Name that Ware May 2021

May 31st, 2021

The Ware for May 2021 is shown below:

This ware might be a bit too bespoke for a fair shake at guessing what it is, but based on the previous months’ performances, maybe we’re due for something on the more difficult side. I did rather like the nice patch boards partially visible in the bottom of the photos. These are, once again, contributions from Don Straney.

Name that Ware April 2021

April 30th, 2021

The Ware for April 2021 is shown below.

Both boards are from the same machine. I really admire the construction quality of these boards! Thanks again to Don Straney for contributing these fascinating wares.

Winner, Name that Ware March 2021

April 30th, 2021

The Ware for March 2021 is a fire control system (not fire as in “artillery fire”, but fire as in “your building is on fire”) controller, a Honeywell HS-NCM-SF. It’s the sort of board that lives in those red boxes hanging near the entrance of big buildings with fancy fire alarm systems.

A quick Internet search shows these things go for around US$2k retail. This pricing is commensurate with a “made in USA” process, B2B volumes, and its choice of top-shelf parts, even though its specs are fairly modest if not strange. When I first saw this, I scratched my head at the use of fiber optic comms, matched with a CPU that was clearly not capable of handling fiber optic data rates. Once I learned its purpose, it made a bit more sense. At least, I’m presuming the fiber optics are chosen either because there is a reliability advantage in the context of fire-resistance of the cabling, or perhaps the fiber optics are advantageous because there is no risk of sparking wires in the case that one end of the line is engulfed in fire and presumably melts into a glob of metal that includes the power mains.

Again, Willmore nailed it. Congrats, email me for your prize!

Name that Ware, March 2021

March 31st, 2021

The ware for March 2021 is shown below.

This is an interesting ware that made its way to my inbox via a person who wishes to be credited as simply “Lih”.

I definitely had a bit of trouble guessing its purpose, but certain strange things started to make more sense once I found out. I wonder how quickly others will pick up on the oddities, and piece it together!

Winner, Name that Ware February 2021

March 31st, 2021

The ware is a sampling mixer from an HP 8508A vector voltmeter – foreground is a VCO and step generator that sends trigger pulses to samplers on both of the 2 input channels. The wiper is used to equalize the delay between the two channels. I found Cody’s analysis to be interesting and thought-provoking, so I’ll give him the prize for this month. Congrats, email me for your prize! I was also wondering if anyone was going to squint really hard and see the HP logo, and sure enough Name That Ware regular willmore saw it!