Arduino and Money

westfw: You'll note that some of these require a good deal of expertise, and/or ... other attributes.

I tried that but my videos kept getting banned.

Boardburner2: It was an attempt to explain to the OP how these devices get used for commercial applications.

And computing used to be done on mainframes with programs punched on cards too.

travis_farmer: "collect underpants" ??? :o

it just occurred to me, what the heck does that mean?


Go to underpants outlets and those big underpants conventions and buy the collectible ones.

You have an idea, you have some skills to realize your idea. You should be able to make some money off that idea. That’s the theory and practice in Arduino DIY for a while but I know that many are angered by all the cheap modules and arduino clones on ebay and beyond. There seems to be nothing you can design to have any price advantage over the flood of modules when a module is sold cheaper with free shipping on ebay than the key component featured on the module. Say I design a board featuring ATMEGA328P. The 328P is about $4 each. Then a nano clone costs only $3 -$3.50 so why designing anything?!

That was my opinion for a while.

“collect underpants” ??? :o

it just occurred to me, what the heck does that mean?


It’s a reference to an episode of South Park.

It’s a meme against someone who feels like they are ready for business but their business plan only says, “Make lots of money.” and nothing else.

liudr: The 328P is about $4 each.

Wow, you need to get a different supplier, you're getting scammed if you're paying anywhere near that much at any sort of purchase quantity for manufacturing.

I think it's still possible to sell hardware for a higher price if you can provide better support, etc. as in the examples of Sparkfun/Adafruit but a lot of customers are going to just get the lowest price board and there's no way to compete on price with a lot of this stuff. I can buy a board on eBay for less than it would cost me to mail it to my neighbor. If you can come up with a new product then there is no competition at first but if it's successful enough the clones are soon to come so you have to be constantly innovating.

liudr: The 328P is about $4 each. Then a nano clone costs only $3 -$3.50 so why designing anything?!

Futurlec (ships from HK) has been charging $2.20 ea for single DIP 328P's. Shipping is not free but for me so far, about $7. They sell the DIP 1284P for $7 and have a wide chip selection. I've spent about $40 a pop there.


The price must have just come down from about $4. Now it is $2

One year ago I bought 100 P-au at $2.7 each, that's 100. Most people don't need that many.

Now it is half the price. Still, even before the price came down, the nanos were at $3-3.5.

Anyway, most makers aren't going to compete with spar-dafruit. Here is one solution I found that may suit others as well:

Don't hate/fear the cheap stuff on the internet, use them! I used to build boards like this (both sides need reflow, only showing one side):


This is what I do now: |500x333

I am using all these cheap modules in a thru-hole design. This is an open-source data logger so is the previous one. On the outside they look the same: |500x375

The software should carry the sales price. Don't expect to compete with China selling empty boards.

Futurlec has held that $2.20 ea ($200 for 100) for the DIP 328P-PU since at least 2012. I saw DIPMICRO beat that at the end of last year but didn't get to move on it till too late.

Where you shop and how many you buy is where you get your price. A factory that produces 100,000 to millions of boards is not paying small quantity prices for chips.

How often do we get farmers wanting to automate chicken coops? Enough to show there's likely many more who don't attempt (or even think of attempting) the project. With the right package, some will buy and pay to have it installed right. Just don't be wrong, it had better be tested and work from the start.

Finding the right market is also crucial. Like GoForSmoke said, provide the right package and carefree operation. That's worth value added, not just the hardware, which is cheap.

liudr: The price must have just come down from about $4. Now it is $2

Maybe related to the MicroChip buyout. I'm glad I didn't notice the price go up, I would have been stressed out. I bought 25 with a digikey order before that happened and haven't needed any since.

liudr: Anyway, most makers aren't going to compete with spar-dafruit.

I wouldn't recommend trying to compete, rather emulate what they're doing right (documentation, libraries, customer support, branding) but with products they don't sell.

liudr: This is what I do now:

I do like the look of a board with no modules, though I don't know why I have that hang-up. However, I'm also a big fan of through hole because it's so much more accessible so the board with modules has a significant advantage. They can order the kit and it probably won't take much over an hour to assemble even for someone with only a little prior experience with a soldering iron! In that way the second seems even more "open" to me. Of course some will be happy to pay you extra for the assembled device too. If you can provide this at a lower cost by using the modules that's great. Even though your shipping cost will be higher than what a Chinese seller would pay, it's not so bad as trying to compete on a single module sale since it's divided among a handful of modules and the extra shipping cost is well worth it to a US buyer anxious to get their new toy soon.

pert: Maybe related to the MicroChip buyout. I'm glad I didn't notice the price go up,

It didn't for all sources unless it happened before 2012. Blame Obama.

Yep, it must have been Obama trying to take away my 42nd amendment right to bear microcontrollers.

If we can’t blame Obama then we might start seeing what’s really going on.

You're right, I see it now. It was the Russians!

Or just a few thousand internationals playing the rest of the world off on each other.

Looks like the OP made a $million after his Original Post and does not need our help anymore :slight_smile:


Or got bored with fishing here.

Or got bored with fishing here.

I like your thinking, it is just about good BASS fishing weather again, maybe I can make my millions adapting Arduino to that somehow…

here fishy fishy fishy…

Pic Attached.

If it works, then that Nano probably costs at most a quarter of the cost of a good store-bought lure.