Dead RK-9000

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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:53 pm

just brew it! wrote:You'll be fine. Looked like that board had a DIP and a few through-hole discretes?

Through-hole isn't an issue. As I said, I built enough HeathKits back in the day to learn those skills and kill brain cells through the lovely aroma of rosin-core lead solder. It's the small stuff like SMT that gives me the willies.

EDIT: You and I are part of the very few here who even know what HeathKit means. I built my last HeathKit over 20 years ago and it still soldiers on as the alarm clock on my nightstand.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:You'll be fine. Looked like that board had a DIP and a few through-hole discretes?

Through-hole isn't an issue. As I said, I built enough HeathKits back in the day to learn those skills and kill brain cells through the lovely aroma of rosin-core lead solder. It's the small stuff like SMT that gives me the willies.

I've done a very limited amount of SMT repair work. Mostly of the "glob some solder on then try to fix the obvious visible shorts after the fact" variety.

I work with a guy who has actually fixed screwed up prototype SMT boards where the original layout was wrong, and the fix involved scraping away PCB material to get down to a blind via buried a half dozen layers deep in order to solder a wire to it. :o Amazed the sh*t out of me the first time I saw him do that. And he's *good* at it too -- his success rate on doing crazy stuff like that is close to 100%.

Captain Ned wrote:EDIT: You and I are part of the very few here who even know what HeathKit means. I built my last HeathKit over 20 years ago and it still soldiers on as the alarm clock on my nightstand.

Amazingly (given my background and age) I never built an honest-to-God Heathkit. But my first PC (an IMSAI) was assembled largely from kits, and my first part-time job was for one of the first local PC retailers, who decided they would try to save some money by buying as many cards as they could in kit form, and hiring a high school student to sit in the basement and solder them together for minimum wage!
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:46 pm

For those who wonder what JBI and I are babbling about, Heathkit was a seller of electronics kits that taught most of the Boomer and early X cohort how to solder. Here's their Winter 1978 catalog:

http://www.wd8afb.com/heath/Winter1978.pdf

104 pages of everyday home electronics, oscilloscopes, measurement gear, computers, and all sorts of toys that you could buy for far less than market price for the completed unit as long as you were willing to wield the iron. Ham radio was one of their biggest product lines.

EDIT: The RC airplane transmitter on pg 23 is still on my modeling desk in the cellar of my parents' house. Since I don't remember removing the battery pack it's probably well and truly acid-etched at this point.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:38 pm

just brew it! wrote:I work with a guy who has actually fixed screwed up prototype SMT boards where the original layout was wrong, and the fix involved scraping away PCB material to get down to a blind via buried a half dozen layers deep in order to solder a wire to it. :o Amazed the sh*t out of me the first time I saw him do that. And he's *good* at it too -- his success rate on doing crazy stuff like that is close to 100%.

Most impressive mod I saw in person was about 15 years ago. Our lab tech added a wire to a ball on a BGA that was on the SECOND row :o
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:42 pm

just brew it! wrote:But my first PC (an IMSAI)

I wonder just how many IMSAIs Ally Sheedy sold.
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:48 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:But my first PC (an IMSAI)

I wonder just how many IMSAIs Ally Sheedy sold.

They were out of production by then IIRC (and the Gen II "reloaded" model was still years off). Probably did a lot for the resale value (and eventually, eBay bids) of the original ones though!
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:11 pm

I knew you'd get the reference, and yes I knew they were old tech then. Just don't tell Hollywood.
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:21 pm

Ah, Heathkit! I built a few of those, the most ambitious was the graphic equalizer. I used the two best gifts I've ever received, a Fluke voltmeter and a Weller soldering station (with a 700F tip). I miss the smell of flux in the afternoon.

Anyway, back on track, if you want to get in on a group buy, geekhack.org does the business:

http://geekhack.org/index.php?board=80.0
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:44 am

It also doesn't hurt to keep an eye on Deskthority, too, although they're more Eurocentric.
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Re: Dead RK-9000

Postposted on Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:51 am

just brew it! wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:I wonder just how many IMSAIs Ally Sheedy sold.

They were out of production by then IIRC (and the Gen II "reloaded" model was still years off). Probably did a lot for the resale value (and eventually, eBay bids) of the original ones though!

Correction: The Gen II "reloaded" model still isn't out (and at this point looks like it never will be). I remembered reading about it years ago and assumed something had eventually come of it; however the project apparently stalled around 2006. More info on IMSAI's web page.

bhtooefr wrote:It also doesn't hurt to keep an eye on Deskthority, too, although they're more Eurocentric.

Yes, that's in fact where I found my replacement Rosewill controller -- on the Deskthority forums!
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