Re: WTF? Greedy prick deserves all the fines he gets.
"I doubt I'd charge more than a couple of hundred for the design in the article, and could probably knock off the basic design in an afternoon, with a working prototype. How the hell could his prices be justified?"
Well, let's say that the whole thing was going on one PCB. That's a new PCB, an hour or so of work, send the file off to the PCB fab. Wait a week. Order the parts from the electronics store. £3 in parts, £9 in shipping. Design new case to hold new PCB with cutouts. Either send out for 3D printing or do it in house depending on capability and materials/tolerance/finish. Assemble and test new electronics, fit in new case, send to client for approval. Several samples?
The design part is a walk in the park. Just watch a few of Big Clive's teardown videos with schematics. Order some DW01's and 4056's and you're on your way. It's waiting for the parts and building the samples and then getting the new final design approved and getting a check. I might have quoted $400 but I don't know what he'd already been through or the particulars of the project. The quote may have also been to get them to not want to do the upgrade. If I had another project with a deadline started, revisiting the last one that is supposed to be done and dusted could be a major PIA. I might want a premium to compensate for the sleep I'll be missing. It could be that he had a holiday scheduled and this "finished" job coming back means I'll have to repurchase airline tickets, cancel a hotel booking and pay fees, etc.
There are plenty of reasons why something gets quoted at the level it does and all of them perfectly reasonable when you know the details.