What do we use the donation funds for?

We are completely self-funded and rely on the not-so-deep pockets of the project founder.  The services we provide for this open source project are provided for no-cost to the community. We rely on donations to cover the expenses we incur providing these valuable services.  We have never been able to cover expenses since the founding of the organization and unfortunately giving stuff away free actually costs money.  🙁

Below are a few examples of where we have spent money on so far and some of our plans for future spending.

Electronics for Prototypes:  We purchase a lot of electronics for prototyping the various avionics we make available.  This includes single board computers, displays, connectors and so on.  We also build custom boards including raspberry pi hats, arduino sheilds, beaglebone capes and lots more.

Servers: We currently have non-dedicated space on shared virtual servers to host the MakerPlane.org website, forum and FTP server.  We will need to upgrade this to a dedicated host in the future.  This new host will also include the data repository for the MakerPlane files and software when these become available. 

Bandwidth: We have a 400kbit/sec connection out to the Internet from Siteground on the shared host.  This bandwidth allows us to support the existing infrastructure and we will look at upgrading this as traffic grows.

Databases: We have implemented an Amazon Cloud Services server that is hosting a Redmine database for our open source repository.  We hope to expand this in the future to incorporate other tools and services for our community.  As we grow, the cost will increase, so it will be very cool if we can cover these costs.  Right now this is a few hundred dollars a year.  Seems that lots of folks like downloading the plans, which is great.

AirVenture:  We are fortunate enough to get a free booth at AirVenture on occasion to showcase our innovations.  It costs us a lot of money though to attend.  Including a 2 day drive there from Canada plus accommodation.