Dbrand’s ‘Million Dollar’ Steam Deck Error Is Hilarious and Fascinating

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Steam Deck owners were supposed to be able to get a new case of dbrand this week. Unfortunately, a problem with Project Killswitch stopped the launch of the case. dbrand made a sudden announcement on Twitter then followed by a longer post on Reddit breaking down the “million dollar mistake”.

If you’re only interested in what will happen if you ordered a case from dbrand, you can skip to the points below, which were shared in the company’s Reddit post about the situation. We’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of what caused the issues after the list. The long nutshell is that people who placed an order for a Killswitch can get a refund or a replacement.

dbrand’s plans for the Killswitch project

  • All orders currently placed are still being shipped.
  • We’re moving from a magnetic mount to a mechanical locking system for the kickstand (and all future accessories). This will require retooling of our existing production lines and is expected to take some time.
  • After retooling is complete, each customer who purchased a Magnetic Killswitch receives a free replacement of their case and kickstand. We expect to ship them in January. These replacements will be fully compatible with the existing travel case, skin, handles and tempered glass. When you receive your replacement, you are not obligated to return the magnetic version.
    • Now you might be wondering why we replace everyone, rather than just those that affect Delta fan owners.
    • Although this problem only seems to affect units with a Delta fan, self-diagnosing the fan you have is not easy. Even though you’re sure you have a Delta fan, you might not really notice the problem: during a low RPM scenario, the fan motor has plenty of headroom to compensate for magnetic interference from the kickstand.
    • This is what we suspect to be happening with the original findings from The Verge. This particular editor may have had a Delta fan and when the kickstand was attached there was a momentary loss of fan speed which then pushed the fan higher in the programmed curve and overcompensated with the motor overload available.
    • Ultimately, any self-diagnosis may lead to the erroneous conclusion that you have a Huaying fan. To be safe and fully support the uncertainty of this issue, we prefer to just replace every unit out there.
  • As a result of the above, whether or not you have a Huaying fan, we do not recommend using the magnetic kickstand. Instead, please keep it on your fridge as a reminder of our failure.
  • To clarify once again, everything BUT the kickstand is safe to use.

The root cause of issues with Project Killswitch has to do with the magnets used to attach a kickstand to the case. The Verge noticed that the case’s magnetic kickstand was slowing down the Steam Deck’s fan. The outlet contacted dbrand, and the two worked together to determine the cause of the particular issue, with the help of popular YouTuber Dave2D.

The Verge has shared a video of the Delta fan affected by the Killswitch kickstand.

It appears that the magnetic kickstand only affects Steam Deck units with a Delta fan. The problem is that people can’t tell if their device has a Huaying fan (which apparently isn’t affected by magnets) or a Delta fan without opening their Steam Deck. This is not a reasonable action that dbrand is asking people to do, so instead the company treats all orders the same.

Project Killswitch consists of a case, handles, and other components that protect the Steam Deck. Even if your Steam Deck has a Delta fan, it shouldn’t be affected by any part of a killswitch box except for the magnetic kickstand mount.

dbrand will be moving away from a magnetic mount in the future, opting instead for a mechanical locking system. Anyone who has ordered a case from dbrand will receive a new Killswitch, whether or not their Steam Deck is affected by the Magnetic Holder.

Those who placed orders ahead of Sunday’s private launch can either get a replacement case and kickstand or a refund.

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