I haz a whacky idea…
I’ve often seen posts from new members who are intrigued by AOG, but do not have a background in either hardware and electronics, nor software. Dealing with Gerber files, BOMs, etc can all be a bit confusing at first and a common complaint is about the cost of a bare PCB; ordering a single unit is pricey. In fact, I ended up ordering 10 because it worked out about the same price as ordering one, especially when postage is included.
I know Brian and the team did not get into this to make money, in fact the converse, you all seem to have got into this to help other farmers break free from vendor lock-in.
Why not consider a not for profit store on here to help those who struggle to get parts / make kit? Could do premade PCBs, or just the components to ensure that newcomers get the right parts.
If nobody else wanted to do this (and I can understand why not) then I would happily buy in the parts and supply them at pretty much cost price plus the price of a coffee or two for the group (ie any profits go directly back into this group). If we bulk bought, then prices would be much healthier.
This is too obvious an idea to state really, is there a reason why the core AOG team aren’t doing this? Is it just too much additional work?
@Aortner is selling kit.
TBF I thought the PCB price from the likes of JLCPCB was ridiculously cheap and extremely easy to order.
Everything is easy if you know how. IIRC, JLCPCB didn’t have all the parts in stock, or I had a problem uploading the BOM. Can’t quite recall why, but I ended up using digikey as it was easier. Still had to order some parts from a local supplier, relay sockets were just about impossible to get hold of at the time.
It wasn’t simple for someone doing this for the first time and I’m seeing a growing number of posts from people looking for advice on what to order.
I forgot that Aortner is doing this and just clicked a few links trying to get to his store. It’s not easy to find.
Maybe his store could be pinned or something?
It’s a good idea, but I expect it’s a lot of work to manage even an online store, so to do it for free isn’t realistic. Plus there’s the tech support that is expected with a product. Andreas could post a link to his store in the Sales category, but last time I browsed through it I found it confusing (language barrier I think). I’ve thought of offering kits for my modified Kaupoi Mod PCBs (also bought 10) but I don’t have the extra time.
I also found Andreas’s site difficult to navigate, again probably because my German language isn’t great these days.
Yes, I can imagine that hosting a store could be a lot of work, but it should be manageable. Just do one post drop per week, or something.
I found the BOM thing a bit confusing too when I started. I just searched ebay for the parts and got them individually. My PCB’s cost £16 delivered for five. Came in three and a half days.
That would be a great idea, especially for people who do not have a background in electronics as mentioned earlier. I found Andrea’s website a little bit difficult as well. Another issue is that his website is based in Europe so the currency exchange and the shipping from Europe to the US was a lot.
I found the BOM a little bit confusing and had to ask for some clarifications. I am using AOG v 5.2 and the BOM is calling for MMA8452Q which is not recommended for this version. Also, the BOM is calling for 2 of two different relays while only 1 of one type is needed. The ethernet module is not needed if the USB will be used. There are no comments in the BOM to explain all of this.
I am still waiting for the parts to arrive and build my PCB. I am planning to make a revised version of the BOM and add some comments and explanations to it as soon as I get my board done. I can post it here at the forum so other people can use it if they want.
Would be nice to get that updated BOM back into the GitHub download. @BrianTee_Admin @DanielP
A simple BOM with component type / values and nothing else would be good. Both I saw when building mine were over complicated and I had to refer to both to get the basic information I needed.
I would be interested in helping out here is somone is interested in providing the specs. I happen to have a small electrical automation / panel fab shop that I have access to and an online store in the United States. I would be willign to order a small 10-20 PCB’s and put them on my online store at no upcharge above cost to ship so that the North America customers could get access to a PCB already made. The store also has a bunch of industry standard cables like M12 and M8 that we use for you “real” business that people could pick up as they needed. They might be able to find them cheaper other places than our store as we are not in the business of selling cables but the convenece might be worth it.
That sounds about as good an offer as it gets. Looks like the US is covered, nice
Wonder if it would be a good idea to break this down by region so that people from all over the world know who their local builder is? Weeks ago I sent a bunch of parts for free from the U.K. to a member in Italy and they haven’t arrived (yet). I’m a bit sceptical that they are going to arrive and this is making me nervous posting overseas again unless there is full tracking.
I thought Andreas was covering the EU, but not sure what his status is these days.