“Mate-Labs” is run by Sebastian Mate who lives in Erlangen, Germany. He is a computer scientist by profession (working and researching in the field of medical informatics) and a crazy audio, electronics fanatic and maker by heart. And to be honest, he is crazy about almost everything that has a nice construction and technically sound design.
Note (due to many requests): the project is still under development and is not dead ! But at the moment I have to many other things going on. Keep in mind that MagicQuartz is purely a hobby project for me and I don’t want to hurry and put something onto the market that is not working as expected. Creating the firmware is pretty challenging, as it is highly configurable and has to deal with many difficult situations. The firmware has to be perfect from the very beginning.
The targeted price for a whole kit should be around 100€, maybe less. I’m planning to sell the hardware near to their original costs, but want to make some cash with the firmware. The 100€ target is for a fully assembled unit including ALL parts. But I will not provide all parts: In the beginning, I want to only sell the programmed microcontroller and the PCB, and optionally 3D-printed case parts. The case parts will be rather on the expensive side, because it’s very time-consuming to make them. But I will also provide the STL files, so you can print them on their own (or let them have printed by a company). Or just make your own … I really want to make it highly affordable for DIYers! The other parts are standard components and I will provide detailed lists for some major resellers.
If you can’t wait, feel free to build the free Arduino version. Others have already built it and they are very happy with the results. It’s cheap (about 20$ for the parts) and easy to build. I believe that even this version is superior to other available controller circuits. And yes, once set up, it can also operate without a computer (i.e. it will automatically resume to “live quartz mode” at 33.333 RPM).