SparkFun will be closed Nov 26th and 27th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Orders placed after 2:00pm MT on the 25th will ship out Monday the 30th.


Member Since: March 4, 2006

Country: United States

  • “I’m not sure why you don’t think you can source these processors. They’re quite common (I see them in lots of designs).”

    Yes, they’re fairly common in products built in China; like the development board being sold here. No major supplier outside of China has any stock. The datasheet and other info seems to be a closely guarded secret.

    The source you referenced just proves my point. It looks like a single individual in China selling a few units. Over the last 6 months, they list 3 orders for grand total of 7 units. Not what I would call a reliable production source.

  • Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

    My first and primary concern is the availability of parts. If I can’t source the parts, there may not be a production run. So why develop around this board?

    Again, if you’re just looking for a one off toy (which perhaps a lot of people are), then none of this really matters. But otherwise, it could be a show stopper.

  • Since this board exists, someone in China must clearly be able to source small quantities of the raw SOC — for now. But for everyone else, it’s not quite so clear.

  • Yes, I understand all that. But can I buy the processor is smallish quantities? If not, then what’s the point of this “development board”? Am I developing a product that only works with this board?

    If I build a product around this “development board”, I’m totally at the mercy of some nameless, faceless company in China. When the board design changes 6 months from now, I’ll have no choice but to stop production and re-design my product to match. Not good.

    But of course, if all you’re doing is playing around with it; none of this really matters.

  • Price and features look good. Sparkfun obviously plans on selling a few with 500+ in stock.

    Is this open source? Can I build my own? Better yet, can I even source the parts to build my own — particularly the processor? How long will this be available in this form factor?

    If all you want is a toy, then you probably don’t care about these things. But anyone looking to build a product around this will need answers before even considering it.

    This is a problem with almost everything sourced from China — there is no stability. It’s here today, gone tomorrow.

  • Buyer beware. Mine is little more than a paperweight. It will not write lo-co cards that are readable by Verifone terminals. As best as I can tell, it doesn’t actually write at all. And yes, the cards I’m using are most definitely “lo-co”, not “hi-co”.

  • These are the real deal, complete, self contained modules, a cinch to use at an unbeatable price. Also, based on my tests, these are fully compatible with EM4100 tags, not just EM4001 which was an older, now obsolete standard.

No public wish lists :(