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WBA Consulting
05-26-2010, 01:16 AM
I need a "finished product" looking propeller board with the following requirements in order of priority. Does it exist?

1) Small overall footprint, IE: 3" square or smaller
2) Inexpensive
3) 12v input (AKA, it's own 12vin/5vout/3.3vout power supply)
4) Circuit apart from the propeller can easily fit onto a 4x8 grid of proto board so prototyping area is not mandatory, but would be nice.
5) At least 8 IO pins accessible
6) Speed is not important
7) 32k eeprom is plenty
8) SMT part usage is preferred to keep overall height (product thickness) down.

Some notes so you can get a better idea of what I am looking for:
I am taking a serious look at the miniprop board (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=748169), but that would introduce material sourcing into this project which I am trying to avoid. However, the board itself would be perfect for my project. If the project develops follow on units, it would be an ideal starting point because I would only need to make a few tweaks to the design to work for my complete circuit.

The schmartboard and GadgetGangster PPSD are nice layouts, but the $40 price tags limit the rest of the project.
The protoboard and GadgetGangster PP would do, but are larger than desired.

thanks for any input.

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Andrew Williams
WBA Consulting
WBA-TH1M Sensirion SHT11 Module (http://www.aestheticacoustics.com/sht11_01.htm)
My Prop projects: Reverse Geo-Cache Box (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=869153), Custom Metronome (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=906277), Micro Plunge Logger (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=875698)

Bill Henning
05-26-2010, 02:21 AM
I don't think you'll find anything cheaper than $40 simply due to parts costs.

Prop - $8
Eeprom - $1
Vregs - $3
passives - $1
headers - $2
dc jack - $1
misc - $1
pcb - $5
-------------
$22

now add the cost of acquiring the components, designing PCB, actual sales volume etc - $40 is actually cheap

Order 10,000 pieces, it could be significantly cheaper :)

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www.mikronauts.com (http://www.mikronauts.com) E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com
My products: Morpheus (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/) / Mem+ (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/memplus/) / PropCade (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894725) / FlexMem (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894853) / VMCOG (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=878382) / Propteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/propteus/) / Proteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/proteus/) / SerPlug (http://mikronauts.com/products/serplug/)
and 6.250MHz Crystals to run Propellers at 100MHz (http://mikronauts.com/products/mikronauts-625mhz-crystal/) & 5.0" OEM TFT VGA LCD modules (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=852195)
Las (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - Large model assembler Largos (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - upcoming nano operating system

Leon
05-26-2010, 02:28 AM
It generally costs at least 3x the cost of the parts to manufacture a typical board, so $60 might be closer. As Morpheus says, large quantities would be a lot cheaper.

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Leon Heller
Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM

jazzed
05-26-2010, 03:26 AM
Bill Henning said...
I don't think you'll find anything cheaper than $40 simply due to parts costs.

Prop - $8
Eeprom - $1
Vregs - $3
passives - $1
headers - $2
dc jack - $1
misc - $1
pcb - $5
-------------
$22




Leon said...
It generally costs at least 3x the cost of the parts to manufacture a typical board, so $60 might be closer.


Ok so $22*3 = $66.

Now consider similar conclusions for the end product. $66*3 + value add * 3 = minimum $198.

This is a great argument for never using anyone else's boards in the end product unless in volume, made in China, and/or with a good partnership :)

Of course if your customers don't mind sticker shock, are too ignorant to know better, or somehow believe that better things are more expensive (Mercedes Marketing), that's ok (without good conscious).

Cheers :)

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May the road rise to meet you; may the sun shine on your back.
May you create something useful, even if it's just a hack.

Leon
05-26-2010, 03:30 AM
That just applies to the components, to get a ballpark manufacturing cost. You don't apply the 3x factor to anything else.

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Leon Heller
Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM

jazzed
05-26-2010, 03:39 AM
Leon said...
That just applies to the components, to get a ballpark manufacturing cost. You don't apply the 3x factor to anything else.

Every marketeer I've ever met wanted to make the List or ASP of end products at least 4x COGS ... I always thought they were just being greedy.

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May the road rise to meet you; may the sun shine on your back.
May you create something useful, even if it's just a hack.

Bill Henning
05-26-2010, 04:27 AM
I used to think so too... until I started getting into manufacturing products.

Now I know that for low volume products, you don't make much at 4xCOGS.


jazzed said...

Leon said...
That just applies to the components, to get a ballpark manufacturing cost. You don't apply the 3x factor to anything else.

Every marketeer I've ever met wanted to make the List or ASP of end products at least 4x COGS ... I always thought they were just being greedy.

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www.mikronauts.com (http://www.mikronauts.com) E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com
My products: Morpheus (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/) / Mem+ (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/memplus/) / PropCade (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894725) / FlexMem (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894853) / VMCOG (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=878382) / Propteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/propteus/) / Proteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/proteus/) / SerPlug (http://mikronauts.com/products/serplug/)
and 6.250MHz Crystals to run Propellers at 100MHz (http://mikronauts.com/products/mikronauts-625mhz-crystal/) & 5.0" OEM TFT VGA LCD modules (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=852195)
Las (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - Large model assembler Largos (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - upcoming nano operating system

Leon
05-26-2010, 04:42 AM
It's usually 3x to 5x, but I was thinking in terms of moderate volumes.

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Leon Heller
Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM

dgately
05-26-2010, 04:56 AM
$15 and a little bit of soldering will get you...

http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_dev&id=205

dgately

wjsteele
05-26-2010, 05:18 AM
dgately said...
$15 and a little bit of soldering will get you...

http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_dev&id=205



You'll still need to add some components to that, including the Propeller, eeprom and crystal. Which are going to add $10 or so.

Bill

Bill Henning
05-26-2010, 05:28 AM
It's only $10 or so if you buy in large quantities (so have a use for all the "extra" parts) and you don't count shipping.

If you have to go to say digikey to buy it, in small quantity, you are probably looking at:

$15+s/h for the SchmartBoard (cute little board!)
$20+s/h for the rest of the components from Digikey... might be $25+s/h

Might as well save on one s/h and get it from Parallax!

The picture changes if he wants 1000 sets...


wjsteele said...

dgately said...
$15 and a little bit of soldering will get you...

http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_dev&id=205



You'll still need to add some components to that, including the Propeller, eeprom and crystal. Which are going to add $10 or so.

Bill

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www.mikronauts.com (http://www.mikronauts.com) E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com
My products: Morpheus (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/) / Mem+ (http://mikronauts.com/products/morpheus/memplus/) / PropCade (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894725) / FlexMem (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=894853) / VMCOG (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=878382) / Propteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/propteus/) / Proteus (http://mikronauts.com/products/proteus/) / SerPlug (http://mikronauts.com/products/serplug/)
and 6.250MHz Crystals to run Propellers at 100MHz (http://mikronauts.com/products/mikronauts-625mhz-crystal/) & 5.0" OEM TFT VGA LCD modules (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=852195)
Las (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - Large model assembler Largos (http://mikronauts.com/software-products/largos/) - upcoming nano operating system

WBA Consulting
05-26-2010, 06:13 AM
Good feedback guys! I happened to also come across the Schmartboard in my research and it will probably be the solution for this prototype.

For the discussion on costing, here's my breakdown for a single unit:

Order Schmartboard PCB $15+$9.50 ship+tax; ~$28
Pick up Prop, TSSOP EEPROM, and Crystal from Parallax, plus tax: ~$12
Total cost: $40

Since the Schmartboard kit from Parallax is $39.99 and it ALSO includes SMT parts for most TH locations, I can just pick up the kit from Parallax for about $3 more (tax) and have a lower overall profile. Depending on how this project evolves, the Schmartboard kit from Parallax becomes even a better choice, since the price is only $31 for 20+ and I can pick them up.

I am still thinking about my own board design however, because yet again, I am looking for a small, low-cost, prop PCB that can be used to throw something together, but not be a perfboard hackjob. (see the metronome in my signature for example)

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Andrew Williams
WBA Consulting
WBA-TH1M Sensirion SHT11 Module (http://www.aestheticacoustics.com/sht11_01.htm)
My Prop projects: Reverse Geo-Cache Box (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=869153), Custom Metronome (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=906277), Micro Plunge Logger (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=875698)

Martin_H
05-26-2010, 07:03 AM
While looking for a serial LCD kit I saw this board:

http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe/prop/prc.shtml

It looks pretty interesting. I ended up buying the serial LCD kit from a competitor, but I may still buy that propeller board.

hover1
05-26-2010, 09:02 AM
Andrew,

Another one to throw in the pot. The Prop Servo Controller. What you say?!? A nice small footprint Propeller board, with 16 I/O, onboard EEPROM, XTAL, USB, 3.3 Regulator, and voltage translators too! Add a 5 volt regulator on the servo power terminal, jumper 5V to Vext, feed it 12 volts and your good to go! No assembly!

I have used these little gems a few times in a non servo controller mode. Add your code and they are no longer a servo controller, but a nice little 16 pin General Purpose Microcontroller board.

Jim


WBA Consulting said...
Good feedback guys! I happened to also come across the Schmartboard in my research and it will probably be the solution for this prototype.

For the discussion on costing, here's my breakdown for a single unit:

Order Schmartboard PCB $15+$9.50 ship+tax; ~$28
Pick up Prop, TSSOP EEPROM, and Crystal from Parallax, plus tax: ~$12
Total cost: $40

Since the Schmartboard kit from Parallax is $39.99 and it ALSO includes SMT parts for most TH locations, I can just pick up the kit from Parallax for about $3 more (tax) and have a lower overall profile. Depending on how this project evolves, the Schmartboard kit from Parallax becomes even a better choice, since the price is only $31 for 20+ and I can pick them up.

I am still thinking about my own board design however, because yet again, I am looking for a small, low-cost, prop PCB that can be used to throw something together, but not be a perfboard hackjob. (see the metronome in my signature for example)



Post Edited (hover1) : 5/26/2010 2:08:01 AM GMT

WBA Consulting
05-27-2010, 01:00 AM
That is another option apart from the lack of power supply. Strange that it does not come up in the Parallax store under Propeller boards or under robotics. It only shows up under Accessories-->Motors/servos. Since this board could be modified to be used for other Propeller projects other than a servo controller, it should show up elsewhere.


NOTE to Parallax Marketing: Can you add more categories to the Propeller Servo Controller USB?

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Andrew Williams
WBA Consulting
WBA-TH1M Sensirion SHT11 Module (http://www.aestheticacoustics.com/sht11_01.htm)
My Prop projects: Reverse Geo-Cache Box (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=869153), Custom Metronome (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=906277), Micro Plunge Logger (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=875698)

hover1
05-27-2010, 01:19 AM
Good call Andrew,
This page: Product Info (http://www.parallax.com/tabid/599/Default.aspx)·>·Accessories (http://www.parallax.com/tabid/599/Default.aspx)·>·Motor Control Chart (http://www.parallax.com/tabid/599/Default.aspx)
still shows the old, discontinued Serial and USB controllers. They should be replaced by the new one.
It also should be included in: Store (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerDevelopmentBoards/tabid/514/List/0/CategoryID/73/Level/a/SortField/0/Default.aspx)·>·Microcontrollers (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerDevelopmentBoards/tabid/514/List/0/CategoryID/73/Level/a/SortField/0/Default.aspx)·>·Propeller Development Boards (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerDevelopmentBoards/tabid/514/List/0/CategoryID/73/Level/a/SortField/0/Default.aspx)

Jim




WBA Consulting said...


NOTE to Parallax Marketing: Can you add more categories to the Propeller Servo Controller USB?

mctrivia
05-27-2010, 03:34 AM
I have designed a small 2" square board with a built in 24Vinput and everything you desired for a robotics project but do to lack of money put it on hold. maybe we can make a deal and I can get you some at cost.

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Lots of propeller based products in stock at affordable prices. (http://propmodule.com/catalog/ref.php?refid=c81e728d9d4c2f632)

WBA Consulting
05-27-2010, 05:06 AM
Thanks, I will definitely keep that in mind. The Schmartboard was picked up today from Parallax for the single piece prototype. I will keep folks up to speed with the results and if additional units become a reality. I should also be able to put the final result into the completed forums. I should be able to clear out confidential details but still have everything meet the completed projects requirements.

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Andrew Williams
WBA Consulting
WBA-TH1M Sensirion SHT11 Module (http://www.aestheticacoustics.com/sht11_01.htm)
My Prop projects: Reverse Geo-Cache Box (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=869153), Custom Metronome (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=906277), Micro Plunge Logger (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=875698)

Bump
05-27-2010, 06:38 AM
I went in and added the Propeller Servo Controller USB to the Propeller>Boards category, besides those already mentioned it also existed in the Propeller>Accessories category; however it was buried on the second page of results for that category.

Thank you for bringing this thread to my attention Andrew, and to everyone else as well with the suggestions... and that old·motor controller page.
I'll see about getting together with one of our friendly tech-peeps and hash out some corrections.

If there are ever threads that I need to see, I'd love to get a PM or some type of notification so that I might lend some help for marketing or web reasons.

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