Web platform: kit vs assembled

The web platform, December’s project of the month, is our second to be offered as a kit or as assembled hardware. We guessed that the kit would be the most popular option, but we were totally wrong. Seeed Studio’s latest report shows the assembled version is preferred almost 3 to 1. Is it the SSOP FTDI chip?

Seeed now lists assembled hardware by default, tick the box to get a kit instead and save $5. If you accidentally bought a kit, but wanted assembled hardware, there’s still time to contact Seeed to make a switch before the orders ship.

Thanks to everyone who supported this project. We’re busy working on an introduction to PIC programming for the web platform, look for that article next week.

The web platform is available as a kit for $35, including worldwide shipping. Seeed Studio will assemble yours for $5 more.

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  1. > Is it the SSOP FTDI chip?

    Yup. Can’t afford to take a chance shagging one for $35, and can’t swing one of each right now. Goin’ with the sure thing. Tried that chip once and it didn’t go that well.

  2. Ah, which reminds me that I asked the Seeed guys 1-2 weeks ago about making more blank PCBs (for this) and they said that had to check with you first. But I never heard back from them. I told them that I was interested in 1-2 of them for just this reason — I wanted to practice on them since I had a few of the parts already.

  3. The PCB is CC-BY-SA, make boards wherever you like. I’ll release it into the public domain after they start shipping and I get a few SparkFun library parts out of the design.

    Seeed should have 5 extra boards from my order ready to ship, the v1a board is slightly different (some labels) but not in any meaningful way. They’re really slow to list the propaganda (now Fusion) boards, there must not be much money in it for them, maybe if you ask Eric he’ll sell you those.

  4. I did consider doing a take-5-leave-5 Fusion order, but I didn’t necessarily want five of my own. I was thinking that this would be the best time for them to make “extras” if they thought there was any chance of selling them as they’re running them already for the pre-order. I would also have thought that if they already had a few that they’d have mentioned it.

    I didn’t know anything about the listing delay. I’d assumed that your extras were already gone because you did refer to them many weeks ago and there’s been none there for at least two weeks. I figured that if they had any they’d list them so that people could snap them up during the pre-order period.

    My powers of prediction are clearly inadequate.

    Thanks again… great project!

  5. I`m not suprised that assembled is the most popular option, given the small price difference between the two options.

    I`m sure that although 99% of purchasers are capable of building the kit, the time taken to do it, along with testing, is going to be worth more than the extra $5 it costs to have it assembled and guaranteed tested and working.

  6. The SSOP FTDI chip is extremely easy to solder. Take a soldering iron, put a small dab of solder on the tip, use plenty of flux and slowly run the rip of the iron across the FTDI pins while holding the chip in place using some pliers or something else sturdy.

    Most of my own boards are all 0603 parts, and they are easy enough to solder using a soldering iron!

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