Author Topic: Where can I sell my projects?  (Read 2460 times)

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Offline Alexandros81

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Where can I sell my projects?
« on: September 28, 2017, 04:01:00 pm »
Hi to all electronics enthusiasts!
I am an electronics engineer that works at home,
and I am currently working on a wireless thermometer project.
I don't have the capability(yet) to go to production with this and I want
to gather money in order in the future to be able to fully produce other products myself.
I was wondering where can I sell my project?

Regards,
Alexandros
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 04:04:28 pm »
It honestly depends on the scale of your product and production means. If you are talking making stuff to order, maybe buying a box of boards from an etching company, then you could try the EEVBlog forums, or maybe E-Bay.
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Offline ulix

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 04:16:16 pm »
Hi,

is you product fcc/ce conform? Otherwise (I think) you are not allowed to sell it.
Did you think abou that?

 

Online ataradov

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 04:29:37 pm »
Tindie works for me.
Alex
 
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 05:24:29 pm »
Hi,

is you product fcc/ce conform? Otherwise (I think) you are not allowed to sell it.
Did you think abou that?

That is one aspect, but for VERY small production runs (like 10-20 units) I don't imagine it would be a major issue. Still, be on the right side of the law if you intend to do so, you can always get a nasty fine, or in worst case jail time.
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Offline Alexandros81

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 06:13:56 pm »
It honestly depends on the scale of your product and production means. If you are talking making stuff to order, maybe buying a box of boards from an etching company, then you could try the EEVBlog forums, or maybe E-Bay.

This is still in development.
At the moment I have a microcontroller in breadboard connected to a thermometer module.
uC reads data from thermometer and send data via TTL to USB cable to PC. I am also developing
the PC GUI to display the data and save them to a file or database. Then I will connect the rf tranceiver module
at 868MHz . Also an lcd monitor is considered.
So at one end is the uC, thermometer, lcd and tranceiver and at the other end tranceiver,uC connected to pc.

Well all of this is at the moment in defferent modules and I am thinking in integrating (hopefully) into
two pcb's. Actually I haven't decided yet regarding integration because I don't know which components
are ok to have at the same pcb. Is it ok to have the rf ic at the same board as the thermometer?

Besides that I could possible order from an etching company the pcbs but I don't have the means to
place components myself. I could do a prototype.

So at the moment I am talking about selling technical drawings and code and what other related docs for the prototype.

If I go to production what machines should I be looking at? Say for 100-200pcs a month?

Hi,

is you product fcc/ce conform? Otherwise (I think) you are not allowed to sell it.
Did you think abou that?



Probably i am going to be using a wireless module at 868MHz, like the ones you find in ebay for a start.
Checking with regulations in Europe it is leagal to use it under certain rf specs.

Hi,

is you product fcc/ce conform? Otherwise (I think) you are not allowed to sell it.
Did you think abou that?

That is one aspect, but for VERY small production runs (like 10-20 units) I don't imagine it would be a major issue. Still, be on the right side of the law if you intend to do so, you can always get a nasty fine, or in worst case jail time.

It will be legal.

thanks
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 06:16:51 pm »
So at the moment I am talking about selling technical drawings and code and what other related docs for the prototype.
Forget about that. If your project takes a couple weeks for a professional to design (sure sounds like it from the description) and it does not offer any unique features, nobody will buy this.

If I go to production what machines should I be looking at? Say for 100-200pcs a month?
You will be looking for a professional board assembly house, not machines.
Alex
 

Online TK

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 06:19:34 pm »
Devices with RF need FCC certification in the US and equivalent certification in EU if it is being sold to end users.  No FCC required if it is classified as test equipment.  Certain development boards also are allowed to be sold without RF certification, but once assembled into final product, it must be certified.
 

Offline Alexandros81

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 06:29:10 pm »
So at the moment I am talking about selling technical drawings and code and what other related docs for the prototype.
Forget about that. If your project takes a couple weeks for a professional to design (sure sounds like it from the description) and it does not offer any unique features, nobody will buy this.

If I go to production what machines should I be looking at? Say for 100-200pcs a month?
You will be looking for a professional board assembly house, not machines.

Unique features, such as?

Devices with RF need FCC certification in the US and equivalent certification in EU if it is being sold to end users.  No FCC required if it is classified as test equipment.  Certain development boards also are allowed to be sold without RF certification, but once assembled into final product, it must be certified.

Does it cost a lot of money?
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 06:39:23 pm »
Unique features, such as?
Depends on the product. Things that cost money are things involving a lot of RnD and math (AI, voice recognition, etc). It is very unlikely to sell design for a simple microcontroller project. Offering a service of modification for specific use is better, but still, there is no marketplace for things like this. You will basically have to market your services yourself.

Does it cost a lot of money?
FCC certification costs about $15000 if you know what you are doing and can pass it from the first attempt.

But if you are using a certified module, and this module is the only intentional radiator in the system, you can just transfer FCC certification from the module to your device.
Alex
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2017, 06:42:55 pm »
This is still in development.
At the moment I have a microcontroller in breadboard connected to a thermometer module.
uC reads data from thermometer and send data via TTL to USB cable to PC. I am also developing
the PC GUI to display the data and save them to a file or database. Then I will connect the rf tranceiver module
at 868MHz . Also an lcd monitor is considered.
So at one end is the uC, thermometer, lcd and tranceiver and at the other end tranceiver,uC connected to pc.

Well all of this is at the moment in defferent modules and I am thinking in integrating (hopefully) into
two pcb's. Actually I haven't decided yet regarding integration because I don't know which components
are ok to have at the same pcb. Is it ok to have the rf ic at the same board as the thermometer?

So, what end customer and use do you have in mind? This sounds like an application that can already be addressed by so many temperature loggers, remote thermometers, bluetooth multimeters with temperature sensing etc.. Will your design have unique functionality?

It also sounds (pardon me for being direct, no offense intended) like a nice hobby project, put together from Arduinos and off-the-shelf modules from Ali-Express or such. How much engineering expertise and experience do you bring to the table? Can you design this to have e.g. extremely low power consumption, high resolution and precision, extremely low cost, or other differentiating properties?

If the answer is "no" to the questions above, then I am afraid I don't see much promise -- regardless whether you try to sell the design, or try to have it produced and sell the product.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 07:42:37 pm »
"Gather money"

Nice work if you can get it!

This sounds like "crowd sourcing" to me. You can go to sites that specialize in that kind of thing. Some ideas get quite well funded, others don't.

Hi to all electronics enthusiasts!
I am an electronics engineer that works at home,
and I am currently working on a wireless thermometer project.
I don't have the capability(yet) to go to production with this and I want
to gather money in order in the future to be able to fully produce other products myself.
I was wondering where can I sell my project?

Regards,
Alexandros
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 08:58:16 pm »
From the sounds of it I honestly would hold off on selling, and possibly see how other companies do it. I can't sit here and say I have any experience in this, but what I can say is that by the looks of it you don't either, and that will be a major issue. If you don't know how this stuff works, then I cannot see you being able to reliably sell something like this.

There are probably thousands of people who are trying to crowd fund their own wireless thermometer, and for something that would just need a microcontroller, an RF module, and a thermistor in essence slapped together, I don't forsee a lot of people buying something that China probably already does cheaper.

This is just my two cents, but obviously since you are an electronics engineer with a job, you should have some of this knowledge down beforehand.

To give constructive criticism, I suggest you possibly do more. What I mean by that is add something to your product that will make it reasonably worthwhile to market it. Most products like this are marketed, manufactured, and distributed by large firms, and while hobbyists/makers can make a business of selling their stuff, it's a lot harder, especially if there is already a mass market alternative.

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Offline buck converter

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 09:03:13 pm »
Submit to Tayda Electronics, they sell it, give you 10-15%, never done this personally, but was looking at it
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/share

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Electronics Project Kits and Revenue Sharing
Make money doing what you love!
You can author electronics project instructions on TaydaKits.com.
We’ll promote your project instructions to 100,000 hobbyists on  TaydaKits.com.

 Click to Add Your Project Instructions

When we receive your instructions we will test them to see if they work and are safe.  If we can make your project instructions into a Tayda Kit, we will share $10-15% of our sales with you.

When people buy your kit.  Tayda will share 10% of your kit's sales with you in cash.  If you prefer store credit, you can make 15% on each of your kits sold.

 

How Does it Work?
You send us a parts list and instructions.

We make your project into a kit that looks great and is easy to buy.

It’s almost like having your own web store without any of the hassles.

 

The steps are easy (compared to any other business)

Build something remarkable with electronics.
Record how you did it.
Make a quick video of the finished product.
Click to Add Your Project Instructions to TaydaKits.com
Include your phone number if you want us to call with any questions.
 

Why Project Kits?
We’re serious about project kits and their potential for:

Getting people involved in electronics
Keeping customers enthused with their Tayda relationships.
Making us both some residual income.
 

We will promote your project kit with emails to thousands of daily visitors, our popular Facebook community, and with banner ads on Tayda and other electronics sites.

We may also promote your kits through auctions on eBay. (unless you ask us not to)

 

Project Kit Success Guidelines.
All posted instructions are built per your instructions and reviewed before they become a Tayda Kit.

The finished product should:

Be fun to build.
Be remarkable enough to share.
NOT Be dangerous to build or operate.
NOT Infringe on patents or copyrights.
NOT Be intended for illegal or harmful purposes.
NOT Create a tech support burden.
 

Kits do not have to be original.  Tayda will not protect your intellectual property or innovations.  On the contrary, we want to share.

Tayda will consider adding parts to our catalog if we do not carry essential parts of your kit.  Parts that Tayda cannot carry will be clearly marked as customer supplied components.

 Click to Add Your Project Instructions

 

Promoting Your Kit
We’ll promote your project to 100,000 hobbyists on  TaydaKits.com.  We will send emails, use banners and also our Facebook page to get people interested in your kit.

You can boost sales by promoting the kit yourself by:

Adding links to the kit from your own web pages.
Post a video of the finished product to YouTube
Link to the kit from your Facebook or other social networks.
Post the instructions to other project instructions web sites.
Share with web forums, at school, wherever.
 

Fine Print:
Tayda reserves the right to:

Change kits (descriptions parts and instructions) as necessary to make them marketable on the site.  Changes will be noted.
Stop the sale of any kit for any reason at any time (even though we may lose sales).
Post the project on other electronics sites to maximize sales (unless you ask us not to)
As sales are made, payments will be made to all inventors at least quarterly.

Payments will be made on completed sales.  All decisions made by Tayda on payments will be considered final.  It is in our best interest to pay out as many commissions as possible.  We hope that successful inventors will submit newer and cooler projects as they realize earnings from their existing Kits.

Click to Add Your Project Instructions

Thanks to everyone who has made Tayda a big success.  We hope that your project kits will spark a whole new level of enthusiasm and sharing in our customer community.

 

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Customer project kits are user-created projects, and Tayda Electronics is not responsible for any damages, injury, expenses or copyright infringement caused by the construction or use of those kits.  The customer is responsible for abiding by any applicable laws (including copyright and privacy laws) while constructing and/or using any customer project kits.   

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Offline b_force

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 09:51:15 pm »
Hi,

is you product fcc/ce conform? Otherwise (I think) you are not allowed to sell it.
Did you think abou that?
You're joking right?

99% of the boards/shields/addons/arduinos and what not that you can buy are absolutely not FCC/CE certified.
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Online ataradov

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 09:57:57 pm »
99% of the boards/shields/addons/arduinos and what not that you can buy are absolutely not FCC/CE certified.
That's because they don't have radios. And the ones that have radios are certified. That's why they always use modules for radio functions.
Alex
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2017, 10:03:18 pm »
99% of the boards/shields/addons/arduinos and what not that you can buy are absolutely not FCC/CE certified.
That's because they don't have radios. And the ones that have radios are certified. That's why they always use modules for radio functions.
Well, as far as I know, everything that switches can be seen as a radio.
So like step up/down converters, SMPS, Class-D amplifiers.
For all these products you 'officially' need a CE/FCC license.

But anyway, there are also lots of wireless modules that are definitely not FCC certified.
I personally wouldn't be to bothered about it as long as you sell it for hobbyist.
Or just make sure you use certified wifi modules.

"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Online ataradov

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 10:06:22 pm »
Well, as far as I know, everything that switches can be seen as a radio.
So like step up/down converters, SMPS, Class-D amplifiers.
For all these products you 'officially' need a CE/FCC license.
No. FCC differentiates between intentional and unintentional radiators. They are covered by different parts of the regulations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_47_CFR_Part_15

But yes, you need to claim compliance. But for unintentional radiators you don't need to pass actual certification and pay money to anyone. But your device must be able to pass this test, if compliance is challenged.

But anyway, there are also lots of wireless modules that are definitely not FCC certified.
Well, there are a lot of people robbing stores. It does not make it less of a crime.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 10:10:39 pm by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2017, 10:32:35 pm »
It does not make it less of a crime.
That depends on your definition of it and how it's being used.

I am already well aware of these regulations btw.
(hence my earlier response)

My point is that it wouldn't be the first advice I would give someone.
It just scares people off.
In fact, in my career I have even seen many (smaller) companies doing FCC/CE certifications just much later on the track.
It's something that you need to keep in the back of your mind, but as always it totally depends on the context.
Because in some cases/countries/fields you actually need to retest the whole product, EVEN if it only contains parts that are already certified on their own.
To make it even more confusing, there are also cases/countries/fields where that's not needed at all (like computers for example, but a lot of others things).

The point is, as long as you use modules that are already certified or you are sure that your product is performing similar or better, it's not a big deal.
The reason why, is because you simply don't want to have any (destructive) interference with something else and therefor might sue you or something.
It's simple as that, nothing more, nothing less.

My advice would be, get a good sense what is needed to make a product that's sellable.
Is there a market for it, how can you optimize things etc.
Also DO get a good sense how it's performing, will it cause interference, how is it keeping up with other products?
Maybe you can add something to it to even prevent these issues?
Or can you maybe use parts that are already certified (like these little wifi modules)?
Next, try to sell it to hobbyist, low-profile, testers
If that all works and you get a good sense of that's actually going to be a good selling product ready for high(er) production, get a proper FCC/CE/UL certificate.

Ones again, in my professional career I have seen MANY companies working this way.
I personally also don't think it's a crime ate all, unless you deliberately and intentionally are going to make a mess.
Also, in most countries you will get first a bunch of warnings to get your stuff right.
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Offline hermit

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2017, 11:41:04 pm »
You are working backwards.  First you identify a need.  That identifies the potential customers and the marketplace they are likely to frequent.  It sounds like you picked something you wanted to build on the assumption you would later find a market.  You really haven't offered enough detail about the item for anyone to be of any real help.

Who do you THINK would buy it?  For what purpose?
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 12:14:40 am »
If you are using a wireless module that is certified by regulatory agencies then that settles it. Its only if you were making something that wasnt certified and selling it that you might run into problems due to its lack of compliance with these regulations. Depending on what frequencies it uses and what kind of signal is being emitted. There are frequencies that may be okay to transmit on with no license - within certain power and possibly antenna limitations.. Also, the key issue from a logical standpoint is not to cause unwelcome interference to anybody. very simple stuff. That would be a question that varied by country and the thing to do would be to ask the regulatory agency what exact laws applied and read and follow them. Better safe than sorry.


The rules arent onerous, they are there so that the resource is best used to everybody's benefit.
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Offline thermistor-guy

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 01:21:35 am »
... I am an electronics engineer that works at home,
and I am currently working on a wireless thermometer project.
I don't have the capability(yet) to go to production with this and I want
to gather money in order in the future to be able to fully produce other products myself...
Regards,
Alexandros

I know how hard this is. Good luck. Few people have the ability to switch between all the roles necessary for a business - creator, business manager, marketer, producer. Walt Disney was one.

Some products succeed big-time - like rpi  - and some don't - like the Inmos Transputer.

As it happens, I have a need for something to monitor and log temperatures in domestic refrigerators over 12 to 24 hrs. A couple of cheap wireless thermometers that can work down to -20 deg. C would be useful.

As an engineer, the sort of products I tend to buy, rather than make (or make do without), are: T&M equipment, protocol/interface converters (e.g. ethernet-to-GPIB, ethernet-to-serial), development kits/boards. You're first product is in the T&M category, so I'd certainly look at it.

One feature I would appreciate, and that may not have occurred to you, is the size of the unit. I have access to a Fluke/Hart Scientific 9170 temperature well:

http://www.fluke.com/fluke/auen/process-calibration-tools/temperature-calibrators/fcal-9170-9171-metrology-well-calibrators.htm?pid=71353

If your unit could fit in the well, and accepted calibration settings, then I could calibrate it. This would be a valuable feature for me. Provided they are accurate and stable enough, your thermometer units now become useful for various industrial/DIY uses - something for you to consider.

Good luck.
 

Offline batteksystem

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 01:42:00 am »
He still have to produce it to sell on tindie. I think he is looking for somebody to buy his work (schematic, firmware, layout etc.)

Offline blueskull

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 02:04:28 am »
Forget about FCC/CE. Sell it as firmware development kit under ISM (industrial, science and medical) exemption. Then provide free firmware sample that has all feature.
There are 1000 ways to exploit legal loopholes, you won't be the first one doing this, and you won't be the last one.
Some countries, like Japan, even forbid the use of non-certified electronics even at home, so eval kits sold in Japan will have a label saying these products are only allowed to be used in shielded EM chambers, which apparently nobody gives that a shit.

Here is a quote from TI: http://www.ti.com/lit/ml/sszz027m/sszz027m.pdf

Quote
If User uses EVMs in Japan, not certified to Technical Regulations of Radio Law of Japan, User is required to follow the instructions set forth by Radio Law of Japan, which includes, but is not limited to, the instructions below with respect to EVMs (which for the avoidance of doubt are stated strictly for convenience and should be verified by User):
1. Use EVMs in a shielded room or any other test facility as defined in the notification #173 issued by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on March 28, 2006, based on Sub-section 1.1 of Article 6 of the Ministry’s Rule for Enforcement of Radio Law of Japan,
2. Use EVMs only after User obtains the license of Test Radio Station as provided in Radio Law of Japan with respect to EVMs, or
3. Use of EVMs only after User obtains the Technical Regulations Conformity Certification as provided in Radio Law of Japan with respect to EVMs. Also, do not transfer EVMs, unless User gives the same notice above to the transferee. Please note that if User does not follow the instructions above, User will be subject to penalties of Radio Law of Japan.

So I guess in some countries, unless you pay $$$ to get your low volume products certified, you will always face legal risk, but if I were you, I would take the chance.
 

Online BrianHG

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Re: Where can I sell my projects?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 02:46:14 am »
Warning not about the FCC/radio emissions, but the UL safety cert.  If you are getting away without such a cert, for a low quantity of sales, you are safe until someone gets hurt, or a fire on some property happens.  Then if your product is anywhere near the associated problem, they will come after you and it will be your burden to prove that your product did not create or extenuate the problem.

In the past, I used to not worry about such things as small sales in only a few hundred and powering my devices by battery or a UL/CE approved wall transformer was ok enough.  But 2 main issues which means reversing this rule are:

1.  High quantity and international sales.  The numbers and international law will work against you here...  And if you are doing the numbers, approvals is the way to go.
2.  Thanks to lithium batteries catching fire in the new with faulty devices, now even battery powered tech will require safety approvals...
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