Author Topic: Kickstarter: Wirebutter  (Read 9544 times)

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Offline rthorntn

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Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« on: November 09, 2016, 10:27:15 am »
Hi,

I'm a bit of a beginner with electronics, does this project look feasible:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2120665567/wirebutter-smart-powerboard/

Red flags around all the testing and certification costs to work with mains power in a bunch of countries would probably cost a lot more than the A$59K target?

Thanks.

Richard
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 10:44:47 am »
$165 for a 4-channel energy measurement system plus a whatever 2.4GHz wireless module? No, thanks. I can build one for $50.
Also, regarding to the certificate cost, a UL60950-1 test+cert can cost you $3000 easily if you get it done correctly in one pass.
An FCC cert for intentional radiator (if they decided to roll out their own WiFi design) will also run you easily $10k.
And that's only for US/Canada. National level certificates for each major regulatory body cost roughly the same, so multiply that by 5 you get the number: $65k.
Even though some regulatory bodies recon each others' certificates, $59k, in AUD, still seems far less than required if they want to sell world wide.
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Online Cerebus

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 11:01:18 am »
$165 for a 4-channel energy measurement system plus a whatever 2.4GHz wireless module? No, thanks. I can build one for $50.

Easy for you to say, but can you buy one for $50? What it'd cost you or I to whip one up for has little to do with what's a reasonable retail price.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 11:03:09 am »
Not speaking to the validity of the product (I just scrolled through the page and looked at the pictures).

$165 is not a bad price. You can't do it cheaper with similar slick industrial design and proposed apps.

They won't need FCC certification if they use off the shelf certified modules. There is a problem if you use more than one at a time, but it resolvable much cheaper than full-blown certification.

I don't know if they will actually need UL certification for KS type of product. And KS can be used to actually kick start the real product.

They still ask too little. There is no way they can order injection molded parts for all country variations for  $45k.

PS: Yeah, and the whole idea of smart socket with iPhone app is kind of stupid, but so is most of the newly invented stuff.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 11:06:05 am by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2016, 11:06:10 am »
Easy for you to say, but can you buy one for $50? What it'd cost you or I to whip one up for has little to do with what's a reasonable retail price.

I can buy parts to build one for $50 excluding PCB prototyping service and my time cost.
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Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2016, 11:07:09 am »
excluding PCB prototyping service and my time cost.
And if you include that, you will get a number way higher than $170. That's the point of having a commercial product.
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2016, 11:08:33 am »
They won't need FCC certification if they use off the shelf certified modules. There is a problem if you use more than one at a time, but it resolvable much cheaper than full-blown certification.

Yes they do. With a pre-certified module they will have to do FCC15B test for unintentional radiation. Without a pre-certified module, they need FCC15B for unintentional radiator (logic and power part) and FCC15C for intentional one.
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Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2016, 11:12:00 am »
FCC15B test for unintentional radiation
I'm not sure in what cases unintentional radiation actually has to be tested. I think most of the time you just claim compliance somehow.

And KS units can be shipped as prototypes/dev.kits, so they won't need certification either.
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2016, 11:15:22 am »
I'm not sure in what cases unintentional radiation actually has to be tested. I think most of the time you just claim compliance somehow.

And KS units can be shipped as prototypes/dev.kits, so they won't need certification either.

That's called verification, they don't have to pay for a cert, but they have to pay for the actual testing, otherwise they will be in trouble if someone later report it has excessive radiation.
FCC15 exempts things for ISM purposes, but kits are not exempted unless it is solely for ISM purpose, including hobbyist engineering, which is the gray zone where Adafruit survives in.
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Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2016, 11:23:40 am »
otherwise they will be in trouble if someone later report it has excessive radiation.
Well, obviously they need to make sure that it does not actually radiate a lot of noise. But this can be reasonably done in-house.

FCC15 exempts things for ISM purposes, but kits are not exempted unless it is solely for ISM purpose, including hobbyist engineering, which is the gray zone where Adafruit survives in.
I don't see how this thing is any more different than any other form-factor dev. kit. It is obviously shipped though a KS campaign, which naturally attracts people willing to mess with the thing, update the firmware, etc. I really believe this is a valid argument. Plus KS distribution is fairly limited.

When they want to scale this for actual production, they will have to get all the certification, but by that time they will have a very tangible product (or nothing), so getting some financing should not be a big deal.
Alex
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2016, 11:24:30 am »
Easy for you to say, but can you buy one for $50? What it'd cost you or I to whip one up for has little to do with what's a reasonable retail price.

I can buy parts to build one for $50 excluding PCB prototyping service and my time cost.

So your point is that it's overpriced because it, as a complete working assembly, is more than its raw parts costs.

You're beginning to sound like the stereotypical Chinese cousin/Jewish uncle/Indian brother-in-law who can 'get it for you wholesale'.  :)
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2016, 11:28:09 am »
So your point is that it's overpriced because it, as a complete working assembly, is more than its raw parts costs.

You're beginning to sound like the stereotypical Chinese cousin/Jewish uncle/Indian brother-in-law who can 'get it for you wholesale'.  :)

I will either expect it to be fully certified and tested and pay for a premium, or be a hobbyist level stuff with minimal price margin.
A product that clearly won't have enough money to pass all sorts of certification while charging a premium? No way.
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Online Cerebus

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2016, 11:35:58 am »
So your point is that it's overpriced because it, as a complete working assembly, is more than its raw parts costs.

You're beginning to sound like the stereotypical Chinese cousin/Jewish uncle/Indian brother-in-law who can 'get it for you wholesale'.  :)

I will either expect it to be fully certified and tested and pay for a premium, or be a hobbyist level stuff with minimal price margin.
A product that clearly won't have enough money to pass all sorts of certification while charging a premium? No way.

That's not where you started from. You started from a dismissive "No, thanks. I can build one for $50.". Not quite the same thing.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2016, 11:45:33 am »
That's not where you started from. You started from a dismissive "No, thanks. I can build one for $50.". Not quite the same thing.

If you read it carefully, you will find in my first post I already addressed the certification cost issue.
I have no problems buying high quality, legitimate products, but I don't want to pay more than 20% margin for anything that's not properly made unless I absolutely have to.

Also, I do not have mercy to overpriced things if the price cannot be justified.
Check out this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U9YU0K2?psc=1
The same function as an energy measurement unit plus smart switch, at $22. Four of them together would be $88, then considering the WiFi part and PSU part will be duplicated, I would say for a commercial ready unit with thin but reasonable margin, $70 is the maximum I will pay for this as a fully assembled unit.
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Offline hendorog

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2016, 06:11:28 pm »
Not sure if they have changed the pricing, or I've missed something, or if you guys are smoking something fun, but the KS pricing _is_ USD 50 right now.



 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2016, 06:15:44 pm »
Not sure if they have changed the pricing, or I've missed something, or if you guys are smoking something fun, but the KS pricing _is_ USD 50 right now.

It was $165, and now $65. For such a price it is making much better sense.
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Offline hendorog

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2016, 06:20:57 pm »
Not sure if they have changed the pricing, or I've missed something, or if you guys are smoking something fun, but the KS pricing _is_ USD 50 right now.

It was $165, and now $65. For such a price it is making much better sense.

65 AUD = 50 USD

 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2016, 06:25:50 pm »
65 AUD = 50 USD

Yes, that's very promising.
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Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2016, 06:27:51 pm »
There is still no way they are getting injection moldings for 4 country variations for $45K. Well, may be barely, but there is other stuff as well.
Alex
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2016, 06:33:16 pm »
There is still no way they are getting injection moldings for 4 country variations for $45K. Well, may be barely, but there is other stuff as well.

They are just changing the inserts though, how much can that cost?

The really bleedin obvious thing missing is IFTTT integration
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2016, 06:38:27 pm »
They are just changing the inserts though, how much can that cost?
I don't think you can get away with just the inserts. EU and UK models are substantially different from the other two, and there will be a visible seam on the flat surface if you just change the inserts, no matter how good your machining is.

If they could somehow make all things circular with the same diameter, then the seam can go inside the circle
Alex
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2016, 06:47:54 pm »
They are just changing the inserts though, how much can that cost?
I don't think you can get away with just the inserts. EU and UK models are substantially different from the other two, and there will be a visible seam on the flat surface if you just change the inserts, no matter how good your machining is.

If they could somehow make all things circular with the same diameter, then the seam can go inside the circle

Yes you are right - going by their own pics the UK version has square inserts and the rest are circular.

Maybe they can get away with two base mouldings though:- UK, and everyone else.

I don't think the visible seam matters - it doesn't matter to Apple as they do the same thing on their laptop adapters.
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2016, 06:54:11 pm »
65 AUD = 50 USD

Yes, that's very promising.

One crazy thing with the pricing is that the 2 unit package costs more than double the single unit package.

65x2 = 130 or you can get a bundle of 2 for 160.  :wtf:
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2016, 06:55:33 pm »
65x2 = 130 or you can get a bundle of 2 for 160.  :wtf:
That's what last minute price change does for you :)
Alex
 

Online coppice

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Re: Kickstarter: Wirebutter
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2016, 06:57:12 pm »
This looks like just another load monitoring power strip, like numerous ones already being produced in China. In fact, the style of it looks like something which started its life in China. The price seems unreasonably high. A thing like this can be made pretty cheap, as long as the volume is sufficient to amortise the mouldings.
 


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