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PICList Thread
'Project Help'
1997\05\14@015808 by TONY NIXON 54964

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I've developed a PIC project which has been selling quite well for the
last 15 months or so. The trouble is that it is in kit form and thus
mainly appeals to the electronics enthusiast. I am now getting
enqiries from some small businesses about it, but in it's present
form it is not much good to them.

Is there an avenue of help available to develop this into a more
marketable product, or what directions can someone take on thier
own in this situation?

Any help appreciated.

Regards
Tony.


Just when I thought I knew it all,
I learned that I didn't.

1997\05\14@022742 by tjaart

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TONY NIXON 54964 wrote:
>
> I've developed a PIC project which has been selling quite well for the
> last 15 months or so. The trouble is that it is in kit form and thus
> mainly appeals to the electronics enthusiast. I am now getting
> enqiries from some small businesses about it, but in it's present
> form it is not much good to them.
>
> Is there an avenue of help available to develop this into a more
> marketable product, or what directions can someone take on thier
> own in this situation?
>
> Any help appreciated.

It would depend on the product. We have a few manufacturers here
that would be quite willing to make anything. It is usually also
cheaper to buy your components through them, as they get better
price breaks than what you'd be able to squeeze out of the
distributors (for the first while anyway).

Look into having your own enclosures made as well. If you are going
sell more than 5000, you'd be surprised at how much you can save.
Of course you can have "Nixon's Nuker" molded into the plastic, which
will also impress everybody you know :)

Another thing. Save yourself *BIG* bucks by going surface mount.
Although we work with 0805, the 1206 components are usually much
cheaper.

(Yet) Another thing. Avoid having wires soldered onto the board.
Taking into acount the number of comebacks and the assembly costs,
it may be cheaper to have a socket soldered on and then have
harnesses made up.

Let us know how it goes.

--
Friendly Regards

Tjaart van der Walt
spam_OUTtjaartTakeThisOuTspamwasp.co.za
_____________________________________________________________
| Another sun-deprived R&D Engineer slaving away in a dungeon |
|             WASP International  http://wasp.co.za           |
|             GSM and GPS value-added applications            |
|  Voice : +27-(0)11-622-8686   |   Fax : +27-(0)11-622-8973  |
|_____________________________________________________________|

1997\05\14@025510 by Don McKenzie

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TONY NIXON 54964 wrote:
>
> I've developed a PIC project which has been selling quite well for the
> last 15 months or so. The trouble is that it is in kit form and thus
> mainly appeals to the electronics enthusiast. I am now getting
> enqiries from some small businesses about it, but in it's present
> form it is not much good to them.
>
> Is there an avenue of help available to develop this into a more
> marketable product, or what directions can someone take on thier
> own in this situation?

Is it the Programmable Electronic Ignition system for Auto's, Silicon
Chip March 96?
I think you got your programmer from me didn't you Tony?

If you want to do it on your own, there is a company down your side of
Melbourne that can do the assembly work cheap. Jim Robertson was telling
me about them yesterday.
He will give you the details if you want to go that path.

The problem may well be cheap components. You could try XON in Perth.
There prices aren't bad. Melbourne number for a catalogue is 03
95453145.

I have a good contact in Hong Kong, but he is currently ill and I'm not
sure of the future status of supplies.

The alternative is to throw it at someone for full production. I have
had no experience in this part of the world with this. Perhaps others
have. I may need someone in the near future myself. And it doesn't have
to be based in Australia.

Don McKenzie  .....donKILLspamspam@spam@dontronics.com   http://www.dontronics.com

PICSTART and Newfound PIC Programmers Firmware Upgrades.
SLI, the serial LCD that auto detects baud rates from 100 to 125K bps.
SimmStick(tm) A PIC proto PCB the size of a 30 pin Simm Memory Module.
Send a blank message to helpspamKILLspamdontronics.com for more info.

1997\05\14@124303 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 08:21 14/05/97 +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>(Yet) Another thing. Avoid having wires soldered onto the board.
>Taking into acount the number of comebacks and the assembly costs,
>it may be cheaper to have a socket soldered on and then have
>harnesses made up.

I'd like to ask you for some comments on this question wires vs.
connectors. I have a (redesign) project for a very rugged device (for high
temperature industrial environments), and up to now they pot the
electronics and leave some wires coming out (which are soldered into the
PCB) for (solder) connecting to either a connector or a fixed cable leaving
the case. This seems to me the most reliable way to connect the board to
the rest of the world (in this special case of a need for high ruggedness),
so I thought just to let this as it is.

BTW, what do you mean by "make up harnesses"? (I'm not familiar with this
expression.)

Thanks,

Gerhard

1997\05\15@004526 by tjaart

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> At 08:21 14/05/97 +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
> >(Yet) Another thing. Avoid having wires soldered onto the board.
> >Taking into acount the number of comebacks and the assembly costs,
> >it may be cheaper to have a socket soldered on and then have
> >harnesses made up.
>
> I'd like to ask you for some comments on this question wires vs.
> connectors. I have a (redesign) project for a very rugged device (for high
> temperature industrial environments), and up to now they pot the
> electronics and leave some wires coming out (which are soldered into the
> PCB) for (solder) connecting to either a connector or a fixed cable leaving
> the case. This seems to me the most reliable way to connect the board to
> the rest of the world (in this special case of a need for high ruggedness),
> so I thought just to let this as it is.

If it is going to get moved around a bit, it may turn out to be not
such a good idea (Wires have this damn way of breaking inside the
insulation). On the other hand, if it is going to sit inside a box,
you'll get away with it.

We have a voltage converter potted onto a heatsink with a socket coming
out the side. If you use the right connector, the potting compound won't
penetrate it from the back.

>
> BTW, what do you mean by "make up harnesses"? (I'm not familiar with this
> expression.)

Make up the wire side of the plug that goes into the socket with the
correct wire lengths and terminations. Installation personel have a way
of screwing up things that you thought were fool proof.

--
Friendly Regards

Tjaart van der Walt
.....tjaartKILLspamspam.....wasp.co.za
_____________________________________________________________
| Another sun-deprived R&D Engineer slaving away in a dungeon |
|             WASP International  http://wasp.co.za           |
|             GSM and GPS value-added applications            |
|  Voice : +27-(0)11-622-8686   |   Fax : +27-(0)11-622-8973  |
|_____________________________________________________________|

1997\05\15@185815 by Larry G. Nelson Sr.

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There are many consultants on the list that have gone the route and could
probably help you with making this a more marketable product. I would be
willing to look at what you have and give you a quote if it is something
that will take any appreciable time. Another alternative is to check the
IEEE consultant networks in your area or the Entrepeneurs network to see
who would be available in your area.



At 03:25 PM 5/14/97 +1000, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Larry G. Nelson Sr.
EraseMEL.Nelsonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTieee.org
http://www.ultranet.com/~nr

1997\05\16@115053 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 06:40 15/05/97 +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>If it is going to get moved around a bit, it may turn out to be not
>such a good idea (Wires have this damn way of breaking inside the
>insulation). On the other hand, if it is going to sit inside a box,
>you'll get away with it.

The potted part sits inside a case, and the wires go to either a connector
(in the case) or a fixed cable.

>We have a voltage converter potted onto a heatsink with a socket coming
>out the side. If you use the right connector, the potting compound won't
>penetrate it from the back.

I'm somewhat reluctant to the idea of another connector in the middle...
it's going to be very hot, maybe corrosive (even though the case is fairly
tight) around.

Anyone any experiences with potting (connected, obviously!) connectors?
Seems not like a good idea to me.


>Installation personel have a way of screwing up things that you thought
>were fool proof.

Not only _installation_ personnel -- one of the most interesting parts of
designing stuff for people to _use_ is to learn about the zillion ways it
can be _abused_... :-)

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