Winner, Name that Ware January 2016

The Ware for January 2016 was a TPI model 342 water resistant, dual-input type K&J thermocouple thermometer. Picking a winner was tough. Eric Hill was extremely close on guessing the model number — probably the only difference between the TPI 343 and the 342 is a firmware change and perhaps the button that lets you pick between K/J type thermocouples, neither of which would be obvious from the image shown.

However, I do have to give kudos to CzajNick for pointing out that the MCU in this is a 4-bit microcontroller. Holy shit, I didn’t know they made those anymore, much less be useful for anything beyond a calculator. This is probably the only functional 4-bit machine that I have in my lab. All of a sudden this thermometer got a little bit cooler in my mind. He also correctly identified the ware as some type of double-input thermocouple thermometer in the course of his analysis.

Despite not citing a specific make/model, I really appreciated the analysis, especially the factoid about this having a 4-bit microcontroller, so I’ll declare CzajNick the winner. Congrats and email me for your prize!

Also, I’ll have to say, after tearing apart numerous pieces of shoddy Chinese test equipment to fix stupid problems in them, it was a real sight for sore eyes to see such a clean design with high quality, brand-name components. I guess this is 90’s-vintage Korean engineering for you — a foreshadowing of the smartphone onslaught to come out of the same region a decade later.

2 Responses to “Winner, Name that Ware January 2016”

  1. Ryan B. says:

    4-bit micros are still used a lot in the toy industry. :)

    Though they are on the way out there, too. 6502-based chips have gotten down into the same price range, now.

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