Not for rocketry, but still cool electronics

Discussion in 'Rocketry Electronics and Software' started by Winston, May 4, 2016.

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  1. Dec 5, 2019 #181

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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    RESTORING THE HEATHKIT ES-400 COMPUTER

    https://www.nutsvolts.com/magazine/article/restoring-the-heathkit-es-400-computer

    Excerpts:

    When I first got into electronics in the mid-1950s, I would pour over the Heathkit catalogs and dream about owning a 5” scope. When they came out with the ES-400 Electronic Analog Computer with its 45 vacuum tubes across the top, I wanted one in the worst way. It looked so cool (Figure 1)! And it was only $945. Gulp!

    Fast forward six decades. Today, I finally have one in my shop on my bench completely restored! Figure 2 is the proof. It took me eight months of part-time work to restore all 168 pounds. In this article, I would like to share a few of the trials and tribulations I went through to resurrect this beast.
    Several years ago, I restored Heathkit’s smaller analog computer, the EC-1. You may have read about it in the May 2016 issue of Nuts & Volts. Afterwards, I vowed to find and restore my dream computer: the ES-400. Amazingly, a nice gentleman in Northern California heard about my quest and just happened to have one in his storage locker. He said I was welcome to it for free if I would give it a good home.


    SPECIFICATIONS

    The “Big Kahuna” had 25 major assemblies containing a total of 73 vacuum tubes and the following specifications:

    Model: ES-400 (sometimes called H-1)
    Original Price: $945 (equivalent 2019 dollars = $8,175)
    Time Period Sold: 1956-1962
    Quantity Sold: Approximately 250-400
    Weight: 168 pounds
    Dissipation: 450 watts

    Assemblies:

    (1) ES-2 Amplifier Power Supply (regulated ±250V at 250 mA, -450V at 50 mA, 6.3VAC at 14.5A)
    (1) ES-50 Reference Power Supply (regulated ±100V)
    (3) ES-100 Initial Condition Power Supply (2x floating 100V, in each supply)
    (1) ES-151 Relay Power Supply (2x 50V)
    (15) ES-201 Operational Amplifier (gain = 50,000, output range ±100V at 10 mA)
    (1) ES-400 Cabinet and Front Panel (364 jacks, 52 switches, 38 pots, 14 connectors, one meter)
    (1) ES-505 Repetitive Oscillator (0.6-6 Hz)
    (1) Sola Voltage Regulator Transformer (250 VA)
    (1) ES-600 Function Generator (optional)


    His restoration wasn't cheap. A few examples from the article:

    Problem: Unfortunately, the “free” computer did not include any of the 45 tubes for the 15 op-amps across the top of the cabinet. The 6BQ7As and 6BH6s were pretty reasonable, but the (15) 12AX7s were another story. Some eBay prices were pretty outrageous; $499.99 for a matched pair!!

    Solution: Luckily, Chinese 12AX7A tubes were available from TubesAndMore.com for $9.59 each and they worked fine. Refer to Figure 14.

    Problem: All the nuts and bolts were corroded, as were many other electrical components.

    Solution: I replaced every nut, bolt, screw, and washer in the entire machine, and also 51 pots, 64 tube sockets, eight toggle switches, 15 octal plugs, and eight power cords. Plus, the countless resistors and capacitors. Whew!


    Just some of the photos from the article:

    Before:

    [​IMG]
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    After. Beautiful work:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Dec 9, 2019 #182

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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    Amazing progress considering how incredibly difficult even 7nm is!

    https://www.rocketryforum.com/threa...l-cool-electronics.133919/page-4#post-1781814

    TSMC: 5nm on Track for Q2 2020 HVM, Will Ramp Faster Than 7nm
    October 23, 2019

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/15016/tsmc-5nm-on-track-for-q2-2020-hvm-will-ramp-faster-than-7nm

    TSMC: 3nm EUV Development Progress Going Well, Early Customers Engaged
    July 23, 2019

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/1466...t-progress-going-well-early-customers-engaged

    TSMC Starts $19.5 Billion 3nm Fab Construction
    October 26, 2019

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/tsmc-fab-3nm-5nm-process-intel-samsung

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dec 26, 2019 #183

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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    Field Effect Transistor concept patent from 1930! How different history might have been if this had been seriously further researched at the time:

    https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/fa/5d/33/ed2769d48fac4d/US1745175.pdf

    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Edgar_Lilienfeld

    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (April 18, 1882 – August 28, 1963) was a Polish/American physicist and electrical engineer, credited with the first patents on the field-effect transistor (FET) (1925) and electrolytic capacitor (1931). Because of his failure to publish articles in learned journals and because high-purity semiconductor materials were not available yet [but could have been if his patent had been widely known and worked on - W], his FET patent never achieved fame, causing confusion for later inventors.
     
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  4. Jan 1, 2020 #184

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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  5. Jan 25, 2020 #185

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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    Very bizarre occurrence.

    High Voltage Created From Falling Snow?

     
  6. Feb 18, 2020 at 6:18 PM #186

    Winston

    Winston

    Winston

    Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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