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Is anyone interested in a group purchase scheme ?

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  • Chris
    Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB s ? If there was enough demand I am sure that one of use could get a batch of boards made up. If you are
    Message 1 of 12 , May 12, 2008
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      Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
      If there was enough demand I am sure that one of use could get a batch
      of boards made up. If you are interested just reply to this message, or
      send me an email if you wish to remain anonymous, and if there is
      enough interest shown in the next couple of weeks we can get some more
      boards made.

      Chris
    • Ray Fenwick
      (Please excuse the double posting from Neonixie-L) Hi Chris I reckon I d be ok to make up the boards with decent instructions and the components there. I ve
      Message 2 of 12 , May 12, 2008
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        (Please excuse the double posting from Neonixie-L)

        Hi Chris

        I reckon I'd be ok to make up the boards with decent instructions and
        the
        components there. I've made a Nixie clock from a kit ( Laurence
        Wilkins'
        NixIIe, no less), but put it in a custom enclosure with a dekatron
        spinner
        and internal mains transformer rather than the wall-wart. (Note to
        self -
        upload a picture to the group...) :)

        The problem would come from my lack of knowledge (and therefore
        confidence) in obtaining the correct components, or having to work out
        how/where things go myself.

        Of course it is a great way to learn, but my budget doesn't allow it :(

        If a smartsocket's kit was available on eBay (for example) I'd
        certainly be
        buying some, but as it is I think I need to do a couple more builds
        before
        I tackle a "find all the bits yourself and work it out" project!

        Ray
        On 12 May 2008, at 22:33, Chris wrote:

        > Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
        > If there was enough demand I am sure that one of use could get a batch
        > of boards made up. If you are interested just reply to this message,
        > or
        > send me an email if you wish to remain anonymous, and if there is
        > enough interest shown in the next couple of weeks we can get some more
        > boards made.
        >
        > Chris
      • Brett Paulin
        Hi Chris, I d be interested, but after building my first 6 boards, I d prefer to make the next lot use surface mount transistor and resistors. I actually used
        Message 3 of 12 , May 12, 2008
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          Hi Chris,

          I'd be interested, but after building my first 6 boards, I'd prefer to make
          the next lot use surface mount transistor and resistors. I actually used SMD
          resistors in place of some of the through-holes on one of the boards as a
          test too see if they would handle the volts, and its running fine.

          I suppose that means a board re-design, tooling, panel costs etc, so if thats
          not a realistic option, I would probably take another 2 of the current design
          boards if that helps.

          brett


          On Tue, 13 May 2008 07:33:41 am Chris wrote:
          > Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
          > If there was enough demand I am sure that one of use could get a batch
          > of boards made up. If you are interested just reply to this message, or
          > send me an email if you wish to remain anonymous, and if there is
          > enough interest shown in the next couple of weeks we can get some more
          > boards made.
          >
          > Chris
        • Chris
          ... to make ... actually used SMD ... boards as a ... so if thats ... current design ... It has crossed my mind before to make an SMD version, but at the
          Message 4 of 12 , May 13, 2008
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            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Brett Paulin <yahoogroups@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Chris,
            >
            > I'd be interested, but after building my first 6 boards, I'd prefer
            to make
            > the next lot use surface mount transistor and resistors. I
            actually used SMD
            > resistors in place of some of the through-holes on one of the
            boards as a
            > test too see if they would handle the volts, and its running fine.
            >
            > I suppose that means a board re-design, tooling, panel costs etc,
            so if thats
            > not a realistic option, I would probably take another 2 of the
            current design
            > boards if that helps.
            >
            > brett
            >

            It has crossed my mind before to make an SMD version, but at the
            moment I work at producing things and selling them on at about cost
            price, so I am trying to serve everyone from one basket. An SMD board
            would be good, but then beginners and newcomers easily get daunted by
            the prospects of SMD, I did myself.

            We had better see what the demand is like first
          • Chris
            There are some instructions already in the files section Ray, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smartsockets/files/%2CB7971/ Although there are no pictures in this
            Message 5 of 12 , May 13, 2008
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              There are some instructions already in the files section Ray,
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smartsockets/files/%2CB7971/

              Although there are no pictures in this version. I did a more detailed
              assembly instruction set for the ZM1350. I could easily add to the
              B7971 instructions, but it's all just a question of getting the time
              to do it at the moment.


              Chris


              --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Ray Fenwick <ray@...> wrote:
              >
              > (Please excuse the double posting from Neonixie-L)
              >
              > Hi Chris
              >
              > I reckon I'd be ok to make up the boards with decent instructions
              and
              > the
              > components there. I've made a Nixie clock from a kit ( Laurence
              > Wilkins'
              > NixIIe, no less), but put it in a custom enclosure with a dekatron
              > spinner
              > and internal mains transformer rather than the wall-wart. (Note to
              > self -
              > upload a picture to the group...) :)
              >
              > The problem would come from my lack of knowledge (and therefore
              > confidence) in obtaining the correct components, or having to work
              out
              > how/where things go myself.
              >
              > Of course it is a great way to learn, but my budget doesn't allow
              it :(
              >
              > If a smartsocket's kit was available on eBay (for example) I'd
              > certainly be
              > buying some, but as it is I think I need to do a couple more
              builds
              > before
              > I tackle a "find all the bits yourself and work it out" project!
              >
              > Ray
              > On 12 May 2008, at 22:33, Chris wrote:
              >
              > > Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
              > > If there was enough demand I am sure that one of use could get a
              batch
              > > of boards made up. If you are interested just reply to this
              message,
              > > or
              > > send me an email if you wish to remain anonymous, and if there is
              > > enough interest shown in the next couple of weeks we can get some
              more
              > > boards made.
              > >
              > > Chris
              >
            • marc_bury
              ... Hi Chris, that is a great idea ! As a matter of fact, I tried to contact Onno Tromop in Nederlands (http://www.tromop.eu/) since he proposes PCB based on
              Message 6 of 12 , May 13, 2008
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                --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
                >
                > Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
                > Chris
                >

                Hi Chris, that is a great idea !

                As a matter of fact, I tried to contact Onno Tromop in Nederlands
                (http://www.tromop.eu/) since he proposes PCB based on your design,
                as well as programmed PICs and kits of PCB pins to handle the B7971.
                I particularly like the kit with 6 PCBs, 6 PICs and 6 kits of pins.

                So this is really a suggestion: if you organize the making of
                smartsocket PCBs, why not also porpose bunch of pins and even
                programmed PICs for others ?

                BR,
                Marc
              • Owen Rubin
                Per my previous request for getting boards made, one user in this forum did post that he was getting more made and people who wanted them could contact him.
                Message 7 of 12 , May 13, 2008
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                  Per my previous request for getting boards made, one user in this forum did
                  post that he was getting more made and people who wanted them could contact
                  him.

                  Are we talking about making more? I might be interested in some more, but I
                  too would like to see them complete if you are planning on using surface
                  mount components, as I have no way to build such a board. If normal
                  component type, then a board and a programmed PIC should be included, as
                  some of us are not so handy programming the pics, and I agree, a completely
                  stuffed board tested, and a complete kit would make great eBay items, which
                  I am happy to set up auctions for if someone builds enough.

                  Cheers,
                  -Owen-
                • Chris
                  ... I suppose that is not too difficult at all. The only issue I have is with cost. If there is only a small amount of interest then the price is high. This
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 13, 2008
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                    --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "marc_bury" <marc_bury@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <fixitsan@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Would anyone be interested in getting some B7971 PCB's ?
                    > > Chris
                    > >
                    >
                    > Hi Chris, that is a great idea !
                    >
                    > As a matter of fact, I tried to contact Onno Tromop in Nederlands
                    > (http://www.tromop.eu/) since he proposes PCB based on your design,
                    > as well as programmed PICs and kits of PCB pins to handle the B7971.
                    > I particularly like the kit with 6 PCBs, 6 PICs and 6 kits of pins.
                    >
                    > So this is really a suggestion: if you organize the making of
                    > smartsocket PCBs, why not also porpose bunch of pins and even
                    > programmed PICs for others ?
                    >
                    > BR,
                    > Marc
                    >


                    I suppose that is not too difficult at all. The only issue I have is
                    with cost. If there is only a small amount of interest then the price
                    is high. This makes them unnatractive to more people at a time when
                    it would be useful to have more people interested to get the prices
                    down. I certainly wouldn't expect to ask for money up front.

                    I'll look into it, I might be able to pay up front for a small
                    surplus of boards to be made, but as has been pointed out Onno Tromop
                    may well be the best bet, his board house can do re-runs easily as
                    far as I know. It all depends if Onno has the time to do this, should
                    we talk about this off-list Onno ?

                    It has been suggested a number of times that a kit similar to what
                    you have suggested should be made available. It's not great knowing
                    that people want to make these but can't foot the bill for a small
                    run of boards, hence the reason behind the group purpose idea.

                    Chris
                  • Chris
                    ... forum did ... contact ... more, but I ... surface ... included, as ... completely ... items, which ... The issue I have is that construction of a socket
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 14, 2008
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                      --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Owen Rubin <orubin@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Per my previous request for getting boards made, one user in this
                      forum did
                      > post that he was getting more made and people who wanted them could
                      contact
                      > him.
                      >
                      > Are we talking about making more? I might be interested in some
                      more, but I
                      > too would like to see them complete if you are planning on using
                      surface
                      > mount components, as I have no way to build such a board. If normal
                      > component type, then a board and a programmed PIC should be
                      included, as
                      > some of us are not so handy programming the pics, and I agree, a
                      completely
                      > stuffed board tested, and a complete kit would make great eBay
                      items, which
                      > I am happy to set up auctions for if someone builds enough.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > -Owen-
                      >


                      The issue I have is that construction of a socket was taking me over
                      30 minutes per socket when making batches of ten. The demand doesn't
                      seem to be high enough to warrant construction costs. One board house
                      quoted me a price for making and stuffing boards which would have
                      made them slightly more expensive than the prices I charged, but not
                      by much , if I ordered fifty.


                      Another way to make them more cost effective is to make boards which
                      drive more than one tube. The next easiest would be a 2-tube socket,
                      with one larger microcontroller driving both tubes. Alternatively a 4-
                      tube display would also be more cost effective.

                      The units could be made to work exactly the same as single sockets so
                      singles, doubles and quads could probably be mixed together in any
                      combination. It would mean quite a serious re-write of software but
                      thats the part I really enjoy. I suspect I could make these dispalys
                      multiplexed, which would reduce parts count.

                      An issue with multiplexing is that some of the effects are processor
                      intensive and it may not be possible to get the smoothest
                      transitions, but a double could be made with one controller, direct
                      drive which negates that issue.

                      This is something I need to do some work on, but I am wondering if
                      anyone had any interest in this idea because most people are making
                      two, four and six tube displays and therefore there seems to be a
                      logic in making sockets for even numbers of tubes.

                      I'ld be interested to hear anyone's thoughts.

                      Chris
                    • Brett Paulin
                      ... Surface mount components are a lot easier than you might think to hand assemble. The hardest part is not losing the components. :) Really fine pitch IC s
                      Message 10 of 12 , May 14, 2008
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                        >> Are we talking about making more? I might be interested in some
                        >> more, but I too would like to see them complete if you are planning on
                        >> using surfacemount components, as I have no way to build such a board.

                        Surface mount components are a lot easier than you might think to hand
                        assemble. The hardest part is not losing the components. :)

                        Really fine pitch IC's are probably a bit hard, but DIP IC's dont need
                        the "bend-to-fit, insert, bend again to hold while you turn over, solder,
                        cut, pickup cut leads" process that through-hole discretes do anyway, so I'd
                        stay with a DIP for the Micro and SMD for the discretes. no Board flipping
                        with components falling out for SMD's either.

                        A pair of tweezers, a magnifying lamp (if you arent short-sighted - I am, so I
                        can see them fine) and you're away. Give it a go sometime, I use SMD
                        discretes for all my prototype's constructed on donut board now - it makes
                        assembly so much faster and neater.

                        Another idea *if* you are doing a board redesign - maybe run some wide
                        edge-connector style tracks to each edge of the board with the data-in,
                        data-out lines flipped appropriately so if you are mounting the boards all
                        next to each other (most likely), then you can just bridge links (perhaps the
                        cut-off through-hole leads - ;) ) from one board to the other to link them
                        together and then you dont need to spend ages making all the inter-board
                        connector cables.

                        Multiplexing probably isnt worthwhile with the cost of the micros being so
                        cheap.
                      • guus.assmann@wolmail.nl
                        A redesign using SMD will reduce the partcount a bit. Use driver IC s (high voltage ULN2003 version) These contain 7 drivers. So 2x 16 pin IC s and one
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 14, 2008
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                          A redesign using SMD will reduce the partcount a bit.
                          Use driver IC's (high voltage ULN2003 version)
                          These contain 7 drivers. So 2x 16 pin IC's and one transistor will do the
                          trick.
                          I'm not sure if "base-resistors" are needed. If so, there's SMD-Arrays for
                          this too.
                          But it may cost a bit more and won't be a lot less work.
                          The end result may even be the same size as through-hole components.
                          All in all, some work and questionable improvement.

                          Still, I would be willing to make a redesign.

                          BR/
                          Guus Assmann

                          >-- Oorspronkelijk bericht --
                          >To: smartsockets@yahoogroups.com
                          >From: "Chris" <fixitsan@...>
                          >Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 07:58:52 -0000
                          >Subject: [smartsockets] Another type of socket , doubles, quads,(was) Re:Is
                          >anyone interested ....
                          >Reply-To: smartsockets@yahoogroups.com
                          >
                          >
                          >--- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Owen Rubin <orubin@...> wrote:
                          >>
                          >> Per my previous request for getting boards made, one user in this
                          >forum did
                          >> post that he was getting more made and people who wanted them could
                          >contact
                          >> him.
                          >>
                          >> Are we talking about making more? I might be interested in some
                          >more, but I
                          >> too would like to see them complete if you are planning on using
                          >surface
                          >> mount components, as I have no way to build such a board. If normal
                          >> component type, then a board and a programmed PIC should be
                          >included, as
                          >> some of us are not so handy programming the pics, and I agree, a
                          >completely
                          >> stuffed board tested, and a complete kit would make great eBay
                          >items, which
                          >> I am happy to set up auctions for if someone builds enough.
                          >>
                          >> Cheers,
                          >> -Owen-
                          >>
                          >
                          >
                          >The issue I have is that construction of a socket was taking me over
                          >30 minutes per socket when making batches of ten. The demand doesn't
                          >seem to be high enough to warrant construction costs. One board house
                          >quoted me a price for making and stuffing boards which would have
                          >made them slightly more expensive than the prices I charged, but not
                          >by much , if I ordered fifty.
                          >
                          >
                          >Another way to make them more cost effective is to make boards which
                          >drive more than one tube. The next easiest would be a 2-tube socket,
                          >with one larger microcontroller driving both tubes. Alternatively a 4-
                          >tube display would also be more cost effective.
                          >
                          >The units could be made to work exactly the same as single sockets so
                          >singles, doubles and quads could probably be mixed together in any
                          >combination. It would mean quite a serious re-write of software but
                          >thats the part I really enjoy. I suspect I could make these dispalys
                          >multiplexed, which would reduce parts count.
                          >
                          >An issue with multiplexing is that some of the effects are processor
                          >intensive and it may not be possible to get the smoothest
                          >transitions, but a double could be made with one controller, direct
                          >drive which negates that issue.
                          >
                          >This is something I need to do some work on, but I am wondering if
                          >anyone had any interest in this idea because most people are making
                          >two, four and six tube displays and therefore there seems to be a
                          >logic in making sockets for even numbers of tubes.
                          >
                          >I'ld be interested to hear anyone's thoughts.
                          >
                          >Chris
                          >
                          >
                        • Chris
                          ... Thanks for the input over SMD components, I really must get myself to do something about it. I think i just use through hole because it is still readily
                          Message 12 of 12 , May 15, 2008
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                            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Brett Paulin <yahoogroups@...>
                            wrote:
                            >>>

                            Thanks for the input over SMD components, I really must get myself to
                            do something about it. I think i just use through hole because it is
                            still readily available, but would like to try some SMD before it
                            becomes compulsory !



                            >
                            > Another idea *if* you are doing a board redesign - maybe run some
                            wide
                            > edge-connector style tracks to each edge of the board with the data-
                            in,
                            > data-out lines flipped appropriately so if you are mounting the
                            boards all
                            > next to each other (most likely), then you can just bridge links
                            (perhaps the
                            > cut-off through-hole leads - ;) ) from one board to the other to
                            link them
                            > together and then you dont need to spend ages making all the inter-
                            board
                            > connector cables.
                            >

                            Edge connectors on the side ? Great idea !
                            I guess I would need to make the tracks across the board which join
                            the edges larger than normal if somebody wanted to make a very large
                            array of them and hoped to pass all signals and voltages through
                            every edge connector ?

                            What would be the best track size here ? ' As large as can be made to
                            fit in the space allowed ' I suppose ?

                            Chris
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