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  • µCurrent GOLD is now available for general sale

    Posted on May 21st, 2014 EEVblog 36 comments

    As the title says, available from my new shop HERE.

    FYI, there are no plans to sell it through distributors like last time.

     

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    • Matt

      Sounds good, Dave.

      (and the comments are working!)

    • Johm

      Is the uRuler available too?

      • henrik

        Yes, put up the uRuler for sale also. I want one!

    • Josh

      Got mine ordered – will be useful around the lab and a little thanks to Dave for the great videos. Top stuff for offering international shipping in the price, makes it a lot more palatable for us Pommies :)

      • http://www.geppettoelectronics.com/ Nick

        …us Yanks too.

    • darren

      been after one of these for a while now -im thankfull its so easy to buy them now -thanks dave

    • Jim H

      This will be great for current vs voltage waveforms on a scope for teaching reactance attributes.

    • http://mageofmachines.com/ Sarah Thompson

      Awesome. Order placed. :-)

      This will get used helping me test prototype space hardware.

      Sarah (from NASA Ames in California)

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Nice!

      • http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mssl Josh

        Shout out from Mullard Space Science Lab (we’re the largest such universtiy group in the UK) here – also got one on order!

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          The uCurrent seems to be used a lot in science and physics type stuff. Someone posted on the forum a photo of using a dozen of them to measure some impulse rocket engine or something. Very cool.

    • Pedram

      it isn’t a little over priced ?

      • (*steve*)

        Yes, because Dave should work for free.

        • Pedram

          i didn’t say free. but $79 is a little expensive. the BOM costs ~$20@1k and manufacturing should not cost more than $10

          i think $40 it a reasonable price.

          • darren

            people are paying what dave asks for it because its a quality product from a trusted source,also we want support dave to keep the blog going-so I look at cost as product+donation

          • Root

            Yes, far too expensive.

          • Matt

            You haven’t factored in labour. $79 is about 2 hours worth of work for the average Australian. If you were going to build one yourself it would take a lot longer than that.

          • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

            The BOM cost is more than $20
            If you think that a $30 manufacture cost product should be sold for $40 then you won’t ever make it in this business. You’d be working for slave labor wages.
            Also, it means you can’t have reseller if you wanted to, because there would be zero margin for you.

            • Karl

              Yes! People are incredibly ignorant of the cost of doing business.

              I wish there was a way to down vote uninformed comments into oblivion.

              And thanks Dave, for making this available internationally! I ordered one yesterday.

            • Daniel

              Yes, my girlfriend made this mistake when we got into electronics, and we started selling a product that she designed. She was happy until I put together a budget showing how much money we were losing. We’re still developing other products, but now I’m out of money and have to find another job.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Compared to what?
        All the files are there, you are welcome to build your own at a lower price.

        • Pedram

          i didn’t want to offend you or anything. i just shared my thought.

          • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

            That’s ok, I expect some people will think it’s too expensive, and that’s fine, that’s why it’s open source.

            • Josh

              I think the price is pretty much bang on. If you knock off what.. 10 bucks for shipping, the price is about 70AUD.

              When I looked into going the homebrew route there were a few issues – namely: the PCB isn’t cheap as a one off, oshpark will do it for £22 per 3. The high gain-bandwidth opamp isn’t available at the moment, so you have to get the MAX4328. I have asked Maxim for samples, but haven’t heard back yet. Farnell UK sell the 4329, but only in 8-pin soic. The precision Vishay resistor is crazy expensive in single units – almost 10 quid. Couldn’t find a suitable case outside Oz and the terminals are also a bit pricey if you ony need 4. Rest of the components aren’t too bad, I think about 10-15 quid total.

              By the time I added up everything and included shipping/VAT from digikey, the total was about £40/75AUD. At that point it’s not worth it for me. I’d rather pay the £3 and have someone else be responsible for building/testing it!

    • VK2UPK

      Hi Dave,

      I’m still awaiting the arrival of my uCurrent Gold. Any ETA?

      Cheers, PK

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Depends entirely when you order it. They were sent out in backer order. All countries are at the whim of their local customs ad mail system.

    • Matt

      Hi Dave,

      is a shippment to europe (germany) possible ?
      Is it for the same price ?

      Thanks,
      Matt

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Yes, free shipping to anywhere in the world.

    • Eduard R

      Hey Dave,

      Looks great!

      When landing on https://eevblog.myshopify.com
      it is not obvious how to buy the product. Took a
      little while until I decided to click on ‘View product’
      toward the bottom. Perhaps a more obvious buy
      now button or add to cart directly on that main page?

      Regards,
      –d

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Yeah, I’m still trying to figure out Shopify. The good thing about it is I’m using a plugin that integrates seamlessly with the Australia Post eParcel system I’ve spent months setting up.

    • http://JeanFrancoisAvon.com JFA in Montréal

      Dave.
      One question…

      Can you give a very broad estimate of the time it took for you to get to production of this little wonder?
      I mean
      – time of mulling the ideas
      – time to build n prototypes, including designing the pcboards
      – time to source the parts
      – time spent on the phone, with suppliers and assemblers and shipping companies, setting up manufacturing and business aspects
      – time wrapping orders
      – time making the first few units
      – time tooling for the first few units
      – etc
      – etc

      My take is that this product, if I were to make it for myself, just at the level of Beta v0.0 PCB’ed, without even considering mass production, would take me a hundred hours, lots of them simply being figuring out what components to use and sourcing them.

      Granted, I am not as seasoned (as in “not seasoned at all”) a designer as you are , but still, the time I would have spend designing my own would have cost me probably around 2000-5000$ in opportunity cost.

      But since it is a hobby, and I have to pay for everything else before the hobby, I am glad it is that incredibly cheap !

      Have you computed your hourly net revenue on that whole project?

      Anything less than 200,000$ / year for bringing innovation to the world is leper pay.
      Consider that if your device is used in testing NASA equipment, it also save taxpayers a bundle.

      The improvement the creators bring to the world is way way underrated.
      All it costs is a lousy 90$, the price of a night at the movies for four people, including the pops and popcorn, and it opens possibilities that were not available before.

      I am curious about the business aspect, because too often, we have “great” ideas that seem either too good (for the *real* market), or too complicated for us to concretize.

      Maybe you should assemble some blogpost, or a mini-serie on the very topic of bringing ideas to market… Featuring successes, but more importantly, failures (how and why) would be quite interesting.

      Oh, and I LUVVVV my ν µCurrent Au !

      JFA

      P.S. Ah HA ! I now know why you named it
      “µI Gold”. Gold symbol being Au, it’s a secret code for ̶ ̶A̶u̶s̶t̶r̶i̶a̶ Australia :-)

    • http://JeanFrancoisAvon.com JFA in Montréal

      Anothe thing / Question

      Would you care to discuss the pros and cons of using distributors vs using your own web site (providing you have sufficient traffic…).

      What are the typical margins and terms/conditions the resellers offer?

      Do they try to lock you in, asking for exclusivity? In what situation is this a good thing to accept?

      I have a few ideas of electronic products NOT in the electronic business. Your business is a tad unusual, as your products are time-saving devices sold to people already knowledgeable in the very trade.

      In an entirely different market (say, household applications, sports, automotive, gadgets, etc), the market is probably more susceptible to being ripped-off by Chinese competition.

      And maybe you’d have a word or two about how to deal with the Chinese competition ?

      Regards !

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Hmm, yes, I should probably do a text blog on this.
        I’m in the fairly unique position of having my own large audience, and for something so niche as the uCurrent, sales through dealers like Adafruit etc are kinda pointless, unless you want zero hassle. As there is relatively little in terms of passing trade sales on those sites, so they are just taking a large margin (they make more than I make per unit!) for essentially nothing. The standard sort of margin for these companies is around 40%. So for a $100 retail product they will be buying for $60 at most. So if your widget costs you $40 say in volume, and you planed on selling it for $100 (a typical margin of x2.5 you’d shoot for), then if you sell through a reseller, they are making $40/unit and you are only making $20/unit. Welcome to the world of resellers!

    • bandman

      drop the price your rich enough…

      • Matt

        $79 is a bargain for a precision instrument

    • MGTI_KIWI

      Dave,
      The uCurrent device arrived here in Japan quite quickly. Happy to own one of these with lot’s of applications in the Navy control systems world. Any chance you might have a pdf that is sort of an Original Equipment Makers guide? Any notes cautions and warnings you might like to share? A few people here will be interested in using this but might ask about a technical manual. Either way thanks for all you do – it helps our fleet.
      Jim