The main reason that it has taken so long is that there has been more testing and rework required than I expected. The test procedure I gave to the contract manufacturer wasn't good enough, mostly because it performed RF tests over the air instead of over a cable with fixed characteristics. Since changing the procedure to operate over an RF cable with an attenuator, I am getting very consistent results. Unfortunately those results aren't always positive, so I've had to do a lot of rework. Plus, I've had to spend a great deal of time running the tests at my kitchen table.
Allergy warning: cats have climbed into boxes full of HackRF Jawbreakers!
I've fallen a bit behind on email while doing all this work, but many of those messages contain frequently asked questions about beta distribution that I will list here:
Q: How many people registered for the beta and how many beta units will ship?
A: I received a total of 2288 registrations. Over 400 units have shipped already. A total of approximately 500 units will ship. About 225 of those will go to people on the waiting list (those who registered without a valid beta invitation code). I wish I could give a board to all 2288 of you, but unfortunately supplies are limited. Still, I am proud to have accomplished such a large give-away of open source hardware.
Q: What are my odds of receiving a Jawbreaker?
A: If you registered with a valid beta invitation code, a beta unit should have been shipped to you already (100%). If you registered without a code, you will receive a Jawbreaker only if you were among the first 11% or so of people who registered. If you heard about beta registration from the GSG-announce mailing list, irc (#hackrf on freenode), or by following me on twitter and acted quickly, you have a good chance of getting a board. If you signed up later without a code, you probably will not get a board.
Q: Will I receive a confirmation email even if I do not get a beta unit?
A: Yes. If you included a valid email address with your registration you will receive an email either way. If a beta unit is shipped to you, I will send you an email that day. As soon as beta supplies are exhausted I will send an email to everyone still on the waiting list letting you know that you will not receive a unit.
Q: How are beta units shipped?
A: I'm shipping all beta units via USPS First-Class Mail or First-Class Package International Service. I realize that this isn't the speediest service for international beta testers and that time in customs can vary greatly, but keeping the cost low is part of how I am able to ship so many total beta units.
Q: What if my Jawbreaker fails?
A: Unfortunately I expect some hardware failures in the field. Even units that passed my improved test procedure might fail in the future. I've already seen (and replaced) one such unit that had a weak solder joint that failed after being shipped to a beta tester. I can't guarantee you a working beta unit, but I will do my best to repair or replace units that fail. If you suspect a hardware failure or have any other technical concerns, post your question or test results to the hackrf-dev mailing list.
Q: When can I buy a HackRF board?
A: I will make an announcement about commercial availability soon. If you want to be among the first to hear about it, sign up for the GSG-announce mailing list.