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The Return of Wires

Connector Geek
Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.


February 12, 2020 08:58

I still use wire wrap for many of my prototypes and one-off jobs. However, PCBs are becoming cheaper all the time and their turn around time is getting quicker as well so I am using them more and more for some prototypes. Also, with the software now available to even hobbyists for circuit design, schematic capture, SPICE or other simulation and PCB layout software, it is getting much easier and faster to design the circuits and the PCB.

However, I am not certain wire wrap will die out completely for some time, at least not for designers and prototypes. Sometimes it is just more convenient to wire wrap.

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February 11, 2020 12:11

I'm still a fan and user of wire-wrapping, especially for complex layouts like multi-digit LED displays. Using FR4 double sided "perf" boards and male and female headers, it is possible to stack boards like the Arduino shields, each board having complex circuitry. I don't use specialized pins, but keep a selection of RS male headers. The square section is ideal for wraps. The female headers are Harwin M20 types that are "pass through" types meaning that you can push a male header through from either end. This allows a female header to have a wrapping tail. The cost of Tefzel wire is still high but only small quantities are used, in fact I still have reels of wire that are over 30-years old.My OK wrapping tool is similar age, but due to wear and tear, had to be replaced. I don't like the new Kynar wire so much, In my opinion, wire wrapping is a prototyping method par excellence.

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February 11, 2020 08:57

As a youngster there was a magazine called Practical electronics, One month they would publish a project and over the next few months the bugs and defects would be ironed out.
I also remember making printed circuit boards with chemicals in a bowl in my mothers kitchen. We were so pleased when red LEDs dropped in price to 80 pence.
Chasing faults in old wired systems was fun....

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February 10, 2020 12:19

Just some stories from the age of wires. A school for air traffic controllers where all the console and equipment wiring was black, every pair of wires was black and black. Chasing faults in an (ex-international) airport's equipment room where the wiring records of racks had been lost. No drawings, nothing existed. The first airport installation where a computer generated wire list was used. Maximum number of termination on a point was two. A wire list would be generated that had six connections on a point. The next printout would undo that mess and there would be some other point that would be overloaded. The bright displays which were designed assembled and tested in close proximity so there were no timing issues. Install them in the real world and there were kilometers of coax cable under the floors to compensate for image time delays. That age of wires still exists.

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