TI’s new web site appeals to the penny pincher in us

tideals_chronos_watch

We’ve got to admit, we’re pretty much cheapskates when it comes to buying electronic bits online. Whether its microcontrollers or PCBs, we hate to part with money. So, we were pretty excited to hear that Texas Instruments is dishing out deals two weeks at a time to hackers, makers, and the like.

Several of you wrote in to tip us off to TI’s new site: TI Deals. Basically, they are deeply discounting various products, changing the lineup every two weeks. Now, we were expecting something like 20%-25% off certain items, but so far the TI Deals look pretty sweet. Right now, they are offering the Chronos watch kit for 50% off – which is a pretty nice discount. We’re definitely interested to see what sorts of other things will go on the chopping block in the future.

Thinking of picking up a Chronos watch? Let us know what sort of project you have planned.

If you are on the fence and need a little inspiration, check out these Chronos-based projects we have featured in the past:

Printable gripping rover is wristwatch controlled

Google two-factor authentication in a wristwatch

Wireless Sniffing and Jamming of Chronos and iclicker

Texas Instruments watch claims it’s a computer mouse

99 thoughts on “TI’s new web site appeals to the penny pincher in us

  1. As of right now, their website now says “Error establishing a database connection” any time you try to get a coupon to actually buy one of these…

  2. I passed on the Chronos when it came out because I couldn’t really think of any interesting projects that would take advantage of it. Price wasn’t the problem. But if you’ve got a good project idea or just want a big wristwatch, this is a good deal.

  3. I’ve had 2 Chronos watches now. Both of them have started acting screwy within a month of using them. Certain segments of display would go out, or the whole display will go blank, or the watch will just reset (to “CC430″ or whatever it displays when you first get it before setting the time). It only happens during or soon after I run with it, so I guess the seal lets sweat into the circuit were it shorts some things out. I’ll open the case after it does this and let it air out in a dry place and it’ll be good until the next time I wear it on a run. : (

    1. If it’s really sweat in/on the circuit, you should better clean it than just letting it dry. Salts from your sweat won’t evaporate but settle on the board. Even some condensation water (wonder if that’s the right word) could get them into solution back again causing short circuits.

    2. From the web site:

      “Watch is 30m waterproof. See FAQ section in User Guide for details.”

      I would hope sweat isn’t the problem. Maybe it can’t take the vibrations?

      1. Well, in addition to the other symptoms I listed, occasionally water condenses on the inside of the lens after a run. I know it’s *supposed* to be water resistant, but neither of mine (bought about 6 months apart) were resistant to my sweat.

      2. @Otacon2k and @Haraldb:

        The 2nd watch failed before I had even opened it. There is a seal, and there’s a channel where it is supposed to go, and the rubber seal has stayed in that channel. I suppose it is also possible that the failure could be from the seals around the buttons, but I haven’t examined those.

        I’m sure the electronics of this watch are sound, but the case itself hasn’t held up to what I’d expect of a water-resistant watch. Unfortunately, that makes this watch unusable for the projects I’m working on.

      3. @Nathan:
        Well, I just had a look at the manual. Here’s what it says:
        “Is my eZ430-Chronos waterproof?
        Yes, it is 30-m waterproof. This indicates that it resists splashes and rain. However, it cannot be used while taking a shower, swimming, diving, surfing, snorkeling or any other water sports. Set the watch before exposing it to excessive water. Pressing the buttons in water or heavy rainstorms may cause water to enter the watch.”

        So 30-m waterproof means it’s not really waterproof. I wasn’t aware of this misleading nomenclature, but I can imagine there’s some kind of norm about wristwatch-waterproofness that explains this bulls**t.
        This world is sometimes really silly. (Btw: here in Germany it would certainly be called “spritzwassergeschützt” (which means something like “protected from spilling/splashing water”). Which is at least a tad less misleading.)

  4. If you are asking yourself whats the difference between eZ430-Chronos-433 eZ430 Chronos-868 eZ430-Chronos-915 I can tell you.
    433 is the frequence 433 mhz(wich is allowed worldwide)
    915 mhz is only Europe + India and 915 mhz is only for N. & S. America allowed. So please make care about this because you could get sucked if you order it and on the border they dont give you the acess to you device cause wrong frequence.
    Greets

    1. Actually there’s a typo. 868 Mhz is for Europe and India, 915 for N. and S. America.
      Besides that, the 868 and 915 Mhz watches use the same hardware, frequency can be chosen i software.
      The 433 Mhz version uses different hardware and can only be used for 433 Mhz.

      1. So, it just arrived me today. I ordered the 430 mhz version(i am living in austria) but they sent me the 868 mhz vers. LOL And yeah.

  5. These deals really are very good. 50% off is good on it’s own, but free international shipping makes it even better.
    I have one on the way.

  6. Yeah i just bought one early today not sure what i’m gonna use it for yet.

    @Nathan
    yeah there is a lot of watches out there that are only waterprof til you open them up..

  7. have been waffling on getting one, mostly because I like weird watches.. but partially cause i’m starting to mess with some electronics and programming of them.

    25 bucks is low enough for a trigger pull

  8. they have had this deal several times before.
    and i have always missed it…

    been waiting for the longest time.
    “Ordered” haha let the hacking begin..
    once it gets here..

  9. let’s see if these can communicate with standard rfm12 modules…
    then i’ll know what to do with it. remote starting the coffee machine, controlling lights, outlets and such.

  10. It seems the run on that deal was pretty good. Ich just entered the captcha and got “Sorry, this deal is sold out!”.

    I hope they bring it back!

  11. I encountered the “Error establishing a database connection” error a few times before it finally worked. Once i filled out the captcha to get my coupon code, it said the deal was sold out. Hopefully it’ll start working again.

  12. Darn… Lost it… Does anyone know if there’s any chance there will be some more coupons? I’m really into buying one of these…

    1. Sweet! Apparently the lack of coupons was an error with the database!

      Just got one also.

      It’s also worth mentioning that the shipping to Brasil (worldwide, maybe) is included in the price.

  13. I just ordered one at that price, Deals on.

    I also laughed at the customs questions they ask, are you using this for biological weapons development.

  14. Oops!

    An unexpected error has occurred. The error message has been recorded for the system administrator. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    My CC already shows the $24.50 from “TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FUL”

  15. I’m hoping that these watches will make good biometric monitors.

    For example, wearing the watch 24/7 with a temperature sensor (possibly the built-in one) should allow someone to determine their Phase Response Curve:

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Phase_response_curve

    I’ve been wanting to build biometric sensors for long-term data acquisition, but have been dreading the storage/power/size/wearable-convenience factors. This looks like it would solve most of those issues, leaving only the sensor design.

    A physician friend was interested to know if retinal degradation from retinitis pigmentosa correlates with amount of light entering the eye.

    Women who are trying to get pregnant might use these to monitor their body temperature.

    You can get frequency-specific light sensors pretty cheap nowadays. I wonder if a sensor similar to a pulse oximeter could be built to detect other things in the blood.

    Lots of possibilities.

    1. Your post reminds me of something I read on Usenet (a long time ago) about guys that tweaked the variable capacitor in their digital watches to push or pull the crystal frequency closer to WWV accuracy. One guy wore his watch to bed, he believed his body temp would stabilize the crystals temperature, therefore frequency.

  16. Ordered mine too, nfi what I will do with it (Had to get the 433Mhz one, so no bike sensors etc) but I am sure I will find something. Shipping to Oz was free as well :-)

  17. $25 to control my TV like I’m using a computer from the Minority Report?

    Deal. It’s also got nice future-retro styling.

  18. Is it me, or does it seem like TI is running their webserver in someone’s living room? Every time they push out a campaign like this their site goes down. What’s the deal, TI?

    1. Or it could be a flood of people trying to order everything at the same time … Gotta make sure you still have stock .. gotta make sure payments post … gotta make sure orders don’t get submitted twice … seems like a lot of non-concurrency to me

      1. Well…yeah, exactly. If you and I can forsee it, why didn’t they allocate more to their servers? Plenty of other sites launch marketing campaigns that generate lots of traffic and their sites don’t throw errors every time. Just sayin.

  19. The promotion code doesn’t work for me anymore. I even called and tried to apply the coupon and it just couldn’t be done…:(

  20. Anyone know if the deal is still running? I keep getting the message: you are no longer allowed to use this coupon. I’m hoping it’s just the site being wonky.

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