and what do you do fran
The shorter list these days is what I do not do. Google me!
Should we address some of the Q's on the list??
Yes that's a good start
my bad. i just assumed i would get a sentence from you since your here in the flesh.
Shulie: First up: Will you be trying to make a gemini like/style constructed EL panel as well?
I could. One benefit of this project is the acquiring of new skill sets and the tools for building all kinds of EL displays.
@dackdel Was that not a sentence?
@Fran Blanche can you go over the process of how the segment EL displays are made?Ooooh. Let's dig into that.
yes, that was my question too
It's a chemical layering process. Essentially every EL display is a low value capacitor, so you're layering dielectric between two conductors with some phoshor in there to engergize.
I'd actually like to learn about the design decisions that resulted in those displays. Why such a complicated device? I get that Nixies would be no bueno on a rocket, but didn't they have other technologies?
^yeah what dan said
makes me think of a capacitive touch el display
@Dan Maloney they are flat and lightweight
not easy to manufacture im assuming
Were 7-segment LEDs not yet available/reliable enough?
there were no leds in 60'
El panels were used to back illuminate all the control panels in the LEM and CM. It was very new technology at the time, and weight and overall power consumption were primary reasons
1962 is when it(leds) was invented at ge to be specific
they were too dim to be practical i think
Also for the DSKY there were so many individual digits that space dictated something like a CRT screen, and the EL panel took up far less room.
And you're still going with a silkscreen rig and ITO glass to fabricate these?
Gotcha. The constraints they worked under just fascinate me - a few grams here, a few milliwatts there; it all mattered.
ITO is the way to go nowadays, and silk screening is still the way it is done. Heat curing is essential, so there is a lot of steps in producing any one single panel.
correct me if im wrong. most EE live for a few grams, miliwatts and good coffee. i have a friend who does it and its facinating how obessed you can get.
Hey, we're almost at this question, so how about this: "can you explain the proces you had in mind to make the dsky display segments?"
Ironically the hard thing to copy in the original displays is the dark metallic face, because the original conductors were not fully transparent, rather deposited metalic layers. I think that flown DSKY displays used a form of deposited nickel for the front conductor, giving it that golden look.
The whole display is made in a single panel, so individual segements are all part of the whole.
Shulie: @Fran Blanche Next up: What inspires you? What motivates you to create?
I love old electronics, that's what always inspired me. The candy-like look of the 60's and 70's parts... the smell of real 60's transistorized boards. Nothing like it.
I loved your video about the old LED you collect :-D
See what I mean!
What about for making new things? What's your motivation?
The real answer is "because Fran is a geek" :-P
That smell should have it's own name. I mean, if there's a name for the smell of wet pavement, there should be a name for the smell of vintage electronics.
i like the definition of happyiness at the end of the led video
(Like your pedals - what's your motivation to make those?)
New things? I like integrating the new and the old.... like my new microcontrolled Nixie project.
well in relation to that, "Have you came across any antiquated tech where the quality of fabrication is better than other tech that is more recent?"
I suppose you have to define Better. There certainly was a lot more attention to craftpersonship in the past. Today better is I suppose difined more by complexity or consistency - those are easy to achieve with automation. But soul.... harder to define.
Here is one Nixie project with ESP8266 programmed with Visuino ;-) :
"the soul of a machine" was the title of a famous book, 40 years ago :-D
@Erin RobotGrrl Pedals? I mostly build what I crave. If I need an effect or such.
There's no originality in new technology, its all based on something that rocked decades before it. Some stuff rocks still, but you cant beat wood and brass, mechanisms...
Yes, let's do pedals. Here's a question: "What's a good first guitar pedal project (arduino et al) for someone who has never made one? Any projects/guides/kits you recommend?"
Will Fran build the rest of the rocket and when will we go to the moon again ? :-P
And here's a pedal-related talk by Fran at Brown:
First pedal? It's easy to go with the LM386.... and I recommand anyone try a transistor based pedla build. It builds not only a pedla, but character.
*cough* 741 *cough*
thats an opamp, thats too fancy :)
Missy's trying to sit on my keyboard.
DL101 : that's what you think, until the 741 stabs you in the back because you didn't read some fine lines in the spec sheet :-P
There a Q on the list about digital vs analog...
without analog there can be no digital :-P
The answer is
Shulie: The question: Do you think that analog circuits are better than digital? :)
"what happened to the dino den?"
yes, where is it?
For may things yes - I think, in audio essentially it is an alaog domain and analog processing is always well - best.
Dino Den went extinct.
and bil usually shows up at the end of these things...
obligatory bob wildar poster everytime digital vs analog is mentioned
I think the show ended up being a whole hell of a lotta work for a rather small audience.
But it was great while it lasted.
it was a nice show
All things must pass.
at least we have still your channel
So we have another one here: "What is your favorite example of an antiquated technology that was revived recently on a large scale? Or perhaps a technology that is still being used today because nothing beats it? (other than 3D printing or neural networks)"
There is a Q about the Automaton....
or that one.
"All things must pass." that's when you find out that your transistor has internally shorted...
"Loved your videos on the Maillardet Automaton. Any further updates on the variable ink flow theory?"
Answer is... yes. I will publish more later on this summer on that.
There's an awful lot of difference between an audio processor that runs at MHz and a 48KHz sample. I dont have a problem with digital processing in hardware, the harmonics are above audio...
Damn this is slow digital tho lol
thankyou, can't get enough of these mechanical systems
Shulie: Anyone just joined us can refer to this Transcript: https://hackaday.io/event/22120-antiquated-technologies-hack-chat/log/60239-antiquated-technologies-hack-chat-transcript@Sam Freeman
"What is your favorite example of an antiquated technology that was revived recently on a large scale? Or perhaps a technology that is still being used today because nothing beats it? (other than 3D printing or neural networks)"
Well, vacuum tubes for audio I suupose - I was really thrilled about those new vacuum 'chipc' that were due to come ot this year.... did that happen?
indeed, I heard that news too but never seen it anywhere
I mean chips - there is a loota lag in the typing here...
Those audio valve DIP package flat packs.
The tubes you'll find in guitar amps and high-end stereos were first designed in the 30s and 40s, and when you get to really, really advanced tube technology you'd be looking at extremely small tubes made in the 70s for military applications. For 40 years, there really haven't been many advances in tube technology.
Hybrid valves?? Really?
Yea, that's the one!
See this Yann... :-D
oh yeah NAMM
I wanna party with those babies!
i would love to get my hands on the too, but i have a feeling they might be $$$
Jez : see what ? damned thermionic trends...
of course it'll be expensive, they are not manufactured for your pleasure but for their profit :-P
at least there are tubes for 1$ piece on taobao :D
and cheaper in eastern europe :-)
Any other Q's?
hackaday.io ? :-)Will you participate more at
^ that one
and this one: What are techniques from making old tech that have been lost in making new tech, that could lead to more durability and logenvity for tech of today?
will you be also making the switches for the dsky?
The durability issues really come from a cultural shift to disposable technology in recent decades. 40 years ago a piece of tech was designed specifically to be serviced - indefinitely. A whole culture of serving electronics has not disappeared, and mostly because of the cuture that will not sustain it.
Just the display
will you have some sort of emulator running it, or will it be just some animation?
My connection os too slow to type complete sentences...
I am making my own demo driver for it, but if I get them produced in volume for others then anyone can make their own drivers.
Thanks for having me!
Thanks for coming!
Thanks for all your insights and sharing your experience! 🙌
Yes, thank you Fran.
It's nice to see you here Fran, come back ASAP :-)
@Fran Blanche Thank you!
Much nostalgia, thanks Fran! :-)
i dont think i ever had a chance to talk to a youtuber i follow :D
Shulie: Thank you so much for your time, @Fran Blanche!