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Thread: Propeller C3 update

  1. #1

    Talking Propeller C3 update

    As many of you know we have been working on a new "Credit Card Computer" Propeller application board called the C3. The product is complete and now in Parallax manufacturing. I wanted to post some pics of it, so you can take a look at the final product.

    The specs once again are:

    * Prop + 64K EEPROM with socketed XTAL.
    * FTDI USB port for programming and serial.
    * Dual 1.5A - 3.3/5V supplies with USB powered and external 2.1mm power jack.
    * Micro VGA port along with composite A/V.
    * 1 PS/2 port.
    * 1 MB SPI FLASH.
    * (2) 32Kx8 SPI SRAMS.
    * 2-Channel MCP3202 A/D
    * Micro SD card interface.
    * Headers exporting out IO, Power, etc.
    * 4 convenient "servo port" headers with heavy capping to support directly driving servos.
    * SPI bus system to minimize IO usage on peripherals like SD, FLASH, A/D, and SRAMS.

    The idea of the C3 is to be a really powerful application board for the Propeller, not so much a development board that you learn on, not to say this isn't great for learning. But, this is great since you can put it in an application, work with it on your laptop with no power supply (since its USB powered as well as external). And we are building a "shield" daughterboard as well that mounts on top of it to give you more room to put hardware and your own stuff.

    Also, one of the pics shows the "break away" mounting tabs. Instead of making the board bigger to support mounting holes, we decided to give you the best of both worlds, keep the board small with tabs. If you want the mounting holes, use them, if not, you just snap them off -- regardless there is a central mounting hole in the middle of the board.

    Andre'
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    A few more details:

    - entire design to be open-sourced and double as a Propeller reference
    - includes customer requests for SRAM and SD card interface
    - I/O pin designation compatible with other Parallax designs
    - will supply with a Parallax laser-cut enclosure for stand-alone projects
    - priced between $49.99 and $79.99 depending on our internal labor/BOM costs
    - availability mid-November, early December

    The USB-powered aspect will be great for those who travel with Propellers - program it easily on an airplane, train, or wherever you're going without providing external power supplies. The very small size (credit card) really helps on the portability side of things. At last check it fit within an Altoids tin.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    Last edited by Ken Gracey; 10-04-2010 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Thanks Andre and Ken! Impressive stats! I love the FLASH and SRAM.

    The Altiods fit is a deal breaker!

    Jim
    I have three propellers

  4. #4

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Was it tested with the 6.25Mhz Xtal?

    I would have thought that was the norm now.

    Jim
    I have three propellers

  5. #5

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Impressive specs!!
    The USB powered option is a great point.
    Do you plan to offer a half assembled board (with TH to be home soldered) or a to be assembled one?
    A hobbyist could enjoy the assy and save a little bit doing that..

    Massimo

  6. #6

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Congratulations Andre!!!

    Looks like a great (and very small) board - I hope you sell a lot of them.

    FYI David added C3 drivers to my VMCOG, so C3 will be able to run ZOG, ZiCog and all future VMCOG compatible software, and as VMCOG is MIT licensed, feel free to distribute it with C3.

    Regards,

    Bill

    Quote Originally Posted by AndreL View Post
    As many of you know we have been working on a new "Credit Card Computer" Propeller application board called the C3. The product is complete and now in Parallax manufacturing. I wanted to post some pics of it, so you can take a look at the final product.

    The specs once again are:

    * Prop + 64K EEPROM with socketed XTAL.
    * FTDI USB port for programming and serial.
    * Dual 1.5A - 3.3/5V supplies with USB powered and external 2.1mm power jack.
    * Micro VGA port along with composite A/V.
    * 1 PS/2 port.
    * 1 MB SPI FLASH.
    * (2) 32Kx8 SPI SRAMS.
    * 2-Channel MCP3202 A/D
    * Micro SD card interface.
    * Headers exporting out IO, Power, etc.
    * 4 convenient "servo port" headers with heavy capping to support directly driving servos.
    * SPI bus system to minimize IO usage on peripherals like SD, FLASH, A/D, and SRAMS.

    The idea of the C3 is to be a really powerful application board for the Propeller, not so much a development board that you learn on, not to say this isn't great for learning. But, this is great since you can put it in an application, work with it on your laptop with no power supply (since its USB powered as well as external). And we are building a "shield" daughterboard as well that mounts on top of it to give you more room to put hardware and your own stuff.

    Also, one of the pics shows the "break away" mounting tabs. Instead of making the board bigger to support mounting holes, we decided to give you the best of both worlds, keep the board small with tabs. If you want the mounting holes, use them, if not, you just snap them off -- regardless there is a central mounting hole in the middle of the board.

    Andre'
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / Products and Projects:
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
    SchoolBoard ][ Solderless Educational Development Board (Propeller, FPGA, more)
    Advanced prototyping & Parallax Propeller boards - Follow @Mikronauts on Twitter

  7. #7

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Nice work Ken & Andre!

    I think this little board will be a winner!

    Regards,

    Bill

    p.s.

    Frankly, given distributor margins, I think you will be selling at $79 - unless you are doing it as a loss leader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Gracey (Parallax) View Post
    A few more details:

    - entire design to be open-sourced and double as a Propeller reference
    - includes customer requests for SRAM and SD card interface
    - I/O pin designation compatible with other Parallax designs
    - will supply with a Parallax laser-cut enclosure for stand-alone projects
    - priced between $49.99 and $79.99 depending on our internal labor/BOM costs
    - availability mid-November, early December

    The USB-powered aspect will be great for those who travel with Propellers - program it easily on an airplane, train, or wherever you're going without providing external power supplies. The very small size (credit card) really helps on the portability side of things. At last check it fit within an Altoids tin.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / Products and Projects:
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
    SchoolBoard ][ Solderless Educational Development Board (Propeller, FPGA, more)
    Advanced prototyping & Parallax Propeller boards - Follow @Mikronauts on Twitter

  8. #8

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    I project is so cool!
    I love it!
    KK
    PS: When it comes out, I know I'll be getting one sometime thereafter.
    Last edited by KaosKidd; 10-04-2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Add PS! :)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    This looks great and in time for Christmas too. The mounting tabs / holes are a great addition. Not sure what "Micro VGA port" is - it looks like the standard size, doesn't it?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Gracey (Parallax) View Post
    The USB-powered aspect will be great for those who travel with Propellers - program it easily on an airplane, train, or wherever you're going without providing external power supplies. The very small size (credit card) really helps on the portability side of things. At last check it fit within an Altoids tin.
    Warning to travelers: Never tell airport security you have a C3 in your Altoids tin.

    It's a very nice board. I wish Andre' and Parallax much success.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    LOL!



    Quote Originally Posted by jazzed View Post
    Warning to travelers: Never tell airport security you have a C3 in your Altoids tin.
    I have three propellers

  12. #12

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Super cool!
    I'm impressed with your price point to. $49 for all of that is a deal.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Henning View Post
    Nice work Ken & Andre!
    Frankly, given distributor margins, I think you will be selling at $79 - unless you are doing it as a loss leader.
    Bill, you are so correct. Hopefully our customers will always be so understanding. Building products with components sourced from Digi-Key, Mouser, Future and whoever else has a high cost (and the very real benefit of consistency on subsequent builds). And nothing compares to California labor for manufacturing. Customers don't complain, but sometimes they don't buy because of costs. This product will have a high retail and for good reason. Since the product is open-sourced it might even be helpful for others on this forum to know about the real costs:

    Design/engineering: $ 20,000
    Bill of materials setup 5,000
    Documentation costs 10,000
    Prototype costs 3,000
    P&P programming/setup 2,000
    ======
    Total 40,000 and no product has even shipped

    Per unit BOM costs: 30
    Manufacturing labor/kitting 10
    ======
    Unit cost 40

    I didn't mention the initial inventory costs.

    Retail price may be $79, but the average selling price could be more about $55 given distributor discounts.

    You can figure out how many you need to sell in order to break-even and have a reasonable return on investment. Somewhere between 2-5K units sound about right?

    What about lowering costs by building this in China? Not a good idea with this particular design. The very specific choice of components and fairly low-volume dictate American-made manufacturing, not to mention other management costs.

    This isn't to say we (and you) shouldn't be involved in such designs. This is what we do at Parallax, and what many of you do for a living so you know the facts as well as we do. But for the newcomer it is so important to understand the details in learning how to make these products a business success.

    The above is a very calculated approach that could help with pricing a product like C3, but Parallax must also look carefully at our marketing intent with the design - to inspire customers to consider the Propeller for whole-system designs, or to sell hardware at a profit? The former is usually a loss-leader - something that excites all of us but ends up on the EOL radar too early in the life cycle. It's always best to make sure a product can have a reasonable return on investment unless it's a clear printer/inkjet refill nexus. Sure, this sells chips, but how many more are sold because our customers bought a C3? Answer this for me if you could, please.

    At least from my perspective . . .

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Where can I pre-order?

    This is EXACTLY what I have been waiting for, and I have a great project for it that REALLY needs the additional ram.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Hi Ken Gracey (Parallax).

    WHY You not said You PAY so good for Design/engineering: $ 20,000
    In my opinion ---> It is to much ---


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Gracey (Parallax) View Post
    Bill, you are so correct. Hopefully our customers will always be so understanding. Building products with components sourced from Digi-Key, Mouser, Future and whoever else has a high cost (and the very real benefit of consistency on subsequent builds). And nothing compares to California labor for manufacturing. Customers don't complain, but sometimes they don't buy because of costs. This product will have a high retail and for good reason. Since the product is open-sourced it might even be helpful for others on this forum to know about the real costs:

    Design/engineering: $ 20,000
    Bill of materials setup 5,000
    Documentation costs 10,000
    Prototype costs 3,000
    P&P programming/setup 2,000
    ======
    Total 40,000 and no product has even shipped

    Per unit BOM costs: 30
    Manufacturing labor/kitting 10
    ======
    Unit cost 40

    I didn't mention the initial inventory costs.

    Retail price may be $79, but the average selling price could be more about $55 given distributor discounts.

    You can figure out how many you need to sell in order to break-even and have a reasonable return on investment. Somewhere between 2-5K units sound about right?

    What about lowering costs by building this in China? Not a good idea with this particular design. The very specific choice of components and fairly low-volume dictate American-made manufacturing, not to mention other management costs.

    This isn't to say we (and you) shouldn't be involved in such designs. This is what we do at Parallax, and what many of you do for a living so you know the facts as well as we do. But for the newcomer it is so important to understand the details in learning how to make these products a business success.

    The above is a very calculated approach that could help with pricing a product like C3, but Parallax must also look carefully at our marketing intent with the design - to inspire customers to consider the Propeller for whole-system designs, or to sell hardware at a profit? The former is usually a loss-leader - something that excites all of us but ends up on the EOL radar too early in the life cycle. It's always best to make sure a product can have a reasonable return on investment unless it's a clear printer/inkjet refill nexus. Sure, this sells chips, but how many more are sold because our customers bought a C3? Answer this for me if you could, please.

    At least from my perspective . . .

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    Regards
    Sapieha
    __________________________________________________ ___
    Nothing is impossible, there are only different degrees of difficulty.
    For every stupid question there is at least one intelligent answer.
    Don't guess - ask instead.
    If you don't ask you won't know.
    If your gonna construct something, make it as simple as possible yet as versatile/usable as possible.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Thanks Ken :-)

    I totally understand. Unfortunately, I have even lower volume, and higher BOM costs

    I am looking forward to playing with a C3!

    I think it will fit nicely in my netbook's case...

    Bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Gracey (Parallax) View Post
    Bill, you are so correct. Hopefully our customers will always be so understanding. Building products with components sourced from Digi-Key, Mouser, Future and whoever else has a high cost (and the very real benefit of consistency on subsequent builds). And nothing compares to California labor for manufacturing. Customers don't complain, but sometimes they don't buy because of costs. This product will have a high retail and for good reason. Since the product is open-sourced it might even be helpful for others on this forum to know about the real costs:

    Design/engineering: $ 20,000
    Bill of materials setup 5,000
    Documentation costs 10,000
    Prototype costs 3,000
    P&P programming/setup 2,000
    ======
    Total 40,000 and no product has even shipped

    Per unit BOM costs: 30
    Manufacturing labor/kitting 10
    ======
    Unit cost 40

    I didn't mention the initial inventory costs.

    Retail price may be $79, but the average selling price could be more about $55 given distributor discounts.

    You can figure out how many you need to sell in order to break-even and have a reasonable return on investment. Somewhere between 2-5K units sound about right?

    What about lowering costs by building this in China? Not a good idea with this particular design. The very specific choice of components and fairly low-volume dictate American-made manufacturing, not to mention other management costs.

    This isn't to say we (and you) shouldn't be involved in such designs. This is what we do at Parallax, and what many of you do for a living so you know the facts as well as we do. But for the newcomer it is so important to understand the details in learning how to make these products a business success.

    The above is a very calculated approach that could help with pricing a product like C3, but Parallax must also look carefully at our marketing intent with the design - to inspire customers to consider the Propeller for whole-system designs, or to sell hardware at a profit? The former is usually a loss-leader - something that excites all of us but ends up on the EOL radar too early in the life cycle. It's always best to make sure a product can have a reasonable return on investment unless it's a clear printer/inkjet refill nexus. Sure, this sells chips, but how many more are sold because our customers bought a C3? Answer this for me if you could, please.

    At least from my perspective . . .

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / Products and Projects:
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
    SchoolBoard ][ Solderless Educational Development Board (Propeller, FPGA, more)
    Advanced prototyping & Parallax Propeller boards - Follow @Mikronauts on Twitter

  17. #17

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapieha View Post
    Hi Ken Gracey (Parallax).

    WHY You not said You PAY so good for Design/engineering: $ 20,000
    In my opinion ---> It is to much ---
    You are taking this out of context, Sapieha, and assuming we wrote Andre' a check for this amount. I'm sure Andre' would really like that, however. The engineering costs sometimes appear in the form of a check written to somebody else, or they're hidden in what's known as the burden cost (salary, health benefits, vacation costs, 401K matches, sabbaticals, software license fees!, etc) of our staff time (at least $100-150/hr). Because of your assumptions I am trying to share what's involved.

    $20,000 / $150/hr = 133 hours. Try to achieve what it takes to bring a product like this to manufacturing within 133 hours.

    This is what's involved in engineering costs for such a design:

    - administrative costs if designed outside, such as writing an agreement
    - specification prepared by Parallax and engineered by Andre'
    - block diagram preparation with consideration to mechanical layouts
    - schematic review and approval
    - design cycle (2-3 prototypes)
    - test procedure/hardware (ever thought about this one? - requires hardware, software, pas/fail)

    Engineering costs associated with bringing a product to production are much more significant than laying out a PCB over the weekend and sending it to PCBExpress. Come on, you already know this. . . you've designed many boards and they look great.

    When a product like this is ready to command the attention of a half-dozen manufacturing staff you better be sure that it is not only engineered completely, but that it's passed to them with significant support in terms of test procedure, hardware, etc.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    NICE!!!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    Hi Ken Gracey (Parallax).

    Sorry If That was disturbing You. I know it is maybe not so much in USA.
    And I know all that You write on design stages -----> BUT If You consider as I have about 1000$ in month = My Sickness Assurance money that maybe You understand my standpoint.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Gracey (Parallax) View Post
    You are taking this out of context, Sapieha, and assuming we wrote Andre' a check for this amount. I'm sure Andre' would really like that, however. The engineering costs sometimes appear in the form of a check written to somebody else, or they're hidden in what's known as the burden cost (salary, health benefits, vacation costs, 401K matches, sabbaticals, software license fees!, etc) of our staff time (at least $100-150/hr). Because of your assumptions I am trying to share what's involved.

    $20,000 / $150/hr = 133 hours. Try to achieve what it takes to bring a product like this to manufacturing within 133 hours.

    This is what's involved in engineering costs for such a design:

    - administrative costs if designed outside, such as writing an agreement
    - specification prepared by Parallax and engineered by Andre'
    - block diagram preparation with consideration to mechanical layouts
    - schematic review and approval
    - design cycle (2-3 prototypes)
    - test procedure/hardware (ever thought about this one? - requires hardware, software, pas/fail)

    Engineering costs associated with bringing a product to production are much more significant than laying out a PCB over the weekend and sending it to PCBExpress. Come on, you already know this. . . you've designed many boards and they look great.

    When a product like this is ready to command the attention of a half-dozen manufacturing staff you better be sure that it is not only engineered completely, but that it's passed to them with significant support in terms of test procedure, hardware, etc.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    Regards
    Sapieha
    __________________________________________________ ___
    Nothing is impossible, there are only different degrees of difficulty.
    For every stupid question there is at least one intelligent answer.
    Don't guess - ask instead.
    If you don't ask you won't know.
    If your gonna construct something, make it as simple as possible yet as versatile/usable as possible.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Propeller C3 update

    what are the dimensions of this board?

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