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BillWM
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
BillWM   7/21/2016 6:04:51 AM
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Often a kludge takes the day ---

 

I had to fold my back pain device start up when a company did a non medical grade device and then also to put the nail in the coffin ShaQ started pitching a cheapo TENS unit that was not nearly as good as the Omron medical grade units

Kevin Neilson
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
Kevin Neilson   7/20/2016 10:49:57 PM
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Hand-assembling C code!  That's hard work.  I hope you at least had an assembler.

Of course Medtronic makes a lot of sophisticate equipment.  I just meant that the big break for the company was more like serendipity than a superlative feat of technical prowess.  Like when Bill Gates bought a crude CPM clone for fifty grand and renamed it MS-DOS.  Maybe Microsoft made more advanced products later, but what got them started was a kludge and good timing.

BillWM
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
BillWM   7/20/2016 9:41:01 PM
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No -- The Popular Electronics Schematic lead to a small product that helped many people with damaged hearts move around outside the hospital -- a big advance at the time but a small step in the 50+ years to 100B+  It took maybe a 15man company to maybe a 150 man company.

The next big step was the implantible pacemaker, and now also the implantible defibrilator.

These grew over time and through verticle intigration(making it's own IC's) and other key components that a regular off the shelf semiconductor just cant do (autoclave to 260C under power to kill germs, and survive proton beam for cancer treatment in heart patients) -- In one early pacemaker the pacing pulse was so strong it would reset the MCU

Medicine Ball is the heaviest ball in sports

Medicine is the most painfull profession to be in sometimes

I have a good friend who is a nurse - everytime she would lose a patient, or end a relationship due to her job she would be a nervous wreck on the floor -- she would call me over and I would help get her in bed and just hold her and cry with her -- she finally had to take a work at home job as a case manager because I lost my job and had to move to another city and could no longer help.

I have another good friend who was a medevac nurse -- Everytime a piece of Avionics on the helicopter would konk out and give everyone on board a good scare she would ping me on facebook, and I would try and explain the best I could.

 

I myself walked into a Medevac Radio upgrade program as a relatively inexperienced engineer.  It was for helicopters and light fixed wing aircraft.  I recall the C compiler in 1990 was so bad it took 7x more memory than ASSY - and the code was not done and the unit was out of memory.  So Inorder to stop the nonstop phone calls from pilots and nurses I put a $4K computer on my USAA credit card and took code home every night -- after letting the kids play a little educational game on the computer and getting them off to bed, I would convert C to ASSY till 2 AM and then bring it back in to work at 6AM to test and integrate during the day -- It took about 8 months to get everything but the scan function to fit -- at that point it was time for a new controller board with more memory for a new radio -- got that mostly working after another 2 years of blood, sweat, and tears litterally - Once it all was done the Medevac copters in the US would medevac over 250K patients annually.

 

My kids great grandfather had an early microprocessor based medtronic pacemaker with a RF loop and modem to allow a remote check --- It was horribly suceptible to EMI and he died when sleeping on the sofa when a truck with an illiegal CB Linear of about 500W transmitted about 15' away --- a suit followed and his widow became wealthy and I had a funeral to take 2 six month olds to in 1000 miles away in a small pickup  -- Medtronic learned(A distant relative was a VP at the IC division in the 80;s)

 

It is a whole lot more than a popular electronics schematic -- it is 50 years of blood sweat and tears and in mineapolis a little frostbite thrown in

 

BTW when I worked in the Geo-Physical Industry I designed a Geophone Tester (ultra-low-frequency-accellerometer) from a Popular Electronics Sub Woofer Design and Kit(I was straight out of high school and dated an aboriginal(black australian)girl who lived in a broken down double decker london bus next to the semi-trailer that was my lab)My boss was an old Okie Oil Man who survived the Tulsa race riots, and every time he saw me over at the bus getting breakfast or lunch and comming back he would turn all red and say "the next time you do that I'll fire you"

 

Kevin Neilson
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
Kevin Neilson   7/20/2016 8:22:40 PM
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But even back then, it didn't take a research lab to build an oscillator.  He got the schematic from Popular Electronics!  And built a $123B company from it!

BillWM
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
BillWM   7/20/2016 4:35:59 PM
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A 1957 Chevy had Drum Brakes, a 327V-8 that put out about 195hp, and all the wiring on it had cloth insulation!  -- It takes time and R&D to do advanced technology, and good infrastructure.   There was no internet, no fax, no touch tone, no 555's  -- transistor AM radios in cars.  TV's used Tubes and had 13 channels -- color was rare.   

 

In the early 1960's In the upper mid-west the airliners were propeller driven planes, most families only had one car, we took the bus and train on most trips -- steam engines had only been obsoleted for a few years

 

All medical records were paper, and Doctors were generally a person of last resort when it came to ones health.

bcarso
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re: 555 born 1971
bcarso   10/31/2014 1:55:24 PM
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I'm with you on the 555.  Although I have great respect for the late Hans Camenzind, I've preferred as you say to roll my own comparable functions out of CMOS and the occasional comparator.

 

Brad

cookiejar
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re: 555 born 1971
cookiejar   10/31/2014 11:49:38 AM
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Signetics introduced the 555 timer in 1971.  It was a bit of a power hog with major disturbances on the supply lines.  Even unijunction transistors gave more stable performance.

CMOS versions of  the 555 were a bit better, but I still preferred CMOS multivibrators and Schmitt trigger gates for low power applications.

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
prabhakar_deosthali   10/31/2014 11:42:32 AM
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Maybe ! But 555 cigarette packs may be available in abundance. That is why the first portable pacemake was made of the size of two ( 555?) cigarette packs ( Just joking!)

Majority of the inventions occur thorugh some accidental events such as the Blackout  ( Like the falling Apple for Newton?)

As they say , THE NEED IS THE MOTHER OF DISCOVERY.

DaveR1234
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
DaveR1234   10/31/2014 11:30:34 AM
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Hey Dude, 555s were in short supply in 1957.

Kevin Neilson
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re: Pacemaker was born of a blackout
Kevin Neilson   12/14/2012 6:09:24 AM
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Ha! The dude got rich off what seems to be a 555 timer! I think he got the schematic out of a Forrest Mims notebook. I like the extensive testing they did those days. The dude wires up a 555 in a metal box and the next day they hook it up to a girl in the hospital.



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