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What is the value to be made in the USA, for a Parallax customer? — Parallax Forums

What is the value to be made in the USA, for a Parallax customer?

Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,162
edited 2021-02-19 18:51 in General Discussion

Hello,

In another thread, a customer pointed out that the cost of Parallax products is too high (in Europe, where they need to import to). This is what you get when you buy from Parallax:

  • The highest quality we can possibly provide. Our design and manufacturing team are like artists; they have a standard unequaled! Since the beginning, we've carefully made PCBs that look interesting to handle, are properly labeled, and have a solid look and feel.
  • Humans who answer the phone to help you with a sales or support question.
  • You can build a business based on our supply. We have independent, self-reliant stability.
  • Service, for many years to come. Warranty, too! If you have a problem, we'll take care of it if we can! We often swap out BASIC Stamps for schools who bought them many years ago.
  • Consistency and quality control. We are still making the BASIC Stamp 1 from 1992.
  • American employment, fueling the domestic economy.
  • Reinvestment back into what we do, for you. We've been in business for 30+ years.

Propeller 2 is made in the USA by ON Semiconductor, too.

As for Europe, it's expensive to sell products there. We are finishing up some CE compliance documentation and testing. CE requires that we sell through distributors (or have a factory office). These suppliers must also make a margin. RS Components is about to take on a major addition to our line. You'll be able to buy from Mouser, RS, and Digi-Key - and our smaller distributor EL Micro in Germany.

****We're doing our best, so you can do your best. ****

Yesterday, I took a quick look at our manufacturing to see if we could attach headers to RasPi Pico boards for some customers. We were building Propeller 2 Mini Breakout Boards, XBee USB Adapters, and JonnyMac boards. I grabbed a few photos while I was there.

I can't possibly imagine running a business where we outsource the manufacturing of these products just to lower costs. You'll always get what you pay for from Parallax, and a whole lot more.

Ken Gracey


«1

Comments

  • LtechLtech Posts: 269
    edited 2021-02-19 19:40

    Just to inform the Europeans,

    Last month I get my P2 stufs trough Digi-key.
    I payed no extra transport and tax, (P2 edge and Jon McPhalen bread), and get it home in only 2 day's.
    I don't know if I was lucky with the import tax.

    When I go trough Parallax shop, I pay twice the price for import and transport.

    Mouser, RS and Digi-key are fine for this continent.

    Thank-you Ken to take an litle care of Europe.

  • Buck RogersBuck Rogers Posts: 1,946
    edited 2021-02-21 20:03

    @"Ken Gracey" said:
    Hello,

    In another thread, a customer pointed out that the cost of Parallax products is too high (in Europe, where they need to import to). This is what you get when you buy from Parallax:

    • The highest quality we can possibly provide. Our design and manufacturing team are like artists; they have a standard unequaled! Since the beginning, we've carefully made PCBs that look interesting to handle, are properly labeled, and have a solid look and feel.
    • Humans who answer the phone to help you with a sales or support question.
    • You can build a business based on our supply. We have independent, self-reliant stability.
    • Service, for many years to come. Warranty, too! If you have a problem, we'll take care of it if we can! We often swap out BASIC Stamps for schools who bought them many years ago.
    • Consistency and quality control. We are still making the BASIC Stamp 1 from 1992.
    • American employment, fueling the domestic economy.
    • Reinvestment back into what we do, for you. We've been in business for 30+ years.

    Propeller 2 is made in the USA by ON Semiconductor, too.

    As for Europe, it's expensive to sell products there. We are finishing up some CE compliance documentation and testing. CE requires that we sell through distributors (or have a factory office). These suppliers must also make a margin. RS Components is about to take on a major addition to our line. You'll be able to buy from Mouser, RS, and Digi-Key - and our smaller distributor EL Micro in Germany.

    ****We're doing our best, so you can do your best. ****

    Yesterday, I took a quick look at our manufacturing to see if we could attach headers to RasPi Pico boards for some customers. We were building Propeller 2 Mini Breakout Boards, XBee USB Adapters, and JonnyMac boards. I grabbed a few photos while I was there.

    I can't possibly imagine running a business where we outsource the manufacturing of these products just to lower costs. You'll always get what you pay for from Parallax, and a whole lot more.

    Ken Gracey


    As per usual Ken I am impressed. However that system doing that, needs music to make it work faster. I suggest either the Straus Polka collection or his other great works.

  • When are the distributor listings going to be fixed?
    This one from Mouser tells me it is a 25MHz 32-bit micro with 4 ADC channels. I think I'd expect to pay under a $1 for something like that.

  • Thanks Peter. We'll get that fixed right away.

    Ken Gracey

  • It was the high cost of the basic stamp in Europe that gave birth to the arduino. The stamp modules are a little pricey. I bought one many years ago. (Has a few blown pins). Sometimes I buy the Bs2 pic16 , $13-$15 not too bad. But the stamp is limited. Now I mainly use the P1 $8 very reasonable. I also use the $1 pics and program them myself. Looking back it probably would of been good idea to give a student discount in Europe, then there would be no arduino to compete with. I have to say I really like the basic stamp and prop tools, really is to use and you don't need library's to get started.

  • pik33pik33 Posts: 932
    edited 2021-02-21 08:39

    A wish list:

    • Hyperram board available in Mouser
    • Single accesories available in Mouser: I need a second one (or maybe even a third) AV board while I don't need the second rest of them, and the set costs $100, too much to buy things I don't need
    • A MIDI in/out accessory. There are a lot of examples in Propeller Tool involving MIDI input and no way to connect one without soldering a contraption with resistors and optoisolator onboard

    Not a Parallax problem, but this affects availability:

    • Mouser Poland is not able to accept payments using Polish bank account/fast payment system. We use an instant payment system for online shopping here, which Mouser simply doesn't (yet) accept. A state owned school/university needs a (Polish, PLN) bank account to make a bank transfer to buy stuff for education, which Mouser Poland doesn't have too. This is of course not a Parallax problem, but this limits availability of their products in Poland, especially for educational institutions as the individual person can simply use a card (if compatible, my card was rejected, but then you can order another one) to pay. I asked Mouser Poland about this, they told they are working on the problem.
  • A wish list from me:
    While buying direct from Parallax is good for me, and also from Jameco (which I've done before), and Mouser or Digi-key next:

    What about again getting Micro Center interested in carrying the Parallax line? Given that the P2 now has remarkably good support it would give a lot of others a run for their efforts.

    And also what's involved with becoming a dealer in Parallax items? For my part I'd start with the Stamp 2, and then the Prop 1, and then gracefully into the Prop 2 design.

    Mascot eating.

  • PublisonPublison Posts: 11,861

    I think MicroCenter has been tried before and failed, like Radio Shack.

  • @“ken gracey”: As long as we are working on a wishlist, I have one: a Parallax-centric, “mini-Ebay style” store for presenting user-created products that touch on the Parallax core lines. Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping of these widgets (for a price), but the wigets themselves would be designed & made & supported (other than any shipping issues) by the creator. This would give Parallax a quick-to-grow/low-investment/third-party gadget ecosystem that would help drive Parallax co-sales. It would relieve Parallaxians from having to deal with distribution-side issues, for which Parallax has shown iself quite adept at mastering.

    Iz me totes cray-cray? Or is there some interest within Parallax for such a thing?

  • @Publison said:
    I think MicroCenter has been tried before and failed, like Radio Shack.

    It is possible. Radio Shack failed before the stores did, because they did not know how to sell to such items to people. Micro Center on the other hand, I believe did not fail, they just did not follow the guides on how to properly sell those items. The one I use in Brooklyn certainly did know. The one in Yonkers and the one in Queens definitely did not.

    So we need to try again, carefully.

    Mascot now asleep.

    Now why is there a crowd of bots walking from Puget sound to a location in California?

  • Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping ...

    None of these three is a low-cost service. Parallax's markup would have to be substantial to accommodate such a scheme as you propose. Beyond that, your products would have to be thoroughly vetted by Parallax to get their seal of approval. And you'll have to meet their standards of documentation.

    -Phil

  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 669
    edited 2021-02-21 22:25

    @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:

    Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping ...

    None of these three is a low-cost service. Parallax's markup would have to be substantial to accommodate such a scheme as you propose. Beyond that, your products would have to be thoroughly vetted by Parallax to get their seal of approval. And you'll have to meet their standards of documentation.

    -Phil

    Ok. Dumb idea. Back to “everyman for himself”. I’ll see if Bezos is interested.

  • @pik33 said:
    A wish list:

    • Hyperram board available in Mouser
    • Single accesories available in Mouser: I need a second one (or maybe even a third) AV board while I don't need the second rest of them, and the set costs $100, too much to buy things I don't need
    • A MIDI in/out accessory. There are a lot of examples in Propeller Tool involving MIDI input and no way to connect one without soldering a contraption with resistors and optoisolator onboard

    Not a Parallax problem, but this affects availability:

    • Mouser Poland is not able to accept payments using Polish bank account/fast payment system. We use an instant payment system for online shopping here, which Mouser simply doesn't (yet) accept. A state owned school/university needs a (Polish, PLN) bank account to make a bank transfer to buy stuff for education, which Mouser Poland doesn't have too. This is of course not a Parallax problem, but this limits availability of their products in Poland, especially for educational institutions as the individual person can simply use a card (if compatible, my card was rejected, but then you can order another one) to pay. I asked Mouser Poland about this, they told they are working on the problem.

    Hey there @pik33!

    Let's go over these, one at a time.

    • HyperRAM board available in Mouser. Tomorrow morning I will have our sales staff and Mouser get together to achieve this.
    • MIDI accessory is likely coming. I'd only want to build the hardware if we had useful MIDI support in the form of a @JonnyMac object. Thankfully, he does a lot of work with MIDI and will greet this idea with enthusiasm when he reads the post. It takes time, as you know, but we will start.
    • Mouser Poland and the Polish bank account/fast payment system. As you noted, both the Polish educational institution and Mouser need a Polish bank to make these purchases possible. Believe it or not, I'm not a stranger to this particular problem since I buy components from Poland and must use a credit card regardless of the size of the order. So, I'll propose an alternative to you. I imagine you are familiar with https://www.tme.com/us/en-us/contact/, are you? What if they stocked Parallax parts? I have made the request of them previously, but they didn't reply. If you would like to buy our parts through TME, please send them a note indicating that they should stock the Propeller 2 line from Parallax and provide my contact information. I'd set them up as a distributor. Just copy this over to them and I'd personally handle the stocking:

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    599 Menlo Drive
    Rocklin CA 95765 USA
    Direct +01 916 625-3010
    E-mail kgracey@parallax.com

    Sincerely,

    Ken Gracey

  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,162
    edited 2021-02-21 23:15

    @Publison said:
    I think MicroCenter has been tried before and failed, like Radio Shack.

    MicroCenter is a good outlet. Like Fry's and RadioShack, they're brick and mortar. Selling through these channels presents some challenges for Parallax. For every product we sell through retail channels, the requirements are quite similar across suppliers and may include:

    • add retail packaging ($3 with the cost of cardboard and artwork) and UPC codes (more stock codes, with only ONE customer)
    • accept returns for opened packages where parts are missing (imagine a P2 Developer Bundle that comes back to Parallax without the P2 Edge)
    • wait many days to be paid, often 60+ days
    • participate in mandatory marketing rebate funds, where x% of our revenue is paid back to the retail outlets for "cooperative marketing"
    • sign agreements stating other distributors don't get better terms

    It could be best to have ONE P2 kit available in a retail channel, at their own price (which, because of the above terms, would be more than we sell the similar product for). However, the customer will then want the Prop Plug, the P2 Edge, the HyperRAM accessory board, and the various pieces packaged up for individual sale. Thinking about retail channels right now gives me a headache. I would think that it would be better to fully re-activate our Amazon presence so everybody with PRIME shipping accounts can go purchase-berserk-one-button-purchase with a new P2 shop on Amazon, wouldn't you?

    RadioShack was truly unique. They had 7,000 stores. With this many stores, a company the size of Parallax could achieve significant marketing and distribution - even if we packaged parts just for one customer. It was a very productive relationship until their bankruptcy was finally made official (and we didn't get paid, but our customers bought our products at 10c on the dollar in their store closeouts).

    Ken Gracey

  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,162
    edited 2021-02-21 23:15

    @JRoark said:
    @“ken gracey”: As long as we are working on a wishlist, I have one: a Parallax-centric, “mini-Ebay style” store for presenting user-created products that touch on the Parallax core lines. Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping of these widgets (for a price), but the wigets themselves would be designed & made & supported (other than any shipping issues) by the creator. This would give Parallax a quick-to-grow/low-investment/third-party gadget ecosystem that would help drive Parallax co-sales. It would relieve Parallaxians from having to deal with distribution-side issues, for which Parallax has shown iself quite adept at mastering.

    Iz me totes cray-cray? Or is there some interest within Parallax for such a thing?

    OK, this one captures a bit of interest. After all, one forum member recently said "Ken has nothing better to do than push the pile of hardware off his desk into a bunch of Mystery Boxes". While it's not the regular occurrence and my only desired marketing effort, I do like selling things - and surprises.

    Two points I should make about your idea @JRoark. First, for many years I've thought of the idea that we sell customer projects, or even our own Propeller 1/2 products, provided they have a technical audience interest (no Home Shopping Network stuff) - with the purpose of open-sourcing all of the design, code, and files needed to make the product. The idea was that showing how products are designed with our processors would help other products be made in a similar way. Like the S3 robot, an IoT device, handheld games, conference badges, maybe even less "technical" and more consumer oriented, etc. And for people who buy the products we sell, they'd feel they actually own them (and could reprogram, modify, etc as desired). The distinction of Parallax-designed vs. community/creator-designed wasn't part of my thinking since the products would likely come from outside. The concept would be called Propeller Products.

    I think this is similar to what you're thinking unless your "widget" focus is primarily for technical users. If it is, we already do that (Joe Grand's RFID line, Phil Pilgrim's ColorPal, etc). These are products that we manufacture ourselves, and the developers do a very professional job with every aspect of their effort (BOMs, design files, source code, packaging, documentation, etc). As Phil pointed out, the bar for this is quite high and few developers have the discipline to see it through to completion. For every success, there are a dozen more where a developer thinks their idea is "good enough for us to run with it" and well, fill in the blanks. . .everybody has ideas like. .

    We also buy/resell products made by others, of course.

    You're not cray-cray, and the concept has some meat to it in my view.

    Ken Gracey

  • @JRoark said:

    @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:

    Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping ...

    None of these three is a low-cost service. Parallax's markup would have to be substantial to accommodate such a scheme as you propose. Beyond that, your products would have to be thoroughly vetted by Parallax to get their seal of approval. And you'll have to meet their standards of documentation.

    -Phil

    Ok. Dumb idea. Back to “everyman for himself”. I’ll see if Bezos is interested.

    Not a dumb idea at all. But there are standards you have to meet, and you must accept a wholesale markdown from your MSRP.

    -Phil

  • @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:

    @JRoark said:

    @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:

    Parallax would do the warehousing/inventory/shipping ...

    None of these three is a low-cost service. Parallax's markup would have to be substantial to accommodate such a scheme as you propose. Beyond that, your products would have to be thoroughly vetted by Parallax to get their seal of approval. And you'll have to meet their standards of documentation.

    -Phil

    Ok. Dumb idea. Back to “everyman for himself”. I’ll see if Bezos is interested.

    Not a dumb idea at all. But there are standards you have to meet, and you must accept a wholesale markdown from your MSRP.

    -Phil

    This is an interesting point on its own: how do you price your product, through a reseller and directly to the customer? Some of our forum members have this kind of experience. The question of distribution as part of a sales/marketing strategy is a big one, too. Ever watch Shark Tank? These guys get to the bottom of costs/pricing/margins/direct-v-reseller variables really quick!

    Ken Gracey

  • Ken: “Widgets” is a general catch-all. Maybe better translated into “neato consumer/education bits”. So yes, we are clearly on the same page and I agree with your priorities. Until the P2 is fully rolled-out, this concept shouldnt be a priority, but good to keep it in mind.

    (BTW: please do keep “sweeping stuff off your desk and into mystery boxes”, because the Techo-Wolves absolutely devour this stuff and the resultant coding frenzy invariably results in some really neat stuff being posted... which then drives more ideas... and innovation... and ultimately evolves into generally profitable mischief [SALES!] for Parallax! Lol!)

  • @JRoark said:
    Ken: “Widgets” is a general catch-all. Maybe better translated into “neato consumer/education bits”. So yes, we are clearly on the same page and I agree with your priorities. Until the P2 is fully rolled-out, this concept shouldnt be a priority, but good to keep it in mind.

    (BTW: please do keep “sweeping stuff off your desk and into mystery boxes”, because the Techo-Wolves absolutely devour this stuff and the resultant coding frenzy invariably results in some really neat stuff being posted... which then drives more ideas... and innovation... and ultimately evolves into generally profitable mischief [SALES!] for Parallax! Lol!)

    Oh, don't encourage me. I don't need encouragement. I was in the Rocklin office on Saturday morning doing exactly that - sweeping loads of stuff off my desk into a big Mystery Box pile of goodness. The reward of putting stuff in boxes and selling them for $40 is a sensory experience I can't describe, I guess. The marketing frenzy around it, the UPS guy wondering what happened, the sales staff telling me they can't handle another deal. . .

    Maybe we'll call the next one "JRoark's Mystery Box Easter Blowout!"

    Ken Gracey

  • @"Ken Gracey" said:

    Like Fry's

    Ken Gracey

    Perhaps you are in a position to have a little knowledge on this:
    What is Fry's doing keeping massive warehouse stores open, to now only sell bottled water and flash drives?
    I think about this daily, it's an even bigger mystery to me than DB Cooper or the Roanoke colony.

  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,162
    edited 2021-02-21 23:58

    @The_Master said:

    @"Ken Gracey" said:

    Like Fry's

    Ken Gracey

    Perhaps you are in a position to have a little knowledge on this:
    What is Fry's doing keeping massive warehouse stores open, to now only sell bottled water and flash drives?
    I think about this daily, it's an even bigger mystery to me than DB Cooper or the Roanoke colony.

    They're not closing, they're not closing, they're not going away. . . .but I imagine the interwebs know the truth. A corporation can't hide from what's obvious to the masses.

    I think they're about real estate, at this stage. For example, the owner of Fry's is a partner in the building where their corporate office is located in San Jose, CA. I think they own a fair amount of their own real estate (how else would you justify the crazy tenant improvements of these theme-based stores of the Roman empire, the Gold Rush, etc?). So, in this case, maybe their rent is paid to themselves. Also, selling bottled water until it's all gone might also be an easy way to let the real estate agents in without a lockbox attached to the door. Everybody needs water, but I'm not sure about real estate agents :smile:

    Maybe they'll be selling off all of these buildings.

    Ken Gracey

  • @"Ken Gracey" said:

    @JRoark said:
    Ken: “Widgets” is a general catch-all. Maybe better translated into “neato consumer/education bits”. So yes, we are clearly on the same page and I agree with your priorities. Until the P2 is fully rolled-out, this concept shouldnt be a priority, but good to keep it in mind.

    (BTW: please do keep “sweeping stuff off your desk and into mystery boxes”, because the Techo-Wolves absolutely devour this stuff and the resultant coding frenzy invariably results in some really neat stuff being posted... which then drives more ideas... and innovation... and ultimately evolves into generally profitable mischief [SALES!] for Parallax! Lol!)

    Oh, don't encourage me. I don't need encouragement. I was in the Rocklin office on Saturday morning doing exactly that - sweeping loads of stuff off my desk into a big Mystery Box pile of goodness. The reward of putting stuff in boxes and selling them for $40 is a sensory experience I can't describe, I guess. The marketing frenzy around it, the UPS guy wondering what happened, the sales staff telling me they can't handle another deal. . .

    Maybe we'll call the next one "JRoark's Mystery Box Easter Blowout!"

    Ken Gracey

    (Laughing here)

    I totally approve! Run that baby with my blessing!

    A good natured giggle:
    Q). Hey: Do you know the difference between a JonnyMac board and a JRoark Mystery Blowout Box?
    A). Jon actually knew what he was doing, saw a need, did the hard work, and created a cool product. Me? I just had to log in and make a random, creative post! Lol!

    Jon is a legend for due diligence. I’m becoming one for lack of same!. Heheheh.

  • @"Ken Gracey" said:

    @Publison said:
    I think MicroCenter has been tried before and failed, like Radio Shack.

    MicroCenter is a good outlet. Like Fry's and RadioShack, they're brick and mortar. Selling through these channels presents some challenges for Parallax. For every product we sell through retail channels, the requirements are quite similar across suppliers and may include:

    • add retail packaging ($3 with the cost of cardboard and artwork) and UPC codes (more stock codes, with only ONE customer)
    • accept returns for opened packages where parts are missing (imagine a P2 Developer Bundle that comes back to Parallax without the P2 Edge)
    • wait many days to be paid, often 60+ days
    • participate in mandatory marketing rebate funds, where x% of our revenue is paid back to the retail outlets for "cooperative marketing"
    • sign agreements stating other distributors don't get better terms

    It could be best to have ONE P2 kit available in a retail channel, at their own price (which, because of the above terms, would be more than we sell the similar product for). However, the customer will then want the Prop Plug, the P2 Edge, the HyperRAM accessory board, and the various pieces packaged up for individual sale. Thinking about retail channels right now gives me a headache. I would think that it would be better to fully re-activate our Amazon presence so everybody with PRIME shipping accounts can go purchase-berserk-one-button-purchase with a new P2 shop on Amazon, wouldn't you?

    RadioShack was truly unique. They had 7,000 stores. With this many stores, a company the size of Parallax could achieve significant marketing and distribution - even if we packaged parts just for one customer. It was a very productive relationship until their bankruptcy was finally made official (and we didn't get paid, but our customers bought our products at 10c on the dollar in their store closeouts).

    Ken Gracey

    Hello!
    Regarding RS, sadly yes you're right there. A number of items here were indeed bought that way. I remember walking into one in Manhattan, looked for and selected the two line LCD display board, and brought it to the sales desk, and the clerk promptly said, "I've never seen anyone go to those shelves and buy something.". Sadly this was a store that sold mostly TV sets and the odd cell phone. Very rarely was it in the business of selling DIY stuff.

    Two other stores, both here in Queens had the same problem. And both were rather large. One other also in Queens had better responses, it turned out that Forest Hills HS was directing its students to that store for all of its DIY needs, that when it couldn't find them easily via the channels we're familiar with.

    Now there's talk of reviving the store model, outside of a small inclusion in certain hobby stores, it might be time to try again, when its time.

    I still think Micro Center needs to be tried soon, preferably with better training materials.

    Now Ken if all of you want to try Amazon and go for their FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon) methods for delivering items to me that I could also buy directly from Jameco, and even from the site, or Mouser or Digikey, then you've got my full support behind it.

    Mascot eating.

    Strange the bots have reached California.

  • My wish list for something for Parallax to sell would be - a BS2 married to an XBee-Pro S2C(whip antenna version)
    with a quad half-h driver chip connected to screw type terminals... What I am talking is something like a throwback to the OEM modules with plug type VIN to handle up to 12V with enough current to handle external relays or solenoids.

    Also there should be solder points for the I/O pins to solder points for external connection also with solder connections for pull-up or pull-down resistors and the driver chip.

    Once I can get a UTube video of my system in operation using my current kluge setup I will buy boxes of them.

    (The reason for the jumpers on the pins is so that I do not have to rewrite all my programming.)

    trooks

    • The main function of experience is being able to recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again. -
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,434

    Oh poor Ken. They have no idea what it takes to do retail :wink:

  • pik33pik33 Posts: 932
    edited 2021-02-22 13:07

    @"Ken Gracey" said:

    @pik33 said:
    A wish list:

    • Hyperram board available in Mouser
    • Single accesories available in Mouser: I need a second one (or maybe even a third) AV board while I don't need the second rest of them, and the set costs $100, too much to buy things I don't need
    • A MIDI in/out accessory. There are a lot of examples in Propeller Tool involving MIDI input and no way to connect one without soldering a contraption with resistors and optoisolator onboard

    Not a Parallax problem, but this affects availability:

    • Mouser Poland is not able to accept payments using Polish bank account/fast payment system. We use an instant payment system for online shopping here, which Mouser simply doesn't (yet) accept. A state owned school/university needs a (Polish, PLN) bank account to make a bank transfer to buy stuff for education, which Mouser Poland doesn't have too. This is of course not a Parallax problem, but this limits availability of their products in Poland, especially for educational institutions as the individual person can simply use a card (if compatible, my card was rejected, but then you can order another one) to pay. I asked Mouser Poland about this, they told they are working on the problem.

    Hey there @pik33!

    Let's go over these, one at a time.

    • HyperRAM board available in Mouser. Tomorrow morning I will have our sales staff and Mouser get together to achieve this.
    • MIDI accessory is likely coming. I'd only want to build the hardware if we had useful MIDI support in the form of a @JonnyMac object. Thankfully, he does a lot of work with MIDI and will greet this idea with enthusiasm when he reads the post. It takes time, as you know, but we will start.
    • Mouser Poland and the Polish bank account/fast payment system. As you noted, both the Polish educational institution and Mouser need a Polish bank to make these purchases possible. Believe it or not, I'm not a stranger to this particular problem since I buy components from Poland and must use a credit card regardless of the size of the order. So, I'll propose an alternative to you. I imagine you are familiar with https://www.tme.com/us/en-us/contact/, are you? What if they stocked Parallax parts? I have made the request of them previously, but they didn't reply. If you would like to buy our parts through TME, please send them a note indicating that they should stock the Propeller 2 line from Parallax and provide my contact information. I'd set them up as a distributor. Just copy this over to them and I'd personally handle the stocking:

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax Inc.
    599 Menlo Drive
    Rocklin CA 95765 USA
    Direct +01 916 625-3010
    E-mail kgracey@parallax.com

    Sincerely,

    Ken Gracey

    Done.

    The TME is one of most known electronic parts supplier here so yes, of course, I know them.

  • I was just wondering why the stamp2 dip package is so high, now its about $17. I mean the Pic16F57 blanks is about $1 ea. then a 30 second flash in the eprom programmer. I can see the modules cost are higher because you have to build them.

  • @DigitalBob said:
    I was just wondering why the stamp2 dip package is so high, now its about $17. I mean the Pic16F57 blanks is about $1 ea. then a 30 second flash in the eprom programmer. I can see the modules cost are higher because you have to build them.

    Only because we've not revised the BASIC Stamp product line prices. We need to do this, but it's not been a priority.

    If you need to place an order in the meantime please contact me offline and I'll make arrangements for a lower cost.

    Ken Gracey

  • @pik33 said:
    The TME is one of most known electronic parts supplier here so yes, of course, I know them.

    @pik33 I think both of us made a request of TME, but they didn't contact me yet. Let's try again - they're the main outlet for most of eastern Europe so we need to get our goodies into their store.

    If you don't mind, please send them your message again.

    Ken Gracey

  • Ok great thanks, but I think I'm moving to the P1 for my project, I was prototyping a couple of Bs2 panel meters but it was too limited for all of the programming, I'm happy with the P1 $8 price.

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