High Tech Fuse Block

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by craftycoder, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    I am not willing to spend the months necessary to become an expert at silicone mold making. Anyone who says you can make a perfect mold the first time is full of it. I know I will need to make 10 before I am satisfied and I just don't have the patience for that. I need to cast a couple dozen of these things and it would be nice if I didn't have to add $350 for a mold to the $500 I've got in each of these Motobrains before they ship. After a few dozen samples are out the door I expect purchase orders which will allow me to outsource the manufacturing and all these goofy failures will be but a distant memory.

    Failures are part of the engineering process. I assure you that every other development project of this type ever attempted by man has encountered its share of problems. You guys are hearing about them because I am sharing the entire process with y'all but failures are absolutely part of the process. Normally I am excited by failures because they are learning experience (and I have a hard-on for learning) but in this case since I really don't care about casting and mold making it is just pain. No one ever promised this was going to be all Champagne and stinky cheese however, so I shall persevere.

    I've got two more units I've promised to ship out ASAP and I hope the remaining mold I have will survive if I use a different release agent. At that point I'll try a new mold design. This time I will try a soft "silicone like" inner mold and a hard outer mold to support the Motobrain's weight and keep the silicone mold from splitting prematurely. Once I've draw up the new mold I'll post it up here for you guys to see.

  2. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    What are you doing with all the MB's that failed the molding process?

    :evil
  3. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    The Motobrains are fine. It is the mold that dies in the process.
  4. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    Yes, but do they still end up on the test bench or do you use them for stocking stuffers? I'm sure you could sell them to willing beta testers :deal
  5. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    I am sending them out to potential customers. My strategy is to build up order counts with OEM and fleet sales and with that scale create inventory to make them available to retailers. In order to hit the $300 retail price point I need to make 1000 units at a time. Units are going to potential customers interested in those sorts of unit counts.
  6. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    Makes sense. Couldn't hurt to ask.

    How are you distributing the software to those customers?
  7. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    I promise, I have no problem moving units one at a time. I get a couple emails a day at least. The problem is they cost me $800ish and I sell them for $300. Therefore the more I sell the more money I will lose unless I mortgage my house and build 1000 of them. I'm guessing if I do that without purchase orders my wife will kick my ass. :annie

    The Kickstarter was for 200 units and that was a break even affair at $250 if I didn't cost my time into it. We didn't manage to move those 200 units. I didn't do a good job marketing it obviously and the 6 month delivery schedule was probably pretty unattractive also. I'm still working on making the product awesome and finding sales in quantities that will allow you guys to buy them at the price I want to sell. Motec sells something in the same ballpark as this for a couple grand. I am aiming for a much lower price point and that means I need volume. It a chicken and egg thing. I am optimistic but the process is expensive and risky, let there be no doubt.
  8. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    Absolutely, without the software its a paperweight.
  9. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    I totally get the volume model - I was just hoping that the 'ugly' MB's weren't being needlessly disposed of.

    And the curiosity is HOW the software is being distributed. Based on Apple's review process for the App Store, I would think it would have to be a local debug install - just curious??
  10. Camarodude

    Camarodude Been here awhile

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    I haven't read all of this thread, but a portion of it. You have put in a lot of effort into this, hope it happens for ya. Can I ask what is the "kickstarter"?
  11. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    There is a OTA provisioning profile (cert) that goes along with the IPA. You install one and then the other.
  12. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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  13. Big Bird 928

    Big Bird 928 Long timer

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    I'm sure you have already thought of this, but I recommend that you contact some companies that do installation of the electronics on police and fire equipment. The small form factor and versatility of the product may be a big hit with them.

    sent from my phablet.
  14. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    Thanks for the suggestion. That is a fine fleet target.
  15. Big Bird 928

    Big Bird 928 Long timer

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    I know if I ever wire another vehicle for emergency services I would be looking your way, but that is unlikely.

    sent from my phablet.
  16. hizzo3

    hizzo3 Adventurer

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    Is that your manual pick and place featured on hackaday?

    Sent by my NSA monitored Verizon Galaxy Nexus.
  17. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

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    Buy an existing mold for testing...cheap...$12. Mix the epoxy very slowly (no air bubbles) or vacuum the bowl of epoxy to de-gas. pour. cure. It would be as smooth as a baby's ass.

    [​IMG]





  18. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    Yeah it is. I hadn't seen that. Cool
  19. EKinOR

    EKinOR Been here awhile

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    I have a contact for you in that market. PM shortly.
  20. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    I waxed up my remaining mold with some cheap floor wax and just finished casting another Motobrain. I am hoping that I can remove the Motobrain from the mold without destroying it (unlike the last two Motobrains I cast) so I can keep making these in the near term while I come up with a new silicone mold. You have collectively advised me to go ahead and figure how to work with silicone. I'm planning to try it out.

    In other news, I've been refining the firmware and am really getting pleased with its function and reliability. I have heard also from the first recipient of a Motobrain and they are liking it so far. That is great news I'd say.

    <a href="http://www.motobrain.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/8026BCA5-3F7E-4F0E-8B1E-1A155028E5FE1.jpg"><img src="http://www.motobrain.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/8026BCA5-3F7E-4F0E-8B1E-1A155028E5FE1-1024x764.jpg" alt="8026BCA5-3F7E-4F0E-8B1E-1A155028E5FE[1]" width="670" height="499" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-952" /></a>