Build to order (or swap)

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
perfectbite
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by perfectbite » Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:31 am

Here's my 2 cents. NASA is always looking for space experiments worth doing. Lately, because of the grounding of the Space Shuttles, not much is going on with that but should resume and a group sponsored experiment involving the effects of zero-gravity would be interesting. It would certainly get a 'group' gelling. Just agreeing on an experiment and who'll do what would be a start. Every idea would have equal value but not all ideas would be workable. Or, better yet, help make high school or even grade school ideas happen. Some posts to such a board maybe would need clarification or interpreting and cordial agreement/disagreement amongst posters would be de riguer. Once there was an established 'brains' trust I'm sure that schools worldwide, after NASA or one of the International Space agencies had agreed to payload an experiment, would beat a path to the door. Perhaps N&V could dedicate a board to a Space experiments/informal swap meet? (Emphasis on 'informal swap'. No advertising for goods or services as per Haklesup's point.)

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dacflyer
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by dacflyer » Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:13 am

paulrevelcet >> there is this system in large use in europe....about the loose shopping carts...they have had for many years now a system to have all the carts chained together...
to get a cart you have to put in a coin or token to unlock your cart from the others...
when you return the cart , you get your coin back

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Dave Dixon
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by Dave Dixon » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:31 pm

Aldi's grocery store in my town uses the same system. You put a quarter in a slot to get your
shopping cart. If you bring it back you get your quarter back.
Almost no one at the discount store - you bag your own groceries as well - parts
with their quarter, leaving the cart out.
Dave<p>[ August 12, 2004: Message edited by: Dave Dixon ]</p>

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jwax
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by jwax » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:25 pm

Am I missing something? What does any of this have to do with our forum encouraging "Build to Order" of electronics projects?
Shopping carts? NASA?
:confused:

paulrevelcet
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by paulrevelcet » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:14 pm

Toejam wrote "On this idea, why not try to come up with an idea that would benefit mankind and market it as a group keep the profits and do more good? That would be fun i beiieve."

perfectbite
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by perfectbite » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:53 pm

It's called brainstorming John. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China or the cost of lobsters in Maine you ask???????? What if something gets built and it either doesn't do what it is supposed to do or doesn't work at all? Or someone gets a circuit they specified and, instead of giving it the specified 6 Volts they give it 12 and, when it still doesn't work, after they've corrected their mistake, they tell you your work is no good and refuse to hold up their end of the bargain? <p>The last thing wanted would be a 'Buyer Beware' appellation for this group even by accident or misunderstanding. This group is made up of sometimes 'tetchy' individuals and misunderstandings and mistakes do happen. <p>There should be a standard disclaimer that the requesting folks know the difference (at least) between 24VDC and 24VAC for bare circuit boards otherwise there are (stipulated) no guarantees. Electronic signatures, now there's the rub. <p>If there is interchange only between those folks who know the working difference between analog and digital then you'd probably be alright and not need the disclaimer and that would be fun and interesting, but still, a relatively exclusive swap club. Is that what you had in mind John?<p>[ August 12, 2004: Message edited by: perfectbite ]<p>[ August 12, 2004: Message edited by: perfectbite ]</p>

Mike
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by Mike » Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:05 pm

While we're on the topic of building electronic things for other people, does anybody agree with me that there should be some decent kits? The ones you buy in the store aren't the best of quality or anything, and I'm sure some people would appreciate being able to build something nice from a kit. What I'm really thinking about is mostly like a high quality, high power, simple chip amp kit. Not like the little 15W kits you can buy from a store.<p>Does anybody like this idea? Anybody have other ideas of good kits?

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haklesup
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by haklesup » Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:39 am

Selling Kits is a delicate balance between cost and features. Most of us are aware that a gadget in kit form cost far more than the equivelent mass produced item due to the cost of kitting, labeling and producing an instruction sheet (nevermind supporting your customers)for such a low volume market. It's no wonder Heathkit went away. You can't charge enough to make it worthwhile as a wide product line. (that does not mean that you could not sell a particular popular kit on eBay for instance and do well)<p>Instructional kits like that found in Jameco succeed because they are simple enough to complete successfully and they probably have a base of educational sales to feed off of (tech school labs etc.)<p>Complex kits would be hampered by the increased assembly skills required for SMT parts and equipment like oscilloscopes required to align the circuits into working order when complete. <p>We make many boards here at my company and plenty of them do not work when they come back from the assembler even though the design has not changed in years. My point is, just assembling a kit does not guarantee a working electronic project.<p>Take this example as a model of a group project<p>A PCB for a car audio amp would take me 20 to 40 hours to design (assuming 4 layer board and a preexisting circuit). This would cost a minimum of $40 each in small quantities but you would need to buy at least 5 so quintuple all your parts order so you can share the cost with 5 friends.<p>Parts cost is up to debate but 8 good FET drivers, a couple toriodal transformers, two extruded heatsinks, a case and a bunch of big electrolytic and tantalum caps should set us back at least $150 each and don't forget someone would need to make the BOM (bill of materials) which includes sources, prices, part numbers, quantities as aminimum. Pretty easy with Excel, 6-14 hours for research and editing.<p>We can either buy each our own parts or someone can buy all of them together and kit and distribute to the others in the group. Someone needs to put down some cash at this point (at least for the PCBs). How does that work with a group of strangers? 1-2 hours to place orders, $1k to $2k cash outlay.<p>I'm sure we each want to assemble and align our own projects so the last part is easy but a lot of work goes into getting there. And what if there was a mistake in the design or component selection, who looks bad? (we all do because we should be checking each others work at each milestone)<p>Some economies can be gained if group members already have essential parts or can provide services at a reduced cost. (I think this is where the post started)<p>To be more organized about this, If anyone has a circuit they have been wishing to build on a quality PCB etc, they should describe the proposed project (in a new post please) and if at least 4 others are willing to pitch in and pay a share of the PCB price, then I can see this working. This could also be one of the projects published in the mag (I suppose this is what the creator of this forum may have envisioned before member 1 joined)<p>By the way, the solution to the shopping cart problem is "Drive through supermarkets" you never leave the car (RFID tags make this possible) or build the parking lots on a steep hill :)

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dacflyer
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by dacflyer » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:14 am

Jwax >> uhhh,,,did you not see my reply earlier in this post...might have overlooked me...you mentioned lazer cutting... i am interested if you can help ... thanx...

toejam
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Re: Build to order (or swap)

Post by toejam » Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:51 am

for electronic kits go to google.com and type that in. You will be surprised with the results.
tj

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