Design Con 2015
Breaking News
Comments
Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
LarryM99
User Rank
CEO
New world for hobbyists
LarryM99   7/1/2013 1:12:15 PM
NO RATINGS
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!

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New world for hobbyists
Max The Magnificent   7/1/2013 1:57:31 PM
NO RATINGS
@LarryM99: ...prototyping used to be done with a soldering iron...

If you were lucky! (grin) Did you ever work with wire-wrap? I remember working on humongous wire-wrap prototypes ... if you messed up a connection it could take ages to track it down.

I agre ethat the sort of things you can do today with "cheap-and-cheerful" off-the-shelf kits is incredible -- it's an exciting time, and getting more exciting by the day :-)

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Why a wrap?
betajet   7/2/2013 2:48:04 PM
NO RATINGS
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 The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why a wrap?
Max The Magnificent   7/2/2013 3:43:36 PM
NO RATINGS
@Betajet: I don't know why you're down on wire-wrap.  It was a great technology...

I was simply teasing it in an affectionate way -- I spent countless hours creating (and debugging) wire-wrap prototypes in the 1980s and I had a lot o ffun doing so :-)

Garcia-Lasheras
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New world for hobbyists
Garcia-Lasheras   7/3/2013 6:56:09 AM
NO RATINGS
@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!!

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New world for hobbyists
Max The Magnificent   7/3/2013 8:01:43 AM
NO RATINGS
@Garcia: I remember that too... because I did it not so long ago!!

Looking back, I think I learned more creating functional test programs for PCBs than doing anything else in my career.

JayD030
User Rank
Rookie
Re: New world for hobbyists
JayD030   7/3/2013 1:04:59 PM
NO RATINGS
The Cray supercomputer backplanes were wire wrapped. It would take them weeks to do a complete one.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New world for hobbyists
Max The Magnificent   7/3/2013 1:29:52 PM
NO RATINGS
@feanorgem: The Cray supercomputer backplanes were wire wrapped.

Around what timeframe are we talking here, and what was the maximum clock frequency they would be able to support using thsi technology?

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: New world for hobbyists
betajet   7/3/2013 3:36:44 PM
NO RATINGS
The Cray-I was announced in 1975.

I don't think Cray-1 backplanes were exactly wire-wrapped, but all connections between boards were individual twisted pairs driven by differential ECL with proper termination to avoid reflections.  Cray-1 clock frequency was 80 MHz, so it had a 12.5 ns clock period.  The twisted pairs had precision lengths to provide the correct delay.  If the line was long enough, the signal would go into the next clock cycle and the twisted pair acted like a pipeline register.  Wire makes a great delay line, because it doesn't vary much with temperature or manufacturing process.

Here's the Wikipedia article on Cray-1 with pretty pictures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1

I've used twisted pair wire-wrap for 20 MHz clocks, and I believe you can go up to about 100 MHz with differential ECL as long as your signal and ground pins (or differential pins) are close enough.

JayD030
User Rank
Rookie
Re: New world for hobbyists
JayD030   7/4/2013 11:34:00 AM
NO RATINGS
That was the XMP and YMP I think, the ones that looked like a big C that is extruded vertically. They reason they were C shaped and used wirewrap was so that the backplane interconnects could be as short as possible. Not to be discriminatory but the job was usually filled by a smaller sized woman as they could fit in the confined space easier and had to pay attention to not miswrap a connection. I remember a story about one woman having a million wraps with no mistakes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray_X-MP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray_Y-MP

Page 1 / 2   >   >>


Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
<b><a href=Betajet">

The Circle – The Future's Imperfect in the Present Tense
Betajet
5 comments
The Circle, a satirical, dystopian novel published in 2013 by San Francisco-based writer Dave Eggers, is about a large, very powerful technology company that combines aspects of Google, ...

Max Maxfield

Recommended Reads From the Engineer's Bookshelf
Max Maxfield
27 comments
I'm not sure if I read more than most folks or not, but I do I know that I spend quite a lot of time reading. I hate to be idle, so I always have a book or two somewhere about my person -- ...

Martin Rowe

Make This Engineering Museum a Reality
Martin Rowe
Post a comment
Vincent Valentine is a man on a mission. He wants to make the first house to ever have a telephone into a telephone museum. Without help, it may not happen.

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
16 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...