new (?) board supplier I really dig

I just discovered "Futurlec": http://www.futurlec.com
They have a really impressive selection of boards for various purposes.
A lot of them are small and specific, like a switching regulator board (was looking for that a couple weeks ago!) for $6, an audio board (including amplifier and speaker -- was looking for a couple days ago) for $6, an MP3 board for $21, etc. I also like their "ET-ARM Stamp" board, which has an ARM processor, 4 A/D inputs, 6 PWM outputs, comes with a bootloader preinstalled so no programmer is needed, and of course a Stamp form factor, for $25. Pretty slick. (There's a nice carrier board for it for $23 too.)
I don't actually know how new these guys are, but I'd never heard of them before today, so maybe you haven't either. Well worth a look if you haven't already.
Note that I'm not associated with Futurlec, and haven't even used any of their products yet. It's possible the actual boards are junk. But I certainly like what I've seen of their selection so far.
Cheers, - Joe
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They do have some pretty cool stuff on that website. It would of been nice to of seen that 5volt power supply a couple of weeks ago. Now that I have been messing with this 5 volt power supply I have been trying to build it would have saved me a lot of trouble.
Joe McKibben
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Yeah, I'm lucky, because I was still gearing up to build mine. (Mostly just learning Eagle and designing a simple unregulated power board, which is still time well spent though I no longer have any intention of designing my own regulated supply.)
Note that they have a 3.3V supply too, but for some reason tucked it away on their site in a different category from the 5V supply.
The neat thing here to me is that I was already daydreaming about starting a little company, with an EE friend of mine, to make little boards exactly like this. Things that robotics hobbyists frequently need and can rarely find, like switching power supplies, level converters, etc. Futurlec seems to have done exactly that. Now I can quit fiddling around with making my own PCBs so much, and get on with actually building robots.
Cheers, - Joe
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Thanks for the tip on the 3.3 volt I need one of those also, but did not see it on the website. I made a PCB a while ago when I was in high school, and always wanted to make one again but never really had the time to. It would be nice so I can make more professional looking stuff.
Joe McKibben
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wrote:

They've been around a while. In the past I've heard that the orders may take a while if they ship from the Pacific. About two years ago I was interested in the below board. I sent a request for operating info for the board and they sent me a pdf file a couple of days later with specifics on how it is operated. Never actually got around to ordering anything, but they did respond to the request.
http://www.futurlec.com/RS232DevBoard.shtml
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Si Ballenger wrote:

The orders can take a while, but like you, I found their customer service response pretty good. If you're not in a hurry they seem a good source.
-- Gordon
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Gordon, you might consider becoming a U.S. distributor for their products -- OK, not all of them, but the ones you consider best values. Seems like a good fit for your store. If you could keep a small inventory on hand, then that would let us North American folks get our hands on them without the long wait.
Cheers, - Joe
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Joe Strout wrote:

I'm not keen on the support issues. As another person mentioned, the manuals are poorly translated. I'd be on the phone all day for a $5 profit. This is the type of product you have to go in with all guns blaring.
-- Gordon
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There is futurlec.com.au as well (same company).
I bought a PIC development board. While it was a good piece of harware, the programming software examples were pretty crappy. The boards are often from Thailand, and the documentation is translated from Thai to English, sometimes not that well.
:-]
Dale
Joe Strout wrote:

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