Name that Ware August 2011

The Ware for August 2011 is shown below. Click on the image for a much larger version.

It’s National Day in Singapore, so I get a chance to catch up on my name that ware posts. This handsome board is a reader-submitted ware by an anonymous donor (thank you!). Have fun!

21 Responses to “Name that Ware August 2011”

  1. Wam says:

    Let’s see… One A/D converter, some voltage monitors, four parallel 8 bits shift registers, some op. amplifiers, a very obvious high voltage section, and what looks like a rackable board.
    I’d say it’s some kind of monitoring board for some high-voltage equipment ?

  2. Neon John says:

    Noting all the parts that “wam” listed plus the high quality input connector at the bottom of the board, I’d say that this is a single board multi-channel analyzer for nuclear spectroscopy.

  3. Nathan says:

    VMEBus, high voltage, I’d guess some sort of MRI interface.

  4. AndyB says:

    I think it’s for an electron microscope.

    Note the power supply near the SMC connector with test points labeled 84V. This could be the grid bias.

    Do you see the jumper labeled “F1 Blown”? Is that to bypass the fuse? That’s scary.

    • Cesar says:

      Well, it seems “F1 BLOWN” is also D36, and it is right next to “84V ON” which is also D28 (by the nomenclature, both would be diodes, not jumpers). I would guess both are signals to tell the logic somewhere else that 84V is on or that F1 is blown, not to bypass anything.

      • mng says:

        As Mike says below, D36 and D28 are probably front panel LEDs. D36 is likely wired in parallel with F1 along with a resistor; if F1 blows the LED goes on to tell the user something’s wrong. At least that’s how it is on my group’s old boards (and now mine).

  5. Flav says:

    Landis&Gyr programmable controller board ? TG-80x board?

  6. dan says:

    i would say it’s a control board for a laser trimmer…

  7. Russ says:

    No, no wait. It’s a snow cone maker.

  8. Keenan says:

    I don’t really know anything about the field, but I’m going to guess it’s a mass analyzer for use in a mass spectrometry setup. There’s a test point labeled MASS PRG that heads straight to one of the edge connectors.

    Some techniques seem to use RF for this, which explains the proliferation of RF labels and components and -430V seems reasonable for some of the electrostatic fields used.

    Perhaps a quadrupole mass analyzer? The -430V seems to be in about the right range for the required DC bias.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Analog Devices parts on a single board before :P

  9. squalyl says:

    there’s no programmable controller on this board. or maybe the chip under the “NTGENDC2” label has an Altera logo? looks like a PAL/GAL.

    the MAX197 is a 8-channel ADC
    the bottom connector is SMB (SMC is threaded)

    I have no idea what this board is. Probably some heavy lab instrument such as a SEM or other microscope.

  10. Cesar says:

    Why does the “high voltage” side seem to lack the ground plane (the PCB looks transparent there)? I would guess the reason is that it works with some sort of RF. Also, I found a “RF OP.” label next to mass of chips at the top middle of the board (low voltage side, next to the division between the high voltage and low voltage sides).

  11. Mike says:

    D36 and D28 are right-angle LEDs, visible from the front edge. The ground plane is missing on the high voltage side to reduce capacitive coupling and to ensure proper clearance.

    I’d guess it is from a particle accellerator or detector experiment; they

  12. brainwash says:

    Just wanted to add a comment to . Actually I’m using 4GB of RAM successfully with 32-bit XP at home and at work I use 8GB. You would need to install the RamDisk driver which supports PAE, then you get to use the additional GB as a ramdisk and you can set your temp files and/or pagefile.sys on that.

    Setting at least the temp folder to it makes it a whole lot faster, SSD does not stand a chance. If you regularly work with a lot of small files then you can set up a script at startup that copies that files to the ramdrive.

    Of course volatility is an issue but at least the laptop has a built-in UPS.

  13. investigador says:

    Controller can be a programmable neon lights, seen pics, and area of ​​high tension voltage elevators.

  14. fifthrider says:

    Doing a little research, it looks like Pickering Electronics was a specialty division of Pickering Interfaces that produced parts for automated test equipment. I’m wagering this is a board from a rack mounted test device from the quality inspection line of a factory.

  15. Alex says:

    I think you censored this image a little too much for someone who hasn’t seen this device first-hand to derive what it is. The month is practically over – want to show us the uncensored image?

  16. Thomas says:

    I notice many low offset voltage and low speed opamps, but also silkscreen saying ‘RF OVL’ and ‘RF OP’. The 8 channel A/D gets its input from the op amps. It is too slow to have anything to do with RF.

    Pickering is just the relay manufacturer and may not be the manufacturer of the board.

    The gold CN5 connector must be a clock input, close to a crystal oscillator and a master/slave jumper. There is also an OSC/LNA(LIM?) jumper nearby.

    +84 v and -430 v sound like something that goes into a specialty electron tube.

    I’d wager it is part of an electron microscope. I understand Bunnie likes those!

  17. dan says:

    soooo… what was it??

  18. Wang-Lo says:

    To me, the interesting thing is that the two independent high-voltage channels are identical. A scanning electron microscope moves the beam in a raster pattern, so I would expect the two amplifiers to be different, since the X-axis deflector must change about 500 times faster than the Y-axis.

    So, if it is part of an electron microscope, it is a vector device instead of a raster device. It’s not for taking pictures, but for writing, or drawing pictures, with the beam.

    Possible applications:

    (1) Prototyping very dense microchips, where even the shortest-wavelength light beam would be too fuzzy.

    (2) Steganographically tagging expensive property, such as diamond jewelry, with microscopic serial numbers.

    (3) Entering the Guiness book of records with the world’s teeniest spacewar game.