Name that Ware, August 2023

August 22nd, 2023

The Ware for August 2023 is shown below.

Thanks to adrian for sharing this ware! Adrian sent me several wonderful photos, and the whole thing is actually pretty neat to look at. However, for better or for worse the parts in the ware are so unique that most of them resolve to an answer with a simple search query – even those of the most humble looking 16-pin SOICs. Hopefully this partial view of the ware makes it at least a little bit of a challenge to guess.

Winner, Name that Wäre July 2023

August 22nd, 2023

The Ware for July 2023 is a “KUP 10” by aditec. Also, thanks to FETguy, we now have a schematic of the ware:

The spirit of Name that Ware is about demystifying electronics and encouraging people to learn by taking things apart. Drawing a schematic from an image of a circuit board is a great example of this, so FETguy gets the prize this month. Congrats, email me for your prize!

Name that Wäre, July 2023

July 31st, 2023

The “wäre” for July 2023 is shown below.

Thanks to zebonaut for submitting this ware. According to him, this was fished out of a dumpster in Germany, hence “wäre” (and yes, it’s a nonsense word, but I also think it’s cute). We had a little chuckle over the ware’s construction (or more precisely, the lack thereof). You could say, “they don’t build them like they used to” — could something like this pass certification in modern Germany? Well, it seemed to have at least passed the test of time, since it only recently found its way into a dumpster, and the rating label indicates a manufacturing date from the 14th week of 1996.

Update Aug 7

FETguy has contributed schematics for the ware, which he reverse engineered by hand:

A big thanks for contributing these! The spirit of Name that Ware is to inspire people to learn about electronics by taking things apart and observing their construction — and reverse engineering schematics is the asymptotic limit of that spirit!

Winner, Name that Ware June 2023

July 31st, 2023

The Ware for June 2023 is a Sony TR-733 “7-transistor radio” from the mid 1960’s. I’ll give the prize to Pedro Rodrigues, because even though the model number isn’t correct, as far as I can tell the portion of the electronics shown is identical between the TR-729 and the TR-733. Congrats, email me for your prize!

The main differences between the two models seem to be cosmetic; the TR-733 has a round speaker grill and a blue plastic case, whereas the TR-729 has a rectangular grill and a white plastic case. I’m not sure what the story is behind introducing a model revision with such subtle differences, but I suppose it’s probably either linked to some sort of market differentiation (e.g. regional or price discrimination), and/or a cost-down or engineering fix to improve a design issue.

It’s funny to think that around 60 years ago, we could count the number of transistors in a flagship product on our fingers. Now our handheld gadgets have … about 10 orders of magnitude more transistors in them (an Apple A14 has 11.8 billion transistors and that’s just the CPU; the ~100’s GiB of FLASH memory also counts as transistors).

Name that Ware, June 2023

June 30th, 2023

The ware for June 2023 is shown below.

This ware should be possible to match to an exact model number, based on this photo alone — if not simply because in its era there were fewer consumer electronics devices to choose from.

I tested the image against Google Image search and this particular crop of the ware seems to foil any exact matches. However, if you do manage to find an exact hit with a simple image search engine query, I’d be curious to know what you’re using, so I can use this to test against future wares.

According to the original owner, this ware cost almost a month’s wages back when it was purchased!