Peter wrote:Dave wrote:The other part is that although this board will cost 4-5x more than the Q68 to produce (it's huge and has a LOT of parts - very Old Tech) I want the price on it to be much lower.
I think Dave made a cost estimate what the Q68 would take him to produce. Dave is a parts purchasing expert with a lot of experience, connections, and even the possibility to resell parts in case he later won't need all of them. Also, Dave can do SMD production himself. Both is of course much cheaper than production in small batches with help of reliable commercial services.
The Q68 comes at a price of £150.00 which I remember similar to comparable retro-computing boards, although the Q68 sells in much lower quantities due to being QL-specific and QL-optimized, and has ethernet on board. The price was not my decision, but I seriously think the Q68 is at the lowest limit, compared to the risk and workload Derek has shouldered - purely as support for the QL community. Thank you very much Derek, and please do not feel like the Q68 costs too much.
My guess of the cost for Issue 8 does not include the cost of parts I have had on hand for so long I no longer have a record of their cost - so about 40% of the parts on the Issue 8 are mathematically "free." I don't think the Q68 can be made by Derek for anything even close to £25. I think with the way Derek sources parts and has contract assembly, I'd be surprised if the Q68 cost less than £100 to make, and that's before any inspection, programming, testing, packaging.
£150 for the Q68 is a very fair price - especially considering it is made in very small batches and should be considered "bespoke custom hardware" for QLers.
I come from a slightly different background. I am used to making 500 or 1,000 of an item, and usually much simpler items. I have established relationships with suppliers, and I have 6 suppliers I "trust" (as in, yes, I'll order from them but still verify the parts meet the specifications and are genuine parts, not cheap knock-offs.) I understand Derek has subcontracted that responsibility to his contract manufacturer. It can't be expressed enough how valuable those relationships are, and they cost accordingly. It's the difference between a 1-2% failure rate and a 20-40% failure rate on the finished product.
So yes, with the "free" parts I have on hand, and the additional costs involved, I probably could make a few Q68s for £25, but once I started having to buy parts it would be dramatically more
Also... I often buy thousands of a component I will use a few hundred of, knowing I can resell the surplus for a small margin and subsidise my project a little. I often buy components just to fill a cart to the "free shipping" level - which is why my cost basis on 68EC030s currently stands at $0.91/piece!
Also, if you do not have a Q68, you should contact Derek and buy one immediately. As orders slow, it will be harder and harder to justify the economics and sheer time involved in making a batch so the time when Derek will no longer make them is on the horizon. They're great value.