Archive for the ‘name that ware’ Category

Name that Ware, February 2018

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The Ware for February 2018 is shown below.

Ware courtesy of Hernandi Krammes!

Every board designer leaves a thumbprint on their ware — and this one is from a region I had never previously seen a ware from before. So while probably easy to guess the function, I still appreciated it for the small, unique details.

Winner, Name that Ware January 2018

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The Ware for January 2018 is a front panel VFD/switch controller board for an HP Laserjet 4+. Archels nailed it — I checked u19pb1996 in Google for hits and nothing came up, but maybe I was too hasty and typo’d the number when cross-checking the image. Anyways, this post is now the top hit for that part number :) Congrats, email me for your prize.

+1 to zebonaut’s comment about the firmware code from the early 90’s never needing an update, ever…they just don’t write software like they used to anymore! It’s funny to see the panic in the eyes of a modern software developer when you tell them a subsystem has no firmware update path, ever, and their code just has to work reliably from day one. And then you tell a hardware developer the same thing and they go “yah, so?”…there’s no such thing as a downloadable hardware update, of course the product ships complete, working & tested. And not only does the hardware have to work, it carries a warranty, unlike most software…

Name that Ware, January 2018

Monday, January 29th, 2018

The Ware for January 2018 is shown below.

This side of the board might be a little too non-descript to make a solid guess, so if nobody gets it within a couple of weeks, I’ll push a picture of the other side.

Thanks to spida for handing me pictures of this well-photographed ware at 34C3!

Winner, Name that Ware December 2017

Monday, January 29th, 2018

The winner of Name that Ware Dec 2017 is Piotr! Congrats, email me for your prize. He nailed it very quickly as a 2000-series multimeter by Keithley. I figured since this is a classic meter found on many engineer’s benches, it would be named fairly quickly, even with a tightly cropped shot of the main board.

My decades-old Keithley 2000 finally gave up the ghost; something seems wrong in the input stage that’s preventing it from both doing autoranging and measuring negative voltages. A quick thermal scan showed a few transistors getting hot that shouldn’t be, and the self-test codes indicate that something may have gone very wrong with the core ADC pathway. I’ve set it aside to look at later and ended up picking up a Keithley 2110 as a stand-in replacement until I can afford a DMM7510. There’s some pretty nifty debugging tricks you can do with a 7.5-digit multimeter (it’s sensitive enough to differentiate between code execution paths on an MCU, or observe a battery’s self-discharge rate in real time), but at the moment I simply can’t afford one. Ah well — it’s always good to have goals!

Name that Ware December 2017

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

The Ware for December 2017 is shown below.

I’ve partially cropped the photo to make it a bit more challenging, but I have a feeling this will be guessed … rather quickly … despite the impediment.

It’s a real beauty on the inside, isn’t it?