Marvin has gone to great pains, in the rest of this book, to explain what specific sections are and are going to be and what they are going to contain. I'm not going to explain anything here and I'm certainly not going to try to predict what (if anything) will appear in this space in future issues. I'm just going to write about whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment and if that's nothing then the column will be nothing. (It's doing a pretty good job of starting out as nothing already.)
By way of introduction, I'm John Simonton and my title is President by virtue of the fact that PAIA started in my garage.
That was a little more than 5 years ago and we're not in a garage anymore, we're in a little over 10,000 sq.ft, situated on about an acre and a quarter of land on the North side of Oklahoma City. In the old days there was just me but now there's me and about 25 to 30 others. We're a pretty decent bunch trying to 1) turn out interesting and useful new products 2) have a good time and 3) make enough money to add to the facilities to enable us to do more of 1) and 2). Sometimes it works that way and sometimes it doesn't.
We do a lot of things here at PAIA, including our own sheet metal work, printed circuit board manufacture, woodworking and case assembly, printing, design, recording of demo's and associated production work, instruction set preparation and associated art, screen printing — it's a longer list than that but you probably get the idea. Most people that come through the shop are surprised that we do as many different things as we do. It's a hassle being that diversified but there's a reason and the reason is: "IT'S LESS HASSLE THAN THE ALTERNATIVES".
When you're small and go to a contract manufacturer your requirements must come in a poor second to other larger organizations. If you do it yourself you can assign priorities that are in line with your needs. (As I write this we are trying to find a lost shipment of steel - but we can't do everything). Also, if you do it yourself you can keep the prices of the goodies down because there aren't three or four companies trying to make a profit from (for example) a single switch bracket. There are lots of other reasons too, but there's no need to get too boring.
It's a bigger job than most people would imagine just trying to shake the "garage shop" philosophy and in all honesty there are some areas where we have a way yet to go - but being fair about it, we've come a long way too.
So, that's where we were and are. Now where are we going? As I write this, our biggest current problem is shipping. Bob Pierce, who was running our shipping department, has left to begin a venture of his own and while we certainly wish him well it has left something of a gap in getting the kits and things out of the back door. The solution (our current red-hot project) is in programming our data processing gear to take over the management of shipping. So far, so good. When this operating system finally runs - which it should be by the time you read this - it should increase the efficiency of our shipping department by conservatively 200%. Isn't that fascinating?
You don't really want to know about that. You want to know what we're doing to give you neat new stuff to work (play) with. The most immediate things are the 4720 VCO and 4730 VCF. We've been promising them to you for over a year now and we haven't been sloughing off - we've been working on them that long. We believe that these two new modules will be for sale around the first of December - preliminary specs appear in another section of this book. At the same time the vinyl covered road cases will be ready and we will begin offering complete 4700 series synthesizer packages. There's no need to go into hysterics or get too carried away but I will say that this is really nice stuff and we'll match it with anybody else's equipment no matter what the price.
Long term, there are some awfully exciting things going. on. Our Fairchild F8 Micro-processor evaluation unit came in a short time ago and I expect that within the next 6 to 9 months we'll have some synthesis equipment that is digitally based probably using this processor. Don't look for any PAIA computers - we're not going to get into that game but certainly you will see some kits that have a processor doing some specific something that only a processor can reasonably do.
If you're into digital electronics in a big way you can expect to see some PAIA things to go along with your computer - some really far out (and useful) peripherals. I don't want to go into this too much but you'll like them.
John S. Simonton, Jr., President, PAIA Electronics, Inc.
Over the last year and a half we've accumulated about 25 assembled 2720-2's. Some of these came from our own demo studio, some were linearity rejects from customers. They all oscillate over the originally specified frequency range but that's all they're guaranteed to do. We'll sell one or all on a first come first serve basis for $7.50 each. For the most part these oscillators are non-linear but they are still useful, for sweeping oscillator effects, local oscillator inputs to balanced modulators, etc. Order these oscillators directly from:
PAIA Electronics, Inc.