Hi. My name is Vin and I'm an addict. I can't stop buying electronic junk. I know it's only filling up bins in my shop and taking money I could be pouring into more productive hobbies, like drinking and shooting guns. But what if the completion of some future project, some really crucial bit of hijinks, hinges entirely on my having a switch designed to discharge massive capacitors? Then what, huh?
Am I supposed to just assume my local Radio Shack will have my back? Not likely.
I was doing better, I really was, and then I visited the DeAnza flea market in Cupertino last year, and it all fell apart again. I don't know, maybe I'm beyond help. Check the photo gallery for some electronics-nerd eye candy, the detritus of my demon.
Deal with wire-wrap every day. We have numerous CAMAC (Computer Automated Measurement And Control) based ADC Controllers where the main board is wire wrapped, connecting 126 IC's, (3) jumper blacks and (1) 8 position DIP switch, all in sockets. Up to 4 levels of wraps. 99.9% of the wires are red. Power (+5V) and ground pins are soldered to the board. All other connections are via wire-wrap.
The ADC system is capable of recording charges up to 400pC at 12 or 15-bit resolution across up to 552 channels in a single CAMAC crate.
@mbehnkeil Great pictures. What is the vintage of those machines? When you say deal with, do you mean use the machines, or have to debug connections?
The 2280's are early- to mid-80's vintage. We had physics experiments that utilized 10's of thousands of ADC channels.
Luckily, all of the chips are standard off-the-shelf 74 series logic.
Yes, we do dug the units when needed and also do modifications to the wire-wrap to accomplish additional functions. Typical mod on 1 controller can take up to 3 days to complete, as each wire that is removed or added needs to be documented. After the mods are added or deleted, the controllers are retested to assure that they are operating correctly. Sometimes the routing of 1 wire can cause problems is the new route is too long as compared to the original wire, as the system is quite dependent on timing.
To give a better idea of the size of the board, its approx. 6" * 6" square.
@mbehnkeil Epic. It sounds like you have a lot of fun at work.
Around 1970, my father built his 5 year old son an electronic geeks toy farm in a suitcase. It had neon lights in various modes such as chase and flash; buzzers, timers, rotary dialer; shortwave radio; Morse code tapper and loads of batteries. I spent time breaking and "fixing" it trying to understand how electronics work.
In the garage, Dad had boxs upon boxs of vacuum tubes, bezel lamps, variacs, resistors, diodes and just a lot of neat shit. I would develop this curiosity to see bread and IC boards with diagram marks without circuits - I desperately wanted to know what else the device could do if it just had those parts! I felt cheated.
Although I didn't develop my father's electronic skills for developing things such as the pulseox, LED and millimeter wave guides - it instilled a proud geek heritage that set me forth on computers and networking, starting with the Apple ][+.
If you're in a flea market, you may be the only one to save that last gadget. Buy it!
ANDY - Salt Lake, UT