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Offline jronaldTopic starter

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AXON
« on: July 22, 2008, 06:07:10 PM »
I just wanted to mention to saw the AXON announcement.  I like the specs and the form factor but $130.00 is a bit expensive.  I currently use the ARC v1.1 boards and AVR Butterfly for my projects.  I'm looking for something new but at $130.00ea, I could design and build my own board.  Microcontrollers are supposed to be inexpensive.


Offline airman00

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Re: AXON
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 06:58:03 PM »
It might be expensive , thats why I won it in the Robot Contest  ;D

Its an amazing board, its the only board you'll ever need!
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

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Offline Gertlex

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Re: AXON
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 07:05:49 PM »
Microcontrollers are supposed to be inexpensive.

They are?

I'm glad to have paid the price for support and someone other than me doing the design.
I

Offline dsheller

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Re: AXON
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 08:25:16 PM »
I just wanted to mention to saw the AXON announcement.  I like the specs and the form factor but $130.00 is a bit expensive.  I currently use the ARC v1.1 boards and AVR Butterfly for my projects.  I'm looking for something new but at $130.00ea, I could design and build my own board.  Microcontrollers are supposed to be inexpensive.



I agree that they're supposed to be cheap... I have a $4.00 ATmega168, and this with the programmer was all I needed... but I'm coming from a programming and electrical engineering background, and so far I've been able to figure everything out I need with only the datasheet. However, I wouldn't be able to do all this without the background I have -- so the Axon provides a lot of the stuff out of the box that might take you weeks to figure out and put together yourself. Not to mention the code-base is going to be ever expanding around here with all the people who are using it, and quite likely to contribute to the code library / tutorial section.

Offline izua

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Re: AXON
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 03:49:13 AM »
I do have to agree and disagree.
The axon is a bit pricey for what it does - it's barely a breakout board for the atmega168 with an attached usb/serial converter.
On the other hand, I decided at some point to build mine. I'm sure admin could send the pcb files to individuals wanting to build their own axons. But look at that pcb: vias, soldered holes, smd components, it's not really something you can do at home. Even if you do it, it won't end up at the same size.

Now comes the whole thing about the software. Admin made everything opensource, so maybe that's his loss (in terms of time, of course), however, putting a restrictive license on the axon couldn't have a positive effect - think what would happen if the code to turn on the led or center the servo was under a license. wtf. But in another way, the community gains, since when somebody makes improvements to the code, everyone can use them.

Sure, you can take the code and use it in your stuff, but by simply buying the thing, you're evening out financially the time loss. And you also get free support. Not that admin isn't a generous dude when it comes to support, anyway.

I've recently done a breakout board for atmega128. Just to prove my point at what a profesionally etched pcb means, check this picture. Yes, there are some broken traces and I should have mirrored one connector. But it works and the pcb can be fixed in the end. It's just a matter of time - yours is free, someone else's - you pay for it.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 03:50:17 AM by izua »
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline Penth

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Re: AXON
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2008, 08:50:17 AM »
I've been looking at the Axon, Arduino, and several other mcu board kits and I think I'll pay the extra couple of bucks to have such a nice board to test ideas with. I had started speccing out what I would want in a test board but I think I'm better off not wasting the time making it when it is readily available and supported.

I'm hoping that investing in one somewhat expensive board and deciding what type of horsepower I'll need for individual projects and buying smaller mcu's to fit those needs will work out better in the long run.

Offline ed1380

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Re: AXON
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 10:40:46 AM »
I just wanted to mention to saw the AXON announcement.  I like the specs and the form factor but $130.00 is a bit expensive.  I currently use the ARC v1.1 boards and AVR Butterfly for my projects.  I'm looking for something new but at $130.00ea, I could design and build my own board.  Microcontrollers are supposed to be inexpensive.


be my guest
Problems making the $50 robot circuit board?
click here. http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=3292.msg25198#msg25198

Offline airman00

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Re: AXON
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 11:02:25 AM »
I just wanted to mention to saw the AXON announcement.  I like the specs and the form factor but $130.00 is a bit expensive.  I currently use the ARC v1.1 boards and AVR Butterfly for my projects.  I'm looking for something new but at $130.00ea, I could design and build my own board.  Microcontrollers are supposed to be inexpensive.


be my guest

ouch   ;)


I would be incredibly impressed if you could make your own microcontroller board for under $130 that has close to the same capabilities as the Axon.
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Penth

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Re: AXON
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 11:03:36 AM »
Anyone tried one of the Wiring boards, either the normal or mini?

Offline bukowski

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Re: AXON
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 11:13:19 AM »
Quote
I could design and build my own board

sure you could. You may even be able to do it cheaper than the axon if you look at materials alone. But, think about it, your time is worth money also, isnt it? I am doing a rather simple breakout board with a few extra features right now, and I have logged AT LEAST 20 hours on it already. Even if I assume that my time is worth minimum wage (thank god my boss doesnt think so) that is already $160 on top of the materials cost. Plus, you dont have to worry about having about debugging, and you have a great community with awesome support. The Axon will be my christmas gift to myself.... Or, maybe ill win it in the next contest if I can ever get this bot to work.

Offline Admin

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Re: AXON
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 02:51:43 PM »
Quote
I could design and build my own board
Here are just the quantitative numbers:

It took me about ~8 months to design, test, build, and program it. An extra ~3 months to document it, manufacture it, and all the other things needed to make it a product. Oh, and I spent several $ thousand on a half dozen prototypes :P

(the $50 Robot controller only took me in total I think ~20 hours, but that's because the features and quality of engineering were significantly less)

When making prototypes I soldered the Axon 100% by hand. It took about ~4+ hours per board, using my equipment. About ~350 soldering points, half of them fine pitch.

In small quanities: To get a custom PCB made with fine pitch is ~$70 including ~3 weeks shipping. A ATmega640 is ~$14, and the USB chip (requires a rework station to solder) is ~$5. The other components about ~$20 total. ~$36 for a programmer to change fuses and upload the bootloader.

 ;D

Offline bens

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Re: AXON
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 04:26:32 PM »
The axon seems a bit overpriced from a components standpoint, but it's reasonable to expect to see some of the development cost absorbed into the product price, and it becomes even more understandable if the scale of production is such that each board takes a long time to produce (e.g. a lot of hand soldering).  In terms of components in conservative quanties (e.g. 100), I'd expect the ATmega128 to be around $9, the USB-to-UART bridge to be about $2.50, maybe around $5 - $6 for the rest of the parts, and I'd guess around $2 - $4 per PCB.  Unless I'm forgetting something or quantites are lower than I'm estimating, I'd think parts costs would come to around $20 per Axon when bought in lots of 100+, which would imply a reasonable retail price of between $80 and $100 before even factoring in things like development costs, manufacturing time and costs, and support.

- Ben

Offline dsheller

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Re: AXON
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 05:14:36 PM »
I thought the Axon was using an ATmega 640? Am I missing something with the people mentioning it is a breakout board for an ATmega168? Honestly I'd fork over the money based on the fact it's using the 640 -- I don't want to try and solder one of those anytime soon.  :o

Offline airman00

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Re: AXON
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 05:43:49 PM »
I thought the Axon was using an ATmega 640? Am I missing something with the people mentioning it is a breakout board for an ATmega168? Honestly I'd fork over the money based on the fact it's using the 640 -- I don't want to try and solder one of those anytime soon.  :o

I have the axon in front of me  ITs the ATmega 640
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline izua

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Re: AXON
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 09:30:14 PM »
my bad ^^
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline bens

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Re: AXON
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2008, 03:00:13 AM »
Ah, when I saw Izua's post I thought that was a typo for ATmega128, which is a commonly used AVR for larger-scale projects that require more flash, RAM, and I/O.  The 640 is a slightly less expensive IC: $11.80 in quantity 1, $7.80 in quantity 100.

- Ben

Offline Admin

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Re: AXON
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2008, 07:30:12 AM »
Quote
The axon seems a bit overpriced from a components standpoint, but it's reasonable to expect to see some of the development cost absorbed into the product price, and it becomes even more understandable if the scale of production is such that each board takes a long time to produce (e.g. a lot of hand soldering).  In terms of components in conservative quanties (e.g. 100), I'd expect the ATmega128 to be around $9, the USB-to-UART bridge to be about $2.50, maybe around $5 - $6 for the rest of the parts, and I'd guess around $2 - $4 per PCB.  Unless I'm forgetting something or quantites are lower than I'm estimating, I'd think parts costs would come to around $20 per Axon when bought in lots of 100+, which would imply a reasonable retail price of between $80 and $100 before even factoring in things like development costs, manufacturing time and costs, and support.
Yeap. Add in the costs of RoHS compliance on everything, expensive assembly because of fine pitch and a ton of headers, advertising costs, shipping to/from my manufacturer in Cananda, customer shipping that is included in the price, packaging and labeling, the included external on/off switch ($5), the USB mini cable ($3), and prototyping costs too.

But even then, price is determined by market forces: supply and demand, comparable competitor pricing, minimum cost to manufacture, quantity produced, etc.

Offline Dscrimager

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Re: AXON
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2009, 08:17:56 AM »
I want to chime in: old topic but-
- the AXON is nicely done. There are many alternatives out there but very few have the horse power and flexibility of the AXON and work so well right out of the box. Once you buy the board all the software elements are free.

I'm used to working with $99 controllers for Halloween props which do a lot less than these boards (still VERY good products though with top notch customer service and aimed a different market) and this is but a few dollars more. The Roboduino, which I also have, is very nice.

I have had my AXON for a few weeks now and have my octobot, and autonomous bot, almost done. The AXON allows one to jump right into the interesting software bits with a top-notch controller.

Doug

Offline tigy888

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Re: AXON
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2009, 01:24:37 PM »
This may sound stupid but :P
is it possible to make an Axon?

if it is possible then can someone give me tips or list of parts...

Offline Wizzard

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Re: AXON
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2009, 06:13:39 PM »
OK...

Another 2 cents worth,

I just received My AXON yesterday I am setting up to test a servo actuated manipulator I built. My background is in hardware not software so all the tutorials and code available have and will be invaluable. I could spend weeks / forever building my own.

Offline frodo

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Re: AXON
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2009, 06:35:35 PM »
it is possible to make an axon but it requires special tools, lots of patience, a steady hand and hours of spare time - quoting admin.
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