Your latest sample

Since the “Your latest purchase” thread is popular I am going to shamelessly copy it, just like a Chinese manufacturer.

(I’m also going to make inflammatory claims to encourage responses…)

Me: I convinced AD to send me an AD7762 which is a precision 625ksps 24 bit ADC. This is beyond my skill level and I have never interfaced an external ADC before but what the hell, I bet I can get something working here even if it not optimal. We will see.

What was your latest and greatest sample?

JoeN: Since the "Your latest purchase" thread is popular I am going to shamelessly copy it, just like a Chinese manufacturer.

(I'm also going to make inflammatory claims to encourage responses...)

Me: I convinced AD to send me an AD7762 which is a precision 625ksps 24 bit ADC. This is beyond my skill level and I have never interfaced an external ADC before but what the hell, I bet I can get something working here even if it not optimal. We will see.

What was your latest and greatest sample?

I've never applied for a free sample from a chip manufacture as I assumed that I was not the target for such programs and offerings. Most need you to register and seem to want a company name, title, etc and I never felt as a hobbyist, I should have to 'invent' such, just to get some freebies.

retrolefty:
I’ve never applied for a free sample from a chip manufacture as I assumed that I was not the target for such programs and offerings. Most need you to register and seem to want a company name, title, etc and I never felt as a hobbyist, I should have to ‘invent’ such, just to get some freebies.

I put down engineer. I’m a software engineer. Omitting software seems fair. :smiley:

I put down my real address and real phone and real company URL and real company email address. It’s professional. Not my fault I work for a professional company. :smiley:

I even mostly put down the real application. Omitting that it’s for one unit seems fair too, there is usually a <1000 units per year option. :smiley:

Lady Ada does it. What more do I need to say?

Samples are cheap marketing. Don't be afraid to ask for them. The target audience is people who might design the device into a product, people who might design the company's other devices into products, students, and people who will post projects on the internet, and ... others. The cost of sending out devices is SO much lower than, say, a magazine advertisement, that I doubt that it registers in the overall budget.

(And it's not really different than buying a $5 LaunchPad, or a $15 LPCExpresso or STM430F eval board. You don't think that those actually cost the company that little to make, do you?)

Lady Ada does it. What more do I need to say?

Does not LA actually design, manufacture, and sell electronic modules and devices that could utilize sample chips? Sounds like just what the program is aimed at. I'm not down on hobbyist that apply for such samples, I just buy what I want to play with. I can afford it and it keeps me a little more disciplined as I have too much stuff and too many uncompleted projects as it is.

Lefty

I have to admit that the excuses for freebie samples have gotten slimmer now that there are many distributors that sell in small quantities, and manufacturer web-stores that will do the same. A big reason for samples used to be that there was no other way to "try out" one of a product.

Don't max out the vendor-imposed sample limits and sell the extras on eBay, though. That's just wrong. (Although, it has occurred to be that an interesting strategy would be for a manufacturer to hire someone to sell "sample quantities" at near-zero prices on eBay for them. It'd a bit prone to abuse from too many directions, though. Still ... outsourcing to cottage industry...)

retrolefty:

Lady Ada does it. What more do I need to say?

Does not LA actually design, manufacture, and sell electronic modules and devices that could utilize sample chips? Sounds like just what the program is aimed at. I'm not down on hobbyist that apply for such samples, I just buy what I want to play with. I can afford it and it keeps me a little more disciplined as I have too much stuff and too many uncompleted projects as it is.

Lefty

She maintains this page, take from it what you can:

http://www.ladyada.net/library/procure/samples.html

[quote author=Ada, Lady link=topic=119701.msg901130#msg901130 date=1345684643] It's hard to go wrong with free. Parts manufacturers are often more than happy to ship you, for no cost, a few samples of their merchandise. They often ship within the week, sometimes the next day, and with free 2-3day FedEx/UPS [/quote]

I only find fault with one thing, several have shipped to me within 90 minutes.

westfw: Don't max out the vendor-imposed sample limits and sell the extras on eBay, though. That's just wrong. (Although, it has occurred to be that an interesting strategy would be for a manufacturer to hire someone to sell "sample quantities" at near-zero prices on eBay for them. It'd a bit prone to abuse from too many directions, though. Still ... outsourcing to cottage industry...)

I agree with you, it's wrong, but I don't think it could hurt the manufacturer that much (or at all) because no one that manufactures with those parts would be fishing the parts off of eBay one at a time to try to cut costs, it just wouldn't work. And that is where 99+% of semiconductor manufacturers make money - real manufacturers who built end user devices out of those parts and buy them tens of thousands of units at a time in proper anti-static packaging from well known distributors or direct. If all the hobbiest sales suddenly went away they probably wouldn't even see that noise in the one signal that matters - if the economy is up, down, or steady. That seems to make all the difference.

I don't think it could hurt the manufacturer that much

I guess that one thought against hobbyists sampling (or people selling their samples on eBay) is that it hurts the distributors that cater to hobbyists. Some of those are money-grabbing opportunists that sell chips and parts at tremendous markups, but a lot of them do a good job of providing parts to various niches, and I'd hate to see them go away.

westfw:

I don't think it could hurt the manufacturer that much

I guess that one thought against hobbyists sampling (or people selling their samples on eBay) is that it hurts the distributors that cater to hobbyists. Some of those are money-grabbing opportunists that sell chips and parts at tremendous markups, but a lot of them do a good job of providing parts to various niches, and I'd hate to see them go away.

I doubt they will. You need a lot of components you can't get in sufficient quantities by sampling, unless you are happy to light only a few LEDs or whatever. Who samples the large numbers of resistors and capacitors that you need? Really only a few semiconductors are worth sampling - the ones complex enough to be interesting but hard enough to use that you will only do one, and simple enough to do at all (not an ARM processor with 100 .4mm pins, for example). ADC/DACs come to mind!

I have been lucky enough to get samples on two occasions. In both occasions, I did not have to invent a title or company name. I believe that where it asks for company, I stated “No company”. I used my real e-mail address and I had no problem getting the pieces.

I will say that I will only go to the trouble of getting a sample for things that I would perhaps later buy more if that sample fits my criteria. I will also promote the product to fellow hobbyist if the product is worthy. I feel it is a fair trade in my situation.

cyclegadget: I will also promote the product to fellow hobbyist if the product is worthy. I feel it is a fair trade in my situation.

Then tell us what you got! That's the whole point of this thread! :P

If you are honest and upfront about asking, some manufacturers will gladly provide samples to even hobbyists. Microchip, Maxim, and Dallas Semi have sent me parts in the past when I sent them letters explaining what I wanted and why. In all cases the items were sent via USPS rather than overnight (which costs much more than the parts--and indeed qualifies as harm)

If you misleed, even by lying from omission, when requesting such parts you are, in my opinion, committing theft through fraud. An honest/ethical approach is simple, just provide the whole and complete truth when requesting the samples and let the company decide if they wish to send you a freebie. For those of you who don't provide the complete truth, what do you say to the sales person who usually posts a follow-up call relating to such 'freebies'...

And sorry, but I don't see much difference to the lines of reasoning used in this thread; http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,105119.0.html

Oh, when requested, I received nearly a dozen difference PICs (different types) from Microchip, and some A2D chips from Maxim. Don't remember what I received from Dallas Semi...

wanderson: If you are honest and upfront about asking, some manufacturers will gladly provide samples to even hobbyists. Microchip, Maxim, and Dallas Semi have sent me parts in the past when I sent them letters explaining what I wanted and why. In all cases the items were sent via USPS rather than overnight (which costs much more than the parts--and indeed qualifies as harm)

If you misleed, even by lying from omission, when requesting such parts you are, in my opinion, committing theft through fraud. An honest/ethical approach is simple, just provide the whole and complete truth when requesting the samples and let the company decide if they wish to send you a freebie. For those of you who don't provide the complete truth, what do you say to the sales person who usually posts a follow-up call relating to such 'freebies'...

And sorry, but I don't see much difference to the lines of reasoning used in this thread; http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,105119.0.html

Oh, when requested, I received nearly a dozen difference PICs (different types) from Microchip, and some A2D chips from Maxim. Don't remember what I received from Dallas Semi...

Thank you for sharing with us the samples that you received. Microchip seems like good people for sure.

JoeN:
Thank you for sharing with us the samples that you received. Microchip seems like good people for sure.

Yes they are, particularly when you consider that at the time 3 or 4 of those chips were CERDIPs with UV windows. Those were expensive chips (> $20 each)

Must admit that I much prefer the change where most manufacturers have retail sales for small quantities directly or through distributors. Just prefer to purchase what I need.

I contacted (or tried to) a manufacturer who produces an IC for working with WWVB signals since I couldn’t find a supplier of small quantities (Digikey required minimum of 100). They never even responded to the email…

I love Atmel, they make the best micro controllers at the best price... Look at this http://www.bajdi.com/?attachment_id=469 ]:)

(Atmel has just implemented a new Sampling Scheme, BTW. Traditionally, it was supposed to be difficult to get Samples of Atmel chips.)

Note that if you're a "real company" of the sort likely to use tens of thousands to millions of chips, a sample request is likely to be answered with an offer to send around a sales team, engineers to assist you with your design, development tools, and more. Which goes back to what I said about samples being cheap marketing. Even the 5 minute phone call is likely to cost the company more than the sample chips themselves (and I suspect that the infrastructure to support sampling for the customers that really "deserve" it cost more than product they send out. (applies to the sort of avr-class chips I assume we're mostly talking about. If you start phoning places up "I'm working on a new guided missile system for the army, and I'd like to get a sample of your $300 mil-spec 9dof inertial navigation chip...", you've probably crossed a line.)

I've found Texas Instruments to be very generous and fast with their samples. I don't try and order once a week or anything though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaEICMKAXIs

meanpc:
I’ve found Texas Instruments to be very generous and fast with their samples. I don’t try and order once a week or anything though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaEICMKAXIs

Those are interesting chips but I think I like Atmel better, at least on paper. These seem to compete with the ATTiny line, but as a 16 bit processor. So they have an advantage there, but all the options seem to be 2KB flash/128 bytes RAM/0 bytes EEPROM and even the modest Attiny 44 has 4KB/256/256.

Some samples I have got:

I got a STN1110 chip rather quickly after asking for it. Here is a bit of info that I quoted from a thread where I got the info.

STN1110 ICs from here: http://www.obdsol.com/stn1110/

The STN1110 chip supports all the OBD-II protocols. If you want something a little more user-friendly (and a little more expensive) you can also get the ODB-II UART board from Sparkfun (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9555) which also uses the STN1110.

Or you could build your own version of the Sparkfun board using their schematics.

I got an STM32F4 discovery board from ST, www.st.com for free which was nice. I struggle with using it but, it is a nice board!

Most recently, I got 4 chips from Atmel by filling out their form for receiving samples. I have a thread about that here in bar sport.

In each case, I answered honestly, and had no problems getting the chips.

Anyone else have any luck getting samples?