Name that Ware November, 2022

November 30th, 2022

The Ware for November 2022 is shown below.

A grounded guard ring is placed around some of the most sensitive analog traces; I would love it if someone could teach me why the soldermask is removed for these guard rings. I imagine there must be some motivation to retain this motif even into mass production, since the mask-less traces run between SMT pins, which I have to imagine incurs a potential yield impact, or at the very least it makes rework more challenging.

Also, yet another tamper-proof seal broken:

It was just a matter of time…such is the fate of any seal within my reach!

Winner, Name that Ware October 2022

November 30th, 2022

The Ware for October 2022 is a Wavetek Model 21 signal generator. The winner is Marc! Congrats, email me for your prize!

Here’s some more photos of the system for context. It consists of a function generator (analog) board, and a digital control board, along with a third board (not shown) that manages the LCD and buttons.

Name that Ware, October 2022

October 30th, 2022

The Ware for October 2022 is shown below.

I think there should be ample clues in the first picture to guess the ware, but I included a couple of close-ups of the circuits because I love it when circuit boards document their functions so clearly. You can basically read the schematic directly off the traces. I also enjoy the motif of “here’s a ROM but no microprocessor” (the ROM is the ceramic-packaged 2716 in the top right of the first photo, with the label covering the UV erase window). ROM-based sequencers/FSMs and lookup tables were fairly common for this vintage, but these days most designs use ROMs exclusively to store code that is accessed by a CPU.

Winner, Name that Ware September 2022

October 30th, 2022

The Ware for September 2022 is a Kenwood ProTalk TK-3300 2 watt 450-470 MHz two-way radio, and thanks again to jackw01 for contributing the photos. Gratz to TRM for totally smashing this one, email me for your prize. Unfortunately since the ware is contributed I don’t have the original PCB to take a better photo of the SMA connector. That being said, I do have an additional image of the die-cast metal housing that the board was mounted in:

I think the “shroud” is actually the connector screwed into that metal housing. In order to photograph the PCB separately, it looks like Jack had to desolder the connector and leave the SMA connector in the housing. I agree with Barnaby’s assessment that there was a concern about reinforcing the connector, since the whip antenna is basically an excellent torque arm for forcibly removing such connectors from the PCB.

Name that Ware, September 2022

September 30th, 2022

The Ware for September 2022 is shown below.

I like the extra effort that went into the mounting of the elements on the right hand side of the lower photo. There’s a lot of cheaper ways this could have been done that involve some compromises, but this is probably one of the more robust yet repairable ways to do it that might also shave a couple mm off the final product’s thickness at the same time.

Thanks again to jackw01 for contributing these wonderfully photographed wares!