Community Funding of Shields

I placed this under Project Share because its not the same as “Spark Teams Kickstarter Campaign” so I hope it remains here or if need be, is put under the “General Category”.

Okay, all you investors and inventors. We all have seen the hard work of folks like @BDub @timb @bko @kennethlimcp @peekay123 and Many, Many others toward the development of shields as well as some great Library porting and custom aps on Github. I for one am very greatful for these contributions.

I would like to make a suggestion and like other suggests I have made in the recent months it may come with some backlash by the community but, that’s okay. I darn well know its a good suggestion and I won’t even atemp to fashion how it should be done.

My suggestion is “Community Funding” for the development of shields and even custom programs. I would suggest the initial offer could be private between the seeker and the developer. If the developer feels the project will have mass benefit or even sellable (like I know @kennethlimcp MicroSD/Fram Card is going to be) the developer can seek additional funds from the commnity. (Kickstarter or whichever way needed).

I for one wil glady put up $1,000.00 to have a a privacy shield designed and line up for production. A shield fit for a King ! However, it will have to be a shield that the community will be happy with as well !! I’m willing to do it ! Let “the Community Decide what is best” ! Are you ? Are you ready for me to help tweek your project shield - “Your Baby ?” Before you sell me short as so many do, let me explain what I did many years ago. I was employed by an Oil Company back in 1995 heading for $60K a year. I was a Process Analyst where they paid me to verify work done by all departments, Safety & Engineering. I quit my job and moved on because my Boss’ were unwilling to allow me or others tweek their ideas. So, I am not a moron ! I’m not the brightest ! I am the most flexable person you will ever work with who will piss you off because I will back you in to a corner until you finally realize you need to say “Uncle” !

Now that the introductions are done and I had my laugh (the above is really True - Honest !) for the night, what do you all say ??

I have a Grand $ and we can use my money to create a monster method for getting shields built and a method that others can use to broker deals that result in fast solutions with only one catch. Just like Shark Tank - if we are going to use my money, your’e going to have to sell me on how this process of funding should work. All aspects and everyone, and I mean everyone ! noobies to Experts need to chime in on this - Speak Up and Be Heard !

Exactly what do I want built ? Not only do I want a some what simple privacy shield designed to production I want a Community Funding system put in place that it can be repeated 1,000 times over by everyone in the world. Should be easy enough :earth_asia:

And you guys thought I was kidding about taking over the world :slight_smile: So help stop Bobby from taking over the Spark Core World by creating a Spark Core Communinty Funding Platform that you can live with too.

Many Thanks, Bobby

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Let us know what shields you see value for the community to have?

I’ll be willing to help whether or not money comes into play. (Honestly, things sometime get messed up with this element involved)

The 1 grand to me sounds like a good R&D budget so we don’t have to worry about purchasing and making prototype boards for the idea.

With that said, I believe this is what the :spark: HQ have in the pipeline to support enterprise with a bigger engineering team!

Community wise, I will glad support and take on your ideas if you have full commitment to make it happen and passion for open source projects.

Appreciate all the support you have given to :spark: and our awesome community so far!

We are definitely aware of your contributions :slight_smile:

Sounds like a great idea.

With respect of the budget, $1000 is eminently doable. As an example, I am developing a commercial product (hopefully) based on the Spark module, and the cost of a Schematic and PCB design will be about $80 thanks to the wonderful site of Freelancer. For those sort of dollars, getting a design out almost becomes petty cash. Then you need to pay for PCB’s and parts of course, and these do add up.

In my mind, there are two types of shields, and it probably makes sense to break them down into these:

  • Enablers
  • Products


The relay shield is a great enabler. Products can be built on it, but it is there as a dev tool. I would also add the FRAM/SD board under the heading of an enabler.

There are sensors here that I am sure we would all love to see, and that would be found in this category. I suggest that this would be more than a DS18B20 interface since that can be done on a breadboard, but something more.


As for products I would like to see, I have two:

  • Caller ID Notifier
  • Alarm System Monitor and Automation

Caller ID: There are some people who have produced a design here for a notifier when a phone rings. The thing is that CallerID chips are really cheap, so why not use one. Have the device send a notification to a mobile when the home phone rings containing the CallerID of the person who just rang.

I have had this running with a phone modem at home, and it is really cool. Calling people back from your mobile when you are out just after someone rang you gets some interesting responses too.

Alarm System: For the Alarm System Monitor, the device would be wired into a home alarm system and monitor each of the inputs. It could also monitor the ‘Alarm Active’ signal out of the alarm, and the ‘Siren’ signal. And the Spark could then also set an output that was connected to the Alarm to turn the alarm On or Off through a programmed input of the alarm.

Now, there are two reasons for this product. The first is to monitor the alarm. I have my alarm sending me a message whenever I leave the house, and I can always check that the alarm is on. If it is not I can check it.

The other reason is sort of cool. Once I have the alarm inputs monitored, I can then do other things around the house, like turn on light when people are moving about. This shield is mostly analog inputs into the Spark, potentially with an expander, and software.

Hope this all helps, and a great idea


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I agree with you on the distractions if how things currently are if that was you referring to ? With that said, a person can offer all the money in he has and if the process is lacking things will just drag on.

I strongly believe that this issue is two fold and maybe support “officially” is coming but, how does anyone really know or ever know for example (and not to be critical), I was told the other day major changes are coing to this forum, ahnh… what changes ? I guess its a securit or posted in a securit place or the Wizard has the list on his control board waiting for Dorthy’s approval. :smile:

Okay, maybe I am being picky but, let me give you anothr example. How nice and beneficial to everyone to have a list of what shields are being designed and by who. Sure, I can post in the project share and people can use the search tool, however, most peole understand - “If someone wants me to know what there working on - they will posted it they are working on it”.

I only mention this as this has happen to me on two different occasions now and one is the with a MicroSD Card that is now an awesome reality coming to a mailbox soon and Thanks to YOU and others here !!! I am so happy about that !!!

Then last night I find out that a voltage / current monitoring shield is being developed by @peekay123 as he was kind enough to take the time to tell me about it and consider some of my suggestions.

Okay, so now I don’t have to beat my head against the wall or bug people here on how to build these two forementioned shields that I know will be awesome products because of who are making them !! (Not being pickie now :eight_spoked_asterisk: )

What I am fired up here about mainly is the lack of a process within this Community / Forum / Spark Team or anywhere in this Galaxy a way to collaberate or fund spark core shields within the community something that may not exist in any community anywhere; haven’t found it yet.

I do agree with you with the annoucement of Spark Devices is hiring more people more support for shields may be coming but, that’s not a given as that was not part of any announcement I have seen. Will Dorrthy be approving that soon ? :(’

Don’t take this the wrong way, please, as you know I appreciate not only your contributions to this forum and the many comments you have replied to me that have been very helpful its just that I and others can just sit on the side lines and wait. Or do what I suggest and with the help of others take the ball and run with R&D for shields.

To be honest, there’s tons of stuff going on for :spark: Elite and i manage some stuff like the Shields in development by the Elites…

So yeah :smiley:

There’s tons of stuff in line to make things more fun than you can ever imagine! :smiley:

No worries i’m totally cool on all the stuff you guys are talking/sharing/commenting.

I think for now, you can simply throw out the idea and see if anyone has done it/willing to do it etc.

Just a quick sharing,

we actually discussed this during our US Maker Faire trip about providing support for such stuff!

The :spark: HQ is also bombarded with people who would love the cores in their commercial applications but they are having limited bandwidth and time!

Things are definitely going to improve as we work out on how stuff will be managed and having a bigger team will make a huge difference.

Let’s see how we can work out a plan for what you have suggested or intend to do? :wink:


Hi Darryl,

Awesome reply and I agree very much with your destiction of type of shields; very nice.

Your caller ID Notifier would be a great add-on for my Telephone Isolation Shield but, I think caller ID would be more popular than mine.

The only thing I would like to add here is there are no standardization for the development of Spark Core Shields at this time and that I feel is very much needed. How can any of us develop community based soultions without some kind of roadmap to follow which in itself will help save people time and money over the long haul. Something else lacking as I stated in my most recent reply to @kennethlimcp is we don’t even know who is developing what. I am not saying we have a right to know but, it is what it is.

This is a community and if others want it to really grow like Ubuntu’s and Joomla’s successfully did when they were the new kids on the blocks then we need to follow in these two community foot steps and ideas like yours are exactly what we need to start the ball rolling.

I also feel that we need a process in place but, I or you and @kennethlimcp alone can not formulate such a plan without a lot of interatction and acceptance on what needs to be done concerning R&D and Standardization of Spark Core Shields.

Again, a Big Thanks for your replay … keep the ideas coming !


1. I have started to spec out how a :spark: shield should be in term of shape, logo, requirements etc.

If there is a demand for this, i can talk to :spark: HQ and see where i can publicly post the guidelines?

I just got started doing this last week. Dang! You guys are moving fast :smiley:

2.I have the shield development list used internally for :spark: Elites simply to keep track of who might/is doing what!

Having said that, not all those ideas listed there gets worked on due to time. it’s always time time time time time :smiley:

We can find a way to consolidate some of this information/roadmap if there’s really a demand?

Thank you for update and yes - we need to go fast to succeed in this new world :wink:.

While you’re checking with the :spark: Elite on if and where you can post a project list would you also ask them if there will be support for commerical products by community members. Or will it be selective as the case with Documentation Cereation ?

"Innovation rarely happens from wihtin…"

What’s this about?

Whether you are making a commercial product or not, the community is here to support. :slight_smile:

The :spark: team will be able to work separately with anyone who’s making a commercial product and eventually need to manufacture. They can come in to help you with that.

Also, I haven’t seen much request for shields but it should increase as we move on.

What’s your suggestion @spydrop? One sentence to summarise how we can help you for this?


Your questions are fair and let me answer both of them in different ways. The first as a noobie to the community with very little programming experience outside of PHP / HTML. I want and will continue to help anyone in this community, however:

One Sentence on Docs:

"The documentation being at Github sucks and as long its there I will not be helping".

I look at the current documentation (as it pertains to me as a noobie) on and I get a sick feeling in my stomache because I don’t own an IPad or a Nook.

You ask what the :spark: Team can do for me ?

I Just don’t know, I’m not in that circle of information nor have I found those options anywhere on; nor documentation about.*”

There would absolutely be support for commercial products by community members! I’m glad to see this thread and would be ecstatic to see some great shields, accessories, or products come out of it. Count me in for one of anything that someone feels like producing (I will gladly pay), and if there is enough demand for any Spark-powered anything, we’ll do everything we can to support the product/project (supply chain support, marketing support, etc.)



Thank you for reply and glad to see there will be support so members can benefit.

I hope as things proceed that some standards can be set “officially” so everyone is on the same page for sizing and interchanability of these shields “where possible and makes sense to do so”.

Now back to my underground lab and feed the babby shields :slight_smile:

Bump !,

1st Attempt to get assitance from a Spark Elite to create a Telephone Isolation shield has failed but, Dang !

This device I want to see used all over the world may not be very popular to start but, I won’t know as it does not currently exist.

Its not that complex and I might be able to design it after 4 proto-types using through hole componets. Hundreds of $$$ and lots of frustration but, it is what it is !

When I started this thread it was mainly about not having a system that would allow Spark Core Community users to design and produce shields for the Spark Core.

I wonder if someone intervened to stop the help (not here but, outside) as it has happened many times in my life.

So, off to other options of help from Freelancers. Thanks for your time.

Let’s be fair here Bobby.

We have been giving help all that we can out of all the free time we have.

I suggested that you can have more fun doing other stuff than just a phone isolation.

Even with that said, I’m still giving you my help and reviewing your design and consideration.

You just made a point that a community driven project isn’t that straightforward and we can end up with a backlash for not giving enough help you guys think we should put in.

That’s nota reaction/public expression I would expect for the effort.


I am being fair, I’m telling the truth and I do appreciate all the help and willing to do what it takes to see my shield and others get to market as I can, however, I never mentioned your name and it was not meant to be a stab at Spark Elite. What should I do ? State, “All is well - moving right along - don’t need any help - everything is awesome” ? Well its not.

When you have inner circles working on projects that no one else knows about there is no benefit to the community in that sense.

But, when there are no set standards for shields (Every other MCU maker has standards) and no process to help community users (although @zach said it is supported) get shields to market, would it not appear there could be issues in the inner circle ? I don’t know and I don’t really care, I just know that the cart is coming before the horse. Well, unless your a coder or have a coder who will even take your project and money and be commited to helping you even it your project is not fun. My project will protect Millions of people all around the world from proximity spying and how cool is that ?

No. 1 complaint in this forum and I feel that way too is “Lack of Documentation” and without basic instruction, well, its very frustrating.

Sorry your out :frowning: for what I say, for that I am sorry that you took offense. Joomla & Mambo had this same issue of strife between those in decision making postion and the community. Mambo lost because their hosrse never made it back to the barn as he could find the cart and fix it even though it was right in front of him.

Hi @spydrop,

If you want to encourage members of the community to help you with your project (either with time and energy or with funding), you should be a little nicer to them! I’m not sure exactly what kind of help you are looking for; as I mentioned in my message above, we will providesupply chain and marketing support, but you have to finish your design first!

If you have issues with our product or its documentation, please put them in new or more relevant threads. If there is something that you want documented that is not currently, please start a new thread or an issue on Github.



You are correct !