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I hacked one of these to power the nightlight in my kid's bedroom (https://github.com/ecaron/hue-website-nightlights). The downside is that the button barely lasts for 1000 presses = 90 days (all kids like pushing buttons). And it is heart breaking because its just a AAA battery that they decided to solder in place...

I'm excited that this button launched. But $20 is too much for something without a swappable battery. I'll either keep intercepting the ARP packets from the $5 unit or buy https://www.particle.io/button.




From the Amazon official page (https://aws.amazon.com/iot/button/):

    How long will the battery last?
    
    The battery should last for approximately 1,000 presses.  
    When the device battery runs out of charge, there is no way to recharge or replace the battery.

How can you sell a button that has only 1000 presses in it for $20 with a straight face? Looks like overcomplicated, overpriced garbage to me.


I can't believe they do it either. It's a button. Its main purpose is to be pressed. They literally say it will cost you 2 cents per button push.


And that is assuming your time spent on ordering and setting it up is worthless.


It's being presented as testing hardware, so you can get to know their stack. At $19, it's probably being subsidized substantially.

In the same way free AWS instances are not adequate for hosting a production website, this is a toy for devs to get to know their stack...

The real question for this device is, is it hackable, i.e. can you change the software running on it, or open it up and solder different hardware to spare pins?

It looks like people have done this, but it's surprising amazon would sell a devboard without catering to it: https://github.com/dekuNukem/Amazon_Dash_Button


If it's testing hardware, then why doesn't it have a replaceable battery? This is just madness.


"At $19, it's probably being subsidized substantially."

Doubtful


> this is a toy for devs to get to know their stack...

The difference being that AWS has real tiers. The dash button is exactly the same even if you "go pro" (what does that even mean? You persuade your BigCo employer to join the program?).

I suspect it's a last-gasp attempt at making some money out of a program that has not become as popular as they thought.


Just cancelled my order based on this.


me too


me three


Fourth.

I kinda wanted one in the hopes that if it worked well, I could theoretically get a lot more to trigger actions for things with my Z-Wave setup.

20$/each isn't amazing but its not exactly terrible for this. But 20$/each/year (or less!), horrible.


From an environmental perspective, it is completely retarded I would say.

I don't get why people like Amazon, none of their services are any good. Although to be fair, Amazon (the retail) doesn't exist in my country.


> none of their services are any good

Care to back that statement up? :)

(no argument on the environmentally subpar approach to the button)


Well, it's a subjective statement as it is my opinion. But for me as a Swede:

* The closest retail in Amazon is in GB or Germany, orders takes weeks to reach me which is a mystery since I've ordered stuff from Germany before and they usual deliver within a week.

* Closest AWS datacenter is in Ireland, latency is high for nordic countries.

* Their documentation is very confusing, you can read all about their web services without understanding one. Leading to sites like this: https://www.expeditedssl.com/aws-in-plain-english

But sure, their services works and is probably good for many, but I've never found them any useful at all.


Try Frankfurt. It may have better latency for you, even if it's further away.


Isn't there an AWS Amsterdam datacenter which would be better latency?


Frankfurt, but latency doesn't always correlate directly with physical distance.


AWS is a pretty popular service ;)

Amazon cloud drive is fairly performant and a good price. I use it as a backup repo. Amazon prime shipping is also pretty great and the prices are pretty decent usually. They're also the biggest cross platform ebook vendor with the most selection.


> no way to recharge or replace the battery.

No way at all in the entire universe not even with hand tools and a soldering iron?


I think what they mean is no reasonable way. Who wants to spend $20 on a button they will have to tear apart and desolder?


I guess the original design was to order things infrequently, and if you ordered a new detergent every 10 weeks that's fine.


Wow, I'll wait for v2 then.


Wait, what? So, we are basically moving from this which could last decades to stuff which stops working after 1000 presses?

And people say we are not moving to planned obculence ( sorry, don't know the English word for it)


It sort of makes sense for the dash button's original purpose. You probably wouldn't order stuff like paper towels / toilet paper / dish soap more than once a week or so (less for for most people), so 1000 presses would last you over 19 years.

Using the exact same hardware for a general purpose remote control seems like a mistake - an extremely limited product at best, an unnecessary source of ewaste at worst. A modified dash button with a replaceable battery would me much nicer, though I'm sure it's far cheaper to just sell a rebranded dash button.


> so 1000 presses would last you over 19 years

I've been wondering about that. They say you can use it to control lights/netflix. If you don't want 10s delay it has to do wakeups every 30s or so depending on the wifi setup to stay connected to the network. And wifi transmission is quite power expensive. If it does that, I wouldn't give it more than a year (maybe more like a few months). If it doesn't, the latency must be terrible.


An ESP8266 can go from deep sleep to publishing a request in less than three seconds. The expensive operations are the DHCP request and the DNS query, but that can be cached for hours, often even days.


Well maybe not 10s, but 3s is still a terrible latency if you want to control something like lights for example. And it's not all that uncommon for dhcp lease to last only a few hours (and we are talking about a case here when you use the button once every few days).

I used to be irritated with cheap led bulbs that took almost a second to light up. And with a wall switch you are pretty sure whether you flipped it or not. With such button during those 3s you'd be wondering whether you should press it again or not (unless it beeps or something like that).


The word is "obsolescence." (I wouldn't be able to say it any any other language!)


Planned obsolescence = obsolescencia planeada in Spanish, designing purposely a product that won't last to get money through client's pockets. Examples with ink for printers was on courts.


Follow-up: This thread is getting a fair amount of heat, and let me foremost say that I love the button and think it'd work for the vast majority of people. Just as a child's nightlight, he pushes it probably 10 days a day (potty breaks, bad dreams, is it time to get up yet, etc). I'd also wager that my ARP-interception causes the board to consume more just the norm.


10x a day means it'll last about 4 months... do you really want to have to pay $20 every 4 months for this thing?


Certainly not. I'll keep using the $5 counterpart and intercepting the packets in an inglorious-but-it-works way.


Is desoldering an option?


It's tricky, metal tabs are soldered right to the battery terminals. It's a lithium battery so you don't want to heat it too much so desoldering will be annoying and potentially dangerous. What you can do instead is cut both tabs to remove the battery then solder wires to the tabs on the board and connect a proper battery holder. Might need to move the battery outside it since the holder + battery won't fit.


For folks who use words like "desolder" it's not tricky at all.

This (and the Dash) come in a glued shell with a 1.5v Energizer Li AAA solder-welded to the back. Getting inside without completely destroying the curb-appeal takes a hex bit, some scraping, and a little patience.

Once you get to the board, the battery is easily replaced with a LiPo. The MCU is 3.3v, but Amazon Prime has you covered on cheap LDO/buck converters (like, "a buck" converters).


Agreed. It should at least reorder itself when battery runs low (and copy it's configuration over so I don't have to redo it)


I love my particle. I'm even using it in production now for measuring remote process levels (ultrasonic level sensors, flow meters). I'll probably have 100-200 in the field by the end of the year.


You can replace the battery with a rechargable LiPo using a $2 security driver, spudger and a little elbow grease.




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