Not Ending Retail Sales

As many of you know, the IoTaWatt grew out of an open source hobby project. I built it because nothing was available to monitor a number of circuits and manage the data in a way that I could control. As interest grew in the forum posts of the time, I was encouraged to make the hardware available and as it happened there were local resources available to make that happen. Fast forward five years and many thousands of units have shipped worldwide to more than 80 countries with various power systems.

Nevertheless, the effort has never been geared to large scale commercialization and I’ve never advertised or sold through the major Emarketing powerhouses. The unit was and still is geared toward a more esoteric technical user.

As a one-man effort, basically out of my basement, the business has become less of a technological challenge and more of a business, manufacturing and logistics job. I spend all of my time now dealing with sales, shipping, support, manufacturing and supply chain issues. Basically its no longer a hobby but rather a tedious job.

My initial decision to manufacture the unit in the USA puts IoTaWatt at a disadvantage relative to the well financed alternatives manufactured in Asia, no doubt with logistics in place to minimize the 25% China import tariffs put in place several years ago. Bottom line is that its no longer worth the effort.

With recent cost increases in all aspects of production and operations, I’ve decided to discontinue the effort. I plan to continue to offer add-on CTs, keep up with support on the forum, provide warranty service and generally support the installed community as needed. It’s not a big job as the things just keep on tickin’ like a Timex watch.

For those who have built their own or plan to do so in the future, the design and firmware are readily available on Github and I’m available for questions. I plan to shift gears, go back to hobby mode and finish the ESP32 unit for my own use. I’ll publish the firmware and schematics when I think it’s close to useful.

In closing I’d like to thank all the wonderful folks that I have worked with to both develop and deploy the IoTaWatt and hope to hear from you on the forum should you need any help with your unit.

Bob

UPDATE June 10, 2023:

Thanks to all who have offered kind words of support. I should have known that quitting would not be easy. There are subsequent developments.

Shortly after posting this, I began to receive inquiries from some of my frequent customers wanting to get a final supply. Others have expressed a desire to pick up the ball and become dealers. This was not possible when I was selling direct to the public. Worldwide it was pretty easy to get an IoTaWatt and hard for anyone to make another business doing the same. Now that I am out of the retail picture, others are asking about reselling.

There is already an active reseller in Australia, SmartGuys Australia. Unfortunately they sold out rather quickly once orders started coming in from around the world. They will be restocked in September - more on that later.

There has been reseller interest in the EU, we’ll see how that pans out. It would go a long way to reduce the VAT and customs hassles involved in shipping from the US, not to mention the expense. There are also some pretty large industrial users that have hundreds of IoTaWatt and want more, as well as a few who make a business of installing energy monitoring commercially and use IoTaWatt as one of their tools.

Long story short, there is another build in progress. The units are destined to prepaid quantity buys and should result in availability starting in September. If it all pans out, there will be dealers in the major markets so shipping time and cost will be less of an issue.

I don’t mind commissioning a build or two a year as it’s pretty much a matter of a few days work to order and coordinate. I’m taking prepaid orders for base units only with a minimum of 25 units. Be prepared for a price increase as my costs have gone up considerably and there will be a middleman now.

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WOW that’s definitely some news!

I’m sad to see this go as I love my units due to the open source nature of them.

I totally understand the sentiment from hobby to job and losing the passion.

I just want to say thanks so much for the amazing product and support over the years!

I look forward to your next hobby projects for the community!

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Really happy for you. Really sorry for all the others who won’t get to enjoy learning about their power usage. Glad I got mine when I did.

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So sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you’re making the best choice for your situation. Thanks for all your effort putting these together. Guess I got one of the last units!

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Even with the (well managed) SD card issue in my unlucky Nov’22 order, I’m SO happy I have this unit. It’s a huge improvement over the Arduino cobbling our UofA students did for my experimental garage heating system in 2017. Totally understand the loss of passion, or burnout. Life is too short for that!

Now… I’m retired, and this is an important tool for the “electrify everything” movement…a huge accomplishment… I might like to participate in a brainstorm of how this can keep going, either this or a “new improved” one.

Thank you Bob for choosing Open Source!!

Andy in Edmonton AB

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Thank you for all that you did for us, it was very helpful and we appreciate it.

I never found a really similar device, despite “well financed alternatives”. I hope mine works a very long time as I certainly do not look forward to trying to find a worthwhile replacement.

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Thanks Bob for a great product and great support. This device has opened up my eyes to the world of IOT and do-it-yourself home automation projects. Since getting this I’ve explored microcontrollers for small home projects. I definitely hope to take a look at your github plans to see if I can put together one of these devices in the future.

And kudos for being able to know when to walk away and get back to being able to do what you truly enjoy.

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Bob, I’m sorry (for me) that it’s come to this but I completely get it.

My IoTaWatts are the most stable devices in my home automation and that’s due to your superior skills and dedication. For that there are just not enough superlatives.

Your knowledge and support are also the best of my home automation system. What a truly outstanding work you have done! And to open-source it as well!

Thank you!

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Thanks greatly for your support, it has been without doubt a great device that I have used and recommended to everyone, my first one was in 2017.

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Wow. I just literally bought my unit, and so I am sad to see that this happened within two weeks of my purchase. However, it seems that the forum is super valuable, and the technology is pretty steady, so hopefully I will not regret.

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I am on the other side. :frowning: I have my Orbit box and was waiting to see stock come back into the store so I could order a unit (or two or three if I had known production was ending).

I guess I will be rereading/posting on the forum for guidance on getting my own boards and cases manufactured, but that may be a fall/winter project now.

Thanks @overeasy for the project, your time and the community you built. It is like no other!!

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You can try SmartGuys in Australia. I believe they still have a few units.

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I bought mine from there a couple of months ago!
I’m new to the smart home / energy monitoring game, had to admit, took me a while to decide between the iotawatt and the hacked Emporia Vue 2

I feel your pain RE the expense / business case, you have a unique product here which is only just being caught up to by the competition, but it’ll be a few years yet before something equivalent will appear. it’s a shame consumers primarily vote with their $$ and really overlook the overall value proposition your unit offers.

Good luck with your future endeavours,

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Thanks Bob for the IotaWatt! What you have created has been really inspiring. I’m very happy with the two units that I have.

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Thank you for making an excellent product, I feel very fortunate to have gotten one…I had intended to buy a second you today to get 100% breaker coverage, but alas it seems that you have sold out

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Joined the community just to say thanks for all your hard work.

I had just about given up hope when i came across something called iotawatt somewhere on reddit. ha
Just so happened that it was exactly what i was looking for.
The perfect unit for someone who likes to kid themselves into thinking they are technically adept. :slight_smile:

It’s been running like a champ since day one and I am so glad i got one just in time!

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If you don’t mind paying a little extra, you can pickup a second unit from smartguys (I just did a few days ago). Looks like they’re still in stock.

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I had the thought this week “That SD card issue must have been really hard, a thread should be started thanking @overeasy as keeping this going can’t be easy.” Well, there it goes.

Thank you so much for such a high quality product and going above and beyond to personally support all of us in this forum. Doing the right thing is never easy, hopefully you’ve learned as much as we’ve gained from your contributions to the self-automation scene. Best of luck to you!

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Oh, what a bad news! But we fully understand the challenges and your decision. Thank you so much for all the work done and the impressive results, this has been extremely useful for us.

Good luck for your new objectives :slight_smile:

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