Freelancer Needed for Prototype Project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by kwakii, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. kwakii

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 17, 2011
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    Greetings,

    I need someone to design and build for me a board to drive and control a hand-held device (for personal research purposes) that strobes an infrared LED bulb, and a small xenon, krypton, and (if possible) halogen bulbs. 1 of each.

    Some features that I would like to include are 3 or so different sets of flash rate/ patterns. This device will be powered by batteries, and it should be able to run at least (but preferably greater) for 2 hours on a single charge, and have an auto-off at 15 minutes. And for size: something that winds up being basically the size of a garage door opener.

    I have an existing LED device that does not strobe, but already has a plastic enclosure for the circuitry. I can have that modified for the above purposes (strobe/flashing settings + above listed bulbs), or would it be easier to start from scratch? Can all 4 of those bulbs be incorporated into the same board? I'm basically looking for the smallest (typical LED-size) and brightest bulbs that do not heat up too much and can be easily replaced when they burn out (not soldered on) as well.

    I hope I explained the basic premise half-decently. Please PM/email me for more details and what you would charge me. If you cannot help, recommendations for who to contact would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    I have been responding to periodic requests of this type for almost five years now without a single hit. I have not heard anyone say that they had a positive experience with this kind of thing, but here goes. It appears relatively straightforward, but without a detailed specification it is hard to know what done means.

    For straight up costs to develop and prototype I would estimate between 6 and 10 thousand dollars over three to six months. This would include developing the specification, researching the parts, developing a circuit schematic, and laying out a PC board. If there is a microcontroller required then some time will be spent developing the firmware. Since most hobbyists don't have that kind of scratch laying around this is usually where the discussion ends. I'm answering in the open because I believe others may learn something by exposing the process.
     
  3. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Well done, and appreciated.
     
  4. JoshK

    Member

    Dec 24, 2009
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    Actually I could do this for around $230. The box would be 3inch x 2inch x 2.25inch and have 2 knobs on the front, both with a 0% to 100% scale. The first would set "TimeSpentOn" and the second would set "TimeSpentOff". I would need to know some basic numbers from you like desired flashes per second and desired flash length. it would run off of 5 volts, 15 volts, or anything in between. I can not do auto-shut off, sorry.
     
  5. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I'd agree with Papabravo. It's impossible to quote on something without a fairly solid specification. Doing so is bound to lead to problems. I've quoted as low as $2K for hardware / firmware design including artwork (a bargain IMO) and have seen folks scurry off in terror.
    Many people underestimate how much time and what someones skill and experience are worth, they think well how hard can it be.
     
  6. JoshK

    Member

    Dec 24, 2009
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    I have the PCB upstairs and it is tested and working. That is pretty solid.
     
  7. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Then PM the OP. Keep us posted.
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    That's also not a specification, it's a prototype. But I hope it works out for both of you.
     
  9. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    In the worlds oldest profession there is always a cheaper alternative out there. The real questions is the potential buyer's remorse the morning after. Our low bidder did say there was one thing he could not do. If that is not a requirement then he might be the winner; and he is welcome to the 2 1/2 hours that I charge for my time.
     
  10. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Just curious Bill. Have you ever found gainful employment on the forum?
     
  11. JoshK

    Member

    Dec 24, 2009
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    Honestly I figure he will be scared away by the price I stated, but the board was a extra from some pwm generators I once made. I had extra boards made, so my development time and the board was already done. I saw his post and thought it could make someone else happy.

    You are right, it would cost WAY more if I started from scratch for him.
     
  12. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    As long as it meets his requirements it seems like you're both winners on this one.
     
  13. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Through the forums no, they have been a source of a few kit sales but not contract work.

    The forums do demonstrate how not to write a spec.
     
  14. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Never mind writing a specification. I haven't even seen a coherent set of requirements posted.
     
  15. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    This forum could work as a clearing house, to mate up people needing work done with skilled folks able to do it, but I think that would need to be advertised to be effective.

    I mean, it would never dawn on me to go to a forum to find a jobber. I'd be off searching for people and websites that advertise that sort of service. Maybe the Mods could consider adding a "help wanted" area.
     
  16. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    This is a common problem for a vast majority of posts in a forum, worse yet when a OP is trying to keep it secretive.
     
  17. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    I should credit Lancaster for the phrase I keep repeating:

    "Ideas are worth less than a dime a bale in 10 bale lots"

    Wash, rinse, repeat
     
  18. bio88

    Member

    Feb 17, 2011
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    Actually, based on the OP criteria it didn't sound like a big deal. Just a prototype. I think our thinking has to change in design and rapid prototyping or we will be further left behind by other countries. To lead in tech we are going to have to take more risks. Or at least I will be. I have one life to life and I ain't getting younger. I want to leave a few ideas out there to leave my signature on the world.
     
  19. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    So tell us Herr Doktor what is a prototype worth that does not meet the customers requirements or expectations. Have you ever seen"feature creep" in action? So who do we remember and revere? The guy with the idea or the guy who built the company?
     
  20. JoshK

    Member

    Dec 24, 2009
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    I think the posters on this thread makes a couple good points...

    First the huge amount of time it takes to bring to life even simple circuits. And second the lack of domestic talent that is willing to work cheap. It's no wonder companies out-source when Americans refuse to work for $5.00/hr but foreign workers will worship you for $4.00/hr (please don't pick on the reality of the numbers, you get the point.)
     
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