April Updates

ChessUp April Update

Hi Pre-Order Customers,

This is the ChessUp news for April.  March and all prior updates can be found here.


Production News

Happy to report that the end of production is near.  Components are on site at the final assembly location.

Here are various pictures from the last month:

About half of the pallets of chess pieces
Black rook production - produced in pairs, runners still attached (hot off the press)
Board Frames
Sensor and LED PCBs
Screws - lots of screws -  hundreds of thousands of them
Anti-slip footers (four per board)
2 meter charge cables - USB-A to USB-C
Lots of pawns


Basically everyone's ChessUp exists (in pieces) and the work left is to assemble the pieces.  Here are the assembly steps:

  • After felt is adhered to the bottom of the pieces, they are placed in the form fit piece trays.
  • PCB Assembly happens.  Called PCBA, it is when the ICs (chips) are soldered to the PCB.  Note that we have intentionally put this off as long as possible for risk mitigation reasons.  It is very costly to scrap fully assembled PCBs (in the event of an unexpected redesign).  Since everything else is now a go - all plastics, certifications, life testing of pilot run - PCBA is a go now.  It only takes 2 weeks to do all of our PCBA as it is a highly automated process.
  • Firmware is flashed (programmed) into the microcontroller and PCB testing is performed simultaneously.
  • Battery and switch are secured into the board frame.  PCBs get screwed into the board frame and wiring is connected between batteries, board, and switches.
  • Board tops are adhered to the frame.
  • Final testing takes place (checking all lights and sensors work).
  • ChessUp boards and pieces are packed into the product packaging and shrink wrapped.
  • Multiple ChessUp packages are packed into cardboard master carton boxes.  Master cartons are packed onto pallets.  Pallets are freighted away to the port and loaded on shipping containers.


The factory can assemble and test hundreds of units per day.  These final steps require care, of course, but it is pretty routine work and mostly just a matter of time.  Everything is in place, it is just assembly work to go.


The accessory pieces (bags, phone stands) have been done for months are already on pallets in a warehouse waiting to ship.  We ship everything together.


One Rugged Board

We picked a board to do some drop testing on.  *We thought it would be sacrificial.

  • We dropped it 10 times from 0.5 meters on to concrete.  10 times is for each orientation - all 4 corners and all 6 sides.
  • It functioned perfectly and barely had a scratch so we moved up to 10 times from 1.0 meters onto bare concrete... And it still functioned perfectly.
  • So we ran over it with a 6,000 lb vehicle (3 tons)...  And it still functioned perfectly.
  • So then we went and got the camera and recorded running over it for a second time (it still worked).  Then we recorded a slow-motion drop with the lights on for dramatic effect.  And it still worked.

Enjoy the video and don't do this with your ChessUp:



Check out our lichess demo:

New feature announcement:

  • We are adding OTB game recording.  Basically if you play a game without the app connected, the board will record it.  Then if you connect the app later - you will have an option to save the game into the app and cloud.  We expect to be able to store up to 50 games before syncing is required.


Our goal has always been to deliver a product you love.  We will stay committed to that goal even after it is in your hands.  We recognize that we need a platform for community idea exchanges.  We are still shopping different forum software packages for our website - so stay tuned.



We are holding almost the same schedule as last month.  We will reach out in May to lock/confirm addresses.

Reach out anytime info@bryghtlabs.com

Thank you!
Bryght Labs