[Ardour-Dev] Funding: Build and Sell Hardware

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Wed Jan 21 21:43:28 PST 2009

Mike Taht wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 4:45 AM, Paul Davis 
> <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com <mailto:paul at linuxaudiosystems.com>> wrote:
>     On Wed, 2009-01-21 at 10:09 +0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>     > Speaking from my experience of manufacturing large quantities of
>     audio
>     > and multimedia devices it's not as simple as it's is being laid out
>     > above. It generally requires a large up front investment of time and
>     > money. We would be looking at a minimum order of $100,000 to get
>     most
>     > established manufacturers attention just to talk to us. Most
>     > manufacturers in Asia are not really interested unless the
>     contract is
>     > worth more than $500,000 and ongoing. For a one off contract they
>     > usually expect it to be worth something in the vicinity of
>     $2,000,000
>     > before they will start the machines.
> The mesh potato and free telephony projects have found an enthusiastic 
> manufacturer for low volume open hardware in a Chinese company called 
> Atcom. (http://atcom.cn/)
> See, for example:
> http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=70
This is one of the few companies prepared to get into low volume 
manufacturing and the caveat is you get what you pay for.

They have custom designed very low quality products which would put us 
in the Behringer realm if we went with a company like that for a 
standalone embedded audio device. The hassles that come with working 
with a manufacturer like Atcom are time consuming and frustrating. It's 
already a very difficult task and working with such a company is making 
things more difficult. Though not impossible and if the will is there it 
will eventually result in a product that will be at least commercial grade.

The main problem with low volume and low cost is that the manufacturer 
has no incentive to prioritise any issues that arise, and there are 
always issues.


Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

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