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alexeames
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:25 am

wallarug wrote:I haven't yet...I probably won't. There is a sure call coming Element14's way if that's their plan.

I will just wait and see what happens. I really thought that it would be better to just send the ICs.
I agree. That's what they've been doing over here, from what I hear. It makes little sense to put the customer out like that for the sake of a couple of quid's worth of bits.

Of course, if you'd prefer a ready made one and are willing to wait, by all means send it back. :D
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wallarug
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:44 am

alexeames wrote:
wallarug wrote:I haven't yet...I probably won't. There is a sure call coming Element14's way if that's their plan.

I will just wait and see what happens. I really thought that it would be better to just send the ICs.
I agree. That's what they've been doing over here, from what I hear. It makes little sense to put the customer out like that for the sake of a couple of quid's worth of bits.

Of course, if you'd prefer a ready made one and are willing to wait, by all means send it back. :D
That's the plan :D

Ady
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:31 pm

I'm watching Gertboard on eBah uk. $47 seems a resonable incentive into trying to improve mh soldering technique.
I really enjoyed owning a "kit of electronic parts" getting everything ready to fit together. Takes me back to the 1980s and "Everyday Electronics" magazine !

raven_squire
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:42 pm

Well here’s my two cents worth,

As far as I can tell Element 14 appear to be a company that is geared towards supplying manufacturing and electronics professionals.

I’m sure that they would love to sell everyone an unpopulated Gertboard (let’s face it they are a company and we have money) however I think they may have realised selling a kit containing lots of components and surface mount devices to a swarm of people with little to no experience (Don’t be offended I know there’s many highly accomplished professionals amongst us) is not necessarily going to yield positive results for the company.

Furthermore I believe that it has been stated before that the most expensive thing about many of the components is packing them into the order. When they manufacture a board I believe that they load a tape containing tens of thousands of individual component into a soldering robot. Compared to paying someone minimum wage to cut that some roll of components into individual components and then individually bagging each component I can only assume that the manufactured board would be more economical.

I imagine that getting the factory who manufactures the board to supply some blanks wouldn’t be too hard. But I do wonder how much it would cost to buy the components individually (considering that they would not be a kit) and if this cost would be high enough to turn people off soldering their own boards.

Finally I would like to thank Gert, I can’t imagine how much of your time all this is consuming and I think we are all lucky to have committed people like you working on with the project!!!!

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mahjongg
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:00 pm

@raven_squire
Sorry but it simply doesn't work like that!

RS components, like Farnell and DIGI-KEY and such, cater for professionals, those people on this planet that are constantly building prototypes. So if you are a customer there its normal to order large numbers of random parts in small quantities. They are specialised in handling that.
If I need three 12K4 0604 0.1% resistors, ill have them tomorrow from Farnell, but If I want components for a design with 500 different components in it, then I simply upload my spreadsheet, and i get those parts too in a day! And they supply tens of thousands of orders like that each day. For them the part-kit for gertboards is peanuts, probably statistically so insignificant that it doesn't even show up in their statistics, as is any profit they make on the gertboard.

Forget about people with minimum wages putting parts in packages, they probably have fully automated the process!

No its simply true that built gertboards are cheaper than kits, there is a reason that companies like Heatkit no longer exist.

I am sure they also can't give any guarantee anyway on a kit, so any complaints about not working boards would be ignored.

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:59 pm

@ mahjongg

Thanks, sounds like you are far more fimiliar with them than I am. :D

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michele.x
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:41 am

mahjongg wrote: RS components, like Farnell and DIGI-KEY and such, cater for professionals, those people on this planet that are constantly building prototypes. So if you are a customer there its normal to order large numbers of random parts in small quantities. They are specialised in handling that.
They're dealing with professionals, not with hobbyists and novices, and this make a big difference in how's organized the customer service. Their organization doesn't fit perfectly wit the one of a hobbyist kit maker.
The other problem is that having a lot of people ordering the same kit makes a different logistics model for the upstream supply chain, and this can cost more than the assembly price per unit. They depleted the stock of gertboards in only a week, and I think that was totally unexpected for them.
No its simply true that built gertboards are cheaper than kits, there is a reason that companies like Heatkit no longer exist.

I am sure they also can't give any guarantee anyway on a kit, so any complaints about not working boards would be ignored.
The problem of electronics kit is that nowadays a lot of interesting IC are sold only in SMD form. For a novice means that soldering is more difficult and requires more costly instrumentation. Some IC using BGA or very narrow pinouts are designed to be mounted automatically, so soldering them manually is almost impossible.

N_A_B
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:34 pm

michele.x wrote:The problem of electronics kit is that nowadays a lot of interesting IC are sold only in SMD form. For a novice means that soldering is more difficult and requires more costly instrumentation.
So... In ten years or so, somebody will think "We're not getting enough electronics students into universities" and decide that what the world needs is a cheap, barebones component set that can be used by kids at home and encourage them to take up electronics..... RaspberryIC anybody? :D

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:30 pm

N_A_B wrote:
michele.x wrote:The problem of electronics kit is that nowadays a lot of interesting IC are sold only in SMD form. For a novice means that soldering is more difficult and requires more costly instrumentation.
So... In ten years or so, somebody will think "We're not getting enough electronics students into universities" and decide that what the world needs is a cheap, barebones component set that can be used by kids at home and encourage them to take up electronics..... RaspberryIC anybody? :D
This problem could extend even further if we don't act soon. A world without electronics (that is kits and such).

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:15 am

N_A_B wrote:So... In ten years or so, somebody will think "We're not getting enough electronics students into universities" and decide that what the world needs is a cheap, barebones component set that can be used by kids at home and encourage them to take up electronics....
This is the problem with any technology when it becomes mature. To use the inevitable car analogy...

When cars were first introduced the technology was relatively simple so it was not beyond the capabilities of an individual to understand all of the workings of an engine indeed unless you were lucky enough to be able to employ an engineer you had to gain this understanding to make use of a car. The engine was pretty crude and you didn't need a degree in engineering just to keep your engine working but you did have to have a modicum of understanding when it came to engine principles.

As time passes a greater understanding of how an engine works is gained and engineers start improving the design, making it more complex and at the same time more useful. So with a more reliable engine that can now take you on very long journeys it becomes possible to own a car without understanding how it works.

Eventually engines become so complicated that it is simply beyond the capability of most people to understand how a modern engine works and maintenance simply consists of swapping out ready to use modules.

We are at this point with electronics, very few electronics projects are done using traditional discrete components, even something as simple as making an LED flash is typically done using a microcontroller rather than building oscillator circuit because it is easier.Using a microcontroler doesn't require an understanding of capacitors to vary the oscillation speed when all you have to do is change a number in a script with a microcontroller. Why would you build a flashing circuit from scratch as unlike a microcontroller its function is fixed? If you want to detect temperature you buy a ready made temperature sensor that reports temperatures to your microntroller. There is no need to understand how any of these things work, just plug them together and write a script. I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing as it is easier than ever to get the end result on the other hand with fewer people gaining knowledge of the basics who is going to design the next 'module' to perform a specific task?

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:23 am

Anyway, back on topic.

When can we expect to be seeing the assembled gertboards?

I am meant to receive a new kit due to missing parts (as I have said earlier in this post) but I will be more happy to receive an assembled one if that will be available quicker. Apparently they do not have any and are waiting on stock.

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:00 am

wallarug wrote:Anyway, back on topic.

When can we expect to be seeing the assembled gertboards?

I am meant to receive a new kit due to missing parts (as I have said earlier in this post) but I will be more happy to receive an assembled one if that will be available quicker. Apparently they do not have any and are waiting on stock.
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wallarug
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:19 am

RaTTuS wrote:
wallarug wrote:Anyway, back on topic.

When can we expect to be seeing the assembled gertboards?

I am meant to receive a new kit due to missing parts (as I have said earlier in this post) but I will be more happy to receive an assembled one if that will be available quicker. Apparently they do not have any and are waiting on stock.
http://piregistration.element14.com/signup.html
thanks for that but this does not have any information on it? Also, because I already have a damaged product, which for the moment, is not being manufactured, doesn't that put me at the top of the list due to an issue with the product?

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:43 am

I presume you have approached Farnell to supply the missing parts?

I'd disagree you kit is damaged though, missing parts != damaged.
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wallarug
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:24 pm

jamesh wrote:I presume you have approached Farnell to supply the missing parts?

I'd disagree you kit is damaged though, missing parts != damaged.
That is what they (E14) consider it. They want me to send it back anyway. They don't want to just send me the three missing parts.

That is E14's problem if they want to consider it damaged instead of sending the three missing parts.

amateurasu
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:39 am

All I know is, I ordered my Gertboard from E14 more than three months ago, and I haven't seen squat from them, kit, assembled, or otherwise. Their entire handling of my RPi order was pretty terrible, and I don't expect I will ever do business with them again. I just want this to be over. :(

amateurasu
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:45 am

Oh, glory be! It's in the mail! (allegedly... :? )

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:56 am

I too have received a Gertboard kit however the 3 buffer I/O chips were missing and an additional Digital to Anologue chip was included. In a short time all will be made good and I am happy with the generous manner E14 have chosen to fix things.

The one I feel sorry for is Gert who has put so much effort in to the design and documentation of his creation. I haven't had so much fun since I assembled by first 8 bit processor kit in 1979. (It was produce by Southwest Technical Products Corp -Texas).

Thanks again Gert.

REHartge
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:46 am

MCM has the kit listed and in stock
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14383
Got my kit on Jan/4/2013 :shock: it is now assembled and tested Jan/6/2013 :D .

They also stock the assembled board but it is out of stock at this time.
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/R ... -/83-14460

HermanSwartz
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:45 am

The kit at the link provided is also out of stock.......
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14383

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alexeames
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:26 pm

HermanSwartz wrote:The kit at the link provided is also out of stock.......
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14383
Well it is a week later :lol:

There won't be any more of these kits, so it's hardly surprising people snapped them up. :D
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:23 pm

The assembled boards should be available soon.

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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:43 pm

Yea! and congratulations Gert. Had a ton of fun with the unassembled kit the kids were impressed that it actually works considering my skill level with an iron :)
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Re: Gert Board Discontinued?

Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:45 pm

Gert van Loo wrote:The assembled boards should be available soon.
Can't wait for get my hands on one of those!
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