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Re: Is anyone interested in a group purchase scheme ?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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