Monthly Archives: December 2009

PCB for Volume Box

VolumeBoxPCBI’ve finally taken delivery of my first batch of printed circuit boards for the Volume Box. They look real nice. As usual I got them from Gold Phoenix of Shanghai – The quality of the boards is pretty good and their prices are good for very small runs.

My chips and other parts have already arrived so next I need to assemble it and test. I’ve still got a lot of tasks after that before it is a finished product such as designing the end panels of the box, writing the user manual and setting up a website for it.

And Out the Door they Go!


Sales of the RS232 Rate Converter were a little slow throughout October and November but they sure have caught up in the last couple of weeks. I thought I had enough stock to see me through until January but after a flurry of orders, I am now completely sold out.

So I’ve been frantically ordering parts to build more units ASAP. I suppose having too many orders is a good problem to have, better than having no orders.

I’ve no idea why sales have suddenly surged, it’s not the kind of thing you’d buy as a Christmas present!

Time for a new Product

VolumeBoxPrototype2Well, the RS232 Rate Converter is pretty mature now. It does it’s job well and there is not a lot of improvements to make to it anymore. So what to do next?

I’ve been talking with a friend in the home automation business and he reckons there’d be a small market for an RS232 controllable volume control. This device would allow a home automation processor to control the volume on an amplifier which does not have any other means of remote control.

Now I thought that would be a pretty simple thing for me to make so I built a prototype. It only took me three evenings to cobble together something that works, thanks mainly to RS Components‘ free next-day shipping for electronic parts. I think this will be my next product.

Of course I can’t sell it in this state, it’s funny but taking a product from prototype to production is usually more work than making the prototype in the first place.