We all have a favorite product we like to use and have come to rely on for work. For some of you, it's the Dejero EnGo. Have you ever wondered who came up with the design or who built the hardware? Wonder no more! Meet Jagen Kunaratnam and Andrew Barrow–the dynamic duo behind our most popular mobile transmitter, the Dejero EnGo.
I recently sat down with them to talk shop about the EnGo, from concept to production, what's next for the EnGo, and to learn more about the team.
Jagen joined Dejero in 2014 after working for three years at another local tech company as their manufacturing team lead. Since joining the team, Jagen has been promoted to Manager of Hardware Engineering.
Andrew joined Dejero as a Hardware Systems Architect after working for a few years in design hardware at a company based in Hamilton. Initially, he worked on the Dejero GoBox and early concepts for the EnGo before he started working exclusively on the EnGo with Jagen.
Tell me about the early days of the EnGo. When did you first starting working on it?
Andrew: We started working on it a little bit before Jagen started. We were working through concepts at that time.
Jagen: After I joined Dejero, I worked on the GoBox, finishing up some stuff there. Six months later, we began working on the EnGo exclusively.
When it came to the design of the EnGo, what did you guys have in mind? Where did you even start?
Jagen: The concept for the EnGo was already there, but there were a lot of different ideas when it came to the design of the enclosure. For instance, our initial thought was to model the EnGo after the GoBox and make it a much smaller Pelican suitcase.
Andrew: But then we decided it needed to be camera mounted. That changed the prototype entirely.
Jagen: We designed and built the concept based on the camera mount idea, and then we revisited the prototype. After we built the prototype, we sent it out for customer use. It wasn't nice or anything, just a prototype. Some of the customers didn't want to give the prototype back initially! There was a major iteration between the prototype and production stage. That iteration was more or less based on technical feedback.
Andrew: It was a technical challenge if anything. We needed to add in one or two antenna modules.
Speaking of challenges, what kind of challenges did you face when building the EnGo?
Jagen: Keeping the system cool was a fairly big challenge. The EnGo's form factor is much smaller than the GoBox, especially when you think about all the cables and such. We were having a hard time trying to get the air flow right.
Andrew: Generally, there were some system challenges. The enclosure was a big thing. We designed and made more of the EnGo in-house than we had with other products. This was the first time we didn't integrate off the shelf blocks. Thermal was definitely one of the biggest challenges since a lot of what we were doing with the EnGo was new territory.
Jagen: Antenna design was another challenge. The EnGo has 12 antennas: 8 LTE, 2 GPS, and the Wi-Fi. All of these had to fit into the EnGo's small enclosure.
Andrew: Yeah, and how the antennas interact with each other sometimes caused trouble.
What in your opinion is the best feature of the EnGo?
Andrew: Portability is the answer here. It was designed for many use cases. Plus, it takes less time than the GoBox to put together. The internal battery is notable because it can support the camera plus the EnGo, which is something we've never done before.
Jagen: The battery was a challenge too! Finding a battery that could suppport the camera was challenging because you need to find one that will support different cameras. You see, different cameras can consume different power levels, so we needed to support most of those. We did a fair amount of due diligence to ensure it worked.
Andrew: Getting the battery to work was the most rewarding part of building the EnGo. Designing the enclosure was also pretty cool.
Jagen: I really like the user interface too. The touch screen makes a difference.
The EnGo has changed over the years. Last year, we added the new user-changeable SIM modules that allows users to quickly and easily switch between different sets of SIMs in the EnGo. Then, earlier this year we introduced the EnGo Vehicle Mount Kit that provides even more versatility by allowing users to either bring the EnGo with them or mount it in a vehicle. So, what's next for the EnGo?
Jagen: We have a few exciting things planned for the next iteration of the EnGo. You'll have to wait and see!
There you have it! A little inside scoop from the team of engineers who built the EnGo. Interested in learning more? Visit the Dejero EnGo product page to discover more about this product and its accessories.
If there's a product you'd like to learn more about, comment below and we'll feature that team in the next edition of Behind the Product.
Until next time ...