Site Logo

 
It is currently Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:00 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:27 am 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:24 pm
Posts: 634
I was thinking it might be cool to make kits of a couple of simple circuits like the optical theremin or the APC.

Not sure how cost effective it would be, but we could design a PCB for each and do a run at one of the PCB fabricator places, collect the remaining components and put together some instructions.

_________________
Make it happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:21 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:35 pm
Posts: 861
you mean like a whole package thing?
pcb/components/directions ?

If so I think this is a great idea and I hope we get people interested in putting together some kits. Do you know of any that are in "need" that are not currently out there?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:53 am
Posts: 928
Location: Eagan, MN
Well, as some folks have noted, there's really nothing Arduino-ish available locally in the Twin Cities, so anything like that we could make available is going to be "outstanding in its field". It sounds kind of ambitious to me, but then I've never done any PCB fab work (other than minor surface repairs to motherboards with the tip of a soldering iron, if that even counts).

_________________
my workplace blog
my builder blog
my personal blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:38 am 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:24 pm
Posts: 634
paulsobczak wrote:
you mean like a whole package thing?
pcb/components/directions ?

If so I think this is a great idea and I hope we get people interested in putting together some kits. Do you know of any that are in "need" that are not currently out there?


Yeah, the whole package.

The two I mentioned might get some interest, they are pretty simple circuits, but I think people might bite on kits if you sell it as a soldering primer, etc.

_________________
Make it happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:40 pm
Posts: 26
It's a great idea. I think that kits that include a lot of discussion that guides the buyer in hacking/bending tend to get more attention on the net than do simple "solder this here" kits. Even little stuff like what tweaking capacitor sizes will do or better, how to string two or three of the same kits together to get more/weirder effects (and encouraging multiple purchases).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:46 am 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:24 pm
Posts: 634
Sometimes the hardest part of these little projects is collecting all the parts if you are a beginner and don't completely understand what to buy, so perhaps we could even sell some of the simpler ones without a custom PCB.

I have a list of possible kits on my own personal "want to do" list.

- Headphone amp
- Kids sequencer (from a make article called R-Tronic)
- Arduino synth/sequencer that I am currently working on
- And on the more complex side, there's even a cool looking oscilloscope project I saw on Instructables.

We may need to get permission from the originators of some of these projects.

One thought about Arduinos, it may be more cost effective for us to just buy in quantity and resell locally that to build our own.

_________________
Make it happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:28 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:35 pm
Posts: 861
I can help, I have done pcb fabrication both in chemical and on a milling machine, layout as well. It is not that hard, you just have to do it to understand what goes into it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 378
I like the thought of kitting and selling.

Frankly, making our own PCBs for sale is probably not a good idea. Plating involves some toxic chemicals, and while the sodium persulfate used for etchant isn't particularly toxic on its own, once it's taken up a load of copper, municipalities won't thank us for running it down the toilet. Silkscreening and soldermasking are something I've never event tried and frankly, I wouldn't want to, when you consider that even in smallish quantities, an Arduino-sized board, two layer, would probably run less than $15. If you bump it up to, say, 500 pieces, a two-layer board that size would be less than $5.

That said, when the day comes that we have a shop, I'd like to see a basic PCB fab setup there- an ultraviolet lightbox, a small stock of UV sensitized PCB stock, and a circulation/heating tank for etchant. I'd also like to see a toaster over for reflow soldering surface mount assemblies. This just for onesy-twosy boards, of course.

I mentioned some shields I'd like to see: an accelerometer/gyroscope shield, for one. I like Ladyada's motor shield, but it seems to be geared for larger motors- I'm not sure about adapting it to the smaller, 1.5-3V motors that come with the Tamiya kits. A port expansion shield would be nice, as would an I/O optical isolation shield. An LCD driver shield would be nice- something that lets you control a standard 44780-drive LCD with just two or three Arduino pins, and includes an inverter for EL backlit displays and a driver for the LED backlit kind, and possibly even a negative bias voltage option for the high-contrast outdoor types. Perhaps some sort of Arduino-to-PC interface shield- converts activity on the Arduino into keyboard/mouse signals on the PC. Machine vision kit? Maybe out of the range of processing power for an Arduino. A really simple 49MHz RC shield. An infrared remote control receiver shield, and maybe one that can play back IR signals. A relay kit that can switch fairly beefy AC appliance loads.

Also, I think it'd be cool if we could market our own Arduino boards. For that to work, we'd have to somehow value-add them: either sell them cheaper or add some really cool feature- programmed via IR might be fun. I don't recall seeing any kit-sold Arduinos out there- by letting hobbyists solder up their own boards we could cut cost and be a cheaper source. As has been mentioned before, many hobby makers have more time than money.

As was also mentioned, providing a complete package for beginners so they don't have to stress out over part selection. I'd provide two options: buy the kit, or just the PCB and we provide a free list of parts to buy- preferably with Digikey/Mouser part numbers to reduce ambiguity. Getting assemblies made adds to the cost but I've never priced it out. I've had good experiences having boards made by the Advanced Circuits folks in Colorado; they partner with a company call Advanced Assembly, who specialize in small board runs.

Wow, that message got long.

_________________
Mike H.
My maker blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:14 pm 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:24 pm
Posts: 634
Great ideas.

_________________
Make it happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kits
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:43 am
Posts: 118
Location: Minneapolis, MN
i really do like mikes suggestions.

maybe we could integrate a "line" of kits that can interface each other.
sorta like Bug Labs

also, i just watched a TED talk by David Merrel on his Siftables, which are WAY cool. homebrew-able platforms like that would be stellar.
(i have no where NEAR the technical capabilities to pull something like that off - but it would be pretty slick)

BONUS points: if we could somehow work out these kits to inteface with the MAW, who were featured on the latest MAKE episode.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL Flash Games