R.I.P. for D.I.Y.

From: ajp166 <ajp166_at_bellatlantic.net>
Date: Sun Apr 28 12:46:54 2002

From: Jos Dreesen <jos.mar_at_bluewin.ch>
>Industrial prototyping, which is what you do, is NOT hobbyist
>I still stand by my opinion that handling the modern devices is beyond

Ok, so you say. I just got done building two 50mhz frequency counters
using SMT parts. The board is 1.8x2.1 inches and the display is 4 digit
module with .375" 7 segment leds. The assembly includes 6 transistors
(SOT) and a 74HC4017 (SMT) plus the Amtel (20pin dip) micro and
associated chip resistors, caps and diodes. The resistors were the
large 1206 (.11x.06") parts. There were a total of 5 through hole parts
if you count the crystal and display. With a low power magnifier,
weller 3/64" tip, .022 silver bearing solder, and a pair of #3 tweezers
it went
together quite fast.

The last time I built an equivelent frequency counter it was 4 74192,
4x7447, 4x man3a leds, 2x74390, 2x 7400 plus all the caps, resistors and
transistors and if didn't fit on a 2x2" board or only draw 60mA! At that
(1984) that cost me nearly 40$ in chips alone and I had to make the

If anything, for those willing to adapt I'd say there are possibilities
now that never were. Lets face it, back in say '84 the thought of using
micro for a trivial task was sorta over the top, they weren't all that
or all that flexible. Now with basic stamps, PICs, amtel and the like a
good selection of flash rom parts at attractive prices and fast enough to
do serious tasks or cheap enough to do dumb thing like PC keyboard to
serial or parallel ascii.

One of the things going on in the ham (amateur radio) community is
packing PICs, DDS and a simple transceiver in an altoids tin

Oh and people still build boat anchors too.

Received on Sun Apr 28 2002 - 12:46:54 BST

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