Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Buying Arduinos in Spain

Unfortunately, my mood light project destroyed the microcontroller when I plugged in the protoboard shield with the RGB led while the power was on.

A few days ago I've ordered another arduino board that I would use as the controller for the mood light. I was looking for a cheaper alternative so I've found a good deal on eBay from NKC Electronics, a company in Florida that sells different kits. I bought from them a serial arduino (or Freeduino as they call it) in kit form.

While I am aware of two different companies in Spain selling arduino boards (but not kits), they have a shipping cost which is almost double than many USA-based companies. The fact that the Euro is now stronger than the dollar makes the shipping cost even cheaper now.

It is beyond my knowledge how come shipping cost from Florida to Valencia can be cheaper than from another city in Spain. But this seems to be the case. Of course a local supplier may be preferred if you are in a hurry.

Now that my only arduino at home is broken I am not able to test the motor shield I recently bought from Adafruit Industries. And I am not sure whether only the processor is dead or maybe something else. So I went back to eBay to look for an extra ATMEGA168 processor and an additional Diecimila board. However, I ended up buying them from NKC Electronics at their Yahoo shop, as they have the same price in there than on eBay.

It also occurred to me that a cheaper alternative may be the one offered by Modern Device Company and their Bare Bones Board. The idea is that all the serial communication is taking away from the arduino board. Instead a cable that contains the FTDI USB to serial is used. I've ordered one of these to give it a try.

Now I am waiting for three different new arduino boards to arrive!

Update: Not sure if Paul Badger (from Modern Device) read my above comments, but I've got a message from him today asking me to pay a few more dollars for the shipping. So that makes his offer not so appealing for Spanish buyers. I decided to keep my order and I paid up the extra cost.

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