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'[SX] SX Keys horrendously expensive in the UK?'
2006\07\27@060746 by philpemn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, philpem wrote:

Hi guys,
I've got an SV-Tehs SX-DEV at the moment, which is randomly losing comms with my PC. On top of that, SV-Tehs don't seem to be too interested in answering my emails. So I figure, why not replace it with an SX-Key?

Only thing is, I've been quoted a price of £80 + postage (£6) + VAT for a single SX Kit Lite (which seems to be the cheapest way to get hold of an SX Key). That comes to £86 + £15.05 VAT, or around £102. Plus I'd have to wait a week for the distributor to get hold of more stock.

The way I figure it, Parallax are selling the SX Kit Lite for $89. I can't find any prices for international shipping on the Parallax site, but let's assume for a minute that an SX Lite kit will fit in a large Global Priority envelope, which is (IIRC) a flat rate of $10. That's $99, or about £54. Adding VAT and the £4 Royal Mail handling fee (for them to collect the VAT) to that, comes up to £67.45, or about £35 less than the distributor's price.

Am I the only person here that thinks £35 on top of the price of the 'Key is just a bit excessive, for what effectively amounts to them getting the thing into the country, paying HM Customs the VAT, and forwarding it on? Admittedly nobody's forcing me to buy through a distributor, but I didn't expect there to be that much of a premium on top of the cost of the Key...

If anyone in the UK happens to have a spare SX Key gathering dust, please PM me - I'm interested in buying one, but my student budget won't stretch as far as £102 for a brand-new SX-Key, on top of the cost of the SX48s I need...

I'm not mentioning the name of the distributor in question - I don't want to start any fights over this, nor do I want to imply anything by it. I actually think their prices for SX chips are quite reasonable...

Thanks!

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2006\07\27@065449 by beann/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, bean wrote:

You should be able to buy JUST the SX-key.
If you don't need debugging, then you use the SX-Blitz (much cheaper).
Will Parallax ship directly to the UK ?
You might want to see if Andre' will ship one to the UK www.xgamestation.com
Bean.

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2006\07\27@074712 by chipheadn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, chiphead wrote:

Based on other posts, I believe Parallax will ship to the UK.  The web site store will only show FED EX or UPS Red or something like that, but the user can put in the "order comments" section to use USPS, and Parallax will oblige.  I believe the order will be taken with the [Expensive] shipping, but the customer will only be changed for the USPS rates.  There was a thread on this not long ago in the Propeller forum, see:

http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=25&m=133528
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2006\07\27@081106 by kgraceyn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, kgracey wrote:

philpem:

Prepare yourself for the company response!


John R. is correct. If the U.K. prices are really too high, then just buy it directly from Parallax and request USPS for shipping. You only need the SX-Key as Bean pointed out. I think we've been pretty fair on pricing this product. We've even allowed people to enter our SX Design Contest using SV Tehs tools, and paid them for their winning submittals. Our SX support program has aimed for low prices for hobby and education, yet these prices are only sustainable with the support of volume SX consumers with commercial designs.


As a sidenote, the SX-Key will get cheaper in time. We're finishing a USB version with an entirely new clock circuit (prior parts went obsolete on us) which we are building in higher volume. But this will take another three to four months.  

Ken Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

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2006\07\27@082607 by beann/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, bean wrote:

Ken,
 Any chance that the USB version can supply power to the SX-Tech board via the SX-Key +5 and GND header pins ?

Bean.

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2006\07\27@091821 by philpemn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, philpem wrote:

[Quoting: "Ken Gracey (Parallax)"]
John R. is correct. If the U.K. prices are really too high, then just buy it directly from Parallax and request USPS for shipping.

Can you give me a ballpark figure for the cost to ship an SX-Key via USPS?
How much would that increase if I ordered an SX-Tech Toolkit Lite instead? What about if I ordered the SX Kit Plus
I'm thinking along the lines of the Toolkit being $10 more and including a nice little demo board, which would be handy for quick tests.

[Quoting: "Ken Gracey (Parallax)"]
You only need the SX-Key as Bean pointed out. I think we've been pretty fair on pricing this product. We've even allowed people to enter our SX Design Contest using SV Tehs tools, and paid them for their winning submittals.

Aye, one of those people was me, with my SX Logic Analyser.
Speaking of which, I've been working on steadily improving the analyser over the past couple of years. I now have a design for a 50MHz 8-channel analyser and a 50MSPS analogue BNC input that can be used as an oscilloscope display. Kind of a HP/Agilent LogicDart on steroids, but with a smaller display. FWIW, I'm still using cellphone LCDs. The device of choice this time is a Nokia 6610 LCD -- a 2" colour TFT with 128x128 resolution. Commonly available from such people as JELU and Spark Fun for a mere $20. Beats $40 for a 128x64 mono STN (though admittedly the 128x64 is probably going to be easier to read at a distance).

Unfortunately I've had to use a CPLD for the triggering logic (implementing it in 74LS would use way too much board space) but it's still a project you can build with parts from Digikey and Parallax (assuming you've got a 6610 you can steal an LCD from).

[Quoting: "Ken Gracey (Parallax)"]Our SX support program has aimed for low prices for hobby and education, yet these prices are only sustainable with the support of volume SX consumers with commercial designs.
As a sidenote, the SX-Key will get cheaper in time. We're finishing a USB version with an entirely new clock circuit (prior parts went obsolete on us) which we are building in higher volume. But this will take another three to four months.  

I don't want to stop you making the SX Key cheaper if that's what you really want to do, but I think $89 is quite reasonable considering what it can do. Heck, even the Microchip ICD2 doesn't have an onboard configurable clock oscillator...

Thanks,
Phil.

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2006\07\29@092325 by g_daubachn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, g_daubach wrote:

[Quoting: "Bean (Hitt Consulting)"]
Ken,
 Any chance that the USB version can supply power to the SX-Tech board via the SX-Key +5 and GND header pins ?

 It would be nice to not have lug around a big wall-wart. But I realize there is only so much power available.

Bean.




Bean,

sorry, this is not the case. The new SX/Key USB is designed in a way that only the components on the SXKey board are powered from the USB port, IOW, the +5V header pin is not connected at all. So, this configuration allows to use the new SXKey together with target systems powered with any possible voltage, e.g. 5V, or 3.3V.


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2006\07\29@160311 by beann/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, bean wrote:

GŁnther,
 Thanks for the info.

Bean.

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2006\07\31@125529 by dkemppain/a
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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, dkemppai wrote:

The new SX/Key USB is designed in a way that only the components on the SXKey board are powered from the USB port, IOW, the +5V header pin is not connected at all. So, this configuration allows to use the new SXKey together with target systems powered with any possible voltage, e.g. 5V, or 3.3V.



Ah-HA! I knew it would be easy.

I even offered to help them build it! I'm really glad that parallax is on the ball on this one!!!

-Dan
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2006\07\31@130346 by kgraceyn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, kgracey wrote:

Dan, Phillip and others:

I'll also let you know that the price of the SX-Key will be going down, likely in September. The decrease should be substantial. This will hold true for the current and new USB versions. Any concern you have about the total cost of the SX-Key (the tool + shipping to UK) would easily be alleviated.

Now let's just hope that Lauren doesn't read this message, 'cause she'll shoot me for spillin' the beans (or dropping the Keys).

Ken Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

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