Hackaday Links: June 11, 2017

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PCB art is getting better and better every year. This year, though, is knocking it out of the park. In March, [Andrew Sowa] turned me into money. More recently, [Trammell Hudson] has explored the layers of OSH Park soldermask and silk to create a masterpiece. Now, we’re moving up to full-blown art. [Blake Ramsdell] worked with OSH Park to create a full panel of art in gold, fiberglass, soldermask, and silkscreen. It’s 22×16 inches, and it’s fantastic.

There’s an independent Hackaday meetup going down in Hong Kong this week. The subject of the meetup will be vacuum systems for electron beam melting, mass spectrometry, and building Nixie tubes.

Why does my circuit still work when I remove some caps? This question was posed to the EEVBlog forums, with a picture attached of  the worst mess of wires I’ve ever seen. This is — supposedly — not a joke, and a complete, functional CPU built out of 74HC series logic on thirty or so solderless breadboards. A weird bonus of access to the tip line at Hackaday means everyone here becomes experts in the field of absurdly constructed electronics. Want to see the worst PCB ever? We’ve seen it. This is, without question, the most rats nest electronic project anyone has ever built.

[Adam West] died this weekend at the age of 88. [West] is perhaps best known for his performance in Lookwell as a crime-solving, washed-up TV action hero. He is survived by his wife, Marcelle, and six children.

There’s a new documentary on [Nolan Bushnell] and the early days of Atari. Documentarian [Bruno Grampa] will be showing his latest, Easy to Learn, Hard to Master at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on June 23rd. It’s narrated by [Bil Herd], so we’re a bit prejudiced, but check out the trailer.

29 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 11, 2017

      1. I LOL’d.

        Although I am aware of the older tech being a bit more fussy about having a bypass capacitor (Can also be seen as a kind of localized reservoir)…

        I find when changing electrolytic capacitors cor solid state, a minimum of a quarter of the original value is usually required for stability, that is known to me from experience in fixing overheated dusty old PCs….

        Yes, Since I started work on them: there are now a few Pentium 3 E-POS PCs out there fully kitted with solid-state capacitors.

          1. Referring to those shiny skin-less enamel-coated capacitors in modern (Usually mid/high-end gaming) mainboards whose “electrolyte” is some black waxy stuff that powders easily when unwrapped, takes a lot of heat without melting/deforming, doesn’t dry-out because they’re already made dry, can take quite some abuse and seems to usually only (I’ve seen some other rarer ones) be available in the following:

            850uF and 1200uF 2.5v
            560uF 6.3v
            270uF and 10uF 16v
            47uF 25v

            I have replaced blown 16v 3300uF capacitors on a voltage rail supplying 0.9v to 1.35 (Core2Quad Northbridge VCC) with 1200uF 2.5v capacitors that ran perfectly fine.

            After ESR testing of a random blown capacitor I found the equivalent capacitance (uF) to be equivalent to less than 10% of the original value… sometimes open circuit, others have known to go short when normal operating voltage is supplied: even taking out the VRM of a P4 system in the HP RP5000 (Common fault amongst gold-label firework-PSUs).

          2. I had to look it up to.

            They are simply solid electrolyte capacitors

            There are three different types:

            1) Polymer tantalum electrolytic capacitor (Polymer Ta-e-cap)
            2) Polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitor (Polymer Al-e-cap)
            3) Hybrid polymer capacitor (Hybrid polymer Al-e-cap)

  1. “This question was posed to the EEVBlog forums, with a picture attached of the worst mess of wires I’ve ever seen. This is — supposedly — not a joke, and a complete, functional CPU built out of 74HC series logic on thirty or so solderless breadboards.”

    One of our group projects, back in the day. Tried to be neat, but still…

      1. As a child of the 80s I have fond memories of the Adam West era Batman which was (still) in reruns when I was a kid… The level of campiness and predictable endings and the whole ‘gee whiz’ aspect were a marvelous (if temporary) salve for anxiety over mutual assured destruction. I imagine that was a non-trivial part of its appeal to kids of the 60s and 70s as well…

  2. We all know what Adam West was best know for, and I suspect he would have laughed/did laugh at the joke.
    Show is on MeTV all the time. Top ten best old show.

    Another great one, gone.

  3. “This is, without question, the most rats nest electronic project anyone has ever built.”
    And Benchhoff is, whithout question, the worst author of HaD (probably the boss…).
    “A weird bonus of access to the tip line at Hackaday means everyone here becomes experts in the field of absurdly constructed electronics.” typically sounds a lot like the caustic comments you are usually prone to decry vehemently as a moronic outrage…

    Surprising stance reversal, since a lot of similar, even electronically dubious, breadboard circuits have been regularly praised here (a “8bit CPU made from 74HC logic” like this one was usually considered like some kind of DIY achievment, and certainly “hackish” enough) and your comparison with the completely wrong and stupid (not supposedly a joke of a) PCB commited by advanced Electronic Engineering students reported last week is, whithout question, inappropriate.

    Even with its flaws, this hobbyist’s “mess of wire” IS working well at 5MHz, and comments on EEVBlog are more forgiving and interesting than your dismissive and peremptory “stoning”, not without questionning WHY decoupling isn’t absolutely needed in this case, but recommended anyway.

    1. Two thoughts:
      1) That absolutely is the rats-nestiest project I’ve ever seen. Take that as a statement about the project or about me, but it’s a fact.
      2) I think you misunderstood the subtext of his post. In some, perhaps engineerier, circles, Brian’s comments could be read as negative. But I bet you a million imaginary dollars that Brian was saying “wow” internally as he wrote that post.
      Bonus third thought:
      I think you also misinterpreted his line about the tip line. What he meant was that in any other world, he would have missed this gem. Because he reads the mail our (fantastic) tipsters send in, he got to see this piece of frankly “absurd” but amazing work. What you think is a “surprising stance reversal” isn’t. If there’s anything I know about Brian, it’s that he loves hacky minimalistic computers, with extra points for breadboarding and crazy wires.

      1. So i missed the (convoluted) irony entirely then ? I must confess that I am, without question, the worst HaD reader, and was probably blinded by negative bias accumulated against the poor Brian who tries to improve, thank you for letting me see his true heart. I’m so grateful that you brought light and showed the path to your lost sheep once again, Pastor Elliot.

        Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and give us this day our daily hack :)

  4. That rat’s nest works! I would like to meet the artist. I would guess he has some amazing thought and ideas. Anybody who can keep up with that wiring must be amazing. (not a joke)

  5. The whole “crime-solving” thing seems wrong. Crimes are committed. Mysteries are solved. Not? Could this have been enbiggened by Homer Simpson’s crime-SOLVING boat?

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