I recently purchased a second Raspberry Pi to use while my original one is confined to a small box taking pictures. And while I was at it I purchased a Gertboard. This board allows for interacting with physical items such as motors, buttons, and lights. And by using this separate board it protects the Raspberry pi. It is possible to interface directly with the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi, but if the wrong voltage is applied it is possible to fry the Pi. So the Gertboard offers a solution by protecting the Raspberry Pi.
While I was looking for the Gertboard and the Raspberry Pi I found a precision knife and some solder (the Gertboard comes as bare board and soldering is required to build the board) and these items were only a few dollars. So I added them onto the order. When I checked out it only showed me the Merchandise total (because the items were Back Ordered) so I clicked Submit. The next day I get charged over $10 for one of the $3 pieces and they had shipped it separately from the other pieces. And another item that i ordered was a Direct Ship from the UK meaning that it had a $20 shipping charge. I would think that their website would ask before charging over twice, or in the second case four times the amount for shipping as the original product. However this is not the case, and there are multiple bad reviews online saying the same thing. After getting the run around – I contacted chat, who told me to call, who told me to email – I finally got it straightened out and we got the problem resolved. Newark was nice enough to reverse the shipping charges on the small items, and the large items are still in Back Order status.
So this is a word of caution before purchasing from Newark/Element14. I am NOT saying to not order there, I am saying to be cautious about the shipping charges.
My Gertboard is not supposed to ship until October 17th. If anyone has one I would love to hear your thoughts on it!