Connect with us

Help with Prototype

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by neptunedrew, May 6, 2011.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. neptunedrew

    neptunedrew

    14
    0
    May 6, 2011
    I may be in the wrong place but I've got to start somewhere. I need help/direction with building a prototype for an idea that I have

    I want to construct a timer that will do the following:
    When a button is clicked, the timer begins countingdown from say 45 minutes. At various time points, an alarm will sound and the timer display would start blinking. When another button is pushed, the alarm turns off and the timer stops blinking.

    Simple enough? Not for me, so I'd rather just pay someone to do this. Any direction?
     
  2. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    Hi neptunedrew
    you'd be surprised how much work is involved in giving you a machine like that. It's worth at least a grand even at mates' rates. Probably 10 grand if you look like you've got money.
    Think I'm kidding?
     
  3. neptunedrew

    neptunedrew

    14
    0
    May 6, 2011
    That sounds like a bit much.

    Isn't this pretty much just off the shelf parts?
     
  4. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    "That sounds like a bit much.
    Isn't this pretty much just off the shelf parts?


    Well yes. :)
    But consider, a design must be settled on, a circuit board designed, the parts purchased. The workshop must be paid for - rent, oscilloscopes, multimeters, pulse generators and frequency counters... nothing is cheap.
    Lets imagine the job takes an engineer who does this sort of thing all the time 8 hours to produce your equipment. His workshop is worth well over $100/hr.
    That's $800 and up costs already without considering parts or warranty.

    So where is this guy anyway? Sadly, he hardly exists. The reason for that is that there just isn't enough work. The consequent scarcity of engineers pushes the price up even higher.

    If you want someone to do the work, you end up either going to a big partnership and paying through the nose, or with fantastic luck finding that engineer I mentioned. He charges a lot more than $100 an hour.

    You begin to see what the market looks like.

    You might find a hobbyist or retired person to help you put your project together, but there's still quite a lot of work in it if you see what I mean. You'd have to find someone to do it for love if not money.

    So I think if you want your idea realised and delivered to you as a finished product, you"ll have to pay!
     
  5. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  6. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    Sorry neptunedrew,
    for some reason this board truncates links.
    When I click on that link in my previous post to test it I get a 404.
    You can find the Wikipedia entry on PIC's by searching the index for "PIC microcontroller".
     
  7. neptunedrew

    neptunedrew

    14
    0
    May 6, 2011
    I'm not opposed to putting up some cash just nothing like 10G's.

    If you or anyone else on this board was interested, I could probably scratch up 1k for a working prototype.
     
  8. neptunedrew

    neptunedrew

    14
    0
    May 6, 2011
    That's $1,000 U.S. to be clear!
     
  9. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,669
    1,891
    Sep 5, 2009
    in reality no one here would be into doing that sort of thing for some one we have never met face to face. You only real choice, if you are wanting some one to design and build a unit to your requirements would be to go to a local manufacturer and put forward a very accurate proposal on exactly the requirements you want from your device and have them do some pricing. Even that is going to cost you some money.

    I dont want to sound negative, but you have to understand the reality of what you are asking :)

    cheers
    Dave
     
  10. Laplace

    Laplace

    1,252
    184
    Apr 4, 2010
    Just to provide you an estimation datapoint, I once designed and built a similar project using the CDP1802 microcontroller. It was a speech timer for the local Toast Masters club that would keep a countdown timer and flash green, yellow, and red warning lights at appropriate times. In addition to the 1802 there was a 2708 1Kx8 EEPROM, a binary counter to generate the 1 sec interrupt signal, and a few CMOS logic chips. The program itself was just under 600 byte-codes and the upper memory in the EEPROM had a lookup table to drive a multiplexed LED display of the time. The device was built on protoboard and all programming was done with pencil & paper and entered manually via hex keypad. This was a hobby project done over 8 months averaging 1 hour per day = 250 hours. Modern programming tools might shave 30 hours from that total, but getting a custom PCB from the prototype would add those 30 hours back in. Since my employer seems to think I'm worth $51/hr, in order to do this same project as a paid effort I would need $12,750.
     
  11. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
    I've asked around a bit and the consensus among my set is that the best way to go ahead with this project is to use Arduino. This magic word encompasses a small, cheap microcomputer system with lots of i/o capability. Arduino hardware can be bought, made up, at a low price, or you can build it yourself perhaps even more cheaply.
     
  12. neptunedrew

    neptunedrew

    14
    0
    May 6, 2011
    Guys,
    This is all excellent information and I appreciate it.

    Mystic, where can I go for more info on Arduino? What would I search for if I wanted to find a local guy to do this for me? I'm located in the Philadelphia, PA (US) area.

    Thanks,
    Drew
     
  13. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,067
    31
    Apr 8, 2011
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-