@Max: "I remember working on humongous wire-wrap prototypes ... if you messed up a connection it could take ages to track it down."
I remember that too... because I did it not so long ago!!
About three years ago, when I was working in the R&D department of an Electronic Manufacture Service provider, we used wire wrapping for building the first concept prototypes by attaching breadboards to standard development kits.
But even more interesting, the BOD --Bed Of Nails-- testers were completely customized using wire wrapping... and when systematic failure was detected, evaluating the hundreds of connections of the whole test board was a real headache!!
Those SchmartBoards look pretty nice. Now, if I can just find a compatible wire-wrap socket...
I don't know why you're down on wire-wrap. It was a great technology, allowing easy changes to prototypes. As long as you're careful, you can be quite accurate, though you should buzz out the board after wiring to make sure. If you're making a big board, you need a computer-generated netlist and a fully-automated or semi-automated WW machine.
Max, prototyping used to be done with a soldering iron, but these days it is much more likely to be done with a C/C++ compiler. That is one of the remarkable things about Arduino and the current generation of microcontroller and sensor technology. It is certainly more exciting these days for those of us on the firmware / software side of the fence when we can buy components for pocket change that can be plugged together Lego-style and start hacking code for it almost immediately!
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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