Sunday, August 04


Daily News Stuff 4 August 2019

It Was Still Behind The Painting Edition

Tech News

Retrocomputing Journal

Had lunch with my brother today (found a very nice and reasonably priced local Thai restaurant with gluten free dishes), picked up my developer kit for the A750, and took a tour of his new workshop / office, which I think I did visit briefly once before but had forgotten.  (I'd dropped by his previous space plenty of times.)

He showed me his test equipment and current customer projects and tools and bins of parts. 

And he has a pick-and-place machine.

That's the device PCB assemblers use to assemble PCBs.

It's second hand and only a 25-reel baby unit with minimal intelligence, but it's a few minutes drive from my house rather than being in China.  And it should do fine for assembling a small pre-production run of A750 boards.

I'll still need to outsource getting the boards printed - no-one sane does that by hand anymore - but that's relatively cheap and straightforward.

Of course, first I have to do something useful with the developer board - get some code running and see what happens when I hack the LCD control registers.  The results of that experiment will determine whether I need an FPGA to make the whole thing work.  If I can just do it in software everything becomes cheaper, easier, and more reliable.  I added the idea of a separate monochrome console port to the project precisely because any mistake on the FPGA would mean losing your video output.

But step one is the same as always: Use a 480MHz superscalar RISC processor to make an LED blink.

Speaking of picking and placing, there is an open-source pick-and-place-machine project.

"So apparently this is a ninety-seven step assembly process, and I'm up to step...  Three."

Video of the Day

Episode #1081: How to Kill a Computer.

Actually this method doesn't work very well.  Stick with the tried-and-true approach of teleporting space junk directly into the main memory core.

Disclaimer: I want one, but I don't want to do all that assembly.  I think there's a gap in the market for a pick and place assembly machine that assembles pick and place machines.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:33 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 589 words, total size 5 kb.

1 "ooflets."  I like that.  I hope it was a serendipitous typo.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, August 05 2019 02:43 AM (Iwkd4)

2 Apropos of nothing, a $50 hot air rework station and a $10 tube of solder paste were the best buys I made as a PCB design hobbyist. I'm okay with a soldering iron, but I can't imagine trying to do an 0805 or 0603 resistor with one.

Posted by: Jay at Monday, August 05 2019 03:56 AM (vuQH5)

3 Rick - hate to admit it, but "ooflets" isn't mine.  Saw that on the Twitters.

Jay - yeah, the tools I have are really beginner-level stuff and more than 20 years old.  I need to spend a couple of hundred bucks on Amazon and update things.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, August 05 2019 11:33 AM (PiXy!)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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