curious4872
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Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:46 pm

Hi, so firstly this is a post about whether a second post is appropriate for here. If it's not I won't make it and will delete this one as far as I can.

At the moment kickstarter has sort-of become a preorder store, with extremely finalized products that have hundreds of dollars and thousands to tens of thousands investment made by their creators. I'm actually dead broke and was very happy to hear about a raspberry pi zero, since I could use it for an audio application - however it's not available to me yet, and secondly, prototyping on the A is beyond my budget.

So I was thinking I could team up with someone and then sell the finalized product (basically it is just going for cheapness) to others who are in a similar position, that is, once pi zero production ramps up.

The support needed is far below the amount or the stage that is appropriate for kickstarter, so the question is whether I could post something looking for this kind of collaborator? (who has both more money and more expertise).

If it is appropropriate to post (on the theory that it can't hurt) then I'll post details, if it would be considered inappropriate for this forum then, firstly, I won't post it, and secondly I apologize for the question! In that case case admins can also delete this question or I will do so myself.

Thanks for your thoughts!! And thank you for making computing so much more accessible to so many more people.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:20 pm

No problem with this first post, but I've got to ask, there Zero may be $5 but once you add on a few bits you will need to use it, an A+ wouldn't be more than a couple of $ more expensive. If you really are that strapped for cash, then things won't be easy.

Also, do some Googling, and find out f anyone already has tried the audio project you are thinking of.
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curious4872
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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:52 pm

jamesh wrote:No problem with this first post,.
Jamesh, this is a post asking for permission, so "no problem with this first post" would I hope go without saying. But you've not answered about the follow-up post. Can I PM you the proposed text I would post?

> but I've got to ask, there Zero may be $5 but once you add on a few bits you will need to use it, an A+ wouldn't be more than a couple of $ more expensive. If you really are that strapped for cash, then things won't be easy. Also, do some Googling, and find out f anyone already has tried the audio project you are thinking of

Nobody has tried exactly that audio project. I would also like to sell it once there is a proof of concept. I realize that to some people $5, $7, or $9, $15, $25, $35, $50, whatever, is all the same (the local seller wanted $35+$5, for the A+). But there are others, like me, who don't have enough budget to do this ourselves, and it does fit with the educational theme.

I would also, however, note that the Pi Zero's form factor is radically different and enables a different type of application.

>If you really are that strapped for cash, then things won't be easy.

Well, yes. This is why I would post the solicit. May I do so?

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:51 pm

an A+ wouldn't be more than a couple of $ more expensive.
All things being equal - the A+ solution will be $15 more than the PiZero one

(well actually a bit more than that if paying VAT on them - more like $18)

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:16 am

The problem with the Kickstarter approach is that you have to develop a working prototype first. Then you need professional quality pictures and videos. When everything is ready you can ask for the money. You will spend 10 times more work for the Kickstarter campaign than you do for creating the product imho.

A much easier way is to just create the thing and perhaps ask for opinions on the forum during development. My Miscap was created like that. A small board with just a few chips. The cost of a PiZero sized pcb is around €3 and the chips on top of that. A good tool for finding out the cheapest prices is KiCost. It will take your BOM list from KiCad and check all the component prices from the major supplier chains.

I did not have any difficulties in finding people who were interesting in buying it. Many even contacted me with good suggestions during the development phase.
viewtopic.php?p=853088#p853088

If you want to get started with designing some audio application using KiCad I can send you my project files from Miscap. They already contain the 40-pin connector and the correct form factor.

Creating small custom hardware is something you can do to learn or just do it for fun. It is not possible to compete in price with USB audio boards that cost 78 cents on ebay. You are lucky if you find enough customers to get break-even with your project. I am still on minus with Miscap. But people contact me every now and then to get one so I assume I will get break-even within a month or two. The is also a For Sale section on the forum where you can post your things when they are ready.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:50 am

karrika wrote:The problem with the Kickstarter approach is that you have to develop a working prototype first. Then you need professional quality pictures and videos. When everything is ready you can ask for the money. You will spend 10 times more work for the Kickstarter campaign than you do for creating the product imho..
I agree with you! My question is whether I can solicit direct 'donation' or collaboration in this forum for it via a post -- I am happy to do profit-sharing once it is being sold so that the "investor" can recoup their small investment. At the moment I don't have any budget. But I don't want to post this if it is against the spirit of this forum or breaks some rule. I completely agree that kickstarter requires basically completed projects, and then a lot of marketing work. All of which costs money.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:36 am

Feel free to post what you need in this thread, please don't start a new one.
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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:45 am

curious4872 wrote:At the moment I don't have any budget.
You are asking a lot of people if you expect them to help fund your project if you aren't going to contribute yourself and share in the risk if things go wrong.
Many of the big names in tech startups had to sell their homes, cars, etc to get them started.
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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:05 am

curious4872 wrote:
karrika wrote:The problem with the Kickstarter approach is that you have to develop a working prototype first. Then you need professional quality pictures and videos. When everything is ready you can ask for the money. You will spend 10 times more work for the Kickstarter campaign than you do for creating the product imho..
I agree with you! My question is whether I can solicit direct 'donation' or collaboration in this forum for it via a post -- I am happy to do profit-sharing once it is being sold so that the "investor" can recoup their small investment. At the moment I don't have any budget. But I don't want to post this if it is against the spirit of this forum or breaks some rule. I completely agree that kickstarter requires basically completed projects, and then a lot of marketing work. All of which costs money.
you can try , but it's not likely to come to anything IMO..

i.e.
look give me 5K and I'll fund a kickstarter for 100k and then we can discuss what we do with the profits [sort of thing]
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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:15 pm

karrika wrote: The problem with the Kickstarter approach is that you have to develop a working prototype first. Then you need professional quality pictures and videos. When everything is ready you can ask for the money. You will spend 10 times more work for the Kickstarter campaign than you do for creating the product imho.
I wouldn't say needing a prototype for a kickstarter is a problem instead I would say seeing a prototype at whatever state of completeness does give the kickstarter imho much more credibility. In fact seeing a crowdfunding project with a series of failed prototypes impresses me much more than a single slick mock up. I've seen and backed a few crowdfunding projects which were nothing more than [mythically speaking] a bunch of wires in a wooden box so it doesn't need to be slick or expensive endeavour to get the message across.

I totally agree with the sentiment that its 10 times more work running the KS campaign then building the prototype. Speaking from recent experience, I'm currently running my first kickstarter (sorry for plugging it: R-Kade Zero) and designing and building the prototype was the easiest part :-)
Creating small custom hardware is something you can do to learn or just do it for fun. It is not possible to compete in price with USB audio boards that cost 78 cents on ebay. You are lucky if you find enough customers to get break-even with your project. I am still on minus with Miscap. But people contact me every now and then to get one so I assume I will get break-even within a month or two. The is also a For Sale section on the forum where you can post your things when they are ready.
Yes, agree again, its the warm fuzzy feeling that doing something yourself makes the effort worthwhile :-)
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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:05 pm

Tony,

Your R-Kade Zero with the yellow buttons looks nice. I found that Atari Lynx emulation is actually playable on a PiZero. But I already built my PiZero arcade inside an old TV console. There is even some pics about it on the forum.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:18 pm

Is this project going to be open source hardware ?


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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:17 pm

ghans wrote:Is this project going to be open source hardware ?

ghans
My thinking is yes, unless the backer requires extra protections to make it likely that sales will recoup their expense. Couldn't it be escrow-ware until that point (i.e. with the - perhaps formalized - understanding that it will be open-sourced once some moderate target is met.)

In general this is a personal project for a need I would like to fill. Am I more likely to find a backer (assuming nobody here is against the proposed post, which so far they haven't been) in an extremely moderate amount (as I said a I'm broke) under condition:

A - that the project is fully open-source with no rights of any kind retained. Presumably this will mean I can't make any money selling it (since someone else would sell it for cheaper) and the investment isn't so much an investment as sponsorship. Under this scenario I don't see how the backer gets their money back, unless the advertising from being the project's sponsor is worth the extremely small example expense, or this fits with their idea of charity.

B - that some rights are retained so that expenses can be recouped? In this case I would sell the completed product.


What do you all think? Which works better? Which do you recommend? By the way what you wrote concerned hardware, but I am thinking of the software as well...

Thanks for any thoughts!

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:30 pm

curious4872 wrote:What do you all think? Which works better? Which do you recommend?
I would say don't worry about all that. Tell us what it is you are considering developing, how much backing you think you need, ask anyone willing to step forward to back it to contact you. Then decide with those backers the best way to proceed.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:15 am

hippy wrote:
curious4872 wrote:What do you all think? Which works better? Which do you recommend?
I would say don't worry about all that. Tell us what it is you are considering developing, how much backing you think you need, ask anyone willing to step forward to back it to contact you. Then decide with those backers the best way to proceed.

All right. I was in a Sony store and saw an absolutely prohibitive wireless speaker system - for example, consider:

http://www.sony.com/electronics/wireles ... s-speakers

I don't have that kind of money. Plus, those are not full SOC's with an OS. I'm broke and employed in the humanities - I cannot POSSIBLY afford that. However, I am nearly certain that a $5 pi, wireless connectivity peripherals totalling around $2, and USB audio of varying quality (depending on the grade of audiophile - I can personally tell the difference between my built-in laptop headphone jack and the cheapest, cheapest USB microphone that has an audio out. (From Samson.)

So probably the required funding is around $200-$400, the business model to repay the investor could be an extremely modest margin on the cheap version (maybe making $2 per order shipped out), and a more normal margin on the audiophile grade solution.

I personally would invest in the audiophile grade solution. For example at this moment I have a USB soundcard plugged into my laptop, and the reason I do (even though it's an extra cable), is that I can simply tell the difference between when I use that and when I use the built-in audio out on my laptop.

So, that's the long and short of it. Anyone want to step up?

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:29 am

Thank you for the detailed description. You can really get a low price for the setup by finding the right mass produced components on ebay. USB power supply, USB WiFi, USB hub, USB sound card, audio amplifier and speaker. They are often sold for less than the component price. In my opinion you will be better off to avoid creating your own PCB's.

There is a lot of interesting approaches available for controlling the sound. The most popular might actually be to pair your speaker with your phone. My kids are frequently doing this at home as they drag their music library with them. Another approach could be squeezeplayer or picoreplayer to pair the speaker with your network drive or internet radio. The control could still be through your mobile phone using Android apps or web browsers.

In the Sony version the appeal is also the stylish box and the good quality of the sound. There is a lot of research and thinking behind this. Don't ever settle for the first idea that comes in mind. Spend a lot of time to think about alternatives and dream about how it should be used, what it looks like. When you really understand what you are doing you end up with a high quality product.

Edit: Yes, I am interested if the design looks good and works with my music collection on my network drive. And controlling volume should be easy. Perhaps just a rotary knob on the speaker box?

One interesting design could be to create a matching add-on pedestal to a good quality Bluetooth speaker. They seem to be available at ebay for around €10. You could then use the Bluetooth speaker directly with your mobile phone or remote control the PiZero in the pedestal to get internet radio and music from your network drive. Kind of an added value component. Perhaps the PiZero UART could be turned into a Bluetooth sender for wireless interfacing with the speaker. This would simplify the design as you could drop the USB hub and the USB sound card. You would only need Wifi and a Bluetooth sender. Some portable Bluetooth speakers even have USB power outputs for charging your mobile phone. So you might even drop the USB power supply and use the built-in battery of the speaker for powering the PiZero.

So many ideas in just one morning. I wonder what the design would look like after a week :)

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:51 pm

karrika wrote:Thank you for the detailed description. You can really get a low price for the setup by finding the right mass produced components on ebay. USB power supply, USB WiFi, USB hub, USB sound card, audio amplifier and speaker. They are often sold for less than the component price. In my opinion you will be better off to avoid creating your own PCB's.

> You can really get a low price for the setup by finding the right mass produced components on ebay

Yes. This is the idea, and spending my development time on the System level. But note that I'm much more broke than the level you're targeting: rather than include a hub, I would keep the USB free and, by building on what others have accomplished, it is possible tnot to use up the Pi Zero's USB port (or require a hub) but instead interface over GPIO.

Please realize that I am trying to target a price as broke as I am.
karrika wrote: There is a lot of interesting approaches available for controlling the sound. The most popular might actually be to pair your speaker with your phone.
Yes, but I want to make a much cheaper version of a system to do so. Also there are some very interesting things that I would like to hold off on talking about so as not to manage expectations upward. I have a great interest in audio, even though I'm quite broke, and I think I can put something very good together for people, especially people on a budget.
karrika wrote: My kids are frequently doing this at home as they drag their music library with them. Another approach could be squeezeplayer or picoreplayer to pair the speaker with your network drive or internet radio. The control could still be through your mobile phone using Android apps or web browsers.
This would not allow you to listen to uninterrupted music all of the time, without being interrupted by ringtones (which would also be broadcast over the bluetooth). Since the raspberry pi zero is a full PC, the correct way to view is it is that it can replace a desktop PC that is being used to select and play music, stream Internet radio, etc. The possibility of pairing with a phone is ancillary.

Please realize that having the possibility of multiple speakers in multiple rooms wirelessly synced and playing the same music is incredibly powerful.

This is what Sony sells for, say, $700 for multi-room synchronized listening. I'd like to get SOMETHING matching SOME of that functionality into people's hands for, say $25, or $50 audiophile grade. (These are just some targets.)
karrika wrote: In the Sony version the appeal is also the stylish box and the good quality of the sound. .
So there are two separate things: speakers, and wireless streaming. Let's not conflate the two. As far as the stylish box, well, yes, that will not be to the same extent. My target is people who care about sound and their experience, and don't have that much money. Also, insofar as they can use their existing speaker systems (hifis) it doesn't really matter what the small box looks like, it can be quite put away.
karrika wrote: There is a lot of research and thinking behind this. Don't ever settle for the first idea that comes in mind. Spend a lot of time to think about alternatives and dream about how it should be used, what it looks like. When you really understand what you are doing you end up with a high quality product.
I understand, but I am already using a computer-based solution with a high-quality usb soundcard - my laptop! The problem is when I have to move my laptop, I have to rip it all apart. It's not just always there.

So, that's what I would like to build for people. Thanks for your feedback!

karrika wrote:
Edit: Yes, I am interested if the design looks good and works with my music collection on my network drive. And controlling volume should be easy. Perhaps just a rotary knob on the speaker box?
When you say you're interested, do you mean funding the few hundred dollars that this costs to get to the prototype stage? If so and we proceed I would note the terms here for everyone, so they know your involvement. Write me a PM in this case.

If you mean you are interested as a buyer, well, it's a bit early for that :)

I need to have some help pre-funding the first prototype, int he amount of $200-$500, which I believe can be recouped to the investor.

karrika wrote:
One interesting design could be to create a matching add-on pedestal to a good quality Bluetooth speaker. They seem to be available at ebay for around €10. You could then use the Bluetooth speaker directly with your mobile phone or remote control the PiZero in the pedestal to get internet radio and music from your network drive. Kind of an added value component. Perhaps the PiZero UART could be turned into a Bluetooth sender for wireless interfacing with the speaker. This would simplify the design as you could drop the USB hub and the USB sound card. You would only need Wifi and a Bluetooth sender. Some portable Bluetooth speakers even have USB power outputs for charging your mobile phone. So you might even drop the USB power supply and use the built-in battery of the speaker for powering the PiZero.
Since I am targeting very high-fidelity audio, I think there is no additional benefit from connecting the raspberry pi to the speaker via bluetooth (adding latency, it's not instant-instant, and presumably there could occasionally be interference issues) - for me it makes sense to connect to the speaker or hi-fi to the system via wired connections, directly to the USB soundcard. This is very similar to how I'm listening to music on my laptop right now. I have a whole JVC stereo that's several times the size and weight of my laptop and probably worth $15 as it's oooold. But the sound is great.

I hope I've been able to clarify the vision a little bit. If you are still interested, PM me or reply here. You'll get a mention and my infinite thanks! (And we'll discuss the terms.)

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:45 pm

curious4872 wrote:rather than include a hub, I would keep the USB free and, by building on what others have accomplished, it is possible tnot to use up the Pi Zero's USB port (or require a hub) but instead interface over GPIO.
In that case you might be interested in the PWM audio directly from the PiZero. The latest updates has improved the audio a lot and according to the forum the quality is at the same level as USB sound cards.
curious4872 wrote:
karrika wrote:
Edit: Yes, I am interested if the design looks good and works with my music collection on my network drive. And controlling volume should be easy. Perhaps just a rotary knob on the speaker box?
If you mean you are interested as a buyer, well, it's a bit early for that :)
Yes. That was what I had in mind.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:48 pm

karrika wrote:[In that case you might be interested in the PWM audio directly from the PiZero. The latest updates has improved the audio a lot and according to the forum the quality is at the same level as USB sound cards.
There is simply no way that it would be audiophile quality. I mean, even the form of the waves is different - rather than being made of sine waves, PWM operates via square waves. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I mean, sure, you can get "decent" audio, you can do something like watch a youtube video, no problem. But if you were to directly amplify it out to a speaker stereo system that has subwoofers, tweeters, a fantastic dynamic range and frequency response, there is just no way that you would get anywhere near the same sound. I am talking about AUDIOPHILE quality sound. And I'd like to make it available for $15, $20 or something (maybe more for a higher-grade USB device), so that you just plug it into your hi-fi (stereo) and you are set.

PWM does not nearly fit this bill - not for the kind of sound I want.

You know, guys, as a matter of fact some audiophile products are "overpriced", in the sense that a $5,000 stereo is waaaaaaaaaaaay better than a $80 stereo. (Waaaaaaaaaaaay). But arguably the $5,000 stereo should still cost more like $800.

So if I were to really go into the audiophile grade product here, I could give even higher chances of letting a backer recoup their money (by prior agreement). Anyone interested in backing this project?
curious4872 wrote: >If you mean you are interested as a buyer[...]

Yes. That was what I had in mind.
As you can see, backers, we already have 1x preorder interest, and the project was just announced yesterday :-D :-D

However, I am still broke as a joke, so without a backer this tiny prototype will not be possible. Who wants to help me make a great product :)

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:31 pm

I might be missing something but isn't this just re-inventing what the HiFiBerry people have already done - https://www.hifiberry.com

It might be worth contacting them, and/or other manufacturers of similar products, because I am sure those companies would be interested in better, reasonably priced, audio products if that's what you are proposing, and they may well be able to provide a few hundred dollars for research and prototyping towards that.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:29 am

hippy wrote:I might be missing something but isn't this just re-inventing what the HiFiBerry people have already done - https://www.hifiberry.com
Not at all. The HiFiBerry does not even include a pi, it is only a shield. So if you buy a HiFiBerry, in terms of a solution you now have...a HiFiBerry. In a sense you're closer to having a solution, but you still have to build it yourself.

Plus, look at these prices: https://www.hifiberry.com/product-category/boards/

If you look at those prices, it is near $100 and several hours of the user's labor before the user has a hope of replacing their laptop or media player in any usage.

So it's a totally different segment.
hippy wrote: It might be worth contacting them, and/or other manufacturers of similar products, because I am sure those companies would be interested in better, reasonably priced, audio products if that's what you are proposing, and they may well be able to provide a few hundred dollars for research and prototyping towards that.
And then what? I would just donate the research and prototyping to the companies? I've done this before, they were, of course very happy. (No hardware was involved, but that's rather immaterial.)

I'm not fully following your train of thought... why is it good for me to donate research and prototyping toward a company, even assuming I could get them to cut me a check for it? In this case, too, the result would be closed-source.

So that would be the worst of both worlds: it would both be closed-source, but also a complete loss of my time.

I'm having trouble seeing why you suggest I go this route at all. The alternative, that I split sales with a backer, makes sense to me as in that case I would be able to build a small business around it.... (i.e. not donate my time to some company.)


I mean, with your line of thinking, why does Kickstarter exist at all? Rather than kickstart an project, why don't thye just donate the schematics to a company that would manufacture it and not return any of the money? It doesn't seem to make that much sense to me... maybe I'm missing some part of your thinking though...

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:53 am

curious4872 wrote: There is simply no way that it would be audiophile quality. I mean, even the form of the waves is different - rather than being made of sine waves, PWM operates via square waves. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I mean, sure, you can get "decent" audio, you can do something like watch a youtube video, no problem. But if you were to directly amplify it out to a speaker stereo system that has subwoofers, tweeters, a fantastic dynamic range and frequency response, there is just no way that you would get anywhere near the same sound. I am talking about AUDIOPHILE quality sound.
I do enjoy to visit real concerts and I appreciate a-cappella a lot. When you record these things today the experience is digitized and packed into bits. Some part of the sound is lost during the recording process and even more if you pack the data using compression algorithms.

The technology has improved a lot during recent times and for about €400 you can buy Red Pitaya that can record and play back a very accurate waveform at 100MHz. It is operating with square waves but there is no way to find any ripple of the signal by looking at the output.

The clever engineers developing Raspberry Pi are doing similar improvements right now for our beloved sound output. From what I have read the hiss is now gone and the waveform is very much better. I don't know what the specs are for producing the sound output but it is worth to listen to it with good quality headphones to see if it would be usable for audiophile quality. Just saying that PWM as technology is too bad is simply not true. Besides doing a conversion from packed digital data by the means of sine waves would be impractical (correct me if I am wrong). This would require to store the song as a fourier series and a really amazing unit with frequency synthesizers and filter blocks to re-generate all the formants of the singers voice. I don't believe that the result would be good.

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Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:31 am

karrika wrote:The clever engineers developing Raspberry Pi are doing similar improvements right now for our beloved sound output. From what I have read the hiss is now gone and the waveform is very much better.
"The hiss is now gone" is not my audiophile standard! :-D

karrika wrote:I don't know what the specs are for producing the sound output but it is worth to listen to it with good quality headphones to see if it would be usable for audiophile quality.
Unless I'm misreading, the specs are here: viewtopic.php?&t=33669

Those fall very far short of the specs necessary for the quality of audio that I'm used to playing. If backed I will certainly build and listen to the PWM version, but I have low expectations. There are huge, rumbling bass notes and clear, high trebles that are both literally outside of the frequency range that is described on that page for PWM.

Again, we are not talking about listening to YouTube videos "without a hiss" but about extremely high-fidelity audio, without any noise floor, played on large speakers with subwoofer, tweeters, hi-fidelity speaker cabinets with multiple cones. There are cones that are perfect for playing frequencies that can't even make it across the wire, according to the above link!

By the way, at the moment I am using a stereo feeding it via a tape deck with a tape adapter (it doesn't make any noise because for some reason it still gets amplified when the pause button is on.) I just checked the frequency response using this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNf9nzvnd1k

I can hear some rumbling at the very first frame of the video, 20 hz, from 40-50 hz it becomes very clear very low rumbling, and I personally stop hearing it at 18Khz (the last 1.5 second of the video I don't hear). I'm not sure if it's my hearing though, because that is an incredibly high-pitched wine, like some kind of transformer or an old CRT monitor turned on without a signal.

Okay, so since I see the difference so clearly between using the built-in audio jack on my laptop (a thinkpad( and the usb device I use now, I tried it again with the jack. The rumbling didn't start until 55 (versus 40-50 above) , there were parts that sounded like kind of feedbacky for some reason, and it cut out totally at 17k. The whole thing sounded much worst than via the audio grade USB device I usually use. It's just a huge difference. I don't enjoy music nearly as much straight from my audio jack on my laptop. And this whole thing is on a pretty cheap system. I have absolutely no reason to prefer to go through the trouble of pluggin an extra usb device into my laptop, so it's hard for me to imagine that this is not a real difference - it's just so pronounced.
karrika wrote:I Just saying that PWM as technology is too bad is simply not true.
I'm not saying it's bad, I am just saying the frequency response that can be expected based on my research is not the level of audio that I like to listen to. However, if backed I will certainly try it.

Let me know if anyone is up to help back this project at this stage! At the moment we have "1 preorder" ( :-D ). The total funding being raised is $200-$400, which can be repaid depending on the agreement with the backer, from sales.

There are two products that will be prototyped abd sold:
A - A low-margin broke-ass version
B- One with a higher-quality sound component and a somewhat higher margin.

I expect to advertise this once completed in generic audio forums as well.

My main reason for wanting to do this is that I would like to have it for me! I hope an interested backer will step up, as I can't afford to do this by myself. Thank you.

hippy
Posts: 6104
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:10 am

curious4872 wrote:I'm having trouble seeing why you suggest I go this route at all.
Because you're broke, need backing. It's just an option, especially if the alternative is not being able to do it at all.

I must admit I'm not entirely sure what it is you are thinking of creating. You appeared to want to create a plug-into-an-amp high quality audio system controlled by wireless, based around a Pi, which looks to me pretty much what HiFiBerry have though the end user has to buy the Pi themselves and assemble it.

It seemed to me that HiFiBerry, Pi Zero, Wi-Fi adapter, case and PSU would be about £40 and be what you are proposing.

Perhaps you need to better describe what this creation will be, create a compelling reason and business case for potential backers to step forward. I think you will also have to convince backers that this is not just a means to an end, getting yourself a high quality wireless music streamer you can't otherwise afford to buy.

curious4872
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:33 am

Re: Is pre-kickcstarter direct solicit appropriate here?

Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:16 pm

hippy wrote:
curious4872 wrote:I'm having trouble seeing why you suggest I go this route at all.
Because you're broke, need backing. It's just an option, especially if the alternative is not being able to do it at all.
This doesn't make sense to me. I have certain audio standards and I don't listen to lower fidelity than that. I wouldn't build it at all if the end result is that I have to continue to use my laptop because the sound isn't good enough for me off of what I'd built. I'd like to stop having to use my laptop because it's a pain to connect everything including USB and makes it less portable and ties it to that location.
hippy wrote: I must admit I'm not entirely sure what it is you are thinking of creating. You appeared to want to create a plug-into-an-amp high quality audio system controlled by wireless, based around a Pi, which looks to me pretty much what HiFiBerry have though the end user has to buy the Pi themselves and assemble it.
Well, yes, if the user buys a Pi, a HiFiBerry, two wireless adapters, assembles it, configures it and sets it up, figures out how to set up the music software they want on it, figures out how to set the wireless interfaces they want on it, writes all the scripts for it to operate, then they will end up with a product similar to the one I'm building, though mine would have a custom-designed case and robust quality assurance and support - it will just work. Supposing it takes me a grand total of 5 days of work (it will take far longer), that means that someone who does the above is spending approximately $200 in unpaid labor (a low estimate), at the end of which if they have no expertise they might not end up with anything they can use. But sure, other than that it's the same.
hippy wrote:It seemed to me that HiFiBerry, Pi Zero, Wi-Fi adapter, case and PSU would be about £40 and be what you are proposing.
Except that those components have no functionality unless the user creates some. You might as well ask why anyone would contribute to a project like VLC, when a C++ compiler with standard libraries can do everything that an audio player can do - you just have to write it. Obviously, there are many people who don't want to configure anything or write anything.

hippy wrote:Perhaps you need to better describe what this creation will be, create a compelling reason and business case for potential backers to step forward. I think you will also have to convince backers that this is not just a means to an end, getting yourself a high quality wireless music streamer you can't otherwise afford to buy.
The last objection is easy - I just have to contribute more than the unit cost myself, which I have no problem doing. That means I am not using it to afford something I otherwise couldn't.

As far as development, as you are no doubt aware there are some small incidental costs with developing a marketable prototype; for example, testing different hardware possibilities and so forth, things I wouldn't do for myself.

Here are the specifications that I am targeting:
$20/£20 and $70/£70 price points, depending on the audiophile quality

- a FULLY assembled, full, media silent PC, with custom case, in a tiny form factor with no fan (based on the pi zero)
- Set up and ready to stream Spotify
- (Not finalized) Bluetooth component to stream from any phone
- Mesh networking so that any number of these devices can be on the same Wifi network and synchronize, i.e. one for each room.
- No or ikea-level user assembly or set-up

Software:
- Remote control via Web app

The user story: user would like to give their home always-on music they can configure and leave there, without buying a whole PC. They buy this solution, take it out of the box, connect it, and start streaming high-quality music or spotify from their account.


What is in it for the backer:
-> We can agree on a profit-share whereby once sold they receive a royalty from both the cheaper and more expensive audiophile versions until they have been repaid with a multiple preference (to be discussed). I think $2/£2 royalty from the less expensive version and $20/£20 royalty from the more expensive audiophile version is reasonable. A multiple of 2x is typical (at which point the royalty would stop.) I would myself contribute at the very minimum the amount that the final unit costs, to ensure that I am not using this just so I can have access to a completed product I can't afford. Note that this is a substantial portion of the funds being raised.

I estimate the funding requirement to be between $200 and $400. The backer's backing can also be thanked publicly.

Pre-sales: as seen in this thread there is already presales interest :-) In addition, I anticipate that it may make sense to use IndieGogo or Kickstarter to generate a large order/run later. But at a very minimum that requires a fully completed product.

That's the long and short of what I have in mind. It seems quite reasonable to me, and if I weren't employed in the humanities right now I would think this is an easy project to back. Let me know if you have any further questions or if anyone is interested in stepping up on the above terms.

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