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If you want to purchase a KiwiSDR better do so soon. Because when the current distributor stock is sold there will be no more.
The Kiwi is a victim of the global semiconductor shortage. Parts have not been available in more than a year. And there is no guarantee when this situation will end, if ever.
There are other reasons as well. But they're secondary and don't really matter at this point.
I don't want to get into a big discussion about this. There's not much to say really. All the ideas and possibilities you might be thinking were already considered many months ago. There is simply no reasonable way forward. Not for me anyway.
After 9 years, 6 since the Kickstarter, I am tired. I've had no income from the project since March. I am losing money every month now in OpEx costs. Some support and development will continue. But mostly on things I consider interesting or easy to implement. I've been working on other projects for some time.
I'd like to thank everyone for their kind support over the years. Through the good times and the bad.
Can I just say, in a very strange time on this planet KiwiSDR has been a fantastically positive contribution to so many people. The level of support you have given is second to none.
I hope the other projects give you greater rewards.
Thank you for all the work you have done on making the KiwiSDR possible. When I first discovered the KiwiSDR a few years ago, I thought it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen, honestly. It's a really good performing receiver as well. Other WebSDRs have been around for awhile, but the ease of implementing the receiver itself and the use of a customized OpenWebRX interface makes it more enjoyable to use than the other setups.
When I post screenshots and recordings of signals heard on my Kiwi on various forums and social media, it's not uncommon to have someone ask "what receiver is that?", with a few of those folks going out and buying a Kiwi shortly after.
Have you considered placing a donate button on this forum to hopefully help (even if just a little) with some of the operating costs of keeping the Kiwi site and support forum available?
I ask that people please stop emailing me suggesting I add a "donate" button somewhere. Micro-transactions don't work for me. The reasons are complex and somewhat unbelievable. You'd only understand if you are, or have been, a US expat living abroad (self employed with a relatively low income). The consequences of that are straight up Orwellian. Kafkaesque even.
This is very sad to see, but I'm grateful for all the joy I've had operating and using Kiwis across the world.
My KiwiSDR is still on backorder, but I just want to say a heartfelt thank you for your contributions to this wonderful community and to the radio hobby in general. The KiwiSDR is by far the best online shortwave radio. Your expertise at creating such an amazing product is astounding. The involvement of needing to understand SO many various technological components of hardware and software is truly incredible. You are extremely gifted. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us!
I wish there were a way to keep the production going, keep costs down, and keep your compensation continuous. I am so saddened, but also grateful, and hopeful.
My KiwiSDR is still on backorder
You need to immediately get some clarity from your distributor about that. If your distributor is waiting to receive more units from Seeed then that's almost certainly not going to happen. Because all of Seeed's remaining production was bought up by an EU distributor (who has now sold them all).
Your distributor might be passing through a unit that is known to be in-stock from another distributor. But otherwise I'd be looking to cancel my order and quickly finding a unit from someone else who definitely has them in-stock.
After some careful Googling I found a couple of new distributors that claim to have Kiwis in stock. UK and Canada. Added to the list on kiwisdr.com front page. But be careful because we have absolutely no experience with them. Contact them directly and verify their actual stock level and ability to deliver. Pay with a mechanism (credit card) that allows cancellation if you get the run around (e.g. infinite backorder).
Also, OKdo.com is back on the list for the UK. Their US site claims no stock, but their UK site does, which I find kind of strange. So be careful here too.
Things are changing quickly. Please let us know your experiences by commenting here.
I just ordered one of the two units in stock on coolcomponents.co.uk.
They promptly shipped it the same day and the stock went from 2 to 1.
#iot is out of stock (I just got an answer from them)
I just received the order from coolcomponents.co.uk, everything's great, the Kiwi is updating right now.
Unfortunately this info is really of no use since the last unit they had in stock was ordered so they're out of stock too :(
KiwiSDR in-stock update:
As shown on the kiwisdr.com front page, the distributor Satonline (CH) will deliver to the EU and UK.
ERcomER (PL) claims in-stock, but I can't find a list of delivery countries on their site.
I've only just come across this thread, but in view of your announcement I just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to you for initially instigating the project, and for your continued support and commitment to the owners of KiWi hardware.
I've been interested in radio since I was a kid, and over the years I've bought, sold and built a lot of equipment. But the KiWi's have definately been my best ever acquisitions, and one of the few things that I continue to enjoy using on a daily basis.
However, I guess that all good things eventually come to an end, and I can certainly understand your decision. I'm just amazed that you managed to maintain your stamina for so long. Especially with folks like me constantly asking for new stuff :-) and being impatient when it turns out to be harder than expected :-(
Once again, thanks for your truly exceptional contribution to the hobby.
+1, TNX John!
But let's hope its not coming to an end.
Kiwisdr in PL, apart from ErcomER, is also available at Konektor5000 (reliable equipment supplier), you can buy directly through their website and a little more expensive through the Allego auction service (currently 2 pieces)
I looked on their site and asked availability, they had 4 units as of 3rd Jan 2023.
I think it was about USD $1000 per card ??
They got carried away by the price 😮 ! at the current exchange rate of $970, I bought a fifth unit from them in October for $480
Looking for ways to buy a KiwiSDR Kit.
Absolutely gutted, Martyn Lynch and Radio world had one each in stock and I waited and now found they are like hens teeth when I had original cost covered.
I find interface far more user friendly than openwebrx and wondered if the hardware is unobtainable, could a beagle bone be purchased and connector software for pluto and rtl-sdr be used?
Seems Chinese clones are dead as well, real shame I missed the boat on this.
They "stole" the idea and the know-how. They dropped it again - just as they pleased. And they don't give a damn about updates, help and bug fixes. Those who bet on this are now pretty much left alone. Do you really regret "missing that boat"?
It can't be the same without John. Even now, after the end of production, he is still eager to expand and perfect his project and to provide support far above average. He continues to operate servers for things like proxy, website and this forum at his own cost. It's really time to say him thank you for all that.
A month prior there was stock and I couldn't justify the expenses with other household expenses at the time-would have bought a kiwi.
I would be happy to purchase a genuine product if available, it seems to me that a lot of opens source software effort will be wasted if compatible hardware not available.
I find it curious to claim kiwi was stolen when based on prior open source licenses.
If the hardware is unobtainable, what is the issues asking if a pluto or rtl-sdr can be connected as based on openwebrx.
To my knowledge there are no licence fees to use a beaglebone and kiwi software or modify the software, particularly as not possible to buy a functional Cape to run as full kiwi sdr.
@dl7awl climb down off your High horse as I left primary school decades ago, it doesn't impress me, you just seem spoiling for a one sided fight-not interested pal
One of the main problems the KiWi and clones are facing is global supply issues.
This is not just confined to SDR's like the KiWis, lots of other products are also affected, as you will know if you have tried to obtain a Raspberry Pi in recent times.
There is nothing to stop you building your own KiWi Beagle cape if you wished, as John has published the circuit diagrams, apart from of course the same problems of availability and cost of some key parts.
Although based on open source, I believe that John had to consider making some parts of his code non open source to better protect his IPR, development work and income stream, in order to continue to finance the project.
There are already too many examples of Chinese copies, where they have disregarded conventions of IPR and produced cloned products, but actually still relied upon the continuing development effort and tech support from the companies they copied. I'd suggest that you should consider how you would feel if it was your product that had been cloned, and it had cut into your hard earned profits.
I confess that in addition to owning and operating four KiWis, I also have a Chinese produced RaspSDR, which is running Flydog software. I bought it secondhand because I wanted to be able to receive up to 60MHz for a specific project, and it was at a price which was almost as cheap as just buying a Raspberry Pi alone.
However in my defence, it was actually a faulty product due to poor manufacturing, and I had to spend time and effort to get it working. The KiWi copies have now stopped being produced, and I have no doubt that the remaining Flydog software will also stop being updated any day soon. The only good point about this, is that the Chinese companies have not made any profit from my purchase, so I can live with my conscience, and when it finally packs up, I will use the parts as donor spares to keep my KiWis running.
Hi Martin, have some hot air rework experience and I guess if a pcb available it is possible🤔 interesting idea recycling could be viable on a self build basis perhaps?
Building the hardware yourself doesn't really solve the problem long term. If you just want that, keep your eyes on the auction sites for second hand units.
The main issue is on-going software support and keeping the servers running so that things like the TDoA extension will still work. In order to do this John, or any similar company has to generate some income. In order to do that he has to have a product to sell. If the parts are not available, or his prices are being undercut by Chinese clones. Then that is not possible, and as is the case we are all now continuing to operate KiWis on Johns good will alone.
So until someone else thinks it's a good idea to start making, selling and supporting a KiWi MK II, or perhaps we will get lucky and a benevolent millionaire with an interest in radio will come along, as it is a niche market and no one is going to make a fortune from it, then "we are where we are".
Incidentally it is rumoured that the Chinese had been obtaining some of the chips required to build clones, by recovering them from other equipment in order to circumvent a technology export ban. This may or may not be true, but other countries have been reported to be removing chips from newly bought washing machines in order to cope with critical supply chain issues.
The last time I looked, some of the prices being asked for low volumes if the ADC chips used in the KiWi's and clones were higher than the original cost of buying a working KiWi. Maybe folks will start buying used KiWi's just to recover the chips, in which case I've probably made a wise investment to add to the retirement funds.
Like I said in my earlier message, I'm not going to comment further about the complexities of this situation.
But since the issue of fake/counterfeit/recycled/resold/new-old-stock chips has come up, let me mention Jon from Asianometry. The single best YouTube channel on semiconductor and Asia business issues I have found. Well worth your time in my humble opinion. His video about this issue is here.
@jks You may enjoy the following read, you may also join us in our initiative. I believe our initiative applies to many of HAM radio HW/SW projects.
The state of open-source in 3D printing in 2023 - Original Prusa 3D Printers
FYI the Bambulab is a Chinese 3D printer company, caught at stealing our AGPLed PrusaSlicer software, of which I am the lead developer. They were forced to release, but they removed the commit history and released the following BS:
To open, or not to open, that is the question (bambulab.com)
Also they did not open the whole software, they extracted networking part into a binary blob and released the following BS:
AGPL compliance of Bambu Studio (bambulab.com)
and to our "open source initiative" they released the following BS:
Let the arms race begin (bambulab.com)
I think that covers it all. Lavrov style of arguments all over.
73 and keep calm,