Why did Monome stop selling kits?

  • I'm interested in getting a Monome but given that I don't have the $$ for what they go for new, or used as they seem to be. I'd much rather build a kit, as its cheaper and I like to build stuff.

    Is there a reason Monome stopped offering kits? Any chance they may offer them again at some point?

  • All info (mostly speculation) I've ever seen on the subject was in this thread:
    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=15411

    There's still the arduinome option. but that comes with its own limits (mostly in terms of variable brightness levels, and spanning multiple 8x8 blocks into a single grid).

  • i recently built mine from biboboards stuff, very happy with it and it didn't cost alot ;)

  • doubt there will be many more kits since the monome always change with each release. i feel like it would be harder to support the previous boards with the way the 'next' board progresses. new stuff new problems, new stuff old stuff new problems. seems like a lot of work. from 40h to 2012 varibright a lot has changed.

    kits with break out analogue and digital IO for all sorts of DIY builds would be super though!

  • even though it hasn't been definitively stated, it's highly doubtful kits will ever return and I am sad for this. However, most of the reasons are probably connected to support/design/cost issues. It would be nice to see, for example, diy pads and logic boards return. I have attempted to have an mk board made (3) and built two but can't get either to work properly and I have no idea why. Both exhibit exactly the same symptoms which suggests to me that they are likely correctly built but something is up...

    I did get some of the last pads though from the mk kits. Nice though they are, the cost is up to a 64 by now and instead of a working 128 in a nice cherrywood case I made, what I have is about $500 worth of parts that won't properly be recognized by either serialosc version and won't respond properly when they are. Arggg.

    I would love to even just see another run of official mk logic boards so I knew I had one that worked. I just don't want the hassle of using an extra app to bridge two 64 arduinomes to a 128. :(

  • AFAIK Brian has never said anything about kits being discontinued

    ASWELL

    Check http://monome.org/order

    It says that the 40h is Discontinued... no such thing is said regarding the mk

    Fwiw I still have one of the kits left over from the starfire debacle if you are looking to buy one. Shipping from California.

  • Nah, I would probably bite on an mk logic board though... I already have three unsped arduinome boards

    I think he's just never changed that as I've asked in e-mail about kits and IIRC it was at least strongly suggested that kits weren't in the foreseen future. There is always hope though. Would still love to see arc hardware (pcbs) released for the first edition as open source, but don't think that would happen either.

  • A lot of time has passed between then and now, including two grid releases, a redesigned arc, and zero-conf free SerialOSC. Those were obviously high priority, outranking a new MK batch. Plus, the world ended in December, which was difficult for any of us to plan around. I wonder if he'd answer the same today, now that things have calmed down a little? (there's still the Buchla collaboration and god knows what else, but who knows? the future is vast, and we're foreseeing a new chunk of it...)

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/madgod/phil-tippetts-mad-god

  • you've all pretty much figured it out, but for the record, here we go.

    kits are more work, less profitable, and require way more support. while i regret not supporting the minority of people who want to embed a monome device in a novel way, or make a truly fantastic enclosure, most of the kit sales (i believe) we to obtain a low-cost grid device. many of them were mis-assembled, abandoned, or never had a fully finished enclosure or top plate which made them sub-usable. it doesn't make sense for us to make a full-fledged "kit" with a laser-cut plexi enclosure/etc, for reasons you can probably understand.

    now, when people say they want a grid but can't afford a monome, i suggest they buy a launchpad.

    for people who want i/o expansion, there are numerous outstanding kits that can get sensor data into your computer.

    the arduinome is still viable. serialosc is open-source.

    so by not making kits we've effectively eliminated only a very small market demand. given i'm spread thin working on an entirely new technically-insane project while refining our current offerings, it's simply not worth my energy at this point. i apologize to the few this impacts.

    that said, in mid february we'll be having a massive surplus sale. leftover parts, blank boards of discontinued stuff, slightly broken stuff, ugly stuff, random prototype parts, etc. this will be an opportunity to make some semi-genuine monome stuff for very cheap-- we simply need to get rid of it all.

  • Wow, that sounds interesting tehn. If there is ANY chance to secure an authentic mk logic board, even unpopulated, or some arc boards, would love to get 'opn the list' (I know there probably won't be a list, just a euphemism)

    any chance of the original arc pcb files ever becoming open source? (one with switch)

  • i'll try to make time to refine the files and post them up. it's not DIY in the slightest, however.

  • Wow, tehn, if that happens, though, it would still be great. Sometimes I'm surprised by the level of what is/isn't DIY, though I'm still miffed I haven't figured out what is up with the mk board...Oh well, must press on.

  • if you'd like to send it in e-mail info@monome.org

  • I don't know if there'd be sufficient return on only manufacturing a small batch of select components, but the logic / driver combo is a real step beyond the arduinome controller in terms of building or upgrading a unified 128 or 256.

    (Granted, its absence is the impetus for innovation. But the community lacks in hardware designers.)

    EDIT:
    Just waking up. Was the last exchange w/ Shimoda heading in that direction?

  • no, he got his own mk board printed which didn't go well. all the mk files are on github, by the way.

  • As tehn said, I purchased 2 mk keypad kits a while back but was unsatisfied with the dual arduinome/joining with software as they were not always responsive as I thought they should be and occasionally locked up whatever patch I was working.

    I had a set of 3 (minimum) pcbs made through OSHPARK and figured I could replace both my 64 arduinome and the 128 arduinome with mk boards and have 1 logic leftover for future use. Unfortunately they haven't worked out as I hoped. I was able to program them and atmel studio showed the flashing as checking out, but then ran into a variety of problems, both with them randomly glitching and not responding properly to monome_test. I could get them to respond to serialosc 1 but sometimes they would show up as an i2c monome other times properly as an mk device. I'm pretty sure I got the soldering okay, but obviously can't be considering the problems. Strange thing was they both acted up in the same manner. I have a third unpopulated board and the parts to populate it but haven't tried yet as I don't want to make any mistakes I might have made again.

    I agree that a run of logic boards would be a lovely thing as they are a definite step up from arduinome.

  • tehn -

    any 256 face plates among all the surplus?

  • quite a few-- for small keypads. it's a lot of stuff, believe me.

  • Will there be available the various parts to assemble a functioning monome? Say a 64?

  • likely complete 64's and 256's minus enclosures.

  • Does minus enclosures mean faceplates and no base? Or?

  • "complete 256's minus enclosures"

    ::twists moustache and raises eyebrows::

  • yes. plate, no base.

  • I will be e-mailing about sending in the mk soon. Just wondering about this clearance sale coming up and any potential date. There may be a run on the most useful items so knowing the timing might be handy.

  • tentatively around wednesday the 13th.

  • This is going to be messy...

    I am scottish, and if anyone gets in my way from grabbing a bulk of this I will be throwing fists....or at least a few nasty words....to myself....

  • i actually think the audience for weird parts is going to be substantially smaller than people seeking full units, but we'll see. just posted to the front page about the whole ordeal.

  • "given i'm spread thin working on an entirely new technically-insane project"


    I'm going to speculate on this like an apple fanboy:

    Buchla + Monome = me giving my money to tehn.

  • tehn -

    finding a quality metal cutter here in China has been quite difficult, so i'll be glad to get my hands on an official faceplate (i'm still so upset about the one I ordered).

    One question, what did you mean "for small keypads".

    also, i hope shipping to China isn't an issue...

  • shipping should be ok. mk and 40h kit keypads are "large" while everything else we make are "small"

    i may have a real 40h plate around (large). i know i have several 256 plates (small) but will likely bundle "kits" out of these.

  • ooo, if 40h faceplates fit a 256 monome kit (which i thought 40h was only 64 buttons, but i'm not clear on monome lineage), and you happen to find one, that will make me pretty happy.

    I didn't realize there were varying sizes for keypads. makes me interested to check out one you made in your shop.

  • i think i confused you. there has never been a 40h sized 256. some people on the forum made these, but i haven't. the 256 plates we have are for small-sized keypads, like the units we sell now.

  • our assembler is shipping back a bunch of parts we no longer use, which will arrive wednesday. so we'll launch the sale thursday. or possibly late wednesday. will keep you all posted.