Exactly, Jamo... DarthSteve... what you are both talking about = LEGIT (in my opinion).
Again, I want to emphasize the following things, and then get back to work on Compendium #3:
* The situation is indeed not "black & white". Things worth discussing rarely are.
* CF is not "rare". At least... not in terms of how many are out there. Sure, sure... it's a "rare gem" of a great piece of electronics... but... not rare as in the Mona Lisa or ...uh... Excalibur or something.
That other thread I opened sort of "verifies" this... from a certain point-of-view
...but no, seriously, it at least chronicles the fairly consistent release of things like CFv2, CFv3, CFv4 over the past few years. And it also explains the general "gap" because of CFv5... which was a complete "re-do" architecturally. CFv5 is pretty much a "different species"--in many ways--vs. all the previous versions. Although at FACE VALUE, that seems ridiculous or bombastic.
* AGAIN again again... this thread was a general "open people's eyes + get thoughts" on "CF Scalpers"
. The subject has been maintained from day one, post #1. For those who want to "bend this" into me somehow saying that anyone selling CF at any time is magically evil... that's your OWN warped interpretation
. Good luck with that.
* CF (FROM THE PLECTERLABS WEBSITE) has never been over-priced. I can say that with great authority too, as Erv and have worked closely enough over the years for me to have a general idea on the cost of parts on the board + figuring in for labor & the innovation that is the very firmware itself.If you want to, ~YOU~ may
1. study the board with a magnifying glass
2. make yourself a parts list
3. guess, estimate or price quote "out there in the world" what each part is
4. make a guess as to what it would be to buy 100s of each of those parts (bulk order for a run of ~100 or whatever)
5. get an idea of what it means to do or "have others make/do" a PCB with multi-layers
6. get an idea of what it means to LAY OUT THE TRACES of your own PCB
7. while you're here... try to imagine ALL THE WORK that has gone into the underlying firmware (some of which is PRETTY complex, like the light-driving)... from v1.x to v.4x to the newly designed v5
8. get an idea of organization/calibration/assembly/soldering of all those bulk parts you ordered or priced
9. check... test... verify... test, etc. etc.
10. calculate a bit for your time & labor... since you'll be doing all of these boards YOURSELF.
11. By the way... could ~YOU~ even solder/construct a CF board even if you HAD the components? I'm going to tell you something, and you should not take it at face value: ABOUT 1% of the LED SABER COMMUNITY COULD DO IT THEMSELVES
. If that. And I'm just talking about if the "keys were handed to you" (as in you just have to solder parts). And it would take you maybe 5x to 10x as long... ... ... per board
. Good luck with that.
...if you've done all that, and you come up with that "CF should be like $50", well I'm sorry, we owe the LED saber community an apology...
...but I'm willing to bet my left arm and right nostril that... NO... you COULDN'T build CF and sell it for $50. Without being a martyr. Without going broke. Without being a silly fool.
All that being said... it comes back to why CF scalping is just plain wrong. Like the man said: "Just because you CAN... doesn't mean you SHOULD." I may as well have sold tickets for Balance of Power shows. I probably COULD have gotten away with asking for money. But I didn't. There is a barely hidden message here.