Borderless Electronics Sells $9 Arduino Compatible Starter Kit

Orange Pi Development Boards

The Raspberry Pi fundation, a nonprofit organization, has brought a low cost ARM Linux platform to the masses, and Arduino already did that with electronics, but Harold Timmis, an engineer, found out it was still not cheap enough as he worked as a volunteer teaching electronics at his library. So he (and others) decided to clone Arduino Leonardo, setup a website called Borderless Electronics, and sell it without profit via Indiegogo for just $9 ($12 including shipping).

Borderless Electronics vs Arduino Leonardo
Borderless Electronics vs Arduino Leonardo

The board is indeed the same as Arduino Leonardo with different color, logo, and name:

  • Microcontroller – Atmel ATmega32u4 @ 16 MHz
  • SRAM – 2.5 KB onchip (ATmega32u4)
  • Flash Memory – 32 KB onchip (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
  • EEPROM – 1 KB onchip (ATmega32u4)
  • Operating Voltage – 5V
  • Input Voltage – (recommended) 7-12V | (limits) 6-20V
  • Digital I/O – 20 pins
  • PWM – 7 channels
  • Analog Input – 12 channels
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 40 mA
  • DC Current for 3.3V Pin – 50 mA
Some passive components are from different manufacturers, and the micro USB connector is different, but this should not affect the quality.
BorderElectronics_Stretch_Goal_2What’s more, the $9 does not only include the board, as a snap connector for 9V battery will be provided following a first stretch goal. The second stretch goal ($60,000) would add the following components if it can be reached:
  • 6 x LEDs (2 x red 2 x yellow 2 x green)
  • 6 x resistors for the LEDs
  • 1 x photoresistor and pairing resistor
  • 1 x buzzer
  • 1 x set of jumper wire (10pcs)
  • 1 x mini solderless breadboard

The campaign has already received over $30,000 in pledges, and with 22 days to go this seems perfectly achievable. If you want to donate to a school, there are also pledges for 50 and 100 boards, for $500 and $990 respectively that include shipping via DHL or UPS. Lower pledges will be shipped via Hong Kong Post’s registered mail. The kits will be manufactured as soon as the campaign completes, should ship in September 2013, so you may received them in September (Courier) or October (Registered mail).

Thanks to onebir.

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Indy
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Indy

Thank you for info!

onebir
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onebir

$2000 raised since this was posted; maybe 6h ago. Perhaps they should be thinking about another stretch goal…

onebir
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onebir

@cnxsoft
Should’ve guessed you could get stats on that! Anyway, well done publishing the article; in part thanks to it anyone in the world should soon be able to get a small arduino kit for $12 🙂

onebir
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onebir

Actually at <$10 shipped those prices suggest there's still some profit (at the Chinese end) in the Borderless Electronics price. I still think it's a worthwhile project though: it'll get much more publicity. It might not exactly put a $12 microcontroller/electronics kit into the public imagination, but it has a much better chance of being discovered by people on the borderline of experimenting…

rm
Guest

@mj
yep, and this shows that the project is entirely realistic and is likely to fullfill what it’s set out to do.

Personally I ordered some Arduinos from China via Aliexpress in the past, all work perfectly.

onebir
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onebir

@$47k by the time anyone reasds this…
It turns out there are some pretty cheap add-on component kits available, eg this for $5:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item//788267327.html
Same store has breadboards; cheapest available singly appears to be $7.

onebir
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onebir

@60k: stretched 🙂

onebir
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onebir

@cnxsoft
#3 is a micro-USB cable. Meh. They set it at ~50% more funders though; 90% sure they’ll get that.

onebir
Guest
onebir

@$76k & 2827 of 3,333 funders required for stretch goal 3. Harold’s getting a bit worried about supplies of the ATmega32u4 chip, & started buying them gradually to ensure adequate stocks.

(~7k chips needed for orders to date, which apparently is more than the big distributors combined keep in stock. But needing so many, couldn’t he get a batch direct from Atmel – at a better price even?)

onebir
Guest
onebir

@cnxsoft
From Harold’s latest announcement:
“at this moment I do not have another stretch goal, but I will have one for tomorrow.”
Hmm…

(Re your comment on Aug 2, you know way more about the electronics industry than me, but when I read that I was also confuse, but concluded he probably meant he might accidentally push up the price of those MCUs in the short-term, by causing a major distributor to go out of stock, because Atmel production schedules are likely pretty inflexible for a few months in advance. But that was a guess!)

Paul
Guest
Paul

This appears to be people collaborating with Dimitri of “smARtDUINO”. For anyone reading this who doesn’t know who he is, just go to Kickstarter and search for “smARtDUINO”. Read a few of the comments to see how well he’s managed to deliver on other low-cost Arduino clones.

Buyer beware!

Paul
Guest
Paul

I certainly hope everyone who paid gets their boards. Getting ripped off sucks.

But then again, if all you want is a cheap Arduino clone made in China (where not even a penny goes to support the Arduino project), there are plenty already on the market for under $10 with shipping. That’s $2 less than this Indiegogo offer. Sure, you get some parts included, but that stuff it available very cheap too, with free shipping.

The evil genius behind this campaign is some folks have a dismal track record on Kickstarter make a huge sale on Indiegogo, shipping cheap products that are available on Aliexpress, but at slightly higher pricing. Well, that is, if they ship….

onebir
Guest
onebir

@Paul
It’s difficult to get the extra components that make an ‘Arduino kit’ in small quantities; a few of us looked into that above. So provided shipping, quality etc work out, the IGG project with all the extras is a pretty good deal…

Ab
Guest
Ab

Argh! I missed it, they finished a week early. Any chance of a re-run?

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