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#87629 - 15/04/2002 09:52 Tuners, empeg, for the use of
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1091
Loc: UK
OK.

I was going to wait a little longer to say this, but what the hell...

It doesn't look likely that Sonicblue will be making more tuners, since
the batch size needs to be quite large ( >= 1000 units ) to make it worth
their while, especially for a no-longer-produced product.

The same problem exists for any third-part supplier that wishes to produce
the original design. There is a lot of investment, in the 80-100 kilodollar
range needed to do them this way.

I need a number of tuner modules myself, for friends, family, and the like.
Also, I get the impression that there are a few other people that might be
mildly interested if the tuners were available.

So. What to to do? After some thought, I have decided that the best solution
is to redesign the PCB of the existing tuner to be mainly through-hole, then
produce it as a kit.

Note: this is not a firm promise (yet) to do this. I am chasing the supplier
of the tuner modules for pricing and availability, and I'm still waiting for
a final price in small quantities. They're more than happy to deal with me,
but they are themselves waiting for the data from Temic in Germany. I have
also enquired as to the price and availability of the weatherband version as
well.

In addition, I have to finish the PCB (a few days work at most), work out
exactly what the kit contents should be, and decide on what case to use. This
last item is, oddly enough, the most difficult to solve.

Once the costs have been worked out, I then need to finalise a price to the
end user, and solve a few vexing questions, such as how to accept the payment
and the best way to ship the things at minimum cost. However, these are all
fairly achievable goals.

Assuming everything works out from a cost basis, I then need to make a couple
of test units to check that everything works, have one or two assembled by
someone else to check it's easy enough to do and the instructions are valid, and
work out what batch size to produce.

Based on the information I currently have, I think that batches of 25 kits at
once would be the best size to go for initially. I am estimating the final
kit cost will be approximately $150 US, but there may be some modification to
this as the prices of the parts come in.

The idea is to produce a kit containing everything necessary to allow someone
moderately comfortable with a soldering iron to build. I have neither the time
or really the inclination to build them myself for sale, but I'm sure that there
is someone present who does. So even the programmers can get one made

In addition, I intend to add a few small modifications to the basic design, ie.
bring out to some suitable connector the 3 unused A to D channels the PIC has
available, and possibly add a couple of digital IOs. It would also be doable
to add one or two thermocouple inputs, if this is of any interest.

With a little luck, it should be possible to produce the first kits for around
the middle of June.

Comments?

Patrick
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#87630 - 15/04/2002 10:03 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Comments?

You are, obviously, The Bloke.
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#87631 - 15/04/2002 10:05 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
This is definitely a red-letter day in Empeg history... Within two minutes I read posts saying that integer Ogg libraries are available for free as in beer, and now it looks like tuner modules might possibly become available!

I already have a tuner and I'm excited, so I can only imagine how thrilled non-tuner owners are going to be at this news.

Thanks for all your efforts, Patrick, and I hope you can make all the planets align properly to pull this off.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#87632 - 15/04/2002 10:10 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
<applause>
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#87633 - 15/04/2002 10:24 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Thank you!!!
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#87634 - 15/04/2002 10:27 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: tfabris]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
I'm not sure I'd want to buy a kit from this man. He's knocked out some pretty dodgy stuff over the years - jet engines that can't match their mass with thrust, wierd car stereos that don't play CD's, you name it.

Besides, have you seen his photo??

Rob

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#87635 - 15/04/2002 10:31 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: rob]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5757
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Besides, have you seen his photo??

I've always suspected that Patrick is Alan Cox's long lost, clean shaven brother...

P.S. I'll take four kits.


Edited by andy (15/04/2002 10:33)
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#87636 - 15/04/2002 10:35 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: rob]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
I think he could be Jack the freaking Ripper and people would still pay him to make tuner kits. Don't know if you've heard or not, but there's a bit of a demand.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#87637 - 15/04/2002 10:39 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: rob]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
wierd car stereos that don't play CD's

I would love to install one of these CD-less car stereos in my horseless carriage!

Oh wait, I guess I already did...
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#87638 - 15/04/2002 10:44 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Micman2b
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 441
Loc: Central, NC, USA
Patrick,
Sounds great. I will be in the market for two of these tuner modules.
_________________________
_____________
Sean in NC
130gb MK2a w/ 32mb ram
80gb MK2a empeg spare

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#87639 - 15/04/2002 10:57 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
phi144
enthusiast

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 314
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
You ARE (well, could be) da man!!
_________________________
Doug

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#87640 - 15/04/2002 11:01 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
I'd say at $150 you'd need more like 100 kits with the initial build...
http://www.eden2.com/empeg/?results=1
_________________________
guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

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#87641 - 15/04/2002 11:07 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: guardian__J]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1091
Loc: UK
I'd say at $150 you'd need more like 100 kits with the initial build...

It's not quite that simple. The costs to me of a batch of 25 will be several thousand dollars, and my cash flow is not unlimited. I will, at first, have to produce fairly small batches.

The PCBs, which are the most time-consuming part to get made, will probably be done in 100-off quantities to keep the price down to reasonable levels, after the prototype run.

Patrick
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#87642 - 15/04/2002 11:26 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1383
Loc: MA but Irish born
this is great news!

my hat is off to you Patrick for the effort you have put into this.
do keeps us informed of things as they happen
also given the demand it is possibly that you might be able to get pre-paid for a larger first round batch
finally how long do you expext to have these fits available - assuming it all goes ahead? just trying to figure out if I need to cover all my bases now, or if picking on up in the future will be on option.

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#87643 - 15/04/2002 13:51 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2564
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
This is great news! I'll take 3 of them, probably four.

BTW, the additions you mention also sound very sweet! I welcome all the additions that can be made to perfection my favourite toy with open arms! (and I'm sure I'm not the only one)

You've just made my day!

Thanks!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#87644 - 15/04/2002 13:52 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Tyris
journeyman

Registered: 07/04/2002
Posts: 51
Loc: Texas, USA
That's great! I'll need at least one... BTW, do you need any financial support to get things moving quicker? Just let me know if you do.
_________________________
Tyris
MkIIa 10gb Blue - 040103702

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#87645 - 15/04/2002 15:34 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
I (like many others I guess) would happily pay the full kit price in advance if that helps at all, even if the actual kit price ends up being higher than anticipated.

I could also assemble some kits for UK folks who don't feel happy tackling this for themselves.

Rue

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#87646 - 15/04/2002 15:38 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: Tyris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
-Tyris
"There is no spoon."


_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#87647 - 15/04/2002 15:42 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: tfabris]
Tyris
journeyman

Registered: 07/04/2002
Posts: 51
Loc: Texas, USA
See, I told you there wasn't a spoon...
_________________________
Tyris
MkIIa 10gb Blue - 040103702

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#87648 - 15/04/2002 16:01 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Satan_X
enthusiast

Registered: 22/03/2002
Posts: 251
Loc: Ramsey, NJ
In my world, you sir, are a Fellow. Count me in as another person willing to pay up front for a tuner....

*runs off to find someone who is good at soldering*
_________________________
VW R32 Empeg 50gig 'Stormy 3 has snuck in a dodgeball' - Stormy 1

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#87649 - 15/04/2002 16:01 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Satan_X
enthusiast

Registered: 22/03/2002
Posts: 251
Loc: Ramsey, NJ
In my world, you sir, are a Fellow. Count me in as another person willing to pay up front for a tuner....

*runs off to find someone who is good at soldering*
_________________________
VW R32 Empeg 50gig 'Stormy 3 has snuck in a dodgeball' - Stormy 1

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#87650 - 15/04/2002 16:03 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
Satan_X
enthusiast

Registered: 22/03/2002
Posts: 251
Loc: Ramsey, NJ
By the way........you are in the running for some nice beer shipped out to you.....
_________________________
VW R32 Empeg 50gig 'Stormy 3 has snuck in a dodgeball' - Stormy 1

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#87651 - 15/04/2002 16:27 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: BartDG]
Alexander
member

Registered: 02/05/2000
Posts: 108
Loc: SF Bay Area
Normally I'm not too keen on the soldering (being a programmer and all ), but I can do it if it's through-hole, and it's just an afternoon, right?

Oh, and regarding the run size...If the design is solid, I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble finding someone with enough extra cash to get parts and put together kits -- i.e. you ship them 100+ PCBs, they buy all the components, dole them out to the kits, and sell them. Heck, I might even be able to be suckered into doing it.

BTW, approximately how many individual components per kit are we talking?

And for enclosure, I'm thinking "ball of electrical tape". Stylish and fun!

Alex


Edited by Alexander (15/04/2002 16:35)

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#87652 - 15/04/2002 16:32 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: Alexander]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
One thing that I would LOVE to see is a way to make remote antennas go up only when the radio is active, not anytime the empeg is on.

This is already built-in to version 2.0 of the software and with the antenna extension cable. The antenna extension cable (assuming it's correctly wired and is not affected by this defect) contains a separate antenna-remote-activation wire that will only turn on when the radio is on.

If you are using the main sled's blue "Amp Remote" wire to raise your antenna, then that's your problem, the antenna is up when your amplifier is on. Re-wire using the tuner extension cable correctly, and you will have the thing you desire.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#87653 - 15/04/2002 16:33 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: tfabris]
Alexander
member

Registered: 02/05/2000
Posts: 108
Loc: SF Bay Area
Oop, didn't know that. Cool. And it's not that I have it wired incorrectly, it's just that I don't have a tuner. (and remember reading about that limitation)


Edited by Alexander (15/04/2002 16:34)

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#87654 - 15/04/2002 16:40 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: Alexander]
Alexander
member

Registered: 02/05/2000
Posts: 108
Loc: SF Bay Area
Oh, and rob, will there be any problem getting SB to release the tuner design and OK these kits?

Alex

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#87655 - 15/04/2002 16:45 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: pca]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
Would it help to offer two kit levels, e.g.
Kit 1: PCB, pre-programmed PIC and Temic module but no case, no discretes but possibly 'odd' parts such as the empeg mating connector.
Kit 2: (What you said earlier).

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#87656 - 15/04/2002 16:55 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: AndrewT]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
If Henry Ford's long-time example is relevant here, then offering different kinds of kits would just make it MORE difficult to get the product out the door rather than less difficult.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#87657 - 15/04/2002 17:00 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: tfabris]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Well, no matter whether it's a plastic case or a bundle of electrical tape, it'll still be black.

(Boy, I hope you're talking about the same Ford quote I'm thinking of.)
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#87658 - 15/04/2002 17:00 Re: Tuners, empeg, for the use of [Re: tfabris]
Satan_X
enthusiast

Registered: 22/03/2002
Posts: 251
Loc: Ramsey, NJ
One kit at a time...........some of us are tuner impaired....
_________________________
VW R32 Empeg 50gig 'Stormy 3 has snuck in a dodgeball' - Stormy 1

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