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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Kickstarter 2 just launched

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:56 pm
by tofro
vanpeebles wrote:Are we getting chips too? :lol:


Nah. Potatoes have been cancelled.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Kickstarter 2 just launched

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:45 pm
by Sparrowhawk
bwinkel67 wrote:I didn't mind waiting for the item. My only curiosity with the Kickstarter campaign (and perhaps lack of understanding) was that once they passed all of their stretch goals and went way passed it by £350,000 could they have reformulated the price and knocked it down for everyone. Does Kickstarter ever work that way?

They ought to be able to claim any losses from the 1st Kickstarter (no one should lose money doing this sort of thing) but does the price reduce at scale? Of course the scale is only in the thousands so it may not matter that much. I suppose I could have gotten 2 and stuck the 2nd one on eBay and list it for ever at $1200 (one has been listed there for a long time :-/)


From what I've read on the Speccy next forums, they won't be getting any significant economies of scale at these relatively small volumes. Where they will be gaining on the costs is that the tooling and machinery is already in place from the last run sp can be configured again more easily, although I don't know to what extent that actually is.

Anyway, I'm also happy to wait. I have also bought a Freedrum 2 kit - my mid life crisis is now playing itself out through kickstarter geek projects! :D

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Kickstarter 2 just launched

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:19 am
by Peter
Sparrowhawk wrote:From what I've read on the Speccy next forums, they won't be getting any significant economies of scale at these relatively small volumes.

I would say medium, not small. And huge in QL scales. If I guessed correctly, it could be a manufaturing run of about 5000 machines, which is 200 times more than a typical QL hardware run. The discounts compared to QL hardware are enormous. And not only that. At such scales, prototyping is not required to be manually, allowing more design options.

Sparrowhawk wrote:Where they will be gaining on the costs is that the tooling and machinery is already in place from the last run sp can be configured again more easily, although I don't know to what extent that actually is.

I would think that for case/keyboard the tooling costs were substantial. For the PCB less relevant if quantities already go into the thousands.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Kickstarter 2 just launched

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:20 pm
by Timbucus
Sparrowhawk wrote:
bwinkel67 wrote:I didn't mind waiting for the item. My only curiosity with the Kickstarter campaign (and perhaps lack of understanding) was that once they passed all of their stretch goals and went way passed it by £350,000 could they have reformulated the price and knocked it down for everyone. Does Kickstarter ever work that way?


From what I've read on the Speccy next forums, they won't be getting any significant economies of scale at these relatively small volumes. Where they will be gaining on the costs is that the tooling and machinery is already in place from the last run sp can be configured again more easily, although I don't know to what extent that actually is.


The single biggest problem is that the reward for a backer is a physical Next which is produced at close to cost price- that has a cost to produce that does not change in real terms between 1000 or 10000 items, and each backer attracts that cost - what they pledge, is that cost + a margin built in at the start. That margin can be eroded as it was on KS1 until it needed private injection not just from the founders personal funds but, all contributors, we all funded our own time and energy for code and support, travel and hotels for trips to shows, even the cost of printing the banners you saw if you went!

If a million people had pledged then the Bill Of Materials (BOM) to produce may have dropped a percentage point or two if the time was invested to negotiate 'off book' special deals but, it is also likely at the same time that the lead time for component sourcing and time spent on producing at the rate the mould can be used would increase in proportion - in fact at a million it would have needed new moulds fabricating at eye watering 5-6 figure costs... All stretch goals are provided in reality for free or in the 0.001% reduction in BOM cost that a jump from 1000-2000, 3000-5000 backers had. That is why they are predominantly software that adds little to the per machine cost but, not zero where licences are involved for example.

The gain on this (tooling, machinery and process) is companies who will hopefully be prepared to help again on what is frankly such a low volume order it is hardly worth re-purposing their production line but, they will know the requester can be trusted to pay so will hopefully slot it in when they have a short window. Of course the Mould is already in storage and proven at the company and the keyboard manufacturer already has a process that works. I am just glad I don't have to do the logistics on it all. :)

The result is worth it though and will be awesome when it runs a QL core as well...

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Kickstarter 2 just launched

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:16 pm
by Sparrowhawk
Thanks for that info Timbucus.

I'm very excited about this project, and I'm really glad that I did not miss the KS this time around!