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Topic: Pathways to take an idea further - advice needed (Read 85 times) previous topic - next topic


I have created a working prototype of a wifi enabled irrigation controller that includes soil moisture probes on individual stations rather than a single rain sensor.

At least in Australia there is no product that is remotely like it available from any of the big garden product manufacturers.

If you want to or need to know more about it then see here: http://www.gregsindigenouslandscapes.com.au/

But I have come to an impasse. How do I take it further? Among the things that are needed is a proper enclosure for it that give it a more polished appearance and I need to look into some PCB etching for a couple of parts that are currently bits of matrix board.

I have looked at kickstarter but I can't get past their verification stage and they seem to be asleep at the wheel - there is no way to get in contact with them other than through a support email address which they aren't responding to.

Are there any alternatives to kick starter for electronics projects?

I have a few other ideas as well - nothing that will change the world, rather that will just add a bit more convenience to life at less expense.


Have you tried your local Hacker/maker spaces?  Thats often a good place to find similarly-minded people with complimentary skills.   Perhaps https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/things-to-do/a-guide-to-melbournes-maker-spaces


Unless you go with 3D printing, which has its own issues, a custom enclosure is the sort of thing that will only be possible if you can sell large volume of your product. This is one of the benefits of using kickstarter, if the campaign is successful then you already have the sales volume and the money, if it's not successful then the demand for the product may not exist at the level that will support custom enclosure manufacturing.

Of course it's not necessary to use a custom enclosure. You could just find a source for nice enclosures of a suitable size. You should be able to get them cheaper if you buy large quantities at one time.

Luckily custom PCB manufacturing is now quite accessible to anyone even at small quantities.

There may be some significant bureaucratic barriers to overcome before you can bring something like this to market. It seems like people try to get around this by selling kits. I don't know all the legal details on this sort of thing and I'm sure it changes from one country to another. https://www.tindie.com/ is probably the marketplace of choice for selling that sort of thing. Unfortunately a lot of potential customers are not going to be willing to do the assembly but you may find there are enough to still make it a viable product.

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