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December 30, 2005
News - Open Source Hardware
about 5 years ago
I don’t think anybody has ever made much money from shareware software, and what you’re describing is along the same lines.
In my first lot of boards, I’ve managed to mostly pay for having the lot made and kept a few boards for my own use. Selling my boards lets me make a large lot to keep the costs of my projects reasonable.
If I can justify making a trip to the post office to ship an order and maybe pay for lunch on the way, I figure I’m accomplishing something.
I’d certainly be willing to entertain a waiver for somebody to make and sell the boards, particularly if improvements are made to the design.
The redesign can be seen here: http://digital-diy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=652. A few refinements, including the ability to use right angle LEDs and switches if desired so that the board could be used behind a panel. I’ve also changed to a mini-USB connector. I debated about this as it’s a surface mount connector, but it’s located by pins and a pretty large pattern, so I don’t think people will have much problem soldering it.
By the way, I obviously like the lock-in idea for the headers, but I refined the patterns somewhat. The SF layout has the part centered under pin 1 instead of the centroid, so rotating it really makes a mess. The other change is in the pin numbering of the keyed connectors. I don’t know if there is a “right way” but the numbering was reversed compared to every reference I have.
Thanks for the comments Nate. I haven’t posted the Eagle files yet since I had a couple errors in the first layout that I want to correct. The revision is being made now, and once I get the boards back and tested, I’ll post the files. I figured it was best not to get a copy of a file that has errors out to the public.
As far as the -NC part of the license, there’s a blanket waiver for commercial use of the board as part of a system. What I wanted to prevent was somebody taking the design and selling it “as is” without any changes. I guess I’ve feel ripped off if I saw somebody selling my work, possibly at a much greater price without adding any value to the design.
My goal was to support the community with a unique design, at a cost lower than an individual might make a few copies.
On my TAP-28 application board for 28-pin PIC18F-series micros, I’ve used a Creative Commons by-sa-nc license, with a slight difference. An immediate waiver is granted to use the board commercially as a component of a larger system. What this does is allow somebody to build a widget with this board as the heart and sell it, while not allowing people to sell the bare boards without permission.
This seems like a reasonable approach. Somebody can use the board as the basis to make a fortune but I won’t feel screwed by somebody using my intellectual property without adding anything to make money selling bare boards.
Here’s a link to the license: http://www.clever4hire.com/throwawaypic/tap-28-license
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