There is probably a miscommunication:
The DIY kit - which is the CHIP computer + RTL-SDR dongle + OLNA + Antenna - that itself is a work in progress. Only two of those things are our own products. Hence assembly and disassembly required. In a router or a camera or whatever final product, including a final Outernet Receiver - there wouldn’t be anything to disassemble.
Also - given the limited resources, it is important to prioritize work that gets us closer to the unified receiver, and which will also be useful on the unified receiver, and minimize, as much as possible, the work done on the current setup which won’t translate to the final receiver.
So while it is important that people be able to flash releases right now - hence the work put in to make the flashing as reliable as possible for as many people as possible; making it as fast as possible, or to eliminate the need for disassembly, etc aren’t as critical - they are only “good to have” requirements, and don’t actually get in the way of people trying out new releases. The work required to make them happen is highly disproportionate to the benefit gained. Also, all that work will be wasted as the final receiver won’t be using this mechanism anyway - lets face it, no non-technical person can (or will want to) handle FEL flashing.
So optimizing flashing to the last inch, now, isn’t a priority. Getting the OTAs to work reliably is. Which will also solve the FEL flashing problem for the DIY kit.
CHIP community isn’t really focused on this particular kind of usage of the CHIP. So, yeah, while it would be ideal if we could have leveraged their work, their goals are mostly not aligned to ours. I do wish we had access to their Chrome flasher - it would have simplified things tremendously.
Note also that the CHIP is simply a way-station to the final consumer-ready receiver. CHIP is off-the-shelf hardware that was shockingly well suited for our application. But of course, its still far from perfect - there are disconnects between the needs of our application vs CHIP design - need to FEL flash, power brownouts, wifi issues - esp in AP mode, lack of user buttons (thus requiring the FEL header and Config Wipe header silliness), lack of LED indicators (so I can’t have a “frame lock” indicator, or wifi activity indicator, or wifi mode indicator), etc - all result in user frustration. Not to mention the availability issues.
All this is what I mean when I say its a “work in progress”. In an ideal world, given a large team of people, sure I’d like to dot all the "i"s - but without that, I have to constantly balance the convenience of immediate use, vs progress towards the final product. Note that I am probably the most active user of these receivers - at any point of time I have between 3 to 6 receivers actively running, with others in various state of test. So any irritations that you feel while using, are also probably irritants for me.
I do appreciate all the effort you and the other active users here put in, its a big help in making sure we stay the course. I am just asking that you also have a little trust in me that I am setting my priorities keeping the end goal in mind, while still minimizing current irritants, balancing them as much as possible.
All feedback, suggestions, requests: those are critical to this project and to guide me in the priority setting, and every single one of them I welcome and appreciate.
I admit that sometimes I get miffed by repeated arguments over the same thing - and I apologize for that.
Oh: on the issue of disassembly. The problem is this: In theory, disassembly should not be required. The microusb cable that you use to power the CHIP (while in the receiver), can simply be disconnected from the power adapter and plugged into a PC usb port for FEL flashing. The radio etc don’t necessarily have to be removed. The reason I recommend doing that is cause a lot of PC ports don’t deliver enough power to the CHIP and the setup might brownout while flashing if the radio is still hooked up.