Thanks, wise advice, which I am very much in tune with. There's nothing patentable in this. It's a simple standalone RFID reader/logger for small tagged animals. Any decent electronics engineer could have designed it in a week, I imagine. I have no interest in commercial exploitation; and even if I did, I know from other projects that protecting a patent is extremely costly and is often unsuccessful (although the lawyers still get paid).
The history probably best explains my attitude. When I started down this line in 2015 (out of need in my wildlife research job), I went to the specialist RFID companies. They wanted to sell me off-the-shelf kit that didn't meet my requirements and couldn't be adapted either to my initial need or to changing needs. They were very reticent with their knowledge (I suppose that's understandable) so that it appeared like a dark art. Only one company was willing to consider making a custom device, and gave me a rough quote of £3,000 per unit, assuming purchase of 100 units (which was what I needed), and "if it was possible at all": so £300,000 plus consumables just to buy the research equipment. Since then, a recent startup company has launched a device that almost does what I wanted, but cannot be developed by the user, and costs just under £400 per unit. That's more reasonable, but even £40,000 is a year's research budget for many wildlife research projects including staff costs.
I had read about Arduinos, the idea of designing gadgets appealed to me, and I was prepared to puzzle it out. In the end, my device works out at £50 per unit (plus construction time), can be made on the kitchen table, and can be tweaked or developed by anyone prepared to learn like I was. It also uses very inexpensive tags. I thought it through carefully so it does exactly what was needed. Of course I haven't costed in my learning and development time, but over 4 years these gadgets have stood out in all weathers and sucked in just over a million items of data that were impossible to get in any other way, so I reckon we are quids-in. Pride in the device doesn't figure for me, it's the data and what we have learned from it that makes me happy.
So I suppose my attitude is anti-commercial in that I resent being overcharged for something that isn't actually very difficult. I want to share the knowledge so that others can use it or build on it to do more worthwhile science. I hope they will, and that this will make them more independent of specialist suppliers. I have nothing against the latter, but I really want to avoid making them a gift they haven't earned.
Does that seem reasonable? Or is it excessively Robin Hood?
I think I could use quite a few beers, though.