Author Topic: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment  (Read 5448 times)

Offline Rainlover

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2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« on: January 06, 2015, »
To help us get some coops going, we need to know what people need. If there is enough demand, we will ask a coop manager to run them.
This is for Lynx equipment only.

The poll will run for 14 days.

John
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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, »
Coops are good, but having the store filled with PCBs is also pretty nice.  Did the last round of coops have many extra PCBs?


I wouldn't mind picking up some 4-port passive hubs, and I don't know if that would be included in the general "hubs" selection.
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Offline peteywhit

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, »
I would like a few LE's for now. Just need to get started.


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Offline klaasb01

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, »
I would like to second  Steve's comment.
I like to save money with coops, but if the store had PCB's that would make me just as happy.
Machined cases might need a coop to work out though.

Offline tbone321

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, »
While the "store" idea sounds good, the issue is who is going to pay for those items while they are sitting in the store?  Another issue is that while these boards are sitting on the shelf in the store, they may become obsolete.  If a new design comes out or a critical component becomes unavailable (like the display driver on the LE), it could render the boards sitting in the store useless.  Who is going to cover those costs?  While the store is a great idea, this is not a retail establishment and keeping it fully stocked is not realistic.

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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, »
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While the "store" idea sounds good, the issue is who is going to pay for those items while they are sitting in the store?  Another issue is that while these boards are sitting on the shelf in the store, they may become obsolete.  If a new design comes out or a critical component becomes unavailable (like the display driver on the LE), it could render the boards sitting in the store useless.  Who is going to cover those costs?  While the store is a great idea, this is not a retail establishment and keeping it fully stocked is not realistic.
Maybe the items in the store should have an extra "carrying charge" assigned to them... maybe $1 above the cost... maybe more.


I realize that this gets into the other problem where RJ does not want to treat this as a business, and doesn't not want a "profit".  But, the lack of PCBs is greatly limiting the proliferation of these great designs. 


Maybe there is a way to have the pcb manufacturer build on demand and have the consumer pay for the extra cost of a single-unit production.  (I have no idea if that's a $1 additional cost or $100 cost...)
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Offline klaasb01

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, »
Would PCB only coop's be a good idea, once you hit the minimum for a run.
I would like to see the coop managers lives to be simpler, and sorting and sending this stuff out has got to be a real challenge to say the least.

Offline tbone321

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, »
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Maybe the items in the store should have an extra "carrying charge" assigned to them... maybe $1 above the cost... maybe more.

The primary issue still is who is going to pay for these items in the "store"?  Most board manufacturers do have minimum unit counts for a production run.  Anything less is a prototype run and could have costs exceeding $100 or more per board.  If the minimum production run is 50 boards and at a cost of $10 a board, that is a $500 cost that someone has to pay.  Then if a key component this board uses becomes obsolete and unavailable with no direct replacement, any remaining boards also become obsolete and a total loss.

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I realize that this gets into the other problem where RJ does not want to treat this as a business, and doesn't not want a "profit".  But, the lack of PCBs is greatly limiting the proliferation of these great designs. 

The problem is that when you start stocking items that is exactly what it becomes.  Even Uncle Sam may start taking a look at it which would require him to file more tax documents to show that there is no profit being made which will cost him either time or money and perhaps both to do.

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Maybe there is a way to have the pcb manufacturer build on demand and have the consumer pay for the extra cost of a single-unit production.  (I have no idea if that's a $1 additional cost or $100 cost...)

It is simply not profitable for the PCB manufacturers to do that.  This is why prototype boards cost so much to have produced.  Setup costs are paid by the customer along with production costs.  IF setup costs are $200 and production cost is $2 per board, you will be paying $202 plus shipping for that single board and that's if they have the space in their schedule to set up for a single board run which would be a very low priority. 

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Offline tbone321

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, »
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Would PCB only coop's be a good idea, once you hit the minimum for a run.
I would like to see the coop managers lives to be simpler, and sorting and sending this stuff out has got to be a real challenge to say the least.

We have done that in the past as well as offering PC board only option in other coops.  While it does have some advantages there are also some issues with it as well.  The primary issue is sourcing the components.  There have been many times where one provider does not have all of the required components in stock or even available.  This will require the person to source them from multiple vendors and pay the added shipping costs.  Then there is also the issue of parts becoming obsolete on boards that were "put aside to build later" making them useless and a loss of money. 
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Offline dmaccole

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, »
Two observations:

*While a poll is a nice idea, it does not give you an accurate gauge of the level of interest. I may give one vote to an Aeon (I didn't, but hypothetically), but in fact I want 10 Aeon boards.

*On the scarce boards -- where RJ gets few requests -- he should consider requiring a minimum order. The $6 per board price for an MR16 is nice, but if I really need an MR16, I might be willing to pay $100 to get 10 and then sell the rest of the forum as time goes along. While he might not want to carry the inventory costs, maybe others would.

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Offline digitmet

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, »
I am in need of some boards. I have parts coming from Mouser.
I can fab my own boards if I had the PCB layout and/or the circuit schematic. Without those I would have to reverse engineer RJ's design - which could be time consuming....wife wouldn't be happy.   <md..   ;D

Offline DanHouston

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2015, »
This is where I like the pre-sale concept people do for lights....a little different here maybe.


Basically let the store be pre-orders for all of the items and when you hit the minimum of a coop run the coop with room for people to still get in to reach the max. You could even show the counts in the "store" so people know how far off they are from a coop potentially running and if it looks like there is no interest then people would know they are going to have to do something else.

I generally am able to get into the things I want (though it took a while to get in an Aether coop) so I'm not complaining and happy with whatever RJ and the coop managers want to do just offering this up as an idea.

Just my $.02 and again I am happy with however they want to do...The work they do is incredible and effectively volunteer.
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2012 - Year #2
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Offline tbone321

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, »
The problem with this and what makes it different from a presale  is that in a Presale, I buy it and it's mine.  I may not get it until the spring, but it is a done deal.  I also have to pay for it or at least a part of it up front which pretty much assures that the people in it stay in it.  What is different here is that people can put an order in the store but since there is no commitment, they may later lose interest or simply get tired of waiting and move on to something else, especially if there is a long wait.  Even in the coops, there is just about always at least one member that for some reason leaves the coop and there we are only talking about a few weeks. 

The coops really are the best method but I believe that some changes are in order to make them more successful for everyone.  The primary change would be to create and post a tentative coop schedule.  With the increased number and added complexity of the devices in the Lynks system, people need to plan and research what they want to do and what equipment they need for their displays.  Many also need to set up a budget and put money aside for these items.  If you don't know what is coming or when, this is damn near impossible to do which tends to make people look elsewhere or just give up.  A schedule would make things MUCH easier for everyone.  Of course, people must understand that the schedule is not set in stone and is not a guarantee that any coop that does run will be successful.

Another thing that the coop managers need to understand is that with many of the items, the price is NOT the major point.  Since RJ keeps the schematics and PCB layouts private, the only way to get any of these boards is through a coop or if someone has an extra to sell.  This moves the price point on many items to a distant second.  Sure, if the numbers on an LE coop drive the price up over $100, then people could always go for the commercial version with a warrantee for a few dollars more but if the numbers are low on a ETD coop, where are you going to get that, especially when it is getting close to one of the decorating seasons.  Last year an ETD coop was canceled with the count up to 25.  While it may be possible to find a few of them in the sale/trade area, some people wound up SOL that year.  While price is important, it is not always the deciding factor and if a coop falls short, perhaps the existing members should be given the price at the current number unless it is too low to get the boards made and to make the decision if they are willing to pay that price.  You may also want to include a board only option on all coops to increase numbers and if any of the boards have chips installed, then they will on the board only option as well.

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Offline DanHouston

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, »
Sure. People can always back out. That's a risk no matter how we do it. Should be stressed that you should view it as a commitment and are expected to pay if they "bought" in the store. I suppose you could actually make it a buy situation just like the pre-sale so money is collected via PayPal when you buy and if the Coop does not run a refund is issued (I'm not sure how that works our in PayPal perhaps there are fees that make it unworkable).

RJ is going to do what he feels is best, and so far that has worked out just fine for me. My one concern is that with all of the unknowns people are looking at alternatives and that may leave this community in a situation where there aren't enough people to coop some of the items that you really need when getting started, but after that may not buy again.

In the end we can always find a problem with any idea that gets floated out there, even the current process. They are just ideas and up to RJ and the Coop managers to decide how they want to handle things.
2011 - Year #1
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2012 - Year #2
    5000 lights and 123 channels
    8 Songs sequenced

Offline therealbigjim

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Re: 2015 Coop Poll for Lynx Equipment
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, »
I would like a Parts only option. I have 5 boards and heat sinks but there are parts in the BOM not available.
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