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What's happen to the Cobra II boards?


#1

The Cobra II boards have been removed from the catalog, are they being discontinued?


#2

Oh no, please don’t… don’t make this board Legacy, I love it so much.

I don’t know if it is only me or what, but I don’t like how GHI is making its decisions. There is such a thing as risk assessment and from its point of view GHI does not look good. There is no sustainability, there is no notifications before the change is coming. One day product is being sold, another day it is no longer available. I am pretty sure this decision was not made two days ago, why didn’t you notify us before (at least few month before implementing the change)?


#3

You did read the “special order” right? And the other thread about their manufacturing on demand capability? And you do know that the design files are available, so you can have any board house make the board for you ?


#4

Or have GHI make them on demand.


#5

Of course I did read all those announcements.

First, “manufacturing on demand” is still a concept, nobody knows how well it will work in practice and how long will this idea be alive. Following current GHI practise, next day you will hear that they shut it down. What are you going to do then?
Second, “special order” and “manufacturing on demand” is not the same as buying from distributors. I am not talking here about big quantities. Let’s say I want to buy one Cobra II replacement board tomorrow. Where should I get it (let’s assume here distributors don’t stock Cobra II anymore)? “Manufacturing on demand” is not yet working (and even if it did, I am sure they won’t offer me a possibility to get 1 board manufactured and shipped for a reasonable price).
Third, “any board house make the board for you” - this is not an option for hobbyists and SMBs.
Lastly, why didn’t they tell about this coming change before? Why? People, business who work with this product could adjust to this change if it was announced at least few months ago. And know they are doing it again: Cobra II is gone but we still don’t know how much it would cost to make it using “manufacturing on demand”, what would be the minimal order, how long it would take to complete an order etc. At the moment I don’t know what should I do - buy all the available boards from distributors (they don’t stock much) or what? Complete uncertainty and no planning…


#6

Well, I guess what I would do is wait a few more days for the clearance sale and then order all remaining boards at a low price.


#7

Some Cobra II are still in stock but only available through special order. We apologize this was not communicated properly. We are just going through some major changes and some changes maybe liked by some and other changes will be liked by other users. Over all, I hope we can only offer you with a better service and you will still have faith in us that we are taking all customers feedback very seriously.

A quick note here, G120, the heart of Cobra II, will be available for long years to come and Cobra II is simply a breakout for G120. You can have any board house build cobra II for you at any time. We are also available to create as many as you need. But like I said, we still have some stock if you need some quickly so just contact us directly please.


#8

Well, I am sure I won’t be the only one interested. As it is not known when the clearance will start (do you notice a pattern here?) and I am not monitoring this forum 24 hours a day there is a small chance there will be anything left to order.

Anyway, the main point was - GHI should make announcement long before something is going to be changed. That’s a good business practice.


#9

Cobra II will not be on the module clearance.


#10

I have a feeling that GHI is moving out from hobbyist segment, but I honestly hope I am wrong here.

Gus, thank you for your offer. But as I live outside of the US, it is much more convenient for me to use distributors. Big question is how many units should I buy before stock depletes ??? .

Gus, can you please answer two important questions:

  1. Will it be possible to order <=3 bords to be manufactured using your Turnkey Assembly service?
  2. Will it cost more or less (or the same) to order 3 boards from Turnkey Assembly compared to current prices? In other words, will it cost more than $180?

#11

I really couldn’t even guess what the prices maybe. But GHI is really trying to make low volume affordable, even if you just want had full.


#12

@ Gus - To me the Cobra II boards were much more attractive than the Hydra even @ $24. Also they provided better functionality than the G120 HDR for prototyping, a sd card, wifi, power modules all on the same board.

I thought they were the best product GHI made period!

I have 2 prototypes that use the Cobra II boards that I have put in front of clients. I was going to use them for the final product. Not sure where to go now.

Also the Cobra II wifi is the perfect solution for the “internet of things” at a competitive package. It works and is easy to deploy. It should have been marketed as so.

Also the Hydra does not do SSL at the moment so not a solution even if it is cheap.


#13

Indeed this is strange. I was thinking to order a Cobra board or maybe two, aaaaaand…


#14

What also bugs me is that Spider is still available with its archaic EMX. It is expensive, it is slow, yet it is going to stay forever?..


#15

This doesn’t effect my directly as we already build a custom board for the G120, but here is my two cents worth…

People really do care about obsolescence. Or at least anyone who has been burned by it before does. It can easily make you look like a d*** in your team, especially if it’s for a part that you have personally championed. Obviously this is mitigated largely when the boards being open source (big thanks GHI), but it still throws big spanners into peoples planning while they seek manufacturing partners. Hence people get upset.

The turnkey manufacturing service is not yet operational and I have learned the hard way never to rely on forward looking statements from any company. From bitter experience I treat statements like “don’t worry that will be fixed in coming weeks” with a healthy amount of skepticism. Setting up this new service is a big task and not without the risk of delays etc.

Like @ iamin we buy our parts from an EU based distributor. For various reasons that I can’t go into purchasing from the US is significantly more difficult for me.

What would be really helpful is for GHI to commit to providing some level of notice period on there product pages, especially those that are not OSHW. I am heartened by @ Gus’s comment that the G120 will be available for years, but it would still be nice to see a commitment to providing say 4 months notice before any discontinuation. Discontinuing things without providing any notice scares me greatly.

All in all I think GHI’s direction is correct in that they should be focusing support on a smaller number of products.


#16

I agree with what ‘kiwi_stu’ and ‘iamin’ said 100%.

I am currently working on a prototype using G120HDR and I planned to use the Cobra II for first 6 to 12 months production then a custom board based on G120. Now all of a sudden it’s gone!

I hope GHI will take our feedback seriously as promised in one post; but I doubt it! If our (we, the clients) opinions mattered, we would have been consulted long before the decision was made, not afterwards.

It seems to me that selling modules in spiders format is more lucrative than an integrated board and is obviously more convenient to hobbyists who don’t know soldering. However, there is a big difference between hobbyists and professionals wanting to minimize cost and spider webs for commercial production.


#17

Guys we give over a year notice before we make any change on the SoM, like G120. Please do not compare SoM to a breakout board like Cobra II.

Take a look at EMX, it has been around for years and it evolved from EM so users can simply upgrade.

Another example is ChipworkX, was there for years and then G400 came as a drop-in compatible replacement.

And again, Cobra is just a breakout of G120, if you want more we would happily make you more. No need to be so concerned :slight_smile: Why don’t you just give us a call and tell us how many you need and when and we will make sure you get them right on time! WE ARE THE manufacture and so we can make them anytime you like… and I am not even mentioning turnkey assembly.


#18

Sorry Gus but it may be hardware compatible but software wise it lacks a a few features that the ChipworkX used to have and you can pretty much guess which software I am referring to as we have asked for this a number of times. :slight_smile:


#19

Thank you Gus.

That’s good to hear.


#20

Yeah Yeah, PPP :slight_smile: Would it help if I tell you it is already in the SDK coming in few days? It is only added but not tested yet so it is still not available but we are very close now.