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What motivates development?
I started my HeaterMeter project back in the August, 2010 for the purposes of learning microcontrollers and creating a better device than anything else on the market, and for a lower cost. Since then I've spent a more than I would have if I had bought of a Stoker, BBQ Guru, and a Pitmaster, but I think I came at least pretty close to making an great controller with features some of the big guys don't even have.
Moreover, this project is my hobby. If there weren't any other users, I'd still work on it. I'd probably work on it less than I do now because getting feedback from other people gives me new ideas and keeps me excited about the project. I see a lot of other projects that take donations which is fine for them, but if I accepted donations I'd feel like this the project was more of an obligation than something I do for fun.
That's very noble but I still want to donate
If you want to donate to the project, then post on then post on the forums with new ideas for software features, hardware tweaks, or anything else you think could help make the project better. Also, you may note that all of the Amazon links in the wiki have referral codes in them. I get a few cents for every HeaterMeter built with parts purchased from Amazon, which takes a bite out of hardware prototyping costs.
Not just HeaterMeter parts, but anything you purchase from Amazon after following a link puts a couple percent in my pocket at no extra cost to you. If you're shopping there, and want to send a little cash my way, just click the link shop like normal, and put me on my way to becoming a millionairre Superman 3 style.