Electronics > Electronics

Need Something Built for me... any sugestions?

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Soeren:
Hi,


--- Quote from: jwatte on December 17, 2012, 06:45:39 PM ---In general, in engineering: The first one is always expensive -- then you can do work to make 10,000 ones very cheaply :-)

--- End quote ---
You're really way out of synch with reality, estimating as you did - please leave the engineering estimates to engineers  ;)

And besides, we still need Mister35/Steven to clarify a few things about the project, before a realistic estimate can be made, but anyone demanding $3k or more for this little project is either a blatant fraud, or slower than a handicapped snail in molasses (which should never go on the customers bill)!

Mister35:
Soren, Thanks. 

I want the Key Holder to Beep.  Not the Keys.

Not Crazy loud, just to alert us that the key is not there.  We stand within 6 feet of the Key rack.

The keys never leave the sales floor.  The employees unlock a case, get a DVD, or Piece of Jewelry Out for a customer, and then return the key to the Rack.  I want the Key to be back on the rack within a couple minutes.

Each key is taken off the rack about 20 times per day.

It does not need to be prety, just sturdy.

I suppose you could make the Key fob beep instead of the rack.  I think the Rack would be better though.

The purpose of the beep is to remind the employee to hang the key back up.  If the rack beeps, everyone will be aware, and the keys will not get misplaced.
They will not turn it off or unplug it.  They understand the purpose and we all would be happy if the keys stop getting misplaced.

It would be a good idea if it didnt start beeping for 2 minutes.  Good idea.

Power adapter is fine.  Battery powered is fine even if its a big deal.  I can replace a 9 volt battery every now and then.

Rack does not need to lock.

No light needed.

Cost:  Honestly, I wasnt thinking it would be much at all.  I was thinking $50 in parts from Radio shack, and some money for the build.

I guess I would be happy to pay up to $400 total for the item.  I cant tell you how much of a hastle it is to deal with the keys missing.

If my price estimate is way way off, let me know,  I have no idea and am just exploring. 

I really do apreciate your input.  Let me know what you think.



Soeren:
Hi,


--- Quote from: Mister35 on December 17, 2012, 07:17:13 PM ---Power adapter is fine.  Battery powered is fine even if its a big deal.  I can replace a 9 volt battery every now and then.

--- End quote ---

Batteries can be a nuisance, but made right, it may still be a better solution in the long run (see below).



--- Quote from: Mister35 on December 17, 2012, 07:17:13 PM ---Cost:  Honestly, I wasnt thinking it would be much at all.  I was thinking $50 in parts from Radio shack, and some money for the build.

--- End quote ---

Now that you explained the use of it, I think I have the entire concept ready in my head, but just to be absolutely sure, here's what I picture:
A solid key rack with a peg of sorts for each key.
All keys in place => nothing happens
One or more keys missing => wait ~2 minutes, then beep every ~20 second until key returned.

A flat magnet can be installed on each key hanger (the colored parts in this picture)


Estimate of hardware costs:
Components for less than $10, plus around $1 per key
(The above is ex. VAT and shipping, from Mouser and Supermagnets - Rat Shack haven't got what's needed)

An extra magnet per key can be used to keep power drain to zero, when all keys are in place. That would make battery use a sensible solution, as 3 AA size cells would last for years and would be "greener" than a mains adapter. That would add a battery holder, but would save the mains adapter and the constant power it requires, whether current is drawn or not.

I assume it will be cheapest to use one, or a number, of the kind of racks you linked to in your first post (they do have a slightly cheaper one as well), but I cannot judge how sturdy they are from the pictures. They seem to be made of hard plastic.

How many keys do you need it to hold? (You might wanna make room for future keys and just keep the hangers in place for now(?))
What area can they occupy (height/width), one row or how many rows/columns?



--- Quote from: Mister35 on December 17, 2012, 07:17:13 PM ---I guess I would be happy to pay up to $400 total for the item.  I cant tell you how much of a hastle it is to deal with the keys missing.

--- End quote ---

I see several scenarios:
1 - Local tinkerer makes it all
2 - I design it and make the program for the controller, local tinkerer assembles, burn program into microcontroller and wires it up.
3 - I design it and deliver a matrix board, programmed and all, local tinkerer handles the acquisition and wiring of switches and magnets etc. (I'll deliver an easy to follow wiring diagram, instructions and email support if needed by the tinkerer).
4 - I deliver a (dare I say) turnkey solution ;D

The last one won't happen at anywhere near $400, for a number of reasons; Denmark is a very expensive country. Shipping a parcel of between 1kg and 2kg to the USA is slightly above $50 for "Economy", which is 8..9 work days just to reach your shores and for 5..6 work days it's ~$60. The price estimate on reeds and magnets is when ordered from US web sites and you have much lower VAT and national shipping than we do. For goods bought overseas and sent to Denmark, Danish duty taxes apply (and for a couple of years now, the Danish Postal Service has been allowed a fee of ~$30 to cash in any appliccable import taxes for the Revenue Service). I'd have to involve a machine shop as well and all in all, it would make it hideously expensive.

Lastly, I'm not cheap labour, but perhaps we can work out a Christmas Special on solution #3, which I think is the most sensible solution for you, as you mentioned jewelry and my spouse is nuts about wrist watches and bracelets soaked in "bling".

If you'd rather have it all made locally, no problem at all :)

Mister35:
I am good with a Soldering Iron and Can assemble things.  If I know exactly what to get and have instructions, I can put it together.

"How many keys do you need it to hold? (You might wanna make room for future keys and just keep the hangers in place for now(?))
What area can they occupy (height/width), one row or how many rows/columns?"

The Rack int he link is Fine.  8 Keys Tags is enough.  I can hang the rack on a wall, so I have plenty of room.

For option 3, what kind of Price are you thinking?

MrWizard:
Now the finer details are clear better exchange price and details through Private Message...

Glad you can do business !

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