sentry 2.0's campaign as anything but a success. You guys absolutely crushed it, and should be proud of yet another win in the crowdfunding campaign world. There are many creators who can't say they've succeeded in one, let alone two.

As for the pricing thing... It isn't your fault people need to be told different currencies equal different amounts... I feel that's pretty obvious, and if anything, there's always Google for those unsure.

As for those who say your Sentry is too expensive... they haven't looked around the SFF market very long. They also don't look into why these wonderful cases cost what they cost either. Those who do really appreciate the quality and care you and the other creators on this forum bring to the market.

Would it be great if pricing went down across the board? Yes, yes it would. Would I then have a lot of small, empty cases all over my house if pricing went down? Yes, yes I would. But we know that we aren't there yet, and may never get to that point... and that's ok. You still have a lot of people who believe in your product, and will continue supporting it while you continue bringing the kind of quality and engineering your bring to the table.

Thanks for all you guys do, and congrats on your 2nd win!
 

ZombiPL

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
DR ZĄBER
Apr 13, 2016
208
646
@ZombiPL @SaperPL I don't see how anyone could view the Sentry 2.0's campaign as anything but a success. You guys absolutely crushed it, and should be proud of yet another win in the crowdfunding campaign world. There are many creators who can't say they've succeeded in one, let alone two.
We also see it as a success. With version 1.1 we were wondering if we will be able to get those minimum 100 units order, but we got 10 times more. It is great, that after those 2 years we are still able to get funding with even higher minimal order and those unexpected indiegogo problems.

As for the pricing thing... It isn't your fault people need to be told different currencies equal different amounts... I feel that's pretty obvious, and if anything, there's always Google for those unsure.
Ok, but the problem is not the information alone, but when you will give this information to your backers. Indiegogo form didn't allow us to use EUR currency not on the stage of setting the campaign, but just before clicking "launch campaign" button. It was almost the last stage which you do not check earlier, because it is connected with... final launching the campaign. Because of that we did not have time to inform properly everybody why currency was changed, and we lost (at least in some part) our initial momentum. Luckily it didn't kill the campaign.

As for those who say your Sentry is too expensive... they haven't looked around the SFF market very long. They also don't look into why these wonderful cases cost what they cost either. Those who do really appreciate the quality and care you and the other creators on this forum bring to the market.
Sentry is really a very expensive pc case. We understand it a lot better than most people can imagine. We are making improvements in manufacturing process to make whole production cheaper, but with such low number of orders (below 2k or 3k), we just do not have arguments for our subcontractors to get better prices from them. If we would hit those max 5000 units order, then we would be really able to go for molds and make Sentry a lot cheaper for the final customer. Right now I do not know when it will happen, and the only thing I can predict is the lowering the price by a "small steps policy" (for example switching current machines and tooling to more efficient ones). Everything needs time and funds, and we are sure we will be able to offer Sentry for lower price in the future, but once again... we do not know when it will happen (between v1.1 and v2.0 you had to wait for over 2 years...) and we also do not know if there still will be a market for such product.


Would it be great if pricing went down across the board? Yes, yes it would. Would I then have a lot of small, empty cases all over my house if pricing went down? Yes, yes I would. But we know that we aren't there yet, and may never get to that point... and that's ok. You still have a lot of people who believe in your product, and will continue supporting it while you continue bringing the kind of quality and engineering your bring to the table.

Thanks for all you guys do, and congrats on your 2nd win!
Thanks :) We really appreciate that.

We still have more than a week to the end of the campaign, so we'll see if we will be able to improve the final result.
 
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Linero

Cable Smoosher
Feb 9, 2017
11
9
Huge congrats on the campaign fellows. I wish you the best most success with it. I have one question though. When will we be able to purchase more sentry V2.0s and what is the future of it? I might be able to catch the campaign before it ends. But what if I don't? Approximately, how big of a time frame do I have to wait to get another chance?

I know you might not be able to predict such a thing. However, an approximate will give me an idea of whether I will be waiting for months or years.
 

ZombiPL

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
DR ZĄBER
Apr 13, 2016
208
646
When will we be able to purchase more sentry V2.0s and what is the future of it? I might be able to catch the campaign before it ends. But what if I don't? Approximately, how big of a time frame do I have to wait to get another chance?

I know you might not be able to predict such a thing. However, an approximate will give me an idea of whether I will be waiting for months or years.
Between Sentry 1.1 and 2.0 campaign there were 2 years of waiting (with small 100 units pre-sale in the middle to test DHL shipping).
At this moment I can't estimate when Sentry will be available again, mostly because we are not a PC case company. This is not something which we are doing for living. This is a really entertaining project for us, which we are doing for you guys and as an advertisement of our company, but as I said, because we are not doing it for living, we are manufacturing it in very small batches, so it is very, very expensive. Because of that we can't predict the numer of possible orders we can get and it is very difficult to talk with our subcontractors.

Our minimal number of orders with Sentry 1.1 was 100 units. We made our design more efficient together with better assembling process, which should lower the price, but for the last 2 years our subcontractors rised their prices, and now even with current MOQ of 500 units we have this high $260 price for the final product. Higher price equals lower demand for product, which can lead to longer waiting times (to gather possible buyers).

All of this means that, I wouldn't expect other possibilities of getting Sentry this year... maybe in 2020... who knows. Maybe from 2nd hand sources, like eBay... but prices we saw for 1.1 revision were between $400 - $900 USD which isn't so nice for your wallet.


On the other hand, we are receiving many questions about extending the current campaign for at least few days, because many people would like to make an order, but only at the start of May, and some wanted to change the colour of their case and are waiting for a refund to make another order. We really do not know how it ends, but if we will decide to give a possibility to still order Sentry after the end of the current deadline, then we have 2 options:

1. Extend the whole campaign for several days, just to make sure everyone had a chance to make their order (it's an end of the month, and everyone have other, more important expenses, and we understand that).

or

2. End the current campaign at a deadline, but leave the option of InDemand order, until we will get funds from indiegogo from the main campaign. In such case you will be able to order Sentry for few days after the campaign, but we will not be able to tell if it will be 3 days or 3 weeks. Everything will depend when we will get funds to start the production (last time it were 3 weeks, but we had only one indiegogo campaign, so can't say if this time it won't be faster).


To sum up: If you want to get Sentry directly from us this year, then probably Indiegogo campaign will be the only option. We may give another opportunity to get this case next year, when we will try to make its manufacturing process a little bit cheaper and faster (to lower the Sentry price). But we can not promise anything, mostly because every year our subcontractors rise their prices (usually because of inflation, costs of work and costs of materials), and because of that, at this moment we can't predict the possible demand for product, and when exactly it will be again available.
 
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ZombiPL

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
DR ZĄBER
Apr 13, 2016
208
646
So... When are yally gonna make one using a flex PSU like the ones from Greek. That would be dope
Are there any off-shelf flex PSUs which are dedicated for dektop PCs, have enough power, are quiet and have modular cables including PEG connectors for GPUs?
 

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
233
414
So... When are yally gonna make one using a flex PSU like the ones from Greek. That would be dope
I don't think that's a good idea and most likely we won't do this because flex PSU is a server standard and you can't get those easily from every local pc store with PEG connectors.

With Sentry we want to make a case that doesnt require custom power brick, dc-atx adapter or custom psu which you won't be able to get in few years If it dies and original vendor is not there anymore on the market or moved to another product.

I'd be more keen on doing a TFX based chassis, but it already turns whole layout upside down, so it'd be completely different case and we don't really have time for that right now.
 

Linero

Cable Smoosher
Feb 9, 2017
11
9
Between Sentry 1.1 and 2.0 campaign there were 2 years of waiting (with small 100 units pre-sale in the middle to test DHL shipping).
At this moment I can't estimate when Sentry will be available again, mostly because we are not a PC case company. This is not something which we are doing for living. This is a really entertaining project for us, which we are doing for you guys and as an advertisement of our company, but as I said, because we are not doing it for living, we are manufacturing it in very small batches, so it is very, very expensive. Because of that we can't predict the numer of possible orders we can get and it is very difficult to talk with our subcontractors.

Our minimal number of orders with Sentry 1.1 was 100 units. We made our design more efficient together with better assembling process, which should lower the price, but for the last 2 years our subcontractors rised their prices, and now even with current MOQ of 500 units we have this high $260 price for the final product. Higher price equals lower demand for product, which can lead to longer waiting times (to gather possible buyers).

All of this means that, I wouldn't expect other possibilities of getting Sentry this year... maybe in 2020... who knows. Maybe from 2nd hand sources, like eBay... but prices we saw for 1.1 revision were between $400 - $900 USD which isn't so nice for your wallet.


On the other hand, we are receiving many questions about extending the current campaign for at least few days, because many people would like to make an order, but only at the start of May, and some wanted to change the colour of their case and are waiting for a refund to make another order. We really do not know how it ends, but if we will decide to give a possibility to still order Sentry after the end of the current deadline, then we have 2 options:

1. Extend the whole campaign for several days, just to make sure everyone had a chance to make their order (it's an end of the month, and everyone have other, more important expenses, and we understand that).

or

2. End the current campaign at a deadline, but leave the option of InDemand order, until we will get funds from indiegogo from the main campaign. In such case you will be able to order Sentry for few days after the campaign, but we will not be able to tell if it will be 3 days or 3 weeks. Everything will depend when we will get funds to start the production (last time it were 3 weeks, but we had only one indiegogo campaign, so can't say if this time it won't be faster).


To sum up: If you want to get Sentry directly from us this year, then probably Indiegogo campaign will be the only option. We may give another opportunity to get this case next year, when we will try to make its manufacturing process a little bit cheaper and faster (to lower the Sentry price). But we can not promise anything, mostly because every year our subcontractors rise their prices (usually because of inflation, costs of work and costs of materials), and because of that, at this moment we can't predict the possible demand for product, and when exactly it will be again available.
Thank you very much for the detailed response. I would vote for the first option as a solution in my opinion. I think it would be a lot more clearer and we could plan ahead for it. That being said, this needs to be publicized soon for this to be effective. I hope my feedback helps. Thank you again and good luck
 

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
233
414
Thank you very much for the detailed response. I would vote for the first option as a solution in my opinion. I think it would be a lot more clearer and we could plan ahead for it. That being said, this needs to be publicized soon for this to be effective. I hope my feedback helps. Thank you again and good luck
The first option is actually risky because it means we are delaying the transfer of main volume of funds which means potential delay in when we place orders. It's something that may anger people who already contributed to the campaign and not necessary bring more people than the ones who would come for in demand purchase.
 

Brude27

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jun 21, 2018
111
147
I feel like sticking to your initial plan is the best move. If people haven't made their commitment during the campaign window, that is on them. If you change the plan, and potentially delay things for the people who already committed, then that falls on you guys.

If there are buyers who don't want to wait another 2 years for Sentry 3.0, then they should put their money where their mouth is and fund the current campaign. If the excuse is needing the funds from the start of a month... they already had a start of the month period, and it just so happens that we are at the end of one now. Not to be condescending, but that's how time works, and I don't feel like you guys should put yourselves in a bad situation when the blame can't be placed on you for letting things play out as planned from the start.
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
561
489
I've always believed the best way to expand a consumer base is to take care of the existing one you have.

As long as it wasn’t detrimental to those who have already ordered, I see no problem extending the timeline for preorders, but if it looks like it will be making the deadlines on your schedule start backsliding, then I’d say it needs to be re-evaluated.
 

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
233
414
As long as it wasn’t detrimental to those who have already ordered, I see no problem extending the timeline for preorders, but if it looks like it will be making the deadlines on your schedule start backsliding, then I’d say it needs to be re-evaluated.
That's why inDemand would make more sense to not delay the production start, but again inDemand is made assuming that because we reached our goal we're ready to manufacture in any amounts (as if we built a factory and made mass production tooling etc lol...) and thus it functions in a way that assumes you can take any amount of orders at this point.

But we're not really set up for this, we still have MOQ's for batch orders, so as Zombi said we could get into inDemand when campaign ends and then end it quickly when we get the campaign funds so we place specific amount of orders - campaign orders + inDemand orders although for the latter we'll get the funds with delay.

This means we have no idea how much time it'll take. Saying "hey, there's inDemand if you were late, but we'll kill it as soon as campaign money gets here, so it' might end up in 5 minutes or 2 weeks" is not a nice thing to do.

Second thing is that I think there's going to be a warning in inDemand about that there's no guarantee for this being delivered on marked deadline, because you're technically ordering it after campaign, so we'll once again have people freaking out we're not gonna deliver at all and just take the money (and yeah, that's a thing) without asking us how it works.

But yeah, we definitely don't want to annoy people who already backed the campaign by delaying production.
 
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