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Thread: FM/DAB digital radio - THAT WORKS!!

  1. #1001
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    Well think of it from a company point of view. Everybody returns their boards and we are left with a load of old boards we can't sell.
    Well why has this happened? Because you have attempted to sell a board that is really not a finished design, and not built to a quality that is fit to be sold. And you seem to think that your customers should suffer.

    And TBH i'm amazed by your 'business practice' that you will ban people from ordering the new board if they have returned a previous unit on grounds of failure, poor quality etc.

    Anyway i finally got my unit working. A fourth broken track on the 1.2v line was stopping the Venice getting power. I'm not going to say any more about the state of this PCB (design & build).
    I'm not going to take up your offer of a refund either, as by the time i've payed for both directions shipping, I lose out. The power board is going straight to the bin, and i keep the Venice, which will get put onto my own design power board.

    Quite frankly i dont see what Craig has brought to this party.
    Buys a module, puts it onto a poorly designed board, poorly built, with 2 pieces of software that dont work, and a charges an arm+leg for it.

  2. #1002
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    Sadly, that isn't going to be possible for business reasons. I can't have people returning their boards so I am left with a load of boards I can't sell. People purchased these units before there was any mention of a new version - some were simply given a "free upgrade". I am happy to refund you if you return it but you would not be able to purchase a new one from us. hopefully you can understand the business reasons behind that.


    Deffo not photoshopped - that is the image right from my phone.
    Are you trying to say you are banning them? Nothing is stopping them from returning the radio for a refund and purchasing the new model. One may argue that it wasnt fit for the purpose to begin with and also fuelled by the fact that you are releasing a new model too soon. I dont think customers are going to be too happy with this move, they would feel ripped off. They must have felt like beta testers, not just on the hardware but also on the software.

    I for one would buy the new version from you. But before I do that, I would wanna make sure it would worked as advertised and I expect the software to work right and not having to install the newer build weekly. Each time I see "it should be fixed in the next build" or "we never have that problems"

    People expect a clear picture of the product you are selling, if you think someone might copy your design, I dont think there is much you can do about it. You might as well patent it and put it in a box filled with epoxy. I doubt the design is worth that much for that trouble. Stardard protocol, reference vreg design, FTDI chip and bog standard AUDIO-USB design what else is there is to it?

    Considering you have a team of developers and have all the resources you need I would have though you would have sorted the reliability of the unit and have a perfect working software. Notice those who know their hardware and software are not agreeing with you here. You have been told many times about the potential problem of the master firmware and the big smoothing capacitors. This has been discussed on the other site but for some reason you refuse to see its existence, you are rushing trying to sell something that isnt fit for its purpose ar atleast isnt "ready" yet. You should be thankful that majority of member here are quite patient and forgiving, I expected worst.

    I read the post at digital-car forum. I got to agree with lez and the others, you do seems to have the habit of making sure those who want to build their own are discouraged and they buy your unit instead. It is bad enough that the orginal concept of that thread was destroyed, then you carry on to make sure people are discouraged to build. Alot of people have left that DAB thread, no one want to share anything anymore or they give out wrong information, do you ever wonder why?

    You have to understand why people in the forum are not too happy. Im sorry craig, thats just the way it is.

  3. #1003
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    Well why has this happened? Because you have attempted to sell a board that is really not a finished design, and not built to a quality that is fit to be sold. And you seem to think that your customers should suffer.
    I keep saying we have many happy customers for the previous board. 2 people posted while you were discussing here and there are reviews on our website - even from MP3 Car.

    And TBH i'm amazed by your 'business practice' that you will ban people from ordering the new board if they have returned a previous unit on grounds of failure, poor quality etc.
    It is a pretty standard business practice otherwise businesses are left with a load of old stock they cannot sell.

    Quite frankly i dont see what Craig has brought to this party.
    Buys a module, puts it onto a poorly designed board, poorly built, with 2 pieces of software that dont work, and a charges an arm+leg for it.
    As I said, we have many happy customers. People WANT a prebuilt solution and not have to design one themselves. I am the only one who can get Venice modules in small enough quantities without taking radios apart and flashing firmware which is a messy business.

    Are you trying to say you are banning them? Nothing is stopping them from returning the radio for a refund and purchasing the new model.
    We block the account and also, if a similar name / address / phone number / etc registers and orders, it places a flag on the order. Our system is rather advanced because of what else we use it for.

    They must have felt like beta testers, not just on the hardware but also on the software.
    As I keep saying, the difference between the old and new board isn't that big - main diff is that it is batch produced by a company who does this thing all the time rather than individually soldered. People have a final board - not a beta board.

    I read the post at digital-car forum. I got to agree with lez and the others, you do seems to have the habit of making sure those who want to build their own are discouraged and they buy your unit instead.
    Well that is just personal opinion. This thread here was started for selling a complete unit. The thread over at Digital Car I was given permission to post in by the OWNER of the site. I have said in all my threads that they should read back through the thread for details if they want to build their own or check out my site for a prebuild one. Nothing wrong with that - they have a choice.

    As for the master firmwaare comment, I really don't see what you want me to do? The slave firmware is not an option without a large payment which isn't realistic considering the size of this market. We have our Centrafuse plugin working well now as many people have mentioned who test it for me when I send them updates. The only 2 bugs left are the ones I posted the other day which I think we have cracked now based on the latest version I have in my car.

  4. #1004
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    Oh and regarding the photo. The latest will be posted on our website shortly. I just haven't got around to it yet.

  5. #1005
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    the difference between the old and new board isn't that big
    Well that's just not true, the difference is huge. I know it because I've now seen one, and you know it too.

    Anyway, I can't help but think that you should of sold it as a completely different product and price and not giving people 'free' upgrades. Like calling it a V2 or MkII, or something like that. That might of saved you a whole load of criticism.

    BTW, it was meant to be a tongue in cheek comment about the photo being blurry intentionally.

  6. #1006
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    Well that's just not true, the difference is huge. I know it because I've now seen one, and you know it too.
    I was talking more from a working point of view rather than the design.

  7. #1007
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    Hi

    All appears to be kicking off here again!

    I have spent a small fortune on this project and have a V5 equipped nrgizerbunny board and a CB V7 board. The v7 board is more sensitive by a noticeable amount in my tests. By 'board' I mean the frontier silicon board!

    The v7 master software from CB remains poor (imho), but it is getting better despite doing some stuff in a non-cf way. I cannot believe how long it's taken to get the software to the stage where it is now. I'm still awaiting dll docs (promised by Craig on his site early on) so I can roll my own without re-inventing the wheel.

    The main issue with the old board is it's startup current consumption. This has caused me numerous issues. The new board may not suffer the same. Build quality was poor - I just resoldered mine. Other issues like the loose USB daughter board were easily solved. I would consider the product to be 'beta' overall though.

    CB should have jacked the price up slightly for the V2 boards that way, us early adopters would feel better about what we bought - and for having essentially been Guinea pigs!

    It is not 'standard business practice' to allow returns from customers and then block the customer from re-ordering. I have ordered thousands of items online some of which did not meet expectations and were returned under the DSA. I have never be blocked from re-ordering! I would challenge CB to provide some examples of other companies that engage in this practice.

    The correct way forward now would be for CB to offer existing customers a new board without V7 at cost+p&p. I would take up this offer since the new board would be less likely to suffer the same current inrush issues and could be neatly packaged in a smaller case. Indeed the board looks to be designed to fit neatly into a certain case design.

    CB needs to remember that many of us have spent more hours than we care to recall on our carpc projects and to many, aesthetics matter. The old board is not aesthetically pleasing while the new board is. Does not matter that it's hidden under the dash so are cables etc but we all like them routed tidily. As a CarPC person himself, and user of his own board, can CB honestly say that he will be sticking with the V1 board himself rather than installing the new, neater V2 design in his own car?

    So Craig - how about an 'upgrade' scheme at cost for existing customers to the new board sans v7?? This costs you nothing (very few here will spend another 65quid to get new board anyway), supply is not going to be an issue (cause the boards are sans V7) and you gain goodwill on this forum and a whole lot less bad press than you have currently. You might even be able to hide some of the cost (thus making a small profit) since you would be selling (and thus ordering) more units from your supplier and could perhaps negotiate a slightly better per unit cost to you.

    On another note I would love to hear from someone techy about the performance of the new board vs the old re both current consumption and also whether they have issues on the mux that nrgizerbunny highlighted as potentially problematic in a carpc environment (his stated reason for the bank of big 'filter' electrolytics on the CB V1 board).

    I do understand that CB needs to make a profit out of this venture, but as a businessman, you also have to listen to some of your critics. It is a 'fairly common business practice' to offer discounts to those upgrading to a newer version of a product (even hardware) and certainly far more common than blocking future orders from those who choose to return their boards!

    Nigel

  8. #1008
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    I'm still awaiting dll docs (promised by Craig on his site early on) so I can roll my own without re-inventing the wheel.
    I provide command lists to everyone who requests it.

    It is not 'standard business practice' to allow returns from customers and then block the customer from re-ordering. I have ordered thousands of items online some of which did not meet expectations and were returned under the DSA. I have never be blocked from re-ordering! I would challenge CB to provide some examples of other companies that engage in this practice.
    I simply cannot accept returns and be left with a load of "dead stock" I cannot sell. Surely you must see that? I have had it done twice to me in the past by two companies so know it goes on.

    The correct way forward now would be for CB to offer existing customers a new board without V7 at cost+p&p.
    Contact me via http://www.coolapplab.com/contact_us/index.html if you want a board on its own. I can do a bit of a discount on it but it won't be at cost price but will be cheaper to begin with anyway as you don't need another Venice module.

    can CB honestly say that he will be sticking with the V1 board himself rather than installing the new, neater V2 design in his own car?
    I have the old board back in my car now so I could send out an additional new board when I sent out a batch this morning As it is all hidden, I will stick with this board as it does work perfectly.

    As said, I am not against "upgrades" but can't have masses of people returning their old boards, getting a refund and expecting to be ordering a new one.

    ALL NEW ORDERS NOW FEATURE THE NEW BOARD BY THE WAY - JUST TO MAKE IT CLEAR!

  9. #1009
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    I provide command lists to everyone who requests it.
    I have definately requested this beforehand! I will do so again via PM so it does not get lost. Need a project for the winter months anyway!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigbrass View Post
    I simply cannot accept returns and be left with a load of "dead stock" I cannot sell. Surely you must see that? I have had it done twice to me in the past by two companies so know it goes on.
    Whats the write-off cost for an 'old board' (w/o V7) The FTDI USB<-->Serial device will be the most expensive by far @ ~10 (less in bulk). The rest of the components are maybe 5 so max 15 all-in?

    You could maybe charge those who wish to return and re-order a 're-stocking fee' of 15 - thus allowing you to write off the old board at cost, and thus have no reason to prevent someone re-ordering. For you to be worried about this - you must be expecting a great deal of folk to return their V1 boards and then order a V2!!

    Of course, if your discount on a V2 board (sans V7) is somewhere near that 15 then there is no reason for anyone to return their V1 boards - they can sling them in the bin themselves (and ebay the FTDI daughter-board for a couple o' quid!). Far less hassle for you, and the customer. I'll email you for the upgrade price via coolapplab as you suggest.

    Nigel

  10. #1010
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    I'm happy to offer a discount but won't be accepting returns as discussed in PM.

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