June 10, 2015 at 9:21 pm #38314
OPSi Hackable version and case idea:
I have read your recent (early 2015) blogs about coming development
of OPSi. I have two areas of suggestion:
– Create a new version of OSPi: OPSi-hackable.
I read how you intend to discontinue the relay on the OPSi board.
It sounded like primarily a cost decision. I suggest to offer two version:
a. OPSi basic.
No relay, uses your revised common case that you discussed on your blog in Jan 2015.
(more on that below), intended for rPi Model A.
But can support B / Pi2.
Have the same circuit board as OSPi basic, but include all the
– Add the 40 pin header for rPi GPIO.
– Expand to two or more relays. I’d love to have three relays built in
so I can control my garage doors and a light in the garage when the OSPi is located.
– Add the header or screw terminals connector for the relays.
– Add the header for the analog pins
– Add the push buttons
It was a pain for me to solder these headers on (OSPi) and the relay
holes are not typical spacing.
The idea behind this version (with a higher price) is to support the
hacker/maker customers. I bought this sprinkler controller because it
was open source and hackable. I intend to control my garage doors,
measure temperatures, moisture and more with I2C or One-Wire,
run a display, add the rPi camera, etc.
Second hardware idea:
– Create a larger hacker case.
The current case you have has several drawbacks to the hacker/makers:
a. the mounting holes need to be “keyhole” shape. It is painful
to have to completely remove the screws to get it off the wall.
b. the front cover screws should be on the front. It is painful
to have to take it off the wall, to get the front cover open.
c. The connectors are exposed. Typically this would mount
in a garage or shed. Sawdust, dirt, etc. The orange and green
connectors are relatively delicate and could get fouled.
d. Its small. It is clearly half the size of any typical sprinkler controller
available at Home Depot. It very nicely fits the contents it was intended for.
So, my idea is for a larger “hacker” case. Make the ciruit board
fill half of the space. Move the connectors inside the front cover for
protection from dirt and debris.
Make mounting space for terminal strips for the optional pinouts and relays.
Room for mount the Raspberry Pi camera
Room for other sensors, wiring, etc.
Front cover comes off easily: no screws in the back, perhaps no screws at all
snaps off the front.
Room for the 16×2 display or even larger.
Ready access to the micro-SD car of OSPi
Ready access to USB ports
Ready access to ethernet connector, with room for connector and a bend
You could sell this “hackers case” as a separate item in the store
and I, for one, would buy it. My existing case is too small for me to
cram the extra goodies I want into my hacker friendly OPSi.
The OSPi-hackable would come standard with the larger hacker case.
The OSPi-basic model would come with the revised common platform case.
Thanks for you consideration.
posted to OS forums 6/10/2015.June 12, 2015 at 12:17 pm #38363
“I read how you intend to discontinue the relay on the OPSi board. It sounded like primarily a cost decision”
Well, it’s partly to save cost, but the primary reason is that very few people make use of the relay, so we don’t want to keep an expensive feature that few people use. Also we are in the process of developing a standalone open-source garage door opener, so I hope not to keep overlapping features between different products.
I appreciate your suggestions, but honestly the lessons we learned from a business point of view is that it’s better to not offer a variety of versions of the same product. The reason is that keeping different versions make it harder for users to choose, and it’s difficult to predict demand and expected inventory of each version so it’s harder to remain profitable. Already we’ve been getting questions all the time about the difference between OpenSprinkler, OSPi and OSBo, and creating further divisions in OSPi will just make the situations worse. Someone with hacking skills can always create a customized, hackable version themselves, and enjoy the making process. For us, it’s a big investment to make a entirely new version, with new enclosure, and without knowing the size of the market in the first place. Hope this makes sense.
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