[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]
Re: gEDA-user: Free Dog meetings at MIT starting this September!
On Aug 23, 2004, at 12:02 PM, Samuel A. Falvo II wrote:
I am being realistic. My kit was a home-brew computer, something on
Hmm...does a 208-pin FPGA count as wide-pitch? How about a 128-pin
(which is what the MIPS CPU comes in)? How about a BGA?
No, I'm talking about something like SOIC. Man, those pins are
just *not that small*. Let's be realistic here.
order of complexity of a Commodore 64. But to implement the custom
video logic, I was looking for an FPGA-based solution. The smallest
FPGA I could find that still fit my needs has 208 pins.
No. I'm advocating this: when you're trying to get into the
So you're advocating using crap tools to assemble circuitry? If
business, you must design your circuit around who your customers are
going to be.
Well ok, this makes sense. But
I already have a full-time job; I don't need to spend the
remaining waking hours of my already copious time answering technical
support calls on how they need to, after spending $150 to $200 on a
invest another $150 to $200 in a good soldering iron.
I'm not talking $150 to $200. I'm talking $75.
I understand your point, and I respect your point of view, I just
don't agree with it. I believe these people should FIND some
breadboards and learn a little bit more about what they're getting into
before trying to build an entire computer.
Like I said, the overwhelming majority of the customers who are
interested in the Kestrel NEVER built an electronic circuit before.
Never! They don't even have breadboards.
(as an aside, can you tell me more about the Kestrel?)
Well admittedly I've not build a kit in probably twenty years, but I
see plenty of them around. Not as many as in the heyday of Heathkits,
sure, but they're not completely gone. Every hamfest I go to always
has at least one big rack of Ramsey kits (little FM transmitters, etc
you're really talking to people who have never picked up a soldering
iron before, then I fear for our profession. Most of these people
will give up in frustration with fried components and lifted pads.
David, with a comment like that, I must question where you've been all
these years. The homebrew kit industry all but died along with the
introduction of SMT -- it's not a coincidence as to why.
Nononono. That is not the case. I just disagree with your statement
of SMT versus through-hole soldering.
You know, the philosophy of using the right tool for the job is not
You seem to have this idea in my head that I'm ass-backwards.
As do I. And I've been repeating that wide-pitch SMT is not more
difficult to do than through-hole. Everyone I've ever spoken to has
shied away from it, and then upon trying it for the first time, has
never gone back to through-hole components. That mirrors my personal
experience as well. I was simply trying to give you an alternative (if
unpopular, but still quite valid) point of view. I'm sorry if you
don't take criticism well.
stop. I've explained no less than three times now that these decisions
are based purely on a BUSINESS-level decision-making process. Maybe
as bluntly as that, but I was hoping that you might put 2 and 2
by now. I apologize if I seem frustrated, but I am. I hate repeating
Maybe I'm just not coming across very clearly lately.
Sure. But even early-day kit makers like Heathkit rated their
projects from "beginner" to "advanced" and listed the tools each kit
required. Even in those days, when a lot more people knew what
soldering irons were, no beginner would ever try to solder together an
entire computer, and no kit maker would ever push them to try.
If I don't design my kits around the needs of my customers, nobody will
buy them. Ergo, I'm essentially out of business. It doesn't take a
rocket scientist to figure this out.
On that topic...I've seen mention of those MIPS processors a few
times here. What chips are these? Do you have a URL or a part number?
Again, I don't fear SMT. Those $22 superscalar MIPS processors are
awfully appealing to me, and as long as I build for myself exclusively,
the idea of using $100 FPGA chips isn't that bad to me (seeing as how
it'll probably replace at least that much cost in combined board space
and discrete components anyhow).
Dave McGuire "...it's a matter of how tightly
Cape Coral, FL you pull the zip-tie." -Nadine Miller