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Disappointed with single purchase prices.

jdraughn

New member
I saw your LCD's on eBay, thought they looked pretty cool and went to this website to see hundreds of variations! I am just dissapointed with how much it cost to get a single display. I wanted to experiment some, but if you are able to sell a display (http://www.crystalfontz.com/product/CFAH0802A-TTI-JT.html for example) for 3.59 and make a profit, then 19.81 for a single display seems pretty high.

Not trying to be a jerk or anything, I was just a little bummed. I came to this website in the hopes of getting them even cheaper then on ebay, but to my dissapoint ment they cost over 4x more!

Look like great products though. Keep up the variety, something a lot of companies just don't do anymore.
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CF Tech

Administrator
Thank you for the kind words about the site.

Pricing on technical products like this is always a challenge. We always strive to keep prices as low as possible, but we do need to cover our expenses. We offer free technical support, which tends to be concentrated on the initial small orders. Customers that are buying 1000 modules typically have all the bugs worked out long ago. It also takes comparable overhead (processing the order--each order is reviewed and verified by a human, packing, shipping) for small order and a big order. On the big order, that can work out to pennies per module, but on the small order all that overhead is concentrated on one module.

As an engineer, I am frustrated when I see a product, but can't actually get one. Many technical product companies still operate this way. The large majority of the time we do have the product on the shelf, ready to go. With this many products, that means that there is a considerable amount of money tied up in that inventory, which is also a cost. So the price on the small orders might be a little higher, but we can almost always help you get your project going right away instead of making you wait for "free" samples from the "factory".

Thanks again for your feedback, and we hope that you find that our services justify our small order prices.
 

bahstrike

New member
Although the admin's explanation is both admirable and understandable, I must agree with the original poster.

In particular, I was surprised to see that the cheapest (eg. Set Budget to $0.01) shows only an 8x2 character display at the lowest possible single-unit price of around 15 bucks. Granted, I haven't found any graphic modules I would like to buy off Digikey, and Newhaven's modules are too large for my first intended project (not to mention I think they are cheap for photoshopping the 'display screen' on their module photos- one LCD I was interested in it was very obvious it didn't line up properly and thus I closed their website).

The particular LCD I am interested in (which may be my first purchase from Crystalfontz) is a small form-factor 128x64 graphic display with EL backlight (CFAG12864EWGHTN). I chose it due to the high pixel resolution, integrated driver, and small module width which is required for my application.

I understand Crystalfontz' dedication to helping initial customers, but especially for us hobbyists who more-often-than-not must figure things out for ourselves, this free forum service and the wealth of information on the internet could supplant it. As for other costs (eg. inventory) I can perfectly understand...

Still-- I'll likely be ordering my first LCD from you guys, as it fits the bill and ~ $30 isn't fully out of my hobby budget for a graphic LCD. I still have to complain about the character LCD cost, but being a newbie to LCD perhaps I do not yet fully understand why the price is similar. Kudos go to making a 128 pixel wide module with a complete package width less than 2.5 inches. My SMT reflow oven will be thanking you!

PS: I'll be using LCD for plotting the active temperature profile :)
 

CF Tech

Administrator
It is hard to come up with a 1-piece price that makes people on both sides of the fence happy.

My SMT reflow oven will be thanking you!
You had me scared there for a second, I thought you were going to reflow the LCD :) Sounds like a cool project, please feel free to post pics or a link to your project when it is done.

The LCD you indicated, the CFAG12864E-WGH-TN is EL backlit, which is a bit out of favor. It works OK, but is not very bright. TTHe inverter is built on to the module. (edit)

I would suggest the CFAG12864B-TFH-V which has a white LED backlight. A bit bigger :( A bit cheaper :) Be sure to limit the current in the white LEDs, they can be fried easily.
 

bahstrike

New member
The product page for CFAG12864E-WGH-TN says it has an EL Inverter on-board :confused:


I don't really like the color- I'd prefer yellow, green or blue on black background, but again the small module width is important.

The 2.95" wide module (CFAG12864B-TFH-V) PROBABLY would fit, but I'm retrofitting the LCD into the controls area on a toaster oven, which is only a total of about 3" wide, at the most.

The 2.12" wide CFAG12864E-WGH-TN will leave space for insulation so ( hopefully :D ) I don't cook the LCD. That would be sad since the electronics I'm jamming into the $30 oven will cost well over $100. Still a far cry from a $2,000+ professionally-built reflow oven.. In addition to the thermocouple inside the oven, a thermal sensor package will be right on the controller board so I can monitor for safe operation temperature and switch on a cooling fan for the controller area. Hopefully that, plus insulation, will be sufficient. Otherwise I'll probably claim I did all that I could plan for and let the unit burn up teehee :cool:


EDIT: The CFAG12864E-WGH-TN also advertises a Temperature Compensation feature. Not sure how it works but considering this particular project, that could be another benefit if it helps to keep display contrast consistent!!
 
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CF Tech

Administrator
The CFAG12864E-WGH-TN does have an EL Inverter on-board. I was roundly corrected in the meeting this morning :eek:

The EL is visible in dark areas, but do not expect to see it all lit up in a bright room :)

Maybe insulation, and some vents to let room air circulate behind the LCD. Or a small fan?
 

v8dave

New member
Just reading your project on the oven controller. I have a couple of these ovens and they get very hot on the outside when operating and I suspect your idea of putting the controls inside is a nice idea to keep it integrated but it is going to get very hot in there and possible beyond the operating temperature of the LCD display you plan to use. The electronics should be OK as you can use 125C rated parts.

As a matter of interest, I bought an infra red reflow oven on eBay last year for $485 shipped from China. I have used it quite a number of times and it comes with different temperature profiles and also supports the new higher temp lead free profiles. Something to consider if your oven idea doesn't work out. My friend abandoned his after he couldn't get it to cool down correctly without opening the door. The commercial oven I bought has fans for this.

Good luck with your project and remeber to post pics with the LCD in full glory.!!

Dave...
PS.. I only just discovered the website the other day and ordered 2 of the TFT displays for a project. Can't wait to get my teeth into them!
 
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