Voltaire has some first-of features, and along with that, we’re anticipating some first-of troubleshooting work to do. We’ve already addressed the hardware issues and firmware bugs we uncovered through manufacturing process—those are the “known knowns.” We’re now in the land of the “unknown unknowns,” and as the first several hundred Voltaire grinders make their way across the world, we’ll surely encounter some issues we’ve never seen before.
We’re here to help troubleshoot, and we’d really love your partnership with us as early adopters to work through any issues that come up. The more pictures and videos you can send, the better. Making (or supporting) new hardware isn’t for the faint of heart, and we’re glad you’re here with us. You can share feedback, thoughts, questions, musings, and brewing stories with us at email@example.com.
1. My grinder won’t grind.
Make sure it's ON and AWAKE. See guidance in question #2.
Make sure it’s fully charged. See guidance in question #3.
If it’s fully charged, powered on, and awake, and it still won’t grind, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. My grinder won’t turn on (or I can’t tell if it’s on).
Voltaire has three power settings: off, asleep, and awake.
Voltaire is OFF when the backside green toggle power switch is pressed DOWN. (The bottom of the green toggle switch is pressed in, and the top of the switch sticks out). This is all-the-way-off; and no LEDs will light up, even when charging. The grinder won’t respond when you press or twist the knob.
Voltaire is on and ASLEEP when the power switch is first pressed UP. No LEDs will light up, even when charging, and it won’t respond if you twist the knob.
Voltaire is AWAKE and ready to grind when the switch is on and you press the knob in once. The LED above the knob (at the 12 o’clock position) will glow, fading in and out slowly. This means the grinder is awake, ready to use, and not charging.
Voltaire is charging when it’s plugged into a wall socket using the provided power adapter. When the grinder is awake and plugged in, the glowing LEDs will slowly rotate clockwise as they fade in and out to indicate that it is charging.
3. How do I charge the grinder? How can I tell if it’s fully charged, or check battery charge status?
Plug the provided power adapter into a wall socket and connect it to Voltaire to start charging.
The grinder can charge either with the backside green toggle power switch set to OFF or ON.
For incrementally faster charging, set the back power switch to OFF. You won’t see a charge indication in this mode.
To watch Voltaire charge, set the back power switch to ON and wake it up by pressing the copper/silver button on the front.
When the grinder is awake and plugged in, the glowing LEDs will slowly rotate clockwise as they fade in and out to indicate that it is charging.
It may take several hours or overnight for a full charge. Once fully charged, the LEDs will no longer rotate while in awake mode; instead, only the top LED will pulse.
The power adapter will charge the batteries but cannot power the motor directly. If you plug in Voltaire while the batteries have no charge, you won’t be able to grind right away; the batteries have to charge first.
Voltaire’s portability is great but also means some planning and patience can be required. Juice it up overnight and grind away in the morning!
4. I’m running out of battery faster than expected.
Voltaire will consume energy while awake, and also while asleep. To preserve battery life between uses, turn the grinder all the way off using the switch on the back.
Like other lithium-ion batteries, these will slowly discharge over time even while the grinder is off. If it’s been a few weeks between uses, plug it in to fully charge it.
If you only leave Voltaire on while grinding, and turn it off between uses, the batteries should have enough charge to grind through about 3lbs of beans.
5. Voltaire is struggling on the finest grind setting.
The finest grind setting requires a lot of torque, and if the batteries are low, they can’t deliver enough power to the motor to achieve the required torque.
Fully charge the batteries and you should see performance improve. But see #3 above - you’ll have to be a little patient since the power adapter charges the batteries but doesn’t directly power the motor.
6. What about the Airvault? (nb: parts of this answer borrowed from an earlier campaign update)
This first round of shipments didn’t include Airvaults or Airbases; we're planning to ship those as soon as they're ready, but it will be a few more months. Here’s why: since the grinder, Airvault, and Airbase are modular system, we needed to wait until the grinder was 100% locked and produced before finalizing design and beginning tooling on the next products... otherwise, instead of making a grinder mold change and propagating it to the other items in CAD ahead of tool cutting, we'd be making three physical mold changes each time an adjustment was needed.
Now that grinders are finished and delivered, we can turn our attention back to the second two elements of this modular family. We'll keep you all in the loop as always, and again I want to extend an extra-extra big thanks to anyone who backed at those tiers and is still waiting patiently for us to move them to the next phase.
7. I backed at a tier that included access to a beta app and/or a supply of fresh coffee beans. But I see you’re talking about sending beta app invites to everyone in the campaign. Is there a difference? And when will I get those beans?
The current beta app we’ve been talking about in campaign updates is sort of a beta-of-the-beta that doesn't yet include Airbase connectivity or any of the "smarts" that we have in the works (which will be the real IoT app beta that makes those reward tiers exciting). That said, we're still planning to offer earlier-than-everyone-else access to the current beta to everyone in the Complete Beta and Developer tiers. I'll send messages to Complete Beta and Developer tier backers in the next few days, with some preview screen shots and a plan for what to expect next.
Regarding the Complete Beta tier, which included two Airbases and the coffee bean supply: the intention for both the main beta app and the three month coffee supply was to have backers in this tier be a part of our development process and the first to see the Airbase sensing functionality and the system’s IoT connectivity. That's still the plan! We’re excited to have you all help us test out Airbase functionality with super-fresh beans in a coordinated way. In the meantime, the current beta invite will land in your inbox early, a few days from now (along with some forthcoming extra communication from us).
8. Why do you recommend waiting for the app to unbox the grinder?
You certainly don't have to wait! As long as you're comfortable reading the box's quickstart guide and/or finding answers to super common questions like battery charging (above), grind setting recommendations (Update #43), and the timer dial (also Update #43), you'll have the basics covered. It would be fun to open the app and unbox Voltaire simultaneously because app has a photo-rich user guide and welcome sequence, which we're working as fast as we can to replicate over on voltaire.co. I'll also find some time this weekend, I hope, to post videos and photos on social media with detailed visual instructions as a companion to the knowledge base above.
9. Do you have a digital version of the quickstart guide that's on the box?
We sure do! Check it out at https://voltaire.co/pages/user-guide. That page will evolve quickly to include the FAQ and troubleshooting guide from campaign updates as well, so that everything is easily searchable and in one spot.
Hope these answers and tips help out - we’re also going to post them up on Voltaire.co for reference, too. If anyone has questions we haven’t answered here, send us an email at email@example.com. We’ll answer you there and include the knowledge in the next installment of Voltaire FAQ.