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39 minutes ago, John Chow Seymour said:

Yes, I wonder about that.  I don't know exactly what volume the MiniPET has sold in, but it's probably low enough that someone might have arranged those by hand (?) Or has someone developed a machine that will arrange multiple components in a single foam block in a bespoke arrangement?

(In any case, while that was neat, I don't need it to be done like that... identifying minimally-labelled parts is part of the fun of the kit experience.)

I could see a machine picker being able to place the components, provided it can calibrate the expected height of the surface, such as when dealing with PCBs with different layer counts. There may be a maximum value to that height calibration, however, which makes it impossible for the picker to adjust to a foam sheet. There may be other mechanical problems with feeding a foam sheet instead of rigid plastic PCBs, as well. Someone from the Shenzhen area might know if they're friendly with PCBWay (or the like).

PCBWaaaaaaaaaaay.

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Minipet's IC arrangement on foam definitely assisted build, orientation, and even contributed to the sturdiness for transport.  As much as I've corresponded with Dave, I don't know what volume or what means were leveraged but my sense is that everything was arranged by hand.  If you look closely at the MiniPet board, you'll notice very very few components other than the ICs and none of the resistors or diodes or caps were labeled but it was an easy build as long as you don't mind near 1000 solder points.  This looks to be about 25%-50% larger but trades some amount of tedium (in all of the little key switches) for more sockets and variation of unique parts in some of the more interesting sections of the board.

Logistics of procuring and stocking parts for an output qty of hundred or more x16s is probably worth it but at small scale, I can't say it would be (my opinion; and saying this without a good view of the board)

I'm pretty big in the vintage synth DIY world and have built some monsters (discreet / non-IC) projects such as the CrOwBX.  Mouser carts are often the way although maintaining an updated list of materials pending availability, especially in other regions of the world is a challenge in itself but if this project has legs (and I think it does), somebody might pop up and 'own' the lifecycle of maintaining an up to date BOM.

Having said this, I'll echo others comments which includes the sentiment that a community of builders will pop-up and help those in need.  People will also offer build or troubleshooting (board fixes) services.  But I'm all in on a kit form  for myself in whatever format it is made available. TFW8b has been very good helping me interface an old Northstar CRT, mess with a joystick adapter for the MiniPet, and has offered (at some point) to address a timing issue that I have with composite output.  I see many many many more people collaborating here.  Most of us do it for the love of 8 bit.

 

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2 hours ago, EMwhite said:

... Mouser carts are often the way although maintaining an updated list of materials pending availability, especially in other regions of the world is a challenge in itself but if this project has legs (and I think it does), somebody might pop up and 'own' the lifecycle of maintaining an up to date BOM.
...

I didn't even consider something like Mouser carts. The design team could offer a board + Vera + the two sound chips and build instructions as an add-on to one of the three versions of assembled boards in a full size case (which even with the CX16e board would still give an operational reference point to verify that the build worked) ... and a Mouser cart (or similar) to obtain the "in current general production" parts. That might substantially reduce fulfillment costs for the team.

Edited by BruceMcF
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An off-topic but applicable example; an outfit called "Thonk" sells kits for just about everything DIY-synth these days and I was in on a number of group buys in early days and some less polished DIY 5-10 yrs ago.  Point is they offer 'partial-kits' which may include the eurorack machined or dye-sub ink'd 'panel', pcb and most importantly, some of the more difficult to find parts.  Sometimes this is an unusual part that the project leads have moulded, sometimes it's or rare NOS transistors that synth manufacturers used in the mid-80s.  Have a quick look a one here: https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/prok-snare-panel-pcb/

Docs are typically very good and they have videos etc. Also, most of the build forums in places like Muffwiggler in the DIY section have support areas but the point is that indeed, a Mouser list for standard parts and a direct sourcing or hard to find or specialized might be a way to go.  I just bought a set of Cherry switches and the shift-lock components for the Petskey kit.  Can be shared (small use-case, but still); https://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=f484f09934

Will let you know in a week if I bought the correct parts : )

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I didn't even consider something like Mouser carts. The design team could offer a board + Vera + the two sound chips and build instructions as an add-on to one of the three versions of assembled boards in a full size case (which even with the CX16e board would still give an operational reference point to verify that the build worked) ... and a Mouser cart (or similar) to obtain the "in current general production" parts. That might substantially reduce fulfillment costs for the team.
Firstly thank you for these ideas.

We are likely not going to go that way, and would prefer to supply everything in one tidy box.
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12 hours ago, Perifractic said:

We are likely not going to go that way, and would prefer to supply everything in one tidy box. emoji4.png

I would prefer that, as it is easier for me. But to be honest, that might be easier for the team to put the sourceing to the people utilizing their numbers (more hands) and therefore enable more speed for the delivery. 

Another Idea could be (not sure if that is possible) to create a kit with Mouser (for example) and have a specific SKU on Mouser for that set, so that you can simply order it and Mouser can deliver it - and in the end you have the right stuff in your hands. Maybe a doable compromise to get the burden off of your shoulders.

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7 hours ago, SerErris said:

Another Idea could be (not sure if that is possible) to create a kit with Mouser (for example) and have a specific SKU on Mouser for that set, so that you can simply order it and Mouser can deliver it - and in the end you have the right stuff in your hands. Maybe a doable compromise to get the burden off of your shoulders.

The challenge to something like that is that Mouser could change manufacturers on a part, causing a change in appearance and/or markings, which would impact the instructions. The team would never know, and someone may post a question which leaves someone scratching their head until they realize that a substitution was made which made the instructions no so clear.

If the goal for the kit is for those knowledgeable enough on electronics to be able to handle that situation, then the market for the kit is drastically reduced.

I'm not a part of the team, but the way I envision the kit is something more akin to a Heathkit product - aimed at a someone who's willing to take on a project, has some reasonable soldering skills, and who can follow instructions. But someone who may not be able to tell an electrolytic capacitor from a ceramic, without something to help the user tell them apart.

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Appreciate the input here chaps, and by all means chat about it, but we won't be doing a Mouser kit as stated. It'll all be supplied by us. Very likely it will all be assembled in house where possible, by an appointed team.

We do not want the pitfalls you've seen with other projects where some aspects not in house led to major production issues, only realized when batches arrived.

Where possible things will be done in a hands on manner where we can oversee. This likely includes kit assembly. Naturally it excludes production of parts that can only come from a factory.

Obviously nothing is official until made as an announcement and launch, so hold fire until we announce the final details. Cheers!

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Yes, one advantage of the team is there are a range of experiences present, on both supplier & consumer side, so you'll have a reasonable handle on quite a few of the hidden pitfalls.

Edited by BruceMcF
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Appreciate the input here chaps, and by all means chat about it, but we won't be doing a Mouser kit as stated. It'll all be supplied by us. Very likely it will all be assembled in house where possible, by an appointed team.

 

We do not want the pitfalls you've seen with other projects where some aspects not in house led to major production issues, only realized when batches arrived.

 

Where possible things will be done in a hands on manner where we can oversee. This likely includes kit assembly. Naturally it excludes production of parts that can only come from a factory.

 

Obviously nothing is official until made as an announcement and launch, so hold fire until we announce the final details. Cheers!

Are there gonna be empty circuit boards and components separately so you can do it at home?

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44 minutes ago, CKevin said:

Are there gonna be empty circuit boards and components separately so you can do it at home?

Find the answer in this thread above:

On 8/29/2020 at 7:02 PM, Perifractic said:

I'm 99% sure we will release the first wave with a kit option. Worst case it will have a clear message at the point of purchase that we are not responsible for any issues/damage during assembly. There will be plentiful community support available to everyone (as I said in another thread about this same topic recently), and you can bet team-members will also jump in and out to offer help and guidance.

David's main concern is that he not have to offer direct support via email. All support will be via the Support button at this very website.

 

 

Edited by SerErris

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Are there gonna be empty circuit boards and components separately so you can do it at home?
Please see FAQ
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