Apparently the CFFA3000 cards are being manufactured again...
Did they have to double the price ?? I do not think the parts cost increased that much...
Notice that this is being offered through eBay, so they are going to ask for as high a price as they think they can get. I guess Rich Dreher decided not to build any new ones. I wonder who is doing this.
One of the auctions states that there is an agreement between R&D Automation and ReactiveMicro and UltimateApple2 to produce these in 2021 and beyond - as long as parts remain available. UA2 seems to be the "official" ebay seller for R&D it would seem.
While not correctly priced, it should help keep the scalpers away and in the $330 range.
As this product is now mature (developed and tested, etc) why aren't they contracting out the manufacturing to an electronics fulfillment company and getting 200 made at a pop? There first sales run was ... five copies. If they were paying RD a royalty of $50/ copy, $330/ unit is still high.
Agreed. There's maybe $25 worth of hardware tech aboard that card. Even with healthy profits for all concerned that card ought to cost $150 max.
But if everyone's doubling their price then I can see how the price would ramp up quickly.
I do know that if they have it made domestically (even 100 - 200 at a time) that most shops would charge quite a lot for a finished card. There's an electronics manufacturer near me and I asked them how much something like that would cost at 200 units. They said $150 minimum, and more realistically $200. Problem is regulations - everything has to be RoHS certified, boards have to be FR-4.
So I asked him how do they work out a price for small jobs like that. He said they take all the components at Digikey / Newark / Mouser retail price for a single art, add them all together with the price of the board, triple it and they'd be close. Add more to the price if the pick-and-place machine has trouble or the design is complex and requires extensive testing, or if there's potential for either rework or post asembly failure.
It's way different if you buy them from Asia. And most of the time in that case you're on the hook for dead cards and you have to do your own rework.
$330 is awfully steep in price. I love my Dreher CFFA and I'd like to have another one for sure, but not that badly.
ReActiveMicro now also starts making and selling new CFFA3000 clones: $225.
...and at a far more reasonable (if stil a bit high) price.
The CFFA is great if you work a lot with DOS 3.3 images or you switch images a lot. But in something like a IIGS where you generally run GSOS on hard drive sized volumes and don't tend to switch disk images very often (or supplement with a Floppy Emu), the MicroDrive/Turbo makes more sense to me.
I think the CFFA3000 was great at the time it came out. But I would tend to agree the Floppy Emu is now more flexible and half the price. I have a IIgs and two //c's. So the CFFA3000 would only be useful in my IIgs, and I would still need to buy a solution for the //c's. With the FE, I have a solution that can easily move from one computer to the next. And now that Steve added not only the dual 5.25" mode to the model C and put out a revised adaptor for the //c and disk II cards to support dual drives, it's even better.
Plus FE already supports WOZ (for 5.25), while it's just now being discussed for CFFA3000. And he recently added the ability to be able to "format" disk images. So programs like all the Sierra games can now create their custom save disks. And he added write support for .nib images. I honestly don't know if CFFA has those features or not.
I inquired with Steve about the ability to do dual 3.5" drives as well, and add WOZ support for 3.5 now that images are being made. He said both are most likely doable, but right now it's low on his priority list. Understandably, he's heads down on his Yellowstone disk controller that he's been working on for several years. And now it sounds like he recently had a breakthrough on the project and is getting close to the finish line.
Hopefully once he's done with Yellowstone he can improve the 3.5" drive support in FE. Then it would be pretty much perfect, IMHO. The only other feature that would be nice to have is scrolling disk and folder names. Right now they can get truncated pretty easily, and that would make it a lot easier to find the right folder/image.
Just to clarify things...
The CFFA3000 design has been licesed to ReActiveMicro.com to be built by ReActiveMicro.com. Sales will be through the ReActiveMicro.com web site. Cards sold on ebay are likely third parties, and are not licesed by me to sell the CFFA3000 cards as new. I don't set the pricing since I don't produce the cards any longer. There is no agreement between UltimteApple2 and R&D Automation of any kind. I don't know what agreements UltimateApple2 and ReActiveMicro.com have with each other.