Your worst project?

I bought that at Dapra, but they have a $50 minimum, and the dye was only $12, so I had to buy some other stuff. There may be other distributors without minimums or with other stuff you need, like MSC, KBC, Travers, etc.
I later got a bottle of blue Canode at Cummins Industrial, no idea why they had it, but they had several cases hidden in a pile of stuff in the back. One of our local metalworking group members spotted the stuff there.
Ahh, it gets bad for a while (the junk that is), then a big project develops, and a mad cleanup has to be done. There are a few piles of stuff that are hard to get into, but that entire area in the photo has been totally rearranged. At the right edge were where I had shelving units arranged like library stacks, wasting a lot of space in the aisles. I calculated I would only give up one rack if I lined the walls with the shelves, opening up a HUGE area, where my surface mount pick and place machine now sits. See
formatting link
awful pictures and story. But, that was NOT one of my worst projects, but most successful, so I couldn't talk about it in the original response.
Thanks, I think it is pretty cool, too.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Loading thread data ...
Oh, the Canode isn't bad at all, it washes off skin real easy. It doesn't wash off clothes as well, but the Prussian Blue NEVER washes off anything! I have clothes that must have been washed 100+ times, and the blue is still there. The blue on your skin comes off because you grow new skin!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Yeesh, that was the Signetics/Intel 3002 series, with their insane local branching scheme, where your program listing had to be a 2D grid, with routines writhing all over the map like snakes!
Not much. This was really old-school Schottky TTL, there was a limit on how much they could put in one chip without thermal problems. The registers were external to the ALU chips, and you had to decode the register addresses. I could have made it un faster with faster register chips, but they would run even hotter, and be a lot less capable. The AMD register chips had 3 ports, 2 for reading one for writing, and there wasn't much alternative. 55 ns access time, I seem to recall, sounded blindingly fast at the time!
Yes, of course, how could I have forgotten that. I spent a LOT of time working with it, even rigged up a VERY early Memorex 10 MB Winchester drive to it, also has a 12" vector-writing CRT with a light pen, and a Honeywell 600 LPM drum printer, also 800 BPI 9-track mag tape for backup.
it would have been impressive if I'd ever gotten it running. I had 2 MB of Memorex 3rd party static RAM memory out of IBM 370's at work that were scrapped. I was going to build an interface between that memory and the 32-bit CPU, which would have allowed me to actually run a program on the thing. But, the microcoding was a total nightmare, partly because the tools I had were a bit primitive. It took me a couple days to write the code to do the simplest operations, like add 2 numbers together and write the result in another register. The last thing I did was get a simple 32x32 -> 64 bit multiply working. Next would have been divide, and I think that's about where the project stopped.
I got a SGI Iris 2020 off the loading dock at work. It almost booted up, you could look around in the file system, etc. I got some help on the net and determined the graphics engine was bad, and bought all the boards out of a German guy's system for $100. His graphics engine worked, and the thing came up and ran their OS and nifty demos like the "flight simulator". It ran for about 2 years and then the graphics engine blew again. I sold all the guts for $200 to a broker. This machine was so far beyond obsolete it wasn't funny. 68020, I think.
My VAX just died this year, after 20 years of operation, and a number of upgrades. It is also mighty far out of date, 0.9 MIPS, 4 MB of memory. I had one last application running on it for the last 7 years, an energy/environment monitoring system that has a couple LCD displays around the house that show time, inside and outside temp, humidity, etc. and also logs a whole bunch of info on furnace and air cond operation to a file every 15 seconds. I finally migrated the code and interface over to my server PC. Every night it summarizes the day's data. Used to take 3 minutes on the VAX while the displays froze. On the PC it takes 0.7 seconds, so the clock display never misses a beat.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Holy Cow! No kidding, the water table is really high, in fact, your house is sitting on a swimming pool! Wow!
I had some water problems too, and had a REALLY heavy reach lift truck sink in my back yard, but it stopped sinking when the axles were level with the ground. See
formatting link
machine was able to lift one axle at a time off the ground, then you just had to shove 3/4" plywood under it to keep it from sinking again. I pulverized $200 worth of plywood in one day, but managed to get the machine back on solid pavement by the end of the weekend. The ruts in the yard are slowly levelling out. That Lull machine weighed 21000 Lbs.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Choke!!!! I'm still coughing!!!
I'm sure glad I wasn't around for that one! Just so you know that you are not the first to do that, I have some pictures of a 6 month old, $106,000 Hyaundi 1.5 yard excavator that shows only the top 3' of the boom still above the mud level.
Mark Rand wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Looks like war pictures... For more fun stuff of this nature (to not feel alone)
formatting link
?v=7K8NXhFxeqk
formatting link
?v=4JLpU3LxD0Y (T34 tank, not related)
and some random stuff
formatting link
?v=9fWI0uTj9rM
formatting link
?v=f_v00mY-CcE i
Reply to
Ignoramus11731
[ ... ]
Perhaps it is just as well that I did not start collecting hardware to try that then. :-) And at that time, the 6800 was my only view of how a CPU should be configured.
Before the LS series, then.
Of course, I still have some plain pre-Schottky TTL just plain "SN7400"s and similar. (Then again -- I also still have the Altair 680b. :-)
Yep -- considering what I was usually working with which was doing amazing things if it reached a 150 nS access time. :-)
[ ... ]
At first, I did not have *any* OS for the Altair 680b -- until I wire-wrapped an interface for a digital cassette drive and burned routines to read and write Motorola Hex format data to/from it and added commands to the monitor ROM to use those. Everything had to live in 1720 EPROMs (256x8 IIRC, and slow enough so the 680b was clocked down to 500 KHz instead of the native 1 MHz for the CPU. And the 6800 seemed to do a little more at 1 MHz than the 8080 at 2MHz -- did things on each edge of the clock pulse, instead of just one edge.
The SWTP 6800 I ran on floppys (both 8" and 5.25") for quite a while, and was finally replaced with the SWTP 6809, using the same disks and controller cards. then I picked up an IMI 5MB hard disk with a controller whose external interface looked a bit like SASI, but wasn't quite it. I first wrote drivers for DOS-69 (rather CP/M like, except that it didn't have PIP as a command and was 6.3 filename format -- I think that CP/M was 8.3 like early MS-DOS. However, since DOS-69 (and its predecessor DOS-68) did not have a subdirectory structure, a 5MB drive got awfully cluttered, so I took the time to write drivers for OS-9 (unix-like OS for the 6809), and OS-9 was quite happy with the disks. I added another of those to max out that controller, then added two 27 MB MFM drives with a SASI (pre-SCSI) controller, and wire-wrapped an interface for that. That worked quite well until it got replaced by my first unix system, the Cosmos CMS-16/UNX which was based on an 8MHz Motorola 68000 CPU.
[ ... ]
O.K. About where it started to get really complex -- especially with primitive development tools.
Hmm ... Well, I went through the 68000 (on the Cosmos CMS-16/UNX), then the 68010 (AT&T Unix-PC followed by Sun 2/120) before I finally got to the 68020 with the Sun-3 family.
I have a friend who might have been able to sell you the parts to get it running again. But he strips machines and sells parts to dealers, so the prices would probably not be too friendly. :-)
Isn't it amazing how much faster today's systems are. I tend to forget -- until I have to dig up the older ones to extract something for someone -- in particular the AT&T Unix-PC/7300/3B1, which was 10 MHz 68010. It seemed pretty fast compared to the v7 unix on the 8MHz 68000, but now that I am used to Ultra-SPARCs that is a different matter.
Out of curiosity -- were you running VMS or a unix on the VAX?
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
The first shed I built, I just threw full sheets of plywood together. The shed ended up being about 18 feet tall, towered over the trailer I was living in. The landlord made me take it down, when I moved. I sold it to another guy, and it still stands. But, in farm country.
I didn't know roofs from what, and made a 12 - 12 pitch, which turned out to be terrifying for nailing on the shingles.
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
Oh, you remind me of the pressure washer. I bought one off Ebay, and it didn't work. So, I bought another. And that didn't have the tip for the hose. Bought a hose. Finally, with about $200 invested, I find out I can get a new one from Home Depot for $98. Which I did.
Or the great deal on a big pipe wrench, only to find out I could get a set of four from Harbor Freight for the same price.
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
It's even more fun on a cold windy winter day, in firefighting gear, working on a chimney fire. Wait, did I say "more"?
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Okay thanks. I bought some once from a place in MI over the web and thought I'd just drop by on the way from picking up a 12" RT and get more to save shipping. Well I had the gps coordinates and address but never found the place. One of those areas where roads appear and disappear. I wish I had the foresight to have written the phone number down.
The place that looked closest was a developement with $1M+ homes where names on brick mailboxes were verboten.
I found a deal to good to be true. 3 pints for 4 or 5 bucks each on the web. Ordered it and never recieved it, got charged or recieved a sorry we are out.
Is that what I would call a PCB board stuffer?
Looks like your knees don't beat into it compared to a rectangular stand.
How much was the freight on that big rock and what were you scraping?
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Also OS9. Ran well on 6809 based systems. True multi-user multi-tasking on a pico-power system. (I have OS9 for Radio Shack CoCo)
Reply to
clare at snyder.on.ca
My cousins use that technique all the time. Pour a concrete ring, sink it, excavate, pour more on top, keep going. My middle son just started working for them and really likes it. I think and hope he's found something worthwhile.
Here's their website showing the technique in use.
formatting link
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
I think that the feeling after getting that mini-backhoe our of the pit was one of the biggest rushes of my life. I had been seriously considering demolishing the garage to allow access for a full size backhoe or 50 ton crane, but in the end we managed it with a 5 ton Tirfor winch with one end attached to the axle of the dumper truck. I had buried the wheels of the dumper in the ground up to axle level to give some traction and was relying on 2 bights of 1/2" rope to break before the axle broke, it did a couple of times. The sense of relief when the backhoe got out of the mire was incredible, we were dancing around in extasy. There were pictures, but I lost them in an un-backed up server crash, That'll teach me.
Only took a day to pressure-wash all of the mud out from the backhoe.
The workshop Is still work in progress. I WILL get the windows done next year and I will get the three phase wiring done by Christmas. Fed from an invertor, for now, but eventually from the utility.
I'm now officially famous. I'm on Google Earth and live.com (it's the white trapezoidal building) :-
formatting link
formatting link

If I had my time again I'd still do it. But I'd do it bigger and better :-)
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
20/20 hindsight time. That's the way to do it :-). Maybe in the next life or after I win a lottery.
The important thing to tell the children is "don't ever buy a house on clay soil near the bottom of a hill". If they get that bit right, they can experiment with shed building as an art form :-)
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
formatting link
scroll 3/5 of the way down.
formatting link
A contractor friend showed me how to make the staging and loaned me the roof jacks. Without them, I'd have spent a lot of wasted motion moving ladders back and forth. The other trick I've seen is a bar that mounts to a ladder that then lays flat on the roof, and the bar hooks over the ridge...
I was talked into making it 10x12 by the board of health, who didn't want to hassle with a permit for a mere shed. If I had to do it again, I'd say "heck with that!" and make it at least twice as big. Second thing I'd do is not have the roof drip water in front of the doors that don't ever face the sun. I threw cheap gutters on it this fall, but I'm pessimistic that will help much. --Glenn Lyford
Reply to
glyford
Ouch! Now you can see why getting more than one opinion on your idea and the implementation can be a good thing...
That's a small and odd-shaped lot - I can see why you wanted to fill every available square centimeter...
No, the nifty trick would have been a small crane with a hydraulic vibratory pile driver, and some corrugated sheet steel piling - it's just like driving those corrugated nails with a palm nailer, only bigger. And the edges of the pile have folded grooves to interlock.
formatting link
I've seen them turn sandy running soil that is impossible to excavate into a nice square pit for the fuel tanks at a service station in a half day. They formed and poured a concrete bathtub inside the piles. Pull the piles, drop in the new fiberglass storage tanks and backfill with pea gravel. And the next time they go to replace the tanks it'll go easy and simple.
You would have to clear out all the tree stumps and "stuff" out of the backyard first, then pull out the fences and make darned sure there aren't any underground utility lines there.
The crane drives the sheet piling just inside of the side and rear property lines, and you can either drive it flush and leave it in permanently, or leave it proud and pull it after the basement walls set before building on top. Dig the pit and place compacted gravel, place rebar and forms and pour the walls and footings.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
Good input.
Cummings Industry - are they still part of Cummings Truck depots where they rebuild the tractors that drag long trailers over the country.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
formatting link

J>> That nasty Red Canode spotting dye - Now I understand.
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I had hard sector floppy version of CP/M on my 8080B from Altair. I had gotten it from Lifeboat and it was on soft sector. But knowing the hardware I could copy soft to hard and viola. Config time then!
I had Forth as well and naturally Cobol, and extended Basic, and Fortran. All this on the 8080 and it ran just fine. I created Fortran routines for a company using larger mini machines. Nice to have home computing. This was in the latter 70's. By Mid 80 the 8088 IBM PC floppy and Floppy/HD came out. The AT was later an 8086 machine along with other business models.
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
formatting link

No>
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Either the hard drive or the 3rd party controller has died, or the drive cables got a bad connection. This was a 1 GB 8" hard drive I literally pulled out of the dumpster and was astounded it worked for 5+ years. I just haven't had the need to get into it to try to get it running again. I was in the process of pulling the files off it. Some are for historical interest, some are daily environmental data that is only of a little use. I have much of the data on mag tapes, but don't have a tape drive hooked to the PC. I have a Pertec formatter to SCSI adaptor that might work for that. Again, haven't gotten around to fooling with it.
VMS. I was a card-carrying Unix hater for years. I tried out Unix-derived systems starting in 1976, and was supremely unimpressed, time after time. I cloned a National Semi 32016 system that I talked a department at work to buy, running Genix, and used it for a while. (My clone had slow memory on it that made it quite a bit worse than the bought machine.) It was spectacularly slow, but it worked for some of the stuff I was doing. I ran it for a year, I guess, back in the mid 80's. I tried to write a printer driver for it for my salvaged Versatec electrostatic printers, and it worked OK in character mode, but it was WAY too slow in graphics (raster) mode, and took 10 minutes or something per page. I just didn't have the knowledge to hack a driver properly, I think it was allocating and freeing storage one byte at a time for the print FIFO.
Then, finally, Linux came along, and while it still had the taint of C and unix commands, which grew like topsy in typical hacker form, a lot of improvements have been made. This is the first Unix-derived system I used that ran X, maybe that is the difference. Or, maybe it is the first system that I made the move to write in C, rather than trying to use historical programming languages like FORTRAN and Pascal with poorly-done translators or hobby-level compilers. (Metalworking content: The way I got dragged into Linux was through the EMC project and I got on board as the second outside user (outside NIST, that is) in 1997. I had it running my Bridgeport in 1998. Maybe it was having a real, complete, running project on Linux that got me inside, and learning how to compile, use make, emacs, Tk/Tcl, and etc.) Linux has come a long way in 10 years, too!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.