I am a contract GPS engineer or GPS consultant for hire. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I added this page out of self preservation. I apologize in advance for the tone. Hopefully you will get a chuckle or two if you try to put yourself in my shoes.
I get emails and calls all the time from well meaning people who tell me they have the “next big thing” which I have already heard 5 times before… this week. I constantly get contacted by people with big ideas and no money.
I have taken countless hours of calls and answered many emails while trying to help. The problem is that I have many irons in the fire and I have priorities too. This is a tiny fraction of my business.
Before contacting me, here are some items to consider.
- I am not in the market to fund your project. Sorry.
- I am not in the market to work for free on the promise of a percentage of something that will probably never happen. I have bills to pay.
- I am not a free consultant. Possible exceptions are school projects. I have helped on several of these. For example I worked on the University of Oklahoma solar cars for 2 years & got our company to donate goods to them. (Got the T-shirt to prove it!)
- I am NOT in the market to be a professional witness in your lawsuit. Not happening. I will pull my fingernails out for fun instead! Ironically this is the number one thing I am contacted for. (Acting as a professional witness not pulling out fingernails :))
- You don’t want me writing your embedded software. Sure I can do it, but I am pretty slow at it by comparison to a pro. I am a hardware engineer for the most part.
- I do not have GPS products to donate to your cause. Sorry.
- I do not need SEO work done for my website. You are wasting your time. Thanks.
- I won’t be buying my “Canadian Pharmacy Vigara” (misspelling intentional just like the spammers do it) from your Russian store that doesn’t exist so don’t bother sending me the spam. 😉
I don’t mean to be rude or mean about any of this. This is business. I have things I do that make money and time I spend on your dream takes me away from that.
Honestly most of the people who contact me have no idea how much it takes to get consumer electronics projects off the ground. I can’t blame them. They haven’t done it and I have. What is obvious to me is totally invisible to most. That is why this page is here. So here are some information tips.
- Most consumer electronics or industrial projects are put in a custom enclosure. If you will need a custom made plastics enclosure for your new high volume project it can take a mechanical engineer with plastics design & injection molding experience as well as CAD to design it. $$$
- Tooling costs on a custom enclosure can be a super wide range of prices due to variations such as overall complexity, waterproof abilities, # of openings in the case and so on. The above mechanical engineer can give you better guesses than I based on your needs. But I have seen enclosures cost between $10K-$250K in tooling costs before you have even made ONE finished product. $$$$$ Are you sweating yet?
- To compete in consumer electronics in high volume you may have to manufacture in China. They don’t lift a finger without an expectation of getting a very large order. 5000 pieces is a pre-production run for these factories. Yes there are some smaller factories with less volume requirements, usually also with less quality control, less buying power to keep your line open and so forth. I have dealt with several on both ends. Again, this is business. Much of this depends on your needs.
- Questions to ask yourself:
- Have you done a market study? No need to design something if it won’t sell. Sure YOU know it will sell but will it really?
- Do you have a marketing group or person?
- Have you done a search for the same product online? (I can’t tell you how many people ask me to design something that they can already buy at the store, thinking they are the only one in the world who thought of it.)
- Do you have (or trying to BUILD) a team for your new project? You and I do not make a “team”. I do GPS hardware, other electrical circuits, work with mechanical engineers for packaging, layout PCBs, etc.. I can manage the project. But there is so much more. In other words, you can’t show up with an idea and I do everything else. You don’t have that long or probably that much money!
- Do you have an investor or sufficient cash to fund expenses that inevitably come up? (I have been told “money is no object” only to have them freak out the first time they need to spend $100. Seriously!) One contract I did I showed them a piece of equipment they needed necessary to solve their problem. They went out and bought it NOW. A few days later, after I showed them how to use it properly … problem solved. They spent thousands but saved thousands in lost time. The contract was on time.
- Do you know who your target market is? Demographics? Timeline…
- Where are your sales outlets? Retail – wholesale?
- Do you need prototypes? How many? When?
I could go on but you get the idea. Certainly you don’t need to have all these DONE before I will talk to you. I am not saying that at all. I am just trying to make you think. If you are serious, then this isn’t a hobby for you and it certainly isn’t for me.
Let me say this. I love GPS. I love consumer electronics. This is fun. However, due to several other businesses that I own and operate I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to these projects. So I am not looking for a 1 yr project and you probably won’t want to pay my rate that long anyway.
My typical project now is to troubleshoot a design that is already designed that doesn’t perform to spec. For low volume projects there are many pre-built modules we can get, package and send you down the road.
The last project I did was to work (with another company’s team) to troubleshoot and solve an almost non-functional GPS in just a few days. They were dead in the water and I got them back in business.
I can design you a GPS from scratch. I have done it numerous times. But that does take quite awhile. $$$$$
My standard rate is $100/hr. You can see that we can burn up some money pretty quickly at that rate. I am very conservative on my billable time but even at that it adds up. I know that seems like a lot of money but frankly not just everyone can do this or has the experience to qualify.
Am I the best? Not hardly. There are lots of fantastic GPS experts working at the GPS chipset manufacturers. Unfortunately, most of the consumer product designers are in Asia now.
Can I help you? Maybe. So far I have yet to test a GPS that I could not find fault in. GPS design is not easy. These things listen at 1.57542GHz to a signal that is lower than the atmospheric noise. So imagine how easy it is for a GPS to hear the electronics sitting in the same box with your GPS. Between antenna tuning and internally generated noise these are the two biggest problems I have seen to date.
If I haven’t scared the HELL out of you and you are still interested in using me as your GPS engineer then you can use the contact form to get in contact with me!
I wish you all the best in your project.