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Back to electronics and Arduino

31 January 2012 at 2:19 pm

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After a great week filled with snowboarding, fun and software, it’s time to get back into hardware again!

Waiting for me at the postoffice was a package from Hong Kong and the crazy site DealExtreme. 3 weeks ago I randomly browsed around the site and figured that I’d check to see if there were any Arduino stuff on sale and indeed it was. I found an Ardunio Nano 3.0 for only $17 and an Arduino Mini for only $13. I had to order for more than $30, so I threw in a bag of super-bright white LEDs as well. The Mini is still on backorder, but check the image above to see how small the Nano is? Including FTDI/USB it’s still less than one fourth the size of a Uno! It plugs straight into a breadboard and it’s a fantastic deal at only $17.

This is one of the things that facinate me with the Arduino community. The Arduino Nano was originally conceived by the California company Gravitech. True to the idea of the platform, Gravitech publishes the Nano with a Open Source/Hardware license that enables others to produce competing products. If you buy from the originator in the US it’s $35 per Nano, but from Hong Kong it’s only $17. According to what I learned at business school many years ago, this is bad for any company, but that was before we learned about the App Store Economy where volume/exposure matters the most. The Nano platform is also very tied to Gravitech as they update it and they also produce several very nice shields to go with the device. I’m pretty sure that the more companies that sell Nano compatible controllers - the more exposure this form factor will get and Gravitech will benefit.

The Arduino Mini from Asia is still on backorder, but the LEDs were crazy bright. Should fit well for an idea I have, but now it’s back to app-making. Almost there…!