03/06/2019 at 21:09 •
@Josh Lloyd Of course...
@Kris Winer I'm starting a new low power ESP32 project, I'll keep your power requirements in mind. How often do you need to capture a sensor reading?
@Brian Lough I liked the twitch stream, did you stop?
@Josh Lloyd Once a minute is fine, please let me know your progress on this...
I really enjoyed doing the live streams, I would like to do more. But it came down to a time prioritization thing. When tindie started taking off I really struggled to juggle everything (I was struggling up to that point too)
Might be tough with a new one arriving soon, too
@Kris Winer Sounds like a good target. I'll keep you updated when I've something more formalized.
My daughter has turned into a "Daddys girl" and insists I do bedtime now, so it made Mondays stream hard to do. And I used to stream before she got up on a Saturday, but she started getting up earlier
@Brian Lough Do you assemble your own products or have the fab do this? I've found that Chinese fabs have costs just above the BOM cost that include assembly and testing. Pretty sweet...
I did my first livestream of 2019 last Friday on playing around with the Attiny841, It was great to do it again
@Brian Lough Glad you have your priorities straight. :)
@Kris Winer Who is assembling so cheap?
@Dan Maloney says, those opportunities might be limited!So I'll probably stream every now and again when it suits, but as
Ha - I used to leave for work at 4:00AM to avoid getting snagged by my toddler daughter for "sunrise playtime"
I use Schotry International in Beijing.
@Kris Winer , but most products I'm trying to offer as kits more than assembledI do the main assembling
For the power BloughR I do the soldering and my wife does the heat shrink and testing
Do the kits work, I mean most of my customers seem to be pretty much plug and play types...
She also helps with the tindie fulfilment, which is a huge help
A cottage industry...
@Brian Lough Sounds like a cute business you've got going there!
I reckon my wife would be interested in having more to do with her time, perhaps its Tindie time.
I try to make the kits I sell be easy to assemble. I'm sure I would sell more if I offered them as assembled too, but it comes back to time is a precious asset thing.
If it takes me 30 mins to assemble a board, the amount of money I would have to charge to make that worth my while is just not what anyone would be willing to spend!
I'm not exactly super well off or anything, but I get by with my day job
So I would prefer to have more free time than a small amount of extra money (if that makes sense)
I have paid my daughter to tests boards for, she claims to enjoy the work!
It's nice to have more than one source of income, though, even if one is modest.
Whats nice about my wife helping out with the Power BloughR is its something we can do together. Even if its not a fun activity, its better both of us doing it together for 4 hours than me being locked away for 8 houts
I always assumed that something like Tindie was mostly for the enjoyment and not for the profit. The profit was like pocket money in comparison
@Brian Lough I agree. Better to be working on something and bonding, than being shut away
tindie covers most of the spending on electronics at the moment
So its not a profit financially nor time-wise ?
But it is something you enjoy ?
I dont spend a huge amount on them anyways, but its really nice to be able to order boards without having to worry about it coming from the general house hold budget
I've made some money from Tindie and the whole sale of goods
more than I've ever made from Youtube for example!
@Josh Lloyd , but I bought my wife's Phone for Christmas using tindie moneyI mainly like it
I don't think YouTube is a viable option for income for almost anyone now.
so it was nice to get something tangible from it too
YouTube has been suffocating content creators for a couple years now.
I've found Tindie sales can lead to custom work requests, which can pay well...
I had my best ever month on Youtube in January and it didn't even come close to Tindie money in January
@Brian Lough Do you've any projects in mind that you've dreamed about but haven't considered making yet? Be it too difficult or whatever reason? Why have you not started, and what are they?
I've had some offers locally but I just didnt have the time
For sale or just to make?
@Kris Winer The assembly you sourced from Schotry, was it surface mount parts? Are they able to fab small components?
Organize anything, together. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, know what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
not sure custom design work is worth the bother, I still get nightmares about an email that says "I know you said not to touch the design but the fab house says we could save money if..."
@Brian Lough Either. Since it sounds like you mostly make things for your interest and then sometimes sell them.
Here are some of my back log ideas
I think ideas are cheap :)
The do WLCSP, 4-layer boards, both sides, etc. Anything you can have made at OSH Park they can too and assemble and test.
@Jakob Wulfkind Please don't swear like that :P
Organize anything, together. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, know what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
So we're coming up on an hour, which is the "official" end of the chat. Don't let that stop everyone from continuing the chat, though, as long as Brian wants to hang on.
Did this get deleted or did I forget to post, apologies if its against any rules!
I can stay for another bit anyways
I see it twice, I think the conversation here is just moving fast.
But bed time is soon :)
I want to thank Brian for his time, and the great chat - lots of good stuff about Tindie!
haha, maybe bed time for me is needed too!
@Brian Lough it has been enjoyable and informativeFirstly, in case I don't catch you at the end, thanks for coming to the chat
I would just like to recommend the ESP32 PICO D4 as worthy of your attention...easy to design with.
And just a plug for next week's chat - Greg Zumwalt will be here to discuss his cool 3D-printed automata
and Lastly, that Trello board looks exciting. I'll have to sub on Youtube
And if anyone has a desire to host a Hack Chat, please ping me. We're booking chats into April now.
@SeonR suffer through getting PSRAM to work and reading through a 13 page thread on the Espressif forums. I am ready to dive in and do the same with a PICO D4.Have watching
03/06/2019 at 21:09 •
@Dan Maloney, with regards the tester. I have no caught a single bad unit with it!
@Brian Lough I don't, because I do it for fun
and I have a very rich wife
BUT it gives me huge piece of mind. If I made 10000 good ones I still wouldnt stop using it
@deshipu Oh I know :-) But you need to look at what the market will bare/accept for your product too.
@Jakob Wulfkind we help troubleshoot payment issues with customers. Buyers can use credit/debit cards or Paypal. We help mediate if there are other customer service issues.
my reputation as a seller is very important to me and even one or two bad ones would not be worth the time it takes to test
@SeonR if the market won't buy it at that price, then it's probably not a good idea in the first place :)
@Jasmine Brackett is here! w00t!Oh
If I costed in the time to make, pack and ship, then it would be too expensive. We all do it for the satisfaction of giving back to others who can make use of what you've made.
@Brian Lough Your YouTube presence. When did you start, how did you start, did you get help from anyone, and do you've any wisdom to pass on to someone like myself who has only their toe in the waters of hacker/maker space; and wanting to start producing content.
especially the ones that are sold via a reseller. If you sell 100 on tindie and two come back as bad, only those two people see that
@Digicool Things that only works until you get 80 orders in one week, though
@Digicool Things you might want to optimise your processes, still.
@deshipu Really depends on what it is, and why you made it... a lot of what I put on tindie is projects I was making for myself first... but that said, I don't always make great decisions ;)
but if you sell through a re-seller (shout out to TH3dstudio!) they see both becuase they had to deal with the customers
@Josh Lloyd question.I second
Does anyone know if it is possible to sell on Tindie as a company and not as an individual? And what about liability? I see a lot of circuit boards, and I imagine none of them go through any form of certification?
@Nicolas Schurando I can see a lot of companies selling there, so I would guess that yes
@SeonR people don't browse Tindie and compare to other places on price. They are looking for hardware shortcuts or items they can't find anywhere else. Many also want to support other hardware creators.
@Josh Lloyd I've been making videos for just over two years now. I started by picking a topic that I knew and recorded a video on it. My first one was about connecting to HTTPs endpoints directly on the ESP8266
I have recieved lots of help along the way. The main boost I got was from appearing on the EEVBlog guest videos Jan of last year
@Nicolas Schurando There is a lot of grey area with cert for hobby electronics and items that are used as part of something else... you need to do your own research on your products and see where they stand on cert requirements.
I went from 1k to 2k subs basically overnight, it took me a full year to get the first 1k
@Brian Lough - is your software dev job related to ESP8266 stuff?
Make videos that you would like to watch yourself is about as good of a tip as I could give. Also dont spend a load of money getting stareted. I still use a Second hand snow ball mic and I use a webcamera for shooting videos
@Nicolas Schurando we have a lot of small businesses and companies from all over the world. We ask sellers to ensure that they are abiding by the rules where they reside and where they ship to. Many items are components or parts, but if you're selling a consumer item, then there may be additional certs you need.
Yes, I discovered Brian's channel via that EEVBlog guest video.
I work for an American financial services company, who's social media policy prevents me from saying their name!
For the last 7 years or so I have been a regular app developer, working in .net and c#
but last year I moved to their proof of concepts team, I'm currently working on a VR project in Unity using the HTC vive
it's a lot of fun!
Understood. You just mentioned your first videos and going with what you know, figured there may have been some crossover
Ah, C#/.NET, spent 2 years training on that stack and don't even use it professionally.
Actually how I came across the ESP8266 is kind of interesting
@Brian Lough do tell.
I was not involved with making at all at this stage, but I saw the pi zero and I thought that was really cool and wanted to pick one up
but they were sold out (this was 3 years ago)
@Jasmine Brackett Ok, thanks!
and I came across a reddit post of someone saying that they waited so long for a pi zero that they figured what they really wanted was an ESP8266
at this stage I had never used any arduinos before, but reading up on the ESP8266 I was blown away with what it claimed it could do
So I bought some stuff and started hacking away on it and I was hooked
Your reaction to the ESP8266 is how I felt when I discovered it. The price and its capability was unbelievable. Then I saw the ESP32 and I'm obsessed. I've found no competition to Espressif.
Yeah, it is a pretty amazing ecosystem. Bitluni has done some really cool video hacking with ESPs
One of the first things I tried to do with it is get the Telegram Bot API working on it, I was actually on work leave at the time (finding myself :) ) and was doing a lot of work with Telegram bots and I thought it would be perfect fit
For sure he is!
I tried out his ESP32 to VGA thing last week and it works great!
ESP32 to PS1 emulator anyone?
where did you find a vga monitor?
I'm at the stage now where ESP8266 is my default chip unless I have a reason to not use it (battery/size etc)
on my desk :)
I also found one in my shed, I'm a horder
Yeah, but is it a CRT?
I'm too weak for CRTs :)
No its not
The best CRTs are the ones you have to slap to get vertical drawing working
I still had a few of those until very recently
ESP MCUs are great but they are not low power devices...
@Josh Lloyd - "Percussive maintenance"
what was the little button that you could press on CRTs to make them kind of bounce?
Ah, CRT's. From the brave era where our source of entertainment was a particle accele
rator pointed at one's face
@Brian Lough degauss
@Kris Winer I get 4uA from the ESP32 in deepsleep. Is that not low power?
Have a great day!
@Kris Winer that they are not! my PCB3 used an attiny13 and lasted for a couple of days on a single coincell with the 12 charlieplexed LEDs
@Josh Lloyd it's not
@Josh Lloyd Non-state preserving, so limited in its application...
4kB of state stored in RTC Slow Mem
but then you have to read and write it, and that makes you stay longer in non-sleep states
I guess for my application where I want to wake up once an hour for the next 15 years, ESP32 works well.
@Josh Lloyd How do you do that with the Arduino IDE? Would be cool if possible...
also the non-sleep state is really energy hungry
If I missed any questions please feel free to post again, it was hectic at one stage and I'm a slow typer :P
@Kris Winer You should be able to use the RTC Data Attribute in Arduino
I asked if you have ever been tempted to try the ESP8285...
@Josh Lloyd I'll need to take a look at htis, thanks!
@Kris Winer Try using `RTC_DATA_ATTR` before your variable next time. I've not tried it in Arduino but its an ESP-IDF attribute and should be defined in the Arduino environment.
I dont do a lot with ESP modules, I mainly use the wemos d1 mini
The variable will be linked in to low power meomry.
Is the ESP8265 lower power than the 8266?
Inspired by the awesome badges made by maker community, I thought it would be cool to make a PCB in the shape of a PCB. The tree has 12 LEDs that are intended be reverse mounted so that shine through the PCB to illuminate the other side.
There is the PCB3 for reference
@Brian Lough So is YouTube and Twitter your primary social interface?
Do you use anything else, frequently?
I used to live stream on Twitch twice a week
I usually target ~25 uA average power usage for most of my remotely-deployed, or wearable devices. It would be great if an ESP-based device could do this...
But yes, those are my two main ones
@Brian Lough - Meant to ask about the live streams. Planning on any more?
I'm trying to get into Instagram a bit more, but im an old fogey (sp?)
ESP8285 is basically the same as an ESP8266 but with embedded flash memory.
@Kris Winer The "average" depends on your wake duty cycle, right?
@Kris - Thanks, might order a dev board to play with
03/06/2019 at 21:07 •
Hey everyone, looks like it's time to get started. Let's welcome Brian Lough to the Hack Chat!
Brian, it looks like you're pretty well-known to the regulars, but maybe you can give everyone a little about your background.
Just in time...
Hey everyone, I'm Brian and I'm a software developer from Ireland. I live with my Wife , our daughter (with company arriving shortly) and our two dogs
hehe, the expecting maker
The ultimate hack
From a maker point of view, I mainly play around with the ESP8266, I've written quite a few libraries for it wrapping various APIs
I document these and other things mostly on my YouTube channel
And around July of last year I started getting into making PCBs
Hello! On my channel I make videos mainly on Arduino Projects and libraries. I do a lot of work with the ESP8266
I think it's safe to say I have the PCB bug now
Was that your first foray into PCBs?
The first PCB I ever ordered was actually V1 of my Power Blough-R, so not off to a bad start
I purposely picked that because of how simple it was
and still spent way too much time on it!
I had designed a board around this time last year that I never ordered. it was just an ISP header to DIP 8 adapter for programming attiny85s
Do you use mostly 2- or 4-layer pcbs now?
I'll bet - I haven't taken the plunge on PCB design yet, but given how much time I spend tweaking 3D-print designs in Fusion 360, I can see the PCB thing being a black hole for me.
@Kris Winer . If i keep doing things more than once I want to make it into a PCB. Then I list them on Tindie, because if I am tired of doing the same thing out on perfboard than im sure others are too!Only 2 layers. My boards are normally pretty basic to be honest. Most of the boards are almost like replacements for perfboards
I think spending too much time on a "simple" project is the Hacker Way -- I was planning a simple stationary bike generator for a friend and am now three weeks into a multi-level permanent magnet rotor redesign
hackaday.io icon / image. :)Hey Brian. I almost didn't recognise you from your
The exception to this would probably be the PCB3 project which was my first attempt at a "stylish" PCB. It was a Christmas tree shaped PCB with reverse mount leds shinning through baubles
ah, that was yours
It was still a relatively simple board though
but very nice
What CAD tool do you use, pcb fab house?
@Jakob Wulfkind - I agree. If I'm learning, I feel justified in spending the time. Of course I "learn" a lot from endless YouTube videos...
@Digicool Things , I scrub up pretty well eh? :PHey
second worst -- I'm currently six years into a one-year project
The Power BloughRs are designed using Eagle, but everything I have done since I have used EasyEDA
A subject matter expert is someone who has already made every mistake possible in his/hers subject area!
the first board I designed (the ISP to Dip) was done using KiCad
I know people will not be overly impressed with the choice of EasyEDA, but i do like it. I found it the easiest to use of the 3
@Brian Lough How many hours did you spend in Eagle and how many have you spent in EasyEDA. You've worked with KiCad too so you've kind of touched on all the freely available things. Can you give a sentence on why you are currently sticking with EasyEDA, what you like about it?
I also really like that the have footprints for most parts on LCSC (where I buy most of my parts)
@Brian Lough have you tried Fritzing? ;)
Fritzing - not even once ;-)
@deshipu tragically it appears to be a dead project
@Kris Winer , I mainly use JLCPCB. I have also used oshpark a few times too. For the PCB3 I ended up using Elecrow because JLC have a water mark on the Fr-4 material what is fine for regular PCBs, but kind of ruined the look of the treeas for fab house
@Jakob Wulfkind it's just resting
If you're not using an Arduino and a Breadboard, what is the point in Fritzing? Haha. :P
@Jakob Wulfkind lovely plummage, though
There was a talk at FOSDEM about Fritzing. Actually it was about the state of the project and the lack of recent development by the maintainers.
Hey Brian! Maybe that's a question for later in the chat, I wouldn't want to interrupt the natural flow. From your experience, are there any particular things to be aware of, or pay attention to when selling on Tindie? And also coming from a software background, how did it feel to have all those extra steps to put your creations into the hands of people? Mmh, that was two questions, I guess.
@Leon Anavi I was there :)
@Josh Lloyd thats a good point, EasyEDA was the last of the 3 I tried so I'm sure I learned stuff from using KiCad and Eagle first. Now I've defeintely used EasyEDA more, but even straight awat I found it easier.
@Brian Lough I'm not familiar with your latest projects, but do you've plans to work on a bigger PCB in the near future. Something ESP8266-esque ?
@ꝺeshipu , I think its very useful for wiring diagramsI use fritzing for my videos
I've never used it for anything else
Ever use the ESP8285? I use this almst exclusively now for my ESP82XX projects.
The slightly more memory ESP8266, right?
@deshipu me too :0
Embedded 1 MByte flash. Two extra GPIOs. $1 per IC last time I bought some.
@Nicolas Schurando . I think the most important thing to consider for selling on Tindie (or anywhere) is what you want to get out of it. For me I dont think it is the easiest way of making money for example, but I really enjoy it. It defeintly gives me the warm fuzzies sending my stuff all over the worldHey
"sending my stuff all over the world"
Yes, never get old!
I would also recommend charging enough! It's easy to compare your prices to China and wonder how you are going to compete, but you have to make it worth your while too. At the very least make sure you are not losing money!
Minimum 2.3 x BOM cost
@Brian Lough Since we're touching on Tindie for a moment, how was it when you were a newcomer, and how does Tindie help you deliver your stuff around the world, do they provide any assistance there or is it that you get an order in with an address and you need to make the dispatch?
I've spoken to a couple people about independent hobbies, and the consensus was: If a new order doesn't make you want to get out of bed in the morning, its either the wrong field, or you aren't charging enough.
@Brian Lough I see you have some Twitter presence, any advice you could give with regards to that? i.e. showing off your projects, interacting with people, anything you think you could teach
@Josh Lloyd most of products at the moment are shields for the Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 board, which i love. I have made one design using a ESP-12 module. It is basically a Adafruit 7 segment backpack with an ESP8266 integrated. It actually works quite well (it's displaying my youtube sub count beside me here)
For some reason I'm a little scared to list it though. I guess it's just a little more out of my comfort zone in terms of design. I really should though
@Brian Lough You could always get some people on Hackaday to look at it, give you some confidence in the design.
An Unexpected visitor.
Hey folks! What did I miss? ;)
@Josh Lloyd short answer - yes, you need to ship things yourself - get a box, pack the things, put a label on the box and then go to the post office.
Do you get the PCBs made in China/...? And do you do the assembly yourself out of interest?
@SeonR Topics so far have been introduction to PCB design, YouTube channel, and now talking about Tindie.
@Arsenijs says but they provide an easy to use platform and look after some of the more complicated stuff for you (Payments and trust)Tindie don't provide any assistance in a fulfilment sense as
very few people are going to buy off my website, but people trust a platform like tindie so it allows me to actually sell some stuff!
@Brian Lough Do they act as a middleman or is the payment instant and then you need to deliver the product for a good rating?
Yeah, Tindie also do payment validation and some basic fraud detection/prevention... so they def take the pressure away from worrying about payment gateways, and their free is very reasonable.
Their *fee ?
woops ;) fee* haha
@Kris Winer says, but also please consider time. Even how long it takes to go to the post office. If a package goes missing, you have to replace it so consider that too!I am for around 2.5 BOM as
@Brian Lough I find that time is always hard to charge for, because more often than not, one does not value themselves enough. As you said, it gets harder when you compare your own prices to those of a fabhouse in china pumping out 100,000 unitsSounds encouraging! It would be so cool to ship things I make.
@Brian Lough - On that front, did you find that your recent test jig for the Power BloughR helped reduce shipping bad units?
btw. tindie also tweets when you restock your products. The tindie dashboard tells me that I got most shop traffic from twitter - I see a correlation
that brings up another important point -- how is Tindie at handling problem communications like missed/damaged shipments, payment issues, and things like that?
And don't forget to factor in all your costs. Packaging, tape, labels etc. I forgot to allow for the petrol each time I drive to the post office to ship one. LOL
@Josh Lloyd you can always check how much similar things already listed cost
@Arsenijs I just post on twitter a lot, it's easy to use on my phone so I try share anything that I think might be useful to people. I've gotten really good help from sites such as Hackaday, Hackaday.io, Hackster etc who share projects and things I've worked on. Tindie also are always good for a retweet (sorry for badgering whoever runs that!)
When you build one-off projects for yourself, if it doesn't work right the first time, it's a nuisance. You go back to the bench, rework it, and move on with life. The equation changes considerably when you're building things to sell to someone.
@Josh Lloyd a good rule of thumb is 3x the cost of making it
@Josh Lloyd I would prefer to have stock not selling than to under value my time. Time is my most valuable asset and is very precious to me!
@ꝺeshipu From 2.3, to 2.5, to 3.0 haha.
@deshipu That's a beautiful dream, but at higher cost BOM items, very hard to justify :(
Pricing depends on volume...
@Brian Lough I think I'm in agreement there. Time gets split thin once you've a family too.
@ꝺeshipu !I cant believe you are following your own rule
don't have to tell that deshipu though - he probably takes 1.2
@SeonR that's how much it usually cost to make a product from a