From 2012 to 2018, the Phoenix hoop was produced and serviced by SpinFx. When SpinFx left the hoop market in mid-2018, we acquired the Phoenix brand and took over service and support for existing hoops. We continue to offer technical support by email for SpinFx customers, but unfortunately as of late 2019 we're no longer able to take most SpinFx repairs.
This was a difficult decision and we had hoped to continue to service SpinFx hoops indefinitely, but a combination of factors has made that impractical. We realize that many hoop owners with multiple hoops have a considerable investment in hardware, and for multi-hoop owners we're taking repairs on a case-by-case basis.
For single hoop owners who don't need to maintain a matched set, the cost of a proper repair is simply not a great investment compared to purchasing a new hoop, for the technical reasons detailed below. For that reason, we're also offering a $100 trade-in credit for any SpinFx hoop, working or not. For more information, contact us at email@example.com.
When we repair a hoop, it's not our goal to just send back a working hoop - our worst nightmare is a hoop failing during an important performance, and we don't want to send any hoop back that we're not sure is as reliable as we can reasonably make it. For aging Phoenix hoops, no amount of patching and reinforcing is enough to let us feel 100% confident in the end result.
Why are SpinFx hoops no longer economical to repair?
The main difficulty in repairing SpinFx hoops is a lack of suitable replacement parts. All versions of the circuit board have had some issues with under-sized traces that are prone to burning out, particularly during charging, but the more densely-packed 2016 model circuit board is particularly problematic because it has less ability to get rid of heat from internal layers, and failures on those layers often can't be patched around.
Some other design issues, including capacitors prone to damage from flexing, make the 2016 board rather delicate and prone to failures. Modifications can be made to improve reliability, but they require difficult and time-consuming soldering work and are far from a complete fix.
SpinFx was able to deal with the board failures by simply replacing entire boards. We've designed a replacement board that fixes the known issues with the 2016 layout, but because of the economics of circuit board manufacturing it would require building hundreds of boards to match the original board cost.
Other design choices, made even before SpinFx's involvement, limit the performance the CPU can achieve. Because of this, the software is at something of a dead end. The SpinFx hoops will never be able to match the performance of even the first-generation Hyperion, despite having a faster CPU. This could be corrected with a new board layout, but it would mean breaking compatibilty with existing hoops, and it wouldn't make much sense to launch a new version using what is now an outdated processor.
The other big issue is the batteries. Batteries have a limited service life - typically from 2 to 5 years depending on usage - and even the newest SpinFx hoops are close to two years old at this point. Replacing the circuit board alone will leave the hoop with aging batteries that will eventually be unusable.
The battery strings used in the SpinFx hoops were assembled by hand in China in a handful of different sizes. We ordered one batch of battery strings from the same supplier after taking over the Phoenix, and the quality was not up to our standards. The strings have numerous wires with delicate solder joints that are difficult or impossible to inspect, and can't easily be resized when the hoop is resized - they were typically either replaced outright, or for small changes the excess wires were tucked out of sight.
The new Hyperion Phoenix hoops use a completely different battery assembly design based on a custom flex circuit that's lighter, easier to resize, simpler to inspect and repair, easier and safer to handle, and doesn't require outsourced assembly labor to be economical. Unfortunately there's no good way to make the new battery strings work in the old hoops.
We've created a SpinFx Phoenix technical information repository that will eventually contain all of the troubleshooting, service, and repair information we have for the SpinFx Phoenix hoops. We hope that this information will help independent repair shops and technically-inclined hoopers keep Phoenix hoops running. If you need information on the Phoenix that's not listed there, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.