reply to post by MajorDisaster
If you and the rest of the staff agree to this - I will fund the whole thing. I will compensate you and the staff for the parts, time, effort,
travel costs for the electrical engineering experts, everything.
How's THAT for a counter-offer?
That is quite an offer.
The problem is, it is an offer to ATS. I am merely a Forum Moderator (and a rookie one at that). If you want to do such a thing, I would suggest you
run it by SO, Springer, or Crakeur.
Another problem is that I am very leery of financial transactions or deals made over the Internet. People change when money becomes involved. For
instance, what would happen if you put a couple grand into a prototype and it didn't work? I have done that. The best procedure is to try and
understand where the design went wrong and either rework the design to correct the failure or to realize the entire concept is flawed and move on.
That's just not something most people can do.
I can build a circuit for someone using proven technology and typically have a prototype working perfectly within a day of completion, with precious
little 'risk'. I actually do things like this on occasion for people I know. But when you get into unproven theories, there is no guarantee that you
won't end up with a very expensive and strange-looking paperweight. As an example, I already mentioned a project that I am working on that had a
successful proof-of-concept test:
I spent a couple of years researching the idea I had. I then started building a prototype to test it. The thing is still setting behind my shop. It is
a wooden tripod with several devices attached to it. One device I was unable to successfully fabricate, and while trying to find a way to fabricate
it, I realized that there was a much easier way to build the whole thing. So I abandoned that initial prototype. About $250 and three months work down
The next prototype I spent about two months designing. When the design was finished, I started machining the parts and realized that the material I
was using (acrylic) wasn't suitable and that I would have to use polycarbonate. That tripled the cost (at a time when money was extremely tight). So
I came up with a different design again. Luckily, the electronics I had assembled were re-usable on the next attempt.
That attempt produced a working prototype. It actually produced what I had expected, but was unable to capture most of the released energy. My
assumptions on the speed of operation were off. As with most of the demonstrations we see regularly here, I can easily prove through observation and
readings that it worked; but that is not good enough. I have had other engineers examine my results and all of them agree with me on two things: it
works, and it doesn't work in a way that anyone except a physics expert could see. I also would up realizing that my power supply was undersized and
needed to be adjustable.
Incidentally, the entire test was videotaped from three different cameras, along with an explanation of what I expected to happen. I have the original
files here on this computer.
That first power supply cost me close to $100. The apparatus itself was closer to $300 and represented a good six months of work. What I got for that
money and time was a better understanding of what is necessary to construct a practical model for demonstration. And a couple of paperweights.
Now I am looking at more practical demonstration prototype that I have much more confidence in. This one is even pricier: the new power supply will
take a few weeks to construct and cost $200. The apparatus will cost something along the lines of $1000-$2000 and could take six months or more to
build. I am only willing to put that into it because of the last prototype; otherwise I would consider it too risky with my present finances.
In order to do all this, I have a shop that is well-stocked with tools. I have plenty of different saws and shaping apparatus, a complete all-in-one
metal lathe/mill/drill press, molding set-ups, and a pretty good selection of steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, acrylic, fiberglass, ABS/PVC, and
hardware. My electronics lab I can't really put a price tag on; it has been accumulated over 30 years, and quite a bit of the tools I use were made
by hand. It does allow ne to construct circuit boards from scratch, and is fully capable of handling parts sizes down to 0604 and SOIC sizes. Just my
library alone contains thousands upon thousands of dollars in books. It represents 40 years of accumulated information.
In other words, this is not something that one can toss a few hundred dollars at and expect world-changing results on a timetable. It is trial and
error, expense and failure, blood and sweat, all to make a little progress. I do it because it is what I love. Everyone who knows me considers it a
very expensive hobby. I consider it my life's work.
In short, beware of what you offer... this is not
what most people expect.
I will make a counter to your counter: you build anything that can be tested, and if it works, I will develop a presentable prototype.