Project log PCBs in the free PCB drawer?

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Project log PCBs in the free PCB drawer?

Postby ian » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:14 am

What do you think about adding popular project log PCBs to the free PCB drawer? I can make up 10 PCBs and add them to the inventory.

If you're interested, please PM me a link to your finished project log and tested, open source (CC-BY-SA or "free-er") PCB files.

It's not required, and I would never add a board without explicit permission.

People who followed the project and wanted PCBs would be welcome to them.

Schazamp's Bus Pirate breakout board is already in the store: ... ucts_id=66

Does this sound like something fun?
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Re: Project log PCBs in the free PCB drawer?

Postby schazamp » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:40 am

I often think that the least accessible part of open source hardware projects is the PCB. Very seldom do things seem specifically designed for a single-sided board that is easy to make at home, and many people have not taken the leap into home PCB fab anyway. Having one-off PCBs fabbed can get pretty expensive (tens of dollars, depending on size), or even with a service like Seeed's (with quite reasonable prices), you'll end up with some extras, maybe more than you want. There is a lot of advantage (as you've obviously realized) to doing group buys or ordering in bulk and hoping to resell, which tends to work OK as a project creator (I often can cover the cost of the prototype PCBs by selling the extras for a few bucks), but is not so appealing for somebody else's awesome project that I just want to build. So in that regard, being able to buy a PCB for a few bucks (even $5, plus shipping) has a lot of appeal.

On the other hand, indiscriminately flooding the market (which could be as easy as making 10 boards available) could hurt the ability of the original creator to recoup some of the prototyping costs. In my case, having produced the board and done a few runs (over several board revisions), I doubt I will be making further developments on it, at least, until BP4 is readily available. Making 10 boards (or 10s of boards) to resell doesn't seem worth the hassle, at least for this project, and I doubt there would be demand for 100s of boards without a lot of work promoting it. So I have no objections to having this board in the PCB drawer and making it available to other people who could use it. But if I were still trying to recoup costs, or do a regular production and sale thing with a board, I would not welcome the competition (though, to be fair, it is open hardware, and anyone can do whatever they want with it, even undercut me. but I don't have to like it.).

That's all to say that, if there's interest in a particular board and the creator is for it, I think it's a great idea.
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