Products for USB Sensing and Control
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 Post subject: SBC2 seems overpriced
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:29 am 
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Phidgetly

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:05 am
Posts: 33
Hi all !

I just want to talk a bit about the price for the SBC2 : it seems too expensive.

I really love Phidgets devices, but i am a bit perplex about the price for the SBC2, regarding others embedded Linux/Windows boards on the market, or even pico-itx x86 motherboards :
http://www.andahammer.com/mini2440-oem/
http://www.andahammer.com/mini6410-sdk/
http://pandaboard.org/
http://www.e-itx.com/p720-10el.html
http://www.jkmicro.com/OmniFlash.html
and many more...

With these kind of boards, you can go fast to Phidgets just using the 1018 over usb. In most of case, this will be lower cost than the SBC2...and when it is just a bit more expensive than the SBC don't forget that you have an uncomparable powerfull and versatile device between hands !

So, for that reason, i still hesitate to go to SBC2...

best regards


Last edited by kris on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Lead Developer
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:46 am
Posts: 2634
Location: Canada
Our devices tend to be more expensive because of the experience. With the PhidgetSBC2 - you really can just plug it in and you're ready to go. You don't need to know anything about SBCs, or Linux, etc. We also provide the web interface for managing the SBC. We also provide support for the SBC.

It's true that the base cost of the SBC hardware is not that high, but when you buy another SBC, you don't get the built-in 8/8/8, or an installed OS with updates, or a web interface, or generally any kind of support. Depending on the user, this can be good or bad - but this is not the type of product that we're interesting in selling - as you've pointed out, these board are easily available elsewhere.

-Patrick


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Phidgetly

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:56 pm
Posts: 38
Patrick wrote:
Our devices tend to be more expensive because of the experience. With the PhidgetSBC2 - you really can just plug it in and you're ready to go. You don't need to know anything about SBCs, or Linux, etc. We also provide the web interface for managing the SBC. We also provide support for the SBC.

It's true that the base cost of the SBC hardware is not that high, but when you buy another SBC, you don't get the built-in 8/8/8, or an installed OS with updates, or a web interface, or generally any kind of support. Depending on the user, this can be good or bad - but this is not the type of product that we're interesting in selling - as you've pointed out, these board are easily available elsewhere.

-Patrick


I will say that I agree with this, the support is generally good, ther will even provide support for code, and they listen to user requests, but for the cost of the SBC2, the webservice is a joke.

While I would say that the SBC is worth it if you are using it for processing and control (thats what makes it worth it), I would not recommend it if you need reliable live remote control


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Phidgeteer!

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:43 pm
Posts: 52
If you value your time and want to get to work right away coding your project, an SBC2 from Phidgets can't be beat.

I bought one because I didn't want to waste a bunch of time trying to build an SBC2 on my own.

Now that I've worked out the mechanics of the stepper motors, DC motors, control & input, etc,... I'll need more processing units but I'm already thinking of how to do this cheaper than buying more SBC2 computers (which would be prohibitive).

All in all though, the SBC2 can't be beat if you want to plug it in, connect some phidgets and have it working in minutes, right out of the box. This was important to me so I have no regrets about buying it.

I do agree with the previous post though about wireless with the SBC2. My wireless experience has been less than stellar with the SBC2, matter of fact, it's horrible. I've resorted to plugging the SBC2 into the ethernet jack on my access point and the wireless communication to it this way has been much more reliable with no crashes at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:08 am 
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Phidgetly

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:05 am
Posts: 33
Hi!
I could reply to these post, but i don't because i totally disagree with most of your points of view, and we are not here to "fight". :D
and i will not contradict each arguments you provided, even if i could, because it will be too much work to explain, for nothing.

Phidgets makes great products and provides wonderfull support, no doubt ! :)
...but 512MB NAND flash with access to full Debian repository is a joke without, at least, an onboard card reader (SD/SDHC/CF).

And why on board connectors ?? In my opinion, pin-outs with extends would be better : sorry, i am thinking real "embedded"

Well, nervermind, this SBC2 is not for me : real powerfull embedded SBC can be found elsewhere (based on the same CPU) and can easily be interfaced to 8/8/8 board.

I have many ideas for the future SBC3 but i guess Phidgets will not take care of it.

In brief, to me, this card is a joke regarding the price. But there is a product for everyone and everyone for each product....and perfect product doesn't exists, even if i think ideas i have in mind are closed to the perfect.

To conclude :
- if you understand nothing in embedded solution and Linux, and if you don't need "embedded" go to SBC2.
- if you understand what is Linux go elsewhere.

regards


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:20 am 
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Lead Developer
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:46 am
Posts: 2634
Location: Canada
We'd definitely like to hear your suggestions! We'd like to bring out more SBCs in the future - including lower prices, and more truly embedded solutions. Can you be more specific about what exactly you'd like to see?

As for the wireless issues, I agree that things were not very stable. We did do an update to the phidgetsbcwebif package which solved a lot of the wireless issues. If you're still having problems after that update, I'd like to hear about it.

-Patrick


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:08 am 
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Phidgetly

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:05 am
Posts: 33
Patrick, thank you very much for your answer and for your interest in suggestions. I will send you my suggestions via MP.

Quote:
We did do an update to the phidgetsbcwebif package which solved a lot of the wireless issues. If you're still having problems after that update, I'd like to hear about it

I don't feel concerned because i won't use nor buy SBC2


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:32 pm 
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Phidgeteer!

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:16 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Lower Bavaria (Germany)
Hi,
To Patrick: I would like to see thee different types of SBC's

1: SBC running Oracles Java SE for Embedded 7 Headless
2: SBC running Oracles Java SE for Embedded 7 Headful

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/embedded/resources/se-embeddocs/index.html#sysreqs

3: SBC running Oracles Java Real Time System (RTS)

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/tech/index-jsp-139921.html

_________________
Best Regards from Lower Bavaria
RBBT
http://www.robobuam.de/


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:19 am 
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Phidgeteer!

Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:39 am
Posts: 85
One thing I often thought I could use is a simple network interface into which all phidgets could be plugged.

Essentially it wouldn't be a fully functioning SBC but would allow any of the USB devices to be connected to a network either wirelessly or via ethernet. At the moment to use a USB sensor, one needs it plugged into either a pc/laptop(Android device? :wink: ) or an SBC. Not only is there cost element here but it can also be impractical to have a full functioning computer in a remote sensing application. Having a 'stripped down' interface with limited computational power BUT with network capabilities I have often thought would be handy.


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