IC deterioration

General discussions or ideas about hardware.
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Re: IC deterioration

Post by exxos » Sun May 13, 2018 12:31 pm

rubber_jonnie wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:55 am
Yeah, the whole PAK thing is a bit odd TBH.

Your PAK worked first time with no issues in my test board, and of the CPU's you sent me with it (I think you sent 8 including the one installed in the PAK) I seem to recall all but one or two failed, and all the rest worked fine with no issues.

I think Frank said not all 020's work.. But while the tolerances are clearly at play here, the circuit shouldn't be that sensitive to it in the first place.

Even from various stock machines to modded machines, PAK refuses to work, and yet it did originally on my normal test machine! Same issue with MonSTer, IDE refuse to work on any machine, but Alan's original IDE works fine.. I don't think anyone else has these problems.. Same when I was working with Peter on the super fast HDD project (always on hold) design works fine on his STE, and I can't hardly get it to read reliable on any of my machines. The problems are endless :(

Of course its annoying that most can throw just about anything together and it works, but I have nothing but issues with stuff here :( I guess that's a good thing as I have a pile of stuff which is likely the shape of things to come, and nobody else is likely going to be debugging this stuff, so while its annoying, I guess its good I have all these "problem machines" to start with. Again its why I didn't copy the PAK design, as where is the fault in the whole thing ? Debugging someone else's design is a nightmare, id rather design it all from the ground up and work though each issue one by one building in fixes and documenting problems. Of course takes months/years longer to complete final project.

Again with the PSU's, I saw issues 10 years ago of PSU problems, nobody at the time seemed to care, typical AF responses there and basically ridicule, fast forward to recent years, people are starting to see issues, but some still refuse to accept issues are appearing and things need fixing/servicing. I'm seeing the write protect issues appear now, so likely in 10 years time people will take notice what I am saying.. But I also don't plan on doing this work in 10 years time either :)

The whole thing is exhausting to be honest. I only wanted to quickly try a hard drive the other day, then spend many hours working out why the floppy drive had write protect issues.. endless madness. But hey, working through these faults will solve future problems for many people.. just annoying that it constantly holds up building new hardware as I spend the majority of the time on chasing faults which shouldn't be there in the first place. Don't get me started on modern circuits either.. :)
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Re: IC deterioration

Post by Petari » Tue May 15, 2018 7:17 am

Things are that for some decades there is already general rule about 'consum' electronic - including home, office computers, TVs and like:
There are more failures in first couple months than usual - what is caused by manufacturing errors.
Then, about 10 years failure count is low.
After 10 years it increases, and the reason is aging of components, of course.
Age of about 30 years is when it becomes really bad. Not only frequent failures, but it just works not that well. TVs have worse pic, audio worse sound, computers more problems with some SW and upgrades ...
I getting plenty of e-mails in last couple years about problems with game adaptations for hard disks. And actually, big % of it is just caused by HW in not good shape.
We are in it with Ataris, and it will be just worse. I wrote about this couple times in some forums, and actually, I'm little surprised that it is not well known - since I wrote here nothing new.
Will add page about on my site. It's time for it. (5 minutes after 12 :D ) .
There is 2 kind of people: one thinking about moving to Mars after here becomes too bad, the others thinking about how to keep this planet habitable.

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Re: IC deterioration

Post by rubber_jonnie » Tue May 15, 2018 9:13 am

I do think that to some degree, the poor thermal characteristics of these machines also leads to a degradation of the components.

For the intended lifespan of these machines, maybe 4 or 4 years, it would never be an issue, but after 30 years of thermal cycles, components that had poor tolerances to begin with, drift even further off leading to an overall poor performance.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ultimate 1MB, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k +APE Warp) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg), 1040STF long button floppy, 2x 1040 STFMs + Gotek, 2x 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher, Mega ST1, Mega ST4, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...