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At this year’s Maker Faire, the Maker Shed offered a unique product, a Chumby in kit form. Created expressly for Maker Shed by Chumby, the kit contains everything needed to build your own Chumby, or alternatively, hack it into into any form of your own choosing. The price for the kit was $99. We sold out almost immediately.

Through a special arrangement with our pals at Chumby, the Shed recently managed to order another batch of Chumby Kits. Last week, the Shed sent out a mailing to a select group of loyal customers, again offering the kit. And again, the positive response was swift. They sold a bunch, but they still have some left, so there’s still time if you want to pick one up. This is a great opportunity to get the guts of a versatile Internet appliance, on the cheap, that you can use for all sorts of experimentation, custom projects, and cool casemods. They’re still $99 and you can get yours here (there’s a limit of 3 per customer).

Note: These kits are still being produced at Chumby, so this is a pre-order. The Shed expects to have them by the end of the month.

BTW: The Maker Shed mailing list is a great way to stay informed of special offers, new product offerings, clearance, and other Shed happenings. The Shed will be offering juicy deals like this from time to time via the newsletter, so it’s a good idea to sign up. Here’s the newsletter submit form:















Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bless you for this kit! I’ve wanted to repackage my Chumby ever since it arrived! I can now put the speakers in the FRONT where they belong, along with everything else that was in the back. And I can stick in a 12 V SLA battery to keep things alive between power supplies. It’ll be my “Nine Transistor Portable Radio” of the oughts! (See image at
    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/1031/trans/SW/ColumNM.jpg for my humorous reference for those too young to remember such.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would have thought since you had your own resources to draw upon, you could have provided a larger “Large image” of the kit parts in your page. 500 x 333 pixels is pretty darn small by today’s camera abilities. When I click on something that promises a larger image, I expect at least 640 x 480 or 800 x 600.

    A minor pick, but one that prickled.

  3. Madox says:

    None available until November? :(

  4. Dylan says:

    I received my kit and have a few comments.

    Overall I’m very happy with the kit. I wanted a chumby before, but didn’t care for the cloth case or the price. This kit made it perfect for me.

    Some minor nit picks:
    1. The directions leave a lot to be desired. There are a few times that where I had to guess How to do it.
    2. I think the silver colored screws are for holding the LCD to the plastic bezel (Part E). The similar/same length black screws are for holding the speakers to the plastic holder (Part O). At least the silver colored screws are to small to hold the speakers to the holders. I didn’t discover this until I already had it mostly assembled and didn’t take it apart to find out if the black screws that I used on the LCD would work for the speakers. I just found some different screws.
    3. There were no screws for holding the switch assembly to the speaker holders. Not listed in the parts list or included. Again, I just found different screws.
    4. The WiFi reception wasn’t good enough to get a connection back in my bedroom. The wifi dongle does have an external antenna connection and I was able to rob a small antenna from an old router that worked.
    5. The ribbon cable that connects the MB to the speaker board is to short to really position the speakers anywhere other than behind the MB. My next change will be to make a longer ribbon cable so I can put the speakers out front.

    Now I just need to decide on a case :)

    Dylan

    1. MapRider says:

      Chumby guts arrived on Friday as well — got it all together after running into the same issues you pointed out with the assembly instructions.

      Wondered about the Control Panel switch, as there are two options (NO or NC) to wire it up. Guessed NO and that worked. Also found out the wire gauge is too small to support a lot of movement when not boxed up and one of the leads broke off. Quickly fixed with some solid core wire.

      Had to make a hasty box for the guts when my 8 year old son discovered you could play games with it, so I used the small cardboard box the parts arrived in and a bunch of duct tape. That worked fine until I realized the packing foam I shoved in there to keep things from moving around didn’t allow for any ventilation and the screen got hot after an hour of game play. So off to Mal-Fart to find solution, which turned out to be an 84¢ 3×5 card holder. Some dremel work and a bunch of hot glue later and I now have a decent temporary box for the guts to live in.

      Still haven’t figure out what the final box will look like, but this will work in the interim.

      Pics of the two boxes can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/yla8mes

  5. KentKB says:

    Dylan,
    The info with the unit was limited….
    But, within minutes I had it up and running!
    I added a WiFi antenna and hacked down a ATA cable to give more flexibility: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kentkb/4000274452/

  6. Chumbyn00b says:

    Looks like the law of supply and demand has kicked in. The price is $139.

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