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Thread: $9 computer on kicstarter

  1. #1
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    $9 computer on kicstarter

    I'm sure some of you have seen this already. If this comes to fruition I wonder if this would make for a decent partner for a teensy. It has wifi/bluetooth and video out, and appears open source.
    I don't know what the interconnects are, but I wonder if a teensy could use it to store data, for the occasional communication, and if the teensy could put the CHIP to sleep, etc (or vice-versa).

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...st-9-computer/

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    If you read the comments section, you will see a big gripe is the $20 shipping. So it is a $29 computer that may or may not deliver in December. If I wanted to connect to an HDMI terminal it is $15 more for the adpater, and $10 for a VGA terminal for the adapter (obviously the terminal itself is not connected). That means a unit with the HDMI option is $44. It only has one USB port, so you better through in a USB hub as well. Figure $5 or so for a HUB, so we are nearly up to $50 for the $9 computer.

    I can buy a Raspberry Pi model 2 for $30 at my local MIcro Center which is a quad core chip with 1GB memory (C.H.I.P. is single core, 512MB). I can add USB wifi for $5, and a 4GB micro sd card for $4. That is $39 for something I can buy right now.

    So I don't see the attraction for single unit sales due to the shipping cost. Perhaps if you are buying more it becomes more reasonable.

    However, if you want to talk about C.H.I.P. I would back the chip and talk in their forum. I would prefer to talk about Teensy's here.

  3. #3
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    I did not know about the shipping cost. It certainly leaves a bad taste. That alone probably makes this a non-starter.

    I don't see this as a competitor to teensy though. The reason I mention this, is because there's a few things that are challenging to do with a teensy, and that maybe a $9 computer piggy-backed (a daughterboard if you will) to the teensy could allow. I know it's likely problematic, and there's probably multiple hurdles that make it not feasible (and the teensy community is pretty good about recognizing those). I don't mean to go in depth into the CHIP here, just in how it could assist a teensy. We've talked about Pi and BeagleBone, which is along this line.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    When I saw this a few days ago, I guess I immediately dismissed it without even looking. But wow, that's a lot of backers!

    My calculator says the average pledge is a little over $50... a bit more than $9, though the highest rewards have multiples.

    I don't want to be too pessimistic or negative, and I don't want to discourage anyone from backing a project, especially at the very low monetary risk of the lower reward levels. But I'm personally taking a somewhat skeptical "wait and see" approach.

  5. #5
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    10x Pocket C.H.I.P. => 100$ Shipping

    ???

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    in for 1. $5 shipping is less than what most charge. built in wifi and bluetooth is hard to beat. thanks for posting.

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    I'd like to announce the new Teensy-ULC (Ultra Low Cost)!!

    Prices start at only $1.50!

    (Includes micro USB cable. Does not include PCB, MCU, bootloader support chip, crystal, soldering fee, postage, packing, advertising, testing charges, inflation, made up taxes and product research contribution).

  8. #8
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    I can beat that price !
    The same above as EULC (Extreme Ulta Low Cost) Edition - without USB Cable: $1.00

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    Senior Member mortonkopf's Avatar
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    Latest offer DO-EULC - same as EULC Edition, but download only: $0.50c

  10. #10
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    FWIW, shipping cost to US that European sellers charge is about the same or actually even higher.
    (just to keep this in context, $20 shipping is for international shipping. it is $5 for US)
    Try olimex website and add an item to your cart to see how much shipping they charge.
    I tried a 5.5EUR item and the shipping to US is 17.04EUR.
    I think one teensy to Europe would cost $19.98+$13.36=$33.34.
    International shipping is generally not cheap.
    Maybe wait for a local reseller when this becomes generally available.

    I think iot soc will be the next big thing, if not already.
    Last edited by doughboy; 05-12-2015 at 06:29 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
    International shipping is generally not cheap.
    True in general, with the curious exception of China. It still amazes me I can buy a Arduino Pro Mini knockoff clone on Ebay for less than $3 total, including shipping to US.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Epyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
    I think one teensy to Europe would cost $19.98+$13.36=$33.34.
    You also need to add VAT (+21% generally) and declaration costs (around €11) for any shipment with a value above €21 (including shipping costs!). There used to be a time where customs let all small packages transit undisturbed, but (at least in Belgium) that is history now.

  13. #13
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    That $9 CHIP is going nuts: $1,128,008 and 21,933 backers with 23 days to go

    Instead of a low cost Teensy LC or Teensy-ULC and variants - there is a 121% funded ($6100) ZERO compatible for only $20 coming next month:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ref=nav_search

  14. #14
    Senior Member onehorse's Avatar
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    Wow! This looks better than the Edison and way way cheaper. How can they do this?

  15. #15
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I think it's important to keep in mind this is a Kickstarter campaign. It might turn into a viable product, or it might go a lot of other ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epyon View Post
    You also need to add VAT (+21% generally) and declaration costs (around €11) for any shipment with a value above €21 (including shipping costs!). There used to be a time where customs let all small packages transit undisturbed, but (at least in Belgium) that is history now.
    I think it is common practice to mark the package as samples with $0 value. That's what's usually marked on the custom forms on packages I get from China or Canada.

    for packages coming to US, as long as it is not "commercial quantity", there is no tax as long as the item value is not high and is for personal use.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    I think it's important to keep in mind this is a Kickstarter campaign. It might turn into a viable product, or it might go a lot of other ways.
    Just wondering what is the likelihood of a project with $50k goal getting over $1M to go south?
    This is way better than going to Shark Tank and giving up equity for a lot less funding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
    I think it is common practice to mark the package as samples with $0 value. That's what's usually marked on the custom forms on packages I get from China or Canada.

    for packages coming to US, as long as it is not "commercial quantity", there is no tax as long as the item value is not high and is for personal use.
    In the US the limit for customs/brokerage fees is $2500 USD. If the value is under that, there are no fees. With Federal Express the customs/brokerage fee is around $35 (their minimum fee) for a package valued at approx $2500 - $300. The value of the package will not effect whether or not sales/use taxes apply.

  19. #19
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    Well funded kickstarter projects do fail. In fact, I tend to think when a product becomes too successful, it often times starts sowing the seeds of its own defeat.

    One of the first kickstarter projects I backed was the original triggertrap (AVR processor controlled camera shutter control). When I backed the triggertrap, I had never done any microprocessor programming, and it seemed like an interesting project. At the time, it was in the top 20 of the projects with the highest funding. They had more than their share of bad luck, with the LCD screen they were using went out of production and the new ones weren't compatible, one Chinese 'factory' ran off with the money instead of producing the products. Even so, I did eventually get my unit almost a year after their original promised date, so it wasn't a spectacular fail. As a side note, while I was waiting for the triggertrap, I bought an Uno, and had recreated a simple shutter release.

    However, triggertrap decides to come back to kickstarter to try again, this time with a new product, the Ada. They raised $500,000, and then later had to admit defeat and refund some amount of the money. You can read about it here: https://medium.com/@Haje/how-a-half-...n-5482d7d33ee1

    Another KS project that I just backed was suspended, when KS came to the conclusion that project creators had lied about the details of how they created a 'wood' watch. This one had $424,000 in backers before KS suspended it: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ed-nature-made. They have moved on to indiegogo, which has less strict rules, and seem to be at $95,000 or so. The backers seem to be split between those who felt betrayed and those who just wanted the watches.

    Of all the 38 KS projects I have backed (1 suspended, 35 done, 2 active), the Teensy 3.0 is the only one that was anywhere close to being on time. I originally thought it was the only one that shipped on time, but Paul has said he was a few days late.

  20. #20
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    For what it's worth I'd say it's competing with the Pi rather than Teensy and is at least taking it in an interesting direction and may be a move by Allwinner into the maker/dev board market, with an English speaking development team using Chinese IP. Question of course is if it is really a $9 computer when it needs add on's to do anything.

    They aren't trying to call it 'arduino compatible' at least, so +1 for skipping that buzzword, and you don't get 'for everyone' until the third paragraph.

  21. #21
    It's a allwinner A13 (http://linux-sunxi.org/A13)

    The A13 is a cheaper version of the A10 which lacks HDMI-transmitter and SATA-controller, as it is primarily targeted towards tablets. The A13 also lacks G2D and therefor needs to rely on NEON code for 2d acceleration.
    some guys a bit back were working with the A10 ... http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/ and their "Embedded Open Modular Architecture" (EOMA-68) which was a pretty neat idea, a SOC in a pcmcia form factor.

    One thing that is interesting is how Allwinner are pretty big violators of the GPL - http://linux-sunxi.org/GPL_Violations

    I believe all of rhombus-tech's pcbs and stuff are opensource (not sure what license) http://git.rhombus-tech.net/

    I'm a little surprised more people aren't jumping on these allwinner chips.

    If you want something now, the Banana pi (v1) is $35 with a A20 chip (other banana pi's have high costs with more features - up to a quadcore with wifi) You can grab a tablet with the A13 for $50 (I got a 7" one for 30 on sale - screen blows but hey $30!)

  22. #22
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Turned out, that this was a fake ("time-limited promotion")

    The article on Heise: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldu...r-2680723.html
    (Sorry, German language)

    Translation via google translate: https://translate.google.de/translat...-text=&act=url

    Edit :
    The Olimex post:
    https://olimex.wordpress.com/2015/06...-you-20-for-9/

    The statement from Allwinner:
    “CHIP 9$ computer launched a big advertising campaign to promote their new development board, their actual cost is higher than 9$. After the Kickstarter their computer will sell for 39$.”
    Last edited by Frank B; 06-07-2015 at 07:41 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you mean by time-limited promotion. If you go to the kickstarter campaign (which evidently just closed), you will be able sign up to pre-order the unit at the same price as the kickstarter campaign. Perhaps it was originally $35, and the article and other similar articles shamed them into reducing the prices back to $9, I dunno.

    That is the nature of some kickstarter campaigns, where the initial backers kick in money, and if the project is successful you get the doodad cheaper than the eventual retail project will cost. You are paying for initial development. On the other hand, the project might not be successful, and the initial backers are left high and dry. Where a lot of people get hung up with kickstarter, is thinking it is a normal retail store with finished products, where as I tend to see it as a tip jar to help fund the next product, and you get some rewards if successful (and you might get a pile of junk).

    While there might be other areas where they might have been problematical in terms of their promises (the GPL violations that were mentioned for instance, and the original high price of shipping), I don't think it is a problem in offering a product to initial backers for a lower price and then when you go through the normal retail pipeline, the price is higher. After all, when you go the full retail route, it becomes a regular job where people expect to be paid regular wages, and not something done in a garage to get the orders out. And in the retail route, you had additional middlemen like distributors.

    The triggertrap Ada that I mentioned before had the problem that they seriously mis-calcuated what the true costs were to make it as a product. They could build and sell it for $150, but the market for those type of devices might have been $50 per unit. They had to go through the issue of trying to refund what money they could.

    Remember, the Teensy 3.0 was originally a kickstarter campaign, and it sold for $22 at the low end, including US postage. If you buy a Teensy 3.0 from PJRC right now, it is $19, and shipping is $7.95 ($26.95). If I go over to Micro Center and order a 3.1 with standard shipping, it would be $25.98. Now, since I have two stores locally (MicroCenter and You-do-it) that sell Teensy's, I can avoid the shipping charge if I drive to the store, but in the general case, you can't avoid it.

    As I said earlier, once you price things out to include display output, etc., for me, it makes more sense to stay with Raspberry Pi (particularly since the main thing I do with Pi's is attach the camera, which is not yet an option for this other board). This is particularly true, since I can go out now and buy a new Pi, with lots of different options for hats, etc. and I don't have to wait until they finally ship.

    FWIW, I bought one of the original Pi's in their roll-out, and then let it sit on the shelf for about 3 years, until I came up with a use for it. By the time I looked at the Pi again, the infrastructure had blossomed. Hopefully the infrastructure for the unit will also blossom. However, I suspect that by now the Pi has become the dominant force, and Beagle Bone Black, pcDunio, banana pi, etc. are niche players.
    Last edited by MichaelMeissner; 06-07-2015 at 08:24 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMeissner View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by time-limited promotion.
    That is a statement from ALLWINNER, not mine.

    Olimex: "How to get in the News? Tell people that you will make and sell something which cost you $20 for $9!"
    Last edited by Frank B; 06-07-2015 at 08:25 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Was considering backing, when it was at about 27 hours. Looks like I missed out on getting a $39 product for only $9. But it probably woulda just lived on the shelf, next 5 Raspberry Pis, two Beaglebones, and a couple Wandboards.

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