exxos blog - random goings on

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exxos
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Well this one has me slightly confused https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/ic-socke ... lsrc=aw.ds

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Why does such a thing need to exist :stars:
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Need something like this, but a 68pin version, but at those prices, I think I'll design my own! Great, more projects :roll:

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Ordered 2 of these ZIF sockets

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005 ... 1802SehdPC

Though I believe they are slightly larger than the standard funky pinout.

Because I need the clearance of the 030 CPU on the DFB1X, I may have to buy a proper PLCC plug :roll:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/ic-sockets/2446919?gb=s
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Basically snookered until the funky socket comes now because I need to know the dimensions of it all :roll:

The fine pitch pins is what I used on my STE booster. so that will become the "PLCC PLUG". Then it expands into standard pitch headers. The ones I have are like a inch tall. So the plan is to use them as a board interconnect and a pin header to clip the logic analyser test clips onto. This way I basically double up on what the pins are used for and it save some soldering. The second layer will have the Funky PLCC68 ZIF pinout on it, and also the dualrow header holes.

The dual role holes on the right-hand side right next to the pins because there is very little room between the FPU and CPU on the DFB1X. I think it will basically *just* fit. I also have a similar problem on the left because the Falcon cases in the way. But I think also it will *just* fit.

Because I am using long header pins, I should also be able to set the height so it can clear the top of the CPU as well.

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It's a little bit annoying because I really need to test the FPUs while my Falcon is on my desk. It will get removed probably soon because I need to get on with other things. But once the Falcon is off my desk, it takes a lot to get it back on again :roll:
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Rustynutt »

While looking at PGA to PLCC 68 pin, came across these. Have to solder your own test pins. A lot cheaper.

http://www.logicalsys.com/painfo-vp ... 68-pp
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Rustynutt wrote: Thu Jul 06, 2023 8:01 am While looking at PGA to PLCC 68 pin, came across these. Have to solder your own test pins. A lot cheaper.

http://www.logicalsys.com/painfo-vp ... 68-pp
Never found those!
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

These emails just get annoying.

I get them from China daily from all sorts of places. Thing is, I think absolutely everyone has got my email address from quotation websites. Most of them originally even replied to the email I sent asking for a quote, and every single one completely ignored the question and never actually quoted for the parts! So why would I ask for further quotations from any company when they have not yet replied to the first one yet ?!

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In the case of utsource, I just replied "I did not buy any part because I do not need any parts". Is it really that difficult to understand :roll:

I only ever use such companies when there is literally nowhere else to obtain parts from. Mouser is my supplier of choice these days. But of course they are not going to sell DRAM from the 1980s! :roll:
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

it looks like my stash of Falcon RTC replacements is just about ran out. I have been looking all morning for a alternative source of the pins as the Semtec ones are rather expensive at around £2 a pop. If I got 50 RTC's made then that's £200 gone on pins alone :roll: I have been assembling them myself but it is incredibly time-consuming and not work I want to do or have time for any more. So I am looking for cheaper pins and China to assemble them.

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The problem with these boards is the pins on top have to be cut because otherwise the battery holder does not lay flat on the PCB. The problem with cutting the pins level with the PCB is difficult to do for starters, but then there is no actual pin to really solder to anymore. It is still inside the Via. But filling this with solder without a actual pin I think would be rather problematical.

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The Samtec pins have a larger base of the pin which is inserted into the PCB and then the hole is filled with solder. It then makes a good connection and then ( aside when I generally end up adding too much solder) The battery holder lays flat on the PCB. The problem with that method is it needs those custom pins, which are expensive :( costs will also increase because of getting China involved in the assembly of them.

I think it also reminds me of all the work and time involved in relatively simple things which can drag on for days or even weeks. Becomes a point of is it really worth the time and the hassle when the a lot of the stuff does not really sell that well anyway.

I'm facing a similar problem with my power supplies as there is currently only 18 left in stock. There will be one more batch after those have sold but then because they are expensive as it is, parts prices would have increased significantly since those were priced up. I also don't want to produce that design any more because the Texas Instruments chips I am using are just too inconsistent spec wise from one batch to another. I do plan on doing a revised power supply using a different chip, but then it is another project which I don't really have time for.

I do have a stash of about 50 transformers still. So it may be possible a small batch of a new design would be done "one day", but it would literally be twice the price by the time it made it to the store. Is like a lot of items, it can cost like £60 in parts and assembly just to make £5 on them. Considering it is knocking like £30 to ship to USA now as well. It is all just not really a sustainable "business model". It is not just the price either, it is the phenomenal amount of time which goes into it all.

While I have always strived the best efficiency and regulation and reliability of my power supplies, I think the cost of sustaining that is just too much now. I may look into just using off-the-shelf parts where people can buy parts from Mouser/Farnell themselves to save on overseas shipping. Then just sell adapter PCBs to fit into the ST's etc. The efficiency and regulation is probably better than the original Atari power supplies but it is not going to be terribly great either. I guess at the end of the day "you get what you pay for".
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by stephen_usher »

The alternative is that you don't fit the battery holder on the top and instead mount wires and a CR2032 holder which can then be located in a better position for battery replacement. i.e. somewhere where you don't have to remove the whole of the shield but instead the RAM door which is designed to be removed.

e.g.

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Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

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Been trying to tidy up a little bit because I am sick of tripping over stuff on the floor :roll:

Found this box of PeST cables :shock: Looks like they were just basically missing the heat shrink. Looking back in my blog it seems the last time I did a batch was back in 2019. I must have put them in the box to order the heat shrink then totally forgot about them. I guess this explains why there is a length of large heat shrink tubing lay about somewhere as well. Must be about 20 of them.

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

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What a stressful week it's been :(

Basically I was at work and came home to a rather distressed mother who said the bank rang her to tell her someone's taken £11,000 out of her bank account. They said they was from Lloyds fraud team. They had her downloading apps, setting up new bank accounts.. Told her to transfer money about. well you can probably guess where all this is heading...

Normally she's pretty savvy but this one caugh her out. When i got home she had downloaded "Anydesk" and was logged into her bank account. I thought WTF! I closed the app and her bank page. She told people on the phone her son just come home and to explain it all to him, but the phone went dead. Think the battery went as she must have been on the phone for a long time.

I turned off her laptop and drove her down to the bank in town to figure out what was going on. We spent over 3 hours there talking to fraud team. Long story short, they didn't see anything odd but froze all her accounts and cards to be on the safe side. The fraud team told me not to use the laptop until the been cleaned by a IT company. Thought no thanks, I'll do that myself.

After getting back home I turned off the router and looked closer at the laptop. It doesn't seem like anything else was downloaded other than a small 3MB program of Anydesk. It wasn't installed even. I couldn't find anything wrong but simply didn't know the full extent of what actually happend. So nuked it to be on the safe side.

I had to explain to her they got her to download the app so they could see what she did on the screen. It's unknown if they actually had control over the laptop as I'm not familiar with AnyDesk software. But I'm not sure they did as they could have taken control over her laptop and emptied her accounts. Though they did tell her exactly how much was in her accounts. I think that's why they sounded convincing as how else could they know how much was in her account if they wasn't from the bank? Well now she knows they were looking at exactly what she was on the screen. They now know her bank passwords and account numbers etc.. I don't think they could see her password without a keylogger. But they would have got some info even just visually.

She said security things were popping up but only for a second. So I wonder if the hackers were clicking away all that stuff. Hard to tell what was going on as I wasn't there at the time. But antivirus wouldn't likely have detected AnyDesk as it's a proper app. If I had all the security options on it might have blocked it :roll: But it likely wouldn't have helped as the hackers would either bypass the warnings or tell mother to do it. Bit hard to defend against the "user". All the security in the world doesn't help if the user can bypass it all. It's something I hadn't considered, that less tech savvy people can be caught out. The security weak point is always going to be the user :roll:

In Linux it seems to ask for a password each time something "sensitive" happens. So don't tell anyone the password I guess. Windows pops up "do you want to run.." type boxes, but in this case doesn't help.

I have fortified my windows pc as well. Nothing runs at all without asking. Even windows services pop up boxes. So have to confirm them all. There are various other lines of defence. But I'll not mention those as this is a public forum.

Fast forward. I've wiped windows off the laptop and put mx Linux on it. I was going to do it anyway when I got the hang of it more. But things were rushed as she needed the laptop to do her banking etc.That was a mini nightmare all by itself. I'll rant about that in my Linux blog next week.

Also in the mix I've had booting problems with Linux and windows on my pc again :( That's another long rant of stuff which drove me to many sleepless nights this week. Got a nice headache aswell.

So I'm totally exhausted now. My hands are killing due to all the urgent pc work this week. So I likey won't be around much for the next few days. Kinda had enough of technology and the internet for the time being.

Anyway, all seems well now. Her passwords are changed and we got her accounts reactivated this afternoon. She's just waiting for her new cards to come now. My pc seems ok again now. I've reinstalled MX about 20 times this week. So had enough of that now as well.

Got van MOT next week. So need to get some sleep for the pending arguments I'm likely going to end up having with them. I've run out of garages to take my van to. So stuck with the local one now. Last time they claimed a bit of rust on the brake pipes, fair enough, they suggested replace the whole lot. Like erm no! My old van was in a right state and only needed a small pipe replacement. My "new" van is like new even though it's 20 years old. It's only done 34k on the clock and was my dad's van where it sat in the garage for 10 years.

They did the same BS to my mum's car. They make it sound like it's falling to bits when I can't even find rust on the parts they claim need replacing. I miss our old MOT guy. Never had all this BS with him. He always used to let me down the pit and show me what's what. Sad times we live in these days :(

:2k2:
:dizzy:
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