As you might have discovered we recently shut down our sales of MEP interface modules and kits.
Our initial goals were to:
- Get the MEP documentation and specs released for the public so everyone could tinker with the interface.
We succeeded this almost a year ago, and as a bonus the IR interface documentation and specs were also released. You’ll find both on the GitHub we have setup for OSGP Alliance here: https://github.com/OSGP-Alliance-MEP-and-Optical
Note: The OSGP Alliance is the global non-profit association dedicated to promoting the adoption of the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) and infrastructure for smart grid applications towards a future proof modern smart grid. Networked Energy Services (NES) is a member and chose that the documentation / specs should be released via OSGP Alliance.
- Do a prototype implementation of a module that put the Echelon/NES meters online.
Note: It was NEVER our intention to develop a finished consumer product, nor sell/distribute such products.
- Get people involved in tinkering with the MEP interface – either by getting them to do their own projects or by getting them involved in developing “our” prototype further.
As you might know we had (and still have) a hard time getting more people involved, but we have had some community contributions to the code and inspiration stories. To try to push this further, we chose to do a “limited time offer” where you could buy either parts (kits) or assembled modules of our prototype.
Unfortunately the offer started just as Graves became a father and I got a new job. So we both had “real life” situations that demanded more of our time. Combined with a higher demand on the offer than expected, we had to extend the offer far longer than expected.
Our “limited time offer” had “limited effects” :-). We had hoped that someone would step in and start producing these modules, and although we had a few interested people contacting us, nothing happened that ended up in something we could refer others to. In the end we kind of gave up. Also we caught up with the initial demand for modules and started shutting down the offer. As usual we purchase too many parts, so it took some time before we were out. But we are now completely out of parts and don’t plan to buy any more.
Well, this “whining” is just to explain that it was neither (and never were) our intentions to bring this project further than to the prototyping state, nor our intentions to sell these modules and kits. We have full time jobs in “real life”, so we don’t want to start a business selling these modules (it won’t be viable without other products too – the demand for MEP modules is simply not high enough for this to happen).
Now for the good news! / we are happy to announce:
After shutting down our offer, we were contacted by a party that do run a business selling various electronic products – and they are currently working on a cost reduced version of the module. We have allowed them to build on our project free of charge and the plan is it will end up in a more or less compatible version running the same software (or a variant of it).
They are still in the development phase (there is a lot of work in bringing a tinkering prototype to a state where it can be produced and sold in an effective/viable manner), but they have allowed us to tell you about it and share their name.
If everything goes as planned you will soon be able to purchase a “Dabbler” MEP module variant from the Danish company uStepper. Stay tuned on both their website and our Blog!