PCB Radiography Kindergarten.

Below is the result of test-firing a newly-installed miniature PCB radiography system.
The victim is a standard FG TRNG Analogue Unit:
Click for full resolution (Warning: 14MB)

Detail of left op amp, with bonding whiskers visible:

The substrate, aluminum RF shield frame, SMT contacts, vias, and the two layers of the PCB are clearly distinguishable. Likewise resistors (nearly transparent) [...]

Lost Technology: The PQ3QI-01 Sunlight-Readable Display.

In the last quarter of the previous year, I got hold of a virginal (sealed OEM-crate) PQ3QI-01 sunlight-viewable LCD panel (and, after several unsuccessful attempts — an old box where it fits.) These marvels are long out of print but apparently still available, somehow, from the Chinese, at around 100 $ per.
If the backlight lamp [...]

Posted in: Hardware, NonLoper, Photo by Stanislav No Comments

A Solid-State HDD for Symbolics “MacIvory” Lisp Machines.

This post concerns the “MacIvory” Model 3 Lisp Machine. It is of interest strictly to bolixologists.

This is a recipe for a working replacement of an ancient SCSI HDD, such as found in the MacIvory, with an inexpensive solid-state disk.

You will need:

A “SCSI2SD” device. Mine is a model 6, but [...]

Symbolics “MacIvory”: PCB Photographs.

This post concerns the “MacIvory” Model 3 Lisp Machine. It is of interest strictly to bolixologists.

Click on a photo to see detailed version.

Machine chassis:

The Ivory NuBus Board Set (i.e. the LispM itself, the Mac Quadra is otherwise ordinary):

“Ivory” NuBus board, component-side:

What’s under the [...]

Uncrating of Symbolics “MacIvory” Machine

At long last, got hold of one of these:

Linux. (1991 – 2018)

Linux. ( 1991 — 2018. )

No disrespect is intended for Stepan Mitrofanovich Gudimov (1913 – 1941), died heroically in aerial ramming maneuver… whose beautiful tomb I stole here. But IMHO a dead project of Linux’s stature deserves a tomb, even if only an imaginary and stolen one. Especially a stolen project…

Open Problem: “Debug Accessory Mode” on the Asus C101PA

Edit #2: Aaaand it’s solved:

echo 18d1 5014 > /sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/generic/new_id

triggers creation of /dev/ttyUSB0 … 5 , several of which spew console log…
Example spew on boot. (Looks like RK’s UART..?)

Edit: apparently they’re USB lines! When connected as D-/D+ through a USB B-connector, to a Linux box, we get a device that enumerates with this descriptor.

The Asus C101PA [...]

Open Problem: Forcing MaskROM Mode on the Asus C101PA

The Asus C101PA is based on a Rockchip RK3399. These have a “maskrom mode”, where if the SPI EEPROM is disabled, the chip will attempt to boot from other devices: first, NAND flash, then microSD, and then finally a USB debug mode where you can attach a A-A cable and use the rkflashtool utility to [...]

“Rodenticide” with the Seiko DPU414 Tape Printer.

The Seiko DPU414 is a small (110mm paper tape, ~90mm printable width) thermal printer, similar to the type used with cash registers everywhere, but slightly wider. It is quite unremarkable apart from the fact that no thermal printer of similar or greater width appears to be widely available; and also for the price (typically around [...]

Practical Lead to Gold Conversion; or an Intro to Opteron Resurrection.

It so happens that AMD resisted the informal NSA ban on the manufacture of LinuxBIOS-capable x86 CPUs slightly longer than Intel did. Or perhaps they were simply slower to succumb to Microsoft’s Fritz chip decree. Whichever may be the case, vintage (pre-2011, with some caveats, inquire within) AMD Opteron motherboards are a precious [...]

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