Each HackerBox delivers different fun gear for exploring and learning electronics and computer technology. HackerBox Hackers are electronics hobbyists, makers, hackers, and computer enthusiasts. We are the dreamers of dreams. We connect through social media to create a community of experience, support, and new ideas. We can't wait to see what you do with your HackerBoxes.
All active subscribers receive a new HackerBox every month for the subscription price of $44 per month. The subscription concept works much like a traditional magazine subscription. All active HackerBox subscriptions are automatically renewed on the first of each month. That renewal creates an "order" that gets queued up for the big batch shipment later that month.
The contents of each monthly HackerBox is a surprise. Receiving each HackerBox is an opportunity to discover new items that have been curated for the entire membership to experience together. We all benefit as a group from buying/negotiating power and we leverage our combined efforts in sharing resources, solutions, and new ideas.
While the exact contents of each monthly HackerBox is a surprise, you can browse prior boxes and their online box guides for a feeling of what to expect. As you can see, a lot of hard work goes into planning, designing, and sourcing the contents for each HackerBox to make it as fun and as challenging as possible. There are some great things planned for future HackerBoxes.
HackerBox Workshops are larger, themed boxes available for one-time purchase. Workshops are separate from the monthly subscription service and they are available to monthly subscribers and non-subscribers alike.
Yes and No. While a new HackerBox is introduced for subscribers each month, remaining past HackerBoxes are available while supplies last. Past HackerBoxes are individual (one-time) purchases available to subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Each batch of numbered monthly HackerBoxes is only manufactured one time, so if it shows as "sold out" it is gone forever. Yes, really.
HackerBoxes delivered as part of a subscription are automatically-allocated surprise boxes. There is absolutely no mechanism for obtaining specific deliveries as part of a subscription. Please read the next question for additional clarity on this topic.
HackerBoxes delivered as part of a subscription are handled in enormous automated batches. Economies of scale afford considerable savings. When individual past HackerBoxes are ordered specifically by number, traditional pick and pack economies come into play. Please consider the highly-automated subscription processes prior to requesting any type of manual intervention for your subscription. Individual purchases require individual handling. Subscriptions are batch processed and go with the flow.
HackerBoxes is a project of APPLIED SCIENCE VENTURES, LLC of Florida. ASV was founded by former university faculty members who are passionate about hands-on education and enrichment. ASV curates products for exploring creativity, science, and technology in the pursuit of happiness.
HackerBox, HackerBoxes, and the Skull Logos associated therewith are Trademarks of APPLIED SCIENCE VENTURES, LLC of Florida.
HackerBoxes technical staff will always try to answer any technical question submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is vital to provide as much context and detail as possible when requesting technical support. It is also helpful to post questions to the online forums where other members often share their discoveries and everyone can benefit from the discussion. Since direct, hands-on assistance is often quite beneficial, keep in mind that there is likely a wealth of electronics experience to tap right in your own community at hackerspaces, maker groups, and amateur radio clubs all around the world.
While HackerBoxes are generally intended for adult hobbyists, accessibility is far more about skill and grit than it is about age. Many younger hobbyists have enjoyed HackerBoxes while working with an adult. The required skill level may be ascertained by browsing the box guides from past boxes. If the numbered monthly HackerBoxes seem a bit overwhelming, take a look at the HackerBoxes Starter Workshop which is a little more beginner-friendly and includes most of the basic tools for getting started in the exciting hobby of DIY electronics. Generally HackerBoxes require skills like working with code, loading code into microcontrollers (such as Arduinos), reading simple schematic diagrams, and doing some basic soldering. Accordingly, these are the skills addressed in the HackerBoxes Starter Workshop.
Honestly, you don’t need much. A computer (not just a tablet), wire cutters, small screwdrivers, and a set of basic soldering tools will cover most HackerBox projects. A multimeter and a lighted magnifier might be useful as well. It would be best to take a look at the contents of the HackerBoxes Starter Workshop which includes most of the basic tools for getting started in the exciting hobby of DIY electronics.
The goal is progress, not perfection. Consider a hypothetical friend who is totally new to baking. You explain to them how to prepare a cake from a boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting. You should expect that they might burn, collapse, or mangle a few cakes before one comes out looking half right. Surely their growing pains are natural and not due to any failing of your guidance or the cake mix. Now consider that electronics projects are generally far more complicated than baking a cake. Rest assured that the more projects you burn up, short out, or otherwise mutilate, the more you are learning. The path to expertise in electronics is beset with smoking heaps of gear and dreadful tangles of spaghetti code and cables. If such frustrations might tempt you to take up hateful words against, or place blame upon, your humble kit vendor, perhaps a less demanding hobby should be on your horizon.
All member subscriptions are renewed and billed on the first day of each month. Renewal causes an "order" to be queued into the big batch that will be shipped at the end of that month. As part of the big batch, all members are shipped the same box on the same day.
Your subscription management portal includes a "Renewal Schedule" that lists all future billing events.
A subscription is billed for its first shipment immediately upon creation of the subscription.
If that is before the 28th of the month (the monthly cutoff date), the first shipment is made that month. If the subscription is created after the monthly cutoff, then the first shipment will be part of the next big batch. That means at the end of the next month.
When the first shipment is made in the initial month, the first auto-renewal occurs on the first of the next month to be ready for the big batch shipment at the end of that second month.
When the first shipment is not made in the initial month, the first auto-renewal does not occur on the first of the next month because the first shipment would not have been made yet. Instead, the first auto-renewal processes an entire month later.
Example 1: Subscription starts on January 25th: First box ships at the end of January and first renewal is charged on February 1 to be ready for the next big batch shipping at the end of February.
Example 2: Subscription starts on January 29th: First box will not ship until the next big batch shipment at the end of February. The first auto-renewal will not occur on February 1 because the first box has not been shipped yet. The first box will not be shipped until the end of February. Then, the first auto-renewal will occur on March 1 to be ready the next big batch shipment at the end of March.
This process is completely automatic and does not afford or require any manual intervention. By the second month, your subscription will sync up with all of the others and the "renew on the first of the month, ship at the end of month" cycle will make perfect sense. If timing of the billing cycle seems confusing in your first month, we appreciate your patience and understanding while your subscription synchronizes up with all of the others.
Subscriptions are for surprise boxes and they go with the flow. If you have strong expectations about which boxes you receive and when you will get them, we suggest that you purchase specific past boxes by number.
First, it is super important to understand that the box numbers do not really mean anything beyond identification. No "sequence" should be inferred. When you sign up, you will get a box as soon as possible. That will be within a month, but usually quicker. It might not be until your second box that you are shipping in the monthly "big batch" with everyone else. Starting in that second month, the box number you get is a function of the monthly batch and has nothing to do with which box number you were sent "ASAP" when you first signed up. There may be a skip between the numbers of the first and second boxes you receive. That is perfectly normal, in certain cases, depending upon timing. Remember that it is just for the first month to get your subscription into sync.
Depending upon the timing of your initial subscription and whether or not your first box goes out immediately or waits until the next month, it can take a whole month for your new subscription to sync up to all of the other subscriptions. Clearly, this requires spreading the first two orders apart (the box numbers will skip) or compressing them together. This doesn't happen very often, but there is nothing "wrong" when it does. It is just a synchronization process and will only impact the first month of a new subscription. Please remember that subscriptions are for
surprise boxes and they go with the flow. If you have strong
expectations about which boxes you receive and when you will get them, we
suggest that you purchase specific past boxes by number.
Please trust that this synchronization process is completely automatic. As such, it does not afford or require any
manual intervention. By the second month, your subscription will sync
up with all of the others. Then, and for every month after that, you will receive the exact same box number as everyone else at the end of each month.
The Renewal Schedule on your subscription management portal lists the renewal dates for upcoming months. Each month shows a skip button for you to elect to skip that month.
Subscriptions can be canceled at any time. Please note that skipping or canceling can only impact future subscription renewals. Skipping or canceling does not undo or refund past renewals - even ones that have not yet shipped.
It is extremely safe. Charge processing for HackerBoxes is handled through Stripe. Stripe processes billions of dollars of payments every year for companies of all sizes around the world from startups to huge public corporations.
If your subscription has already renewed for the next month, you can cancel now and you will still receive that next box. Canceling only stops future renewals. Canceling does not undo or refund past renewals. Special requests to refund a renewal that has recently occurred must be submitted via email. Such requests will generally be accommodated without question as long as the request is made at least 72 hours before the associated box ships.
A new HackerBox is shipped to all established members around the end of each month. The subscription boxes are shipped out all at once as one enormous bulk batch. Notification emails with tracking numbers are generated whenever a box ships.
If a subscription is started before the 28th of the month (the monthly cutoff date), the
first shipment is made that month. If the subscription is created after
the monthly cutoff, then the first shipment will be part of the next
big batch. That means at the end of the next month.
Please also see the question about "first billing" and "first renewal" under the BILLING heading above.
Generally, the first box of a new (or reactivated) subscription will be the most recent, or current, HackerBox. Allocation of the first box to a new subscription is completely automated. There is no selection process for surprise subscription boxes. No manual intervention is required or possible. After the first month of a subscription, the shipped box will be from the bulk batch and will be the same box received by all other established subscribers that month.
In certain instances, there may be a skip between the number of the first box you receive and the number of the second box. This is a perfectly normal artifact of the process to synchronize new subscriptions up to the same billing and shipping cycle as all of the other subscriptions.
Definitely! There are many international HackerBox subscribers all around the world. We recommend using a forwarding service to purchase items from HackerBoxes and other US vendors. MyUS and USgoBuy are two forwarding services to consider. They get excellent rates on international postage. Sign up with the forwarding service and they will provide a US address for you to use for your HackerBoxes subscription. Shipping from HackerBoxes to the forwarding service is covered by HackerBoxes' free domestic shipping!