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Modern Day Use for Old Electronics vs New Electronics. Is it Realistic & Practical?

John R Retired

Mar 13, 2022
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I took a course in linear ICs and digital circuits in 1979. Tubes in 1970. I worked in a company in the mid 80s
where they used PC boards about 20 X 20 inches square with many chips and auto-soldered on wave solderers.
Eventually in the 90s they started replacing them with smaller boards and selling the old big boards for metal scrap
as they used less chips and started leaning on microprocessors for efficiency and a smaller circuit footprint.

It seems that nowadays in the real world its all about micro components, smaller and smaller circuits.

There are lots of people here talking about and building building or attmpting to build devices with LEDs,
discreet ICs etc. which is really the technology of the early 1980s is it not? Maybe larger compnents if
AC is used somewhere on the gear but that's about it.

That being said "Other than Nostalgia for old gear" or maybe some hobbyists fixing obsolete
electronics devices (like old tube TVs or stereos or even discreet chip gear), is it even worth bothering with
any of the old electronics technology? Reiterate "other than nostalgia" ?

Are we not at the stage of development where it is throw away boards as in laptops, cell phones, microcontrollers etc?

Realistically speaking where is the actual demand for old technology except in the scrapyards or for collectors?

Just trying to get a handle on "the state of the art" and where to invest time, beyond "Hobbyist" or "Nostalgia romantic"..
I did see a working old tube TV in an auto repair shop waiting room, but it was obviously for nostalgia as they were
offereing repair to vintage autos. Even flat screen TVs and computer monitors are ridiculously low in price at Walmart.
 
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Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Move on...forget using the old stuff but remember how to apply it.
Invest your time in learning microcontrollers and programming like Arduino.
You'll find the interest will spark and you'll have plenty to learn about and apply to more than you first imagine.
And it's not all that difficult......... :)
 

John R Retired

Mar 13, 2022
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Move on...forget using the old stuff but remember how to apply it.
Invest your time in learning microcontrollers and programming like Arduino.
You'll find the interest will spark and you'll have plenty to learn about and apply to more than you first imagine.
And it's not all that difficult......... :)
You are saying Arduinos and Rasberry Pi programming etc., is where it's at for practical electronics nowadays?
That is more like software or the IT world. I might as well get certified in Windows and Microsoft Office.
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Fine, do it your way...no skin off my nose.
You asked, I told you...... first lesson, don't knock it until you've tried it.
Seems you know everything anyhow.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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For prototyping purposes there's nothing simpler than standard thru-hole components. Same might apply for an application that is a one-off construction that isn't constricted by space requirements.

It's only when you get to production that sub-miniaturisation comes into its own both for space saving and cost saving purposes.

I suppose there will come a day when you tell an Ai what it is you want from a specific electronic device and the Ai produces the code that fits into a 'universal logic device' that gives you the product (already here?). Micro controllers aren't all that far from that principle although programmable logic arrays could be made to do the same thing.

Given the progress of 3D printing we might even end up printing our own circuits or even ICs.

So no, it's not 'nostalgic' to use thru-hole (wire ended) components. If it's nostalgia you want then come see my valved (tubed) VHF receiver that still sees service since its construction in 1950's. It'll still be here long after I'm gone too.
 

John R Retired

Mar 13, 2022
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Mar 13, 2022
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For prototyping purposes there's nothing simpler than standard thru-hole components. Same might apply for an application that is a one-off construction that isn't constricted by space requirements.

It's only when you get to production that sub-miniaturisation comes into its own both for space saving and cost saving purposes.

I suppose there will come a day when you tell an Ai what it is you want from a specific electronic device and the Ai produces the code that fits into a 'universal logic device' that gives you the product (already here?). Micro controllers aren't all that far from that principle although programmable logic arrays could be made to do the same thing.

Given the progress of 3D printing we might even end up printing our own circuits or even ICs.

So no, it's not 'nostalgic' to use thru-hole (wire ended) components. If it's nostalgia you want then come see my valved (tubed) VHF receiver that still sees service since its construction in 1950's. It'll still be here long after I'm gone too.
Thanks. good explanation. One-Off..that makes sense. Applying that one-off concept to making something useful and worth the time
rather than some device "just for fun" is the next step. I'm not knocking Fun, t's just not my goal in this case.Time is a precious commodity, have to use it for something worthwhile. that's how I see it anyway. If you are independently wealthy then it doesn't matter. Time is your servant then.

For nostalgia I meant people who get enjoyment out of fixing up old gear or deliberately do it for profit.

Yeas AI makes it even more questionalble.
 

John R Retired

Mar 13, 2022
65
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Fine, do it your way...no skin off my nose.
You asked, I told you...... first lesson, don't knock it until you've tried it.
Seems you know everything anyhow.
I wasn't attacking you. I just think programming and software, including coding is not electronics. It's a different skill set.
For me electronics is dealing with hardware and electrical relationships inherent in the atomic matter being used.
Programming is something else. I've done programming so I know. It's more like dealing with "script".

I do know everything. Glad you recognized that fact...:rolleyes:
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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John, the old stuff, especially in power area, eg. IGBTs, Power Mosfets, modules
like h bridge, used in motor, welding, cutting, actuator will be with us for a long time,
or so I think.

Have you tried GUI block programming ? See post #26 here, I use it a lot for one off
low end rapid designs, C of course for the deeper stuff.


For integration SOC's the cats meow. Basically you get a box of parts on a chip, analog
and digital, and go to town drag and drop onchip resources onto a canvas, wire up, config,
and build. A breadboard and parts in a chip. You can do virtually codeless designs thru
to real time coded type work.

An example of whats on one family of parts, multiple copies in many cases :

1704542049352.png


Regards, Dana.
 
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