Subscribers receive the new HackerBox shipped at the end of each month for the discounted 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 for the new 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.
HackerBoxes delivered as part of a subscription are handled in enormous automated monthly batches. The U.S. Postal Service provides a specially-arranged 2-ton box truck to transport the completed batch shipments. Economies of scale afford considerable savings for these batch productions. In contrast, when individual HackerBoxes are ordered specifically by number, traditional pick and pack economies come into play. Please consider the highly-automated, bulk handling for subscription processing prior to requesting any type of manual intervention for an individual subscription. Individual purchases require individual handling, while subscriptions are batch processed and go with the flow at a significant discount.
Each month, a new HackerBox is introduced and immediately ships to subscribers. Several hundred additional units of that monthly box are also produced for sale as past boxes. Past boxes are available for individual purchase while supplies last. Individual, one-time box purchases are available to subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Each batch of numbered monthly HackerBoxes is only manufactured one time, so once a past box is shown as "sold out" it is gone forever. Yes, really.
HackerBoxes delivered as part of a subscription are automatically-allocated surprise boxes. There is no mechanism for obtaining specific deliveries as part of a subscription. Please also see the question about why HackerBoxes are discounted for subscribers.
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.
HackerBoxes deliver interesting and exciting 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.
The central ethos of the hacker culture embraces any intellectual challenge to creatively overcoming limitations of systems to achieve novel and clever outcomes. The act of engaging in activities (such as hardware hacking, programming, or making) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed "hacking". The defining characteristic of a hacker is not the activities performed themselves, but the manner in which they are done and whether they are exciting, enlightening, or meaningful.
Because there is an online community component to the HackerBoxes experience, we expect that all members comply with a basic code of conduct. Members will respect each other, our staff, and the mission. HackerBoxes, and its social media spaces, should be treated like a classroom learning environment. Any behavior that would be unacceptable for a college classroom or martial arts studio is equally unacceptable here. Certainly, any disrespect associated with culture, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or robotic augmentation will not be tolerated. Offending behavior may result in removal from the community and cancelation of membership. The HackerBoxes community seeks to welcome all who are called so long as they exhibit professionalism, respect, and an attitude that is helpful and positive.
HackerBoxes is a product of CrateCrew, LLC of Florida. CrateCrew was founded by former university faculty members who are passionate about hands-on education and enrichment. CrateCrew curates products for exploring creativity, science, and technology in the pursuit of happiness.
HackerBox, HackerBoxes, the Skull Logos associated therewith, and Hack Life are Trademarks of CrateCrew, 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. You’d better plan on messing some things up. We all do it. The more components that 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.
We certainly hope you like your HackerBoxes. Of course, anyone is going to like some months more than other months according to their personal tastes. This should be quite an obviously aspect of receiving a surprise box. If such uncertainty is likely to cause you consternation, then the surprise box model is probably not for you. Instead, past (know) boxes are also available for purchase. We are pleased to offer both models to suit your needs.
We recommend that you review the contents and box guides from several past months before starting a subscription. This should reduce the likelihood that you are disappointed. If you are, however, you are always free to unsubscribe at any time right through this website - no questions asked - no need to take to the streets in protest. HackerBoxes is an educational offering, not a tricky gym membership. If you are unhappy for any reason, you can cancel any time.
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.
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.
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.
Definitely! There are many international HackerBox subscribers all around the world. You can use a forwarding service to purchase items from HackerBoxes and other US vendors. USgoBuy and TransExpress are some example forwarding services to consider and a Google search should provide several others. Such companies have a lot of expertise in export and international shipping. They have negotiated excellent rates on international postage.
When you sign up with the forwarding service, they will provide a US address to use when setting up your HackerBoxes subscription. Shipping of subscription boxes from HackerBoxes to the forwarding service is covered by our standard free domestic shipping. Please understand that HackerBoxes is not party to your arrangement with any forwarding services, including those listed above. We generally cannot address any details associated with whichever forwarding service you select.