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'[OT:] Death of the solitary inventor?'
2004\07\02@134434 by rrc124+

picon face
Lately, I've been worried. I see a trend, and i'd like all your input on it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have seen a slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary inventor, tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with the next big thing. Hundreds of reasons can be listed, including:

-Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.

-New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to the point where your own car requires specialized technicians and computers to tinker with.

-Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.

-Amazingly expensive patent process.


There are a lot more little bits of proof that I seem to forget now. Maybe i'm just seeing something that isn't there. That's why I want another opinion ;-)

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2004\07\02@140421 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> Lately, I've been worried. I see a trend, and i'd like all your input on it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have seen a slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary inventor, tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with the next big thing. Hundreds of reasons can be listed, including:

I think that you're overstating the case a bit.

> -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.

Most SMD devices can still be used by the hobbiest. They do require
different prototyping boards than we're normally used to.

I like the ones available through http://www.onepasinc.com/

Yes, some devices are a royal pain to use, like BGAs, but there are sockets
for these.

> -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to the point where your own car requires specialized technicians and computers to tinker with.

Sometimes. However, you can *usually* get ahold of the manual for the car
and can do most of the normal things a garage mechanic could. Especially
if you're willing to make some of your own test equipment.

> -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.

I don't even *have* an oscilliscope (though I'd like one someday). I make
due with a fairly good digital multimeter and using PICs to check other
PICs.

I haven't bought a compiler in years. I either program in assembly or I
program using a free compiler.

> -Amazingly expensive patent process.

It seems to me that the patent process has always been expensive, but
I can't verify this. I'm not sure I'd ever patent anything I made anyway,
even if I knew it was patentable, but that is a moral decision rather
than a financial one.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base first,
spam_OUTjayTakeThisOuTspamsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !

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2004\07\02@141044 by Mark A. Samuels

picon face
Patents can actually be done by the solitary inventor himself, for only a filing fee of $385.
Granted, a LOT of work has to go into doing it yourself, but the USPTO does have downloadable applications to make it a little easier.

-Mark

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2004\07\02@143834 by Matthew Brush

flavicon
face
I agree, but I would say "the painfully slow dying of
the solitary inventor".  You CAN still do it, but as
you said it's much more involved now.

> -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require
> expensive machinery.

Instead of using a DIP chip on your breadboard, you
know have to buy an adapter socket and attempt to
solder those stupid little pins into place.  So right
there you have another $5-$10 per chip for the adapter
board and then another 1/2 hour trying to solder
something that was meant to be soldered using wave
soldering or whatever.

> -New consumer products tending to be much more
> complex, to the point where your own car requires
> specialized technicians and computers to tinker
> with.

As far as the car thing, here's how I look at that.
If a measly car mechanic can fix my car, I sure as
hell can.  Where he uses a special $5000 scantool, I
could make one for $100.  Although good luck finding
good info on the commands and protocol.  And
everything else in the car (aside from the OBD
computer) is EXTREMELY easy, as long as you take time
to figure out how stuff works.  I fix my car all the
time, and I've never even taken an automotive class in
high school or anything.  Bolts, belts and nuts ...
easy as pie.

> -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost
> captiol investments are needed.. not more is a
> simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500
> compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for
> devices, etc.

I also don't have an oscilloscope either, but I
really, REALLY need one, just can't afford one yet.  I
think I would be way more advanced in electronics if I
had a scope to see what the heck was going on with
stuff.

I have no idea about patents, nor do I care.  I don't
believe in patents.

Just my two cents.

Cheers

=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\07\02@143837 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
rrc124+@PITT.EDU wrote:

> Lately, I've been worried. I see a trend, and i'd like all your input on it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have seen a slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary inventor, tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with the next big thing. Hundreds of reasons can be listed, including:
>
> -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.

True, but not relevent. Almost all can be done by hand.

>
> -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to the point where your own car requires specialized technicians and computers to tinker with.
>
> -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.
>
> -Amazingly expensive patent process.

Patents are just fluff. The guy who gets there first makes the money,
patent or no patent. I hold 2 patents, and I gotta say: they are really
worthless. Their primary purpose is to keep corporate lawyers busy.

> There are a lot more little bits of proof that I seem to forget now. Maybe i'm just seeing something that isn't there. That's why I want another opinion ;-)

Nope, you are just gettin' tired and old. Just like I am.

---

Good ideas are good ideas regardless of the source. Many good ideas come
from people at big companies. But the actual IDEA is created in that
unique flash of insight within the mind of an individual person. No
committee ever had a brilliant idea, but somebody on that committee did-
from time to time- or the company would not be in business.

Notice that since 1880, the Nobel Prize selection team has NEVER awarded
a Nobel Prize to a company.

The notion that Edison was an solitary genius is pretty much a myth. He
had some ideas: some hohum, some good, some brilliant, and some VERY
bad. He then got a team of engineers together and verified, refined, and
developed the idea. Edison was dead wrong on the issue of DC vs AC
power, but was right about the incandescent bulb.

Now, go out and have a great day. And a good idea!

--Bob
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        Bob Axtell
PIC Hardware & Firmware Dev
  http://beam.to/baxtell
      1-520-219-2363

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2004\07\02@144456 by Robert Rolf

picon face
A patent is only of value if you have the money to defend it.
If you don't have $100k+ lying around, it is pointless to waste your
time getting a patent since you will _never_ be able to protect it.
There are countless examples of where the 'rich' infringer wipes
out the rightful inventor by bleeding them dry with the legal process.

Seattle Computer Products vs Microsoft rings any bells?

Visit Don Lancasters web site
http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.asp
for a few dozen additional reasons to not waste your time with the
patent system.

"For most individuals and small scale startups, patents are virtually
certain to result in a net loss of time, energy, money, and sanity.

One reason for this is the outrageously wrong urban lore involving
patents and patenting. A second involves the outright scams which
inevitably surround "inventions" and "inventing".

A third is that the economic breakeven needed to recover patent costs
is something between $12,000,000.00 and $40,000,000 in gross sales.

It is ludicrously absurd to try and patent a million dollar idea.

This library explores many tested and fully proven real-world alternates
to patents and patenting."

Having seen first hand the paperwork and lawyering involved,
patents are not for the underfunded.

Robert

"Mark A. Samuels" wrote:
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2004\07\02@145705 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.
> Most SMD devices can still be used by the hobbiest.

And most parts are still available in DIP, though I admit not all.

> > -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to
> the point where your own car requires specialized technicians
> and computers to tinker with.

OTOH 20y ago you had to invest a lot of $$ and reserve a small room to
hold the datasheets and manuals my might need. Now I simply start my
browser (with google as homepage) and typ in the number.

> good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase
> requirements for devices, etc.

OTOH internet and the free software movement have created free compilers
for most chips. And if none exist you can always write your own :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products

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2004\07\02@152441 by Ben Hencke

picon face
The last time I looked there were several mandatory fees that totalled
something like $1500.

Don't forget that even if a patent is granted, it may not be
enforceable if the wording is not right or there is prior art, etc. If
all you want is the status of having a patent, go ahead, but if you
want something that will protect your IP and hold up in court you will
need a lawyer.

BTW SMT is not an excuse (at least .050 SOIC stuff). I switched to SMT
and it takes some practice, but you can solder a 8 pin SOIC with a
normal $9 RadioShack 15W iron in less than a minute using the right
technique. I even surface mount all of my through hole parts like 1/4w
resistors because I was so tired of drilling holes. ( I also trained 2
people with no soldering experience how to do SMT in less than an
hour)

Here is how:
1. Tin the pads so they are fully smooth with solder.
2. Remove excess solder by wicking the solder with the iron (do not
use desoldering wick, it will remove too much) and flicking/tapping
the iron to remove the blobs.
3. Make sure that all the pads are even and smooth and do not have too
much solder. Very little solder is actually needed. Run the tip at a
low angle (imagine shading with a pencil) back and forth over the pads
to smooth them into flat tinned surfaces.
4. Remove all solder from the iron (wipe, flick, tap, whatever it takes)
5. Never add solder, and make sure there is none on the tip.
6. Position the part on the pads with your non soldering iron hand.
7. You really only need 1 corner pad to fully align and solder at
first. While holding the part in place, touch the top of the pad foot
with the soldering iron and gently press down. If you have really good
eyesight you can see the solder wick up onto the led. It only takes
1/4 to 1/2 a second total time.
8. Now you can gently rotate the part so that all the other pins line
up. The axis of rotation is the soldered pin. This only works if the
part is off by a little, If it is 45 degrees off, dont even attept
this and go back and redo 7
9. Touch and press down on the foot of the pad for each pad one at a
time very briefly. There should not be enough solder anywhere for a
bridge to occur.


However there are several FREE things that will help you:

Free MChip & open source assemblers.

Free programmer software

Almost free programmers that you build yourself

There are free compilers, and if you are a real hard core solitary
inventor, you can make your own language and compiler. PIC assembly is
not that hard (only 35 instructions). If you want to know how to do
something from C in ASM get the Hi-Tech lite compiler and look at the
asm output.

Free PCB design softwares.

If you have a printer or access to a photocopier, you can make a
custom PCB good enough for most SMT for less than $10-20.

Free samples of all kinds of chips. Plenty enough to design and proto your idea.

Free source code (piclist.com, and MicrochipC.com for example)

Free technical support

And best of all Free PICLIST!


The only thing you need is free time and the determination to create something.
- Ben


ps I hope this email wasn't discarded as spam because I used "free" too much ;-)



On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 14:11:25 -0400, Mark A. Samuels <.....msamuels0KILLspamspam.....cox.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\02@153724 by rrc124+

picon face
Thank you VERY much for that rundown of soldering SMT. I have a bunch of components I got as samples or ordered the wrong packaging. They've been collecting dust cuz I've been too scared to try them (looked like i'd burn my fingers off).


--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Ben Hencke" <brainstarspamspam_OUTGMAIL.COM>
To:   <@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 7/2/2004 3:23:28 PM

The last time I looked there were several mandatory fees that totalled
something like $1500.

Don't forget that even if a patent is granted, it may not be
enforceable if the wording is not right or there is prior art, etc. If
all you want is the status of having a patent, go ahead, but if you
want something that will protect your IP and hold up in court you will
need a lawyer.

BTW SMT is not an excuse (at least .050 SOIC stuff). I switched to SMT
and it takes some practice, but you can solder a 8 pin SOIC with a
normal $9 RadioShack 15W iron in less than a minute using the right
technique. I even surface mount all of my through hole parts like 1/4w
resistors because I was so tired of drilling holes. ( I also trained 2
people with no soldering experience how to do SMT in less than an
hour)

Here is how:
1. Tin the pads so they are fully smooth with solder.
2. Remove excess solder by wicking the solder with the iron (do not
use desoldering wick, it will remove too much) and flicking/tapping
the iron to remove the blobs.
3. Make sure that all the pads are even and smooth and do not have too
much solder. Very little solder is actually needed. Run the tip at a
low angle (imagine shading with a pencil) back and forth over the pads
to smooth them into flat tinned surfaces.
4. Remove all solder from the iron (wipe, flick, tap, whatever it takes)
5. Never add solder, and make sure there is none on the tip.
6. Position the part on the pads with your non soldering iron hand.
7. You really only need 1 corner pad to fully align and solder at
first. While holding the part in place, touch the top of the pad foot
with the soldering iron and gently press down. If you have really good
eyesight you can see the solder wick up onto the led. It only takes
1/4 to 1/2 a second total time.
8. Now you can gently rotate the part so that all the other pins line
up. The axis of rotation is the soldered pin. This only works if the
part is off by a little, If it is 45 degrees off, dont even attept
this and go back and redo 7
9. Touch and press down on the foot of the pad for each pad one at a
time very briefly. There should not be enough solder anywhere for a
bridge to occur.


However there are several FREE things that will help you:

Free MChip & open source assemblers.

Free programmer software

Almost free programmers that you build yourself

There are free compilers, and if you are a real hard core solitary
inventor, you can make your own language and compiler. PIC assembly is
not that hard (only 35 instructions). If you want to know how to do
something from C in ASM get the Hi-Tech lite compiler and look at the
asm output.

Free PCB design softwares.

If you have a printer or access to a photocopier, you can make a
custom PCB good enough for most SMT for less than $10-20.

Free samples of all kinds of chips. Plenty enough to design and proto your idea.

Free source code (piclist.com, and MicrochipC.com for example)

Free technical support

And best of all Free PICLIST!


The only thing you need is free time and the determination to create something.
- Ben


ps I hope this email wasn't discarded as spam because I used "free" too much ;-)



On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 14:11:25 -0400, Mark A. Samuels <KILLspammsamuels0KILLspamspamcox.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\02@155805 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 03:36 PM 7/2/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Thank you VERY much for that rundown of soldering SMT. I have a bunch of
>components I got as samples or ordered the wrong packaging. They've been
>collecting dust cuz I've been too scared to try them (looked like i'd burn
>my fingers off).

The only ones that I don't like now are the ones with no exposed leads, such
as BGAs and even this relatively small 9-contact one:

http://www.national.com/packaging/mkt/sdc08a.pdf

BGAs are so much smaller than TQFP and similar packages that they are
displacing the relatively easy-to-handle SMT packages for high-pin count
parts such as processors, and the package I linked above has potentially
4:1 better thermal performance (theta J-A) than the equivalent leaded SMT
part!

In the "good old days" it would cost $20K US for a development system (back
when that was a good 6 or 8 months salary for an engineer),
OTP chips were rare and expensive (and FLASH was nonexistent).
You can get a really, really nice development setup for 6 months salary
now.

OTOH, I do think it's harder to come up with a "home run" product.
Partly because the entry costs are lower, there are too many other people
coming up with the easier and more obvious products.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spamBeGonespeffspamBeGonespaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2004\07\02@165335 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 16:09:18 -0400, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> The only ones that I don't like now are the ones with no exposed leads, such
> as BGAs and even this relatively small 9-contact one:
>
> http://www.national.com/packaging/mkt/sdc08a.pdf
>
> BGAs are so much smaller than TQFP and similar packages that they are
> displacing the relatively easy-to-handle SMT packages for high-pin count
> parts such as processors, and the package I linked above has potentially
> 4:1 better thermal performance (theta J-A) than the equivalent leaded SMT
> part!

The LLP packages can easily be soldered with hot air tools or (better
yet) the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven". I'm reasonably sure BGAs will solder
fine in the toaster oven too, although I haven't tried (yet). The bas
part of BGAs is inspection -- I haven't seen a $100 home X-ray unit
yet!

> In the "good old days" it would cost $20K US for a development system (back
> when that was a good 6 or 8 months salary for an engineer),
> OTP chips were rare and expensive (and FLASH was nonexistent).
> You can get a really, really nice development setup for 6 months salary
> now.

True enough. I sure wish I'd had the tools and chips (along with their
relative cost) back in the mid-late 70's when I was in college. I
sometimes spent as much for parts in a given month as I did for rent
-- and that was for a small quantity of passive components and TTL
chips, the occasional CPU (6502, 6800 or Z80) and memory (2114 RAMs and
2716 UV EPROMs were the hot ticket). As for tools, I built my first
6502 computer with nothing but an EPROM programmer. Not even an
assembler -- I hand entered the hex opcodes in the programmer then
burned an EPROM and tried it. Using this method I wrote my own
monitor/debugger that allowed you to enter programs in hex with a
scavenged calculator keyboard/display and single step/breakpoint/run a
program. Those were the *ahem* "good old days".

It was a great learning experience but I'd never like to return to
those days again.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2004\07\02@165748 by John Ferrell

face picon face
It has always been tough for the little guy. Armstrong (superhet radio) and
Farnsworth (TV) both committed suicide as a result of their lifelong battles
with big business.
Tesla lost out to Edison several times for non technical reasons.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\02@172520 by llile

flavicon
face
We spent $100,000 actually *getting* a patent.  The Patent office's fees
are the tip of the iceberg.

Patent examiners are charged with routinely rejecting any and all patents.
They can and do reject applications on minor discrepancies, adherence to
arcane drafting standards, and subtle shadings of wording.  They will
often cite completely irrelevant patents as prior art (I know, I got the T
Shirt.)  Only companies that have enough money to resubmit and fight an
Office Action actually recieve patents.  Our Company has a dozen or so
patents-allowed in the last 10 years, only one of them was granted on the
first try.  1 in 2 are never granted.

25 Years ago, patent filing fees were $35.  This all changed in the Reagan
Administration, for reasons I will not discuss on the PIClist lest I cross
the line into the Political. The Patent Office was then charged with
raising enough money in fees to cover it's cost, and American innovation
has suffered ever since. <I promise, no more diatribes>

We patent new and wierd ideas.  Meanwhile, our competitors infringe with
apparent impunity.  There is one that infringes on two of our patents
being sold in Wall Mart every day.  Another one recently lost a suit and
is now forking up up $1.00 a toaster, and they are sorry indeed because
they sell a lot of toasters.  Hah!

Fighting an infringement can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Patents are not for the little guy.  They are for the big players only.

The Garage inventor has been an American Myth since the 1800's, and was
only rarely ever true.  Edison, for instance, had deep pocket commercial
backing for a lot of his inventions.  Sure, there are a few guys that make
it, but the vast majority are overwhelmed by the complexities of
inventing, designing, manufacturing and marketing a new product, let alone
patenting it as well.  If you are a multitalented Genius who is a good
salesman, savvy with business, an accomplished patent attourney, an
experienced manufacturing engineer and a sharp trader and aslo a
millionaire gambler, this is no sweat.

Just tooling up the plastics for a new design can take tens of thousands,
if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We routinely spend $50,000 on a
new mold for one part.


-- Lawrence Lile
3 patents
3 pending






Ben Hencke <TakeThisOuTbrainstarEraseMEspamspam_OUTGMAIL.COM>
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
07/02/2004 02:23 PM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


       To:     PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU
       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT:] Death of the solitary inventor?


The last time I looked there were several mandatory fees that totalled
something like $1500.

Don't forget that even if a patent is granted, it may not be
enforceable if the wording is not right or there is prior art, etc. If
all you want is the status of having a patent, go ahead, but if you
want something that will protect your IP and hold up in court you will
need a lawyer.

BTW SMT is not an excuse (at least .050 SOIC stuff). I switched to SMT
and it takes some practice, but you can solder a 8 pin SOIC with a
normal $9 RadioShack 15W iron in less than a minute using the right
technique. I even surface mount all of my through hole parts like 1/4w
resistors because I was so tired of drilling holes. ( I also trained 2
people with no soldering experience how to do SMT in less than an
hour)

Here is how:
1. Tin the pads so they are fully smooth with solder.
2. Remove excess solder by wicking the solder with the iron (do not
use desoldering wick, it will remove too much) and flicking/tapping
the iron to remove the blobs.
3. Make sure that all the pads are even and smooth and do not have too
much solder. Very little solder is actually needed. Run the tip at a
low angle (imagine shading with a pencil) back and forth over the pads
to smooth them into flat tinned surfaces.
4. Remove all solder from the iron (wipe, flick, tap, whatever it takes)
5. Never add solder, and make sure there is none on the tip.
6. Position the part on the pads with your non soldering iron hand.
7. You really only need 1 corner pad to fully align and solder at
first. While holding the part in place, touch the top of the pad foot
with the soldering iron and gently press down. If you have really good
eyesight you can see the solder wick up onto the led. It only takes
1/4 to 1/2 a second total time.
8. Now you can gently rotate the part so that all the other pins line
up. The axis of rotation is the soldered pin. This only works if the
part is off by a little, If it is 45 degrees off, dont even attept
this and go back and redo 7
9. Touch and press down on the foot of the pad for each pad one at a
time very briefly. There should not be enough solder anywhere for a
bridge to occur.


However there are several FREE things that will help you:

Free MChip & open source assemblers.

Free programmer software

Almost free programmers that you build yourself

There are free compilers, and if you are a real hard core solitary
inventor, you can make your own language and compiler. PIC assembly is
not that hard (only 35 instructions). If you want to know how to do
something from C in ASM get the Hi-Tech lite compiler and look at the
asm output.

Free PCB design softwares.

If you have a printer or access to a photocopier, you can make a
custom PCB good enough for most SMT for less than $10-20.

Free samples of all kinds of chips. Plenty enough to design and proto your
idea.

Free source code (piclist.com, and MicrochipC.com for example)

Free technical support

And best of all Free PICLIST!


The only thing you need is free time and the determination to create
something.
- Ben


ps I hope this email wasn't discarded as spam because I used "free" too
much ;-)



On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 14:11:25 -0400, Mark A. Samuels <EraseMEmsamuels0spamcox.net>
wrote:
>
> Patents can actually be done by the solitary inventor himself, for only
a filing fee of $385.
> Granted, a LOT of work has to go into doing it yourself, but the USPTO
does have downloadable applications to make it a little easier.
{Quote hidden}

on it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have
seen a slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary
inventor, tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with
the next big thing. Hundreds of reasons can be listed, including:
> >
> > -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.
> >
> > -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to the point
where your own car requires specialized technicians and computers to
tinker with.
> >
> > -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are
needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500
compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.
> >
> > -Amazingly expensive patent process.
> >
> >
> > There are a lot more little bits of proof that I seem to forget now.
Maybe i'm just seeing something that isn't there. That's why I want
another opinion ;-)
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\02@172655 by llile

flavicon
face
Did you price any electronic CAD software 30 years ago?  Try $100,000 for
something not as nice as Eagle Light.



-- Lawrence Lile
Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com





Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterspam_OUTspamKILLspamVOTI.NL>
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
07/02/2004 01:55 PM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


       To:     EraseMEPICLISTspamspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU
       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT:] Death of the solitary inventor?


> > -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.
> Most SMD devices can still be used by the hobbiest.

And most parts are still available in DIP, though I admit not all.

> > -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to
> the point where your own car requires specialized technicians
> and computers to tinker with.

OTOH 20y ago you had to invest a lot of $$ and reserve a small room to
hold the datasheets and manuals my might need. Now I simply start my
browser (with google as homepage) and typ in the number.

> good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase
> requirements for devices, etc.

OTOH internet and the free software movement have created free compilers
for most chips. And if none exist you can always write your own :)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\07\02@173526 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> The LLP packages can easily be soldered with hot air tools or (better
> yet) the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven". I'm reasonably sure BGAs will solder
> fine in the toaster oven too, although I haven't tried (yet). The bas
> part of BGAs is inspection -- I haven't seen a $100 home X-ray unit
> yet!

You CAN build an X-ray machine for less than that - just as you can build an
SMD soldering machine from a toaster over. The X-ray equipment is of course
potentially very dangerous. A very old Scientific American article * gives
some clues as how to generate X-rays using old tubes and even light bulbs
with an EHT source and some metal foil. (Probably on their CD too).

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/science_fair_project/334dc8f2a5379bb03525ce1a3c3e6131.html

I'd say you could probably do it for $20 +/- $20 :-)

The basic procedure is very easy if you don't need tight control over
energy. And odds are that these days you can get surplus X-ray tubes for a
minimal amount. Getting certification for such equipment would be another
matter. And development of film would be a nuisance. Toaster oven level
electronic viewing is liable to be harder to achieve. You could use a fluro
screen as first employed over 100 years ago - but you'd want some confidence
about ray energy before you viewed it :-)



       RM


* Footnote to this page says -
The preceding was taken in full from
Section IX. Optics, Heat, and Electronics;
Chapter 3. An Inexpensive X-ray Machine
The Scientific American Book of Projects for The Amateur Scientist
Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 60-14286
© Copyright 1960 by C. L. Stong

November 27, 1995
April 1, 1997
Feb 26, 2001 (misspelled C.L.Stong!)

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2004\07\02@175436 by Jason S

flavicon
face
This is a very interesting thread.

Funny you picked Armstrong and Farnsworth who both committed suicide after
losing to Sarnoff of RCA.

Empire of the Air was a great documentry.

Jason

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\02@184707 by David P Harris

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> ...
>
>You CAN build an X-ray machine for less than that - just as you can build an
>SMD soldering machine from a toaster over. The X-ray equipment is of course
>potentially very dangerous. A very old Scientific American article * gives
>some clues as how to generate X-rays using old tubes and even light bulbs
>with an EHT source and some metal foil. (Probably on their CD too).
>
>http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/science_fair_project/334dc8f2a5379bb03525ce1a3c3e6131.html
>
>I'd say you could probably do it for $20 +/- $20 :-)
>
>The basic procedure is very easy if you don't need tight control over
>energy. And odds are that these days you can get surplus X-ray tubes for a
>minimal amount. Getting certification for such equipment would be another
>matter. And development of film would be a nuisance. Toaster oven level
>electronic viewing is liable to be harder to achieve. You could use a fluro
>screen as first employed over 100 years ago - but you'd want some confidence
>about ray energy before you viewed it :-)
>
Surely we could adapt some nmos or cmos image arrays to replay the pesky
film :-)  It wuld have a small field of view, but that's good.
David

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2004\07\02@185952 by Edward Gisske

flavicon
face
I get to see lots of solitary inventors as I am a private practice engineer
that does product development of mechanical and electronic products. They
are still out there in some force.

I do have a somewhat jaded attitude about solitary inventors as they can be
the most difficult of clients. I do work with them, but say no to a lot more
than I say yes to. I have an informal check list that I go through during
the pre-hiring interview before I commit to working with the inventor:

1. Is he adequately funded to finish the development of his idea? Most
aren't and very few folks outside of the product development biz have much
of an idea of how much "It will just take a little work" will actually cost.
It can be really scary to work with a client who has taken out a second
mortgage to finance his dream. Working with companies where the employees
are not so personally involved in the idea is a lot easier.

2. Is the idea any good or have any possibility of working? Usually the
answer is yes. There are lots of good ideas out there. I have also seen my
share of 100 mpg carburetors and motors that run on permanent magnetism
only.

3. Does the inventor have any concept of how to actually get the product to
market and supported. This doesn't matter much to me as I _never_ work for a
"share of the profits". Discussing it with the inventor is a good way to
evaluate how well he has thought things through, however, before he dumps a
lot of money into the project. Getting a product manufactured, advertised,
packaged, distributed, supported, etc. are items that have much more to do
with the success of the product than the original good idea. My guess is the
idea accounts for no more than 10% of the work involved in getting paid for
your great idea. It is a rare inventor, (who tend to be visionary types),
that can handle all of the areas beyond the "great idea". In 30 years in the
biz, I have seen no more than three solitary inventors that could pull it
all off to the level of making a business out of their idea. It is really,
really, tough!

I think that the complexity of the technology (particularly in the
electronics biz) makes it very difficult for a solitary inventor to come up
with a clean, elegant, simple solution to a problem. The electronic business
is pretty mature these days and most of the progress seems to be in the way
of increasingly complex software and brute force "cram more transistors on a
chip". Neither of these areas lend themselves to a guy in his basement. The
Halcyon days of the late '50's and early '60's when Bob Widlar could whip
out industry-changing analog IC designs on a bar-napkin in a saloon in
Sunnyvale are unfortunately long over.

Don't let me discourage all you inventors, however. If you are willing to
sacrifice your sanity, your marriage, your fortune and not seeing your kids
grow up, you too can be rich and famous!

Edward Gisske, P.E.
Gisske Engineering
608-523-1900
RemoveMEgisskeKILLspamspamoffex.com


> >
> >
> > Lately, I've been worried. I see a trend, and i'd like all your input on
> > it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have
seen
> a
> > slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary inventor,
> > tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with the next
> big
> > thing. Hundreds of reasons can be listed, including:
> >
> > -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.
> >
> > -New consumer products tending to be much more complex, to the point
where
> > your own car requires specialized technicians and computers to tinker
> with.
> >
> > -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are
> > needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have
$500
> > compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.
> >
> > -Amazingly expensive patent process.
> >
> >
> > There are a lot more little bits of proof that I seem to forget now.
Maybe
> > i'm just seeing something that isn't there. That's why I want another
> > opinion ;-)
> >

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2004\07\02@201407 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jul 2, 2004, at 4:00 PM, Edward Gisske wrote:

> I do have a somewhat jaded attitude about solitary inventors

Indeed.  Just what is a "solitary inventor"?  Someone who has "ideas"
first, but wants someone else to do all the work of turning them into
products and selling them, while he just sits back and collects
royalties?
I haven't got a lot of sympathy for those...

Part of the problem is that outside of really BIG inventions, there's a
very big gap between the idea and the millions of dollars.  You have to
sell an awful lot of silly putty, or PIC12F devices, to get rich.
Building and selling lots of something is a fine and respected
profession, but it doesn't leave a lot of time for inventing more
things.  If you really want to invent stuff, you need a patron, like a
big company or a university.  (this is NOT any different than it used
to be.)  And they'll want a big cut, and those jobs are pretty rare,
and patrons' patent policies are not usually ... very progressive.

There's a pretty standard process (in the US, anyway) for turning an
idea into millions of dollars, but it's more about venture capitalists
and business plans than patents and inventions...  And you have to time
your stock sales pretty well :-(

BillW

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2004\07\02@202655 by Chetan Bhargava

picon face
My reasons to use SMD are

1. I hate drilling holes on the PCBs that I make. I have broken  lots
of drill bits as I don't have a drill press.
2. Miniaturization

I solder 50 mil pitch SM devies with naked eyes and use a magnifier
for 25mil devices. This capability won't be with me forever though.


> -Move from DIP to SMD devices which require expensive machinery.


Almost all devices have GNU bases compilers...

> -Like the SMD problem, so many more high cost captiol investments are needed.. not more is a simple oscilliscope good enough - now you have $500 compilers, 1000 min purchase requirements for devices, etc.

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2004\07\02@202656 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On July 2, 2004 11:37 am, Matthew Brush wrote:
>Instead of using a DIP chip on your breadboard, you
>know have to buy an adapter socket and attempt to
>solder those stupid little pins into place.  So right
>there you have another $5-$10 per chip for the adapter
>board and then another 1/2 hour trying to solder
>something that was meant to be soldered using wave
>soldering or whatever.

On the SMDs, bend every 2nd pin upwards and every other pin downwards so
that they are easier to work with, then wrap a wire to them, solder them,
while the other end you solder to a DIP socket.
It is a pain in the neck, but atleast you now have a dip version which can
be tested with on breadboards.

{Quote hidden}

The engine hasn't really changed since the model T-ford, if most
electronics are unplugged, you have an engine of yester-year.
Most of the feedback circuits is for auto-tuning and gas consumption
improvements.
I wouldn't waste time fixing my own car unless it is for the joy of it...
for the time it takes to build your own tools, work on your own car, etc,
you could put that time into something worth more.
I can always have my car taken back to the mechanic to re-fix it if it
isn't done right the 1st time, I can imagine the waste of time if I don't
do it myself right the 1st time.

{Quote hidden}

There are cases where patents are worthy and cases where patents are
worthless. The 1st electronics company I worked for, had patents up to
their eyeballs on the product they had, yet other competitors found ways
around it.
Another company I worked with had patents which worked effectively.

If you are simply doing an incremental improvement, don't bother with a
patent.  For example, the radio has been invented long ago, simply because
you now send digital data via radio is nothing really new.

However, if you are 1st on the block with something completely new with no
competition, and your working idea can't be seen as an incremental
improvement either... let's say the the star trek warp engine for
imagination's sake, then by all means, put a patent on it because nobody
else has created it.

One other thing, patents are supposed to be based on working models, if you
listen to the noise out there, there are a lot of people patenting ideas
which may or may not even work in real life. For those people who patented
an idea without a working model, you may consider them simply waiting for
someone to actually create a working model to try and sue. I'm not sure
what to say about that, but I don't think patents were intended for that
type of purpose.

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2004\07\02@203109 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>Just tooling up the plastics for a new design can take tens of thousands,
>if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We routinely spend $50,000 on a
>new mold for one part.
>
>
>-- Lawrence Lile
>3 patents
>3 pending

But how many can claim a patent in PCB routing? :)

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2004\07\02@205707 by Jinx

face picon face
> My reasons to use SMD are
>
> 1. I hate drilling holes on the PCBs that I make. I have broken  lots
> of drill bits as I don't have a drill press.

Neither do I, but I haven't broken a bit (I use only carbide or cobalt
hardened bits, which are brittle) for many years, and even then it
was because my minidrill rolled off the bench ! Actually I prefer not
to use a press because I like the tactile feedback. Only for larger
holes over 1.5mm, eg for mounting or big pins, do I use a press

For prototyping I'm not fussy either way, SMD vs pin, whatever's
handy, I'll cope

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2004\07\02@221746 by Richard Graziano

picon face
A very sober view of reality.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Edward Gisske" <gisskeSTOPspamspamspam_OUTOFFEX.COM>
To: <spamBeGonePICLISTSTOPspamspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: [OT:] Death of the solitary inventor?


> I get to see lots of solitary inventors as I am a private practice
engineer
> that does product development of mechanical and electronic products. They
> are still out there in some force.
>
> I do have a somewhat jaded attitude about solitary inventors as they can
be
> the most difficult of clients. I do work with them, but say no to a lot
more
> than I say yes to. I have an informal check list that I go through during
> the pre-hiring interview before I commit to working with the inventor:
>
> 1. Is he adequately funded to finish the development of his idea? Most
> aren't and very few folks outside of the product development biz have much
> of an idea of how much "It will just take a little work" will actually
cost.
> It can be really scary to work with a client who has taken out a second
> mortgage to finance his dream. Working with companies where the employees
> are not so personally involved in the idea is a lot easier.
>
> 2. Is the idea any good or have any possibility of working? Usually the
> answer is yes. There are lots of good ideas out there. I have also seen my
> share of 100 mpg carburetors and motors that run on permanent magnetism
> only.
>
> 3. Does the inventor have any concept of how to actually get the product
to
> market and supported. This doesn't matter much to me as I _never_ work for
a
> "share of the profits". Discussing it with the inventor is a good way to
> evaluate how well he has thought things through, however, before he dumps
a
> lot of money into the project. Getting a product manufactured, advertised,
> packaged, distributed, supported, etc. are items that have much more to do
> with the success of the product than the original good idea. My guess is
the
> idea accounts for no more than 10% of the work involved in getting paid
for
> your great idea. It is a rare inventor, (who tend to be visionary types),
> that can handle all of the areas beyond the "great idea". In 30 years in
the
> biz, I have seen no more than three solitary inventors that could pull it
> all off to the level of making a business out of their idea. It is really,
> really, tough!
>
> I think that the complexity of the technology (particularly in the
> electronics biz) makes it very difficult for a solitary inventor to come
up
> with a clean, elegant, simple solution to a problem. The electronic
business
> is pretty mature these days and most of the progress seems to be in the
way
> of increasingly complex software and brute force "cram more transistors on
a
> chip". Neither of these areas lend themselves to a guy in his basement.
The
> Halcyon days of the late '50's and early '60's when Bob Widlar could whip
> out industry-changing analog IC designs on a bar-napkin in a saloon in
> Sunnyvale are unfortunately long over.
>
> Don't let me discourage all you inventors, however. If you are willing to
> sacrifice your sanity, your marriage, your fortune and not seeing your
kids
{Quote hidden}

on
> > > it.. since many of you are on the front lines. Over the years, I have
> seen
> > a
> > > slow erroding of the possibilities for success of the solitary
inventor,
> > > tinkering with electronics in his basement and coming out with the
next
{Quote hidden}

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2004\07\02@232742 by Matthew Brush

flavicon
face
It seems like getting in with a University works well.
I can't even count the lame inventions I've seen
promoted and fluffed up by <a certain> university.
All it takes is $$$ to do ANYTHING short of time
travel.

Cheers

=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\07\03@023211 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> But how many can claim a patent in PCB routing? :)

Microsoft,  probably :-)

       RM

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2004\07\03@025944 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Universities are certainly one of the worst kinds of 'patrons'.

We have to write innumerable grant applications to get
ONE that funds us to do the research that gets us something
patentable. The University takes a 15% cut off the top of the grant
for 'administration' expenses whether the grant is for
$50k or $4.1 million. They then want 33% cut of any royalties if
WE pay for the patent, or 66% if THEY pay for the patent, even though
WE have to do most of the work write it up and to find a
company that will take our idea to market.
And if we do find a partner, the U drags it's legal
ass so much and makes so many picky demands about the contract
that 4 of 5 potential partners said 'it ain't worth the grief'.

And since I am a 'work for hire' I get dididly squat for
the 2 products which have successfully gone commercial,
while the academics get to keep their IP (intellectual property)
and thereby get the profits since it was 'their' grant.

NEVER again...

And yes, University 'tech transfer' offices overhype what
they have so much that they quickly loose credibility with
the investment community.

Robert

Matthew Brush wrote:
>
> It seems like getting in with a University works well.
>  I can't even count the lame inventions I've seen
> promoted and fluffed up by <a certain> university.
> All it takes is $$$ to do ANYTHING short of time
> travel.
>
> Cheers

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2004\07\03@052937 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 11:37:36 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:

>  Edison was dead wrong on the issue of DC vs AC
power, but was right about the incandescent bulb.

Which was Swan's idea anyway, wasn't it?

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\03@055713 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Edward,

On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 18:00:08 -0500, Edward Gisske wrote:

> Don't let me discourage all you inventors, however. If you are willing to
> sacrifice your sanity, your marriage, your fortune and not seeing your kids
> grow up, you too can be rich and famous!

Which of these can I keep if I settle for "rich" and forego "famous"?  :-)

Cheers,

Howard "I was once a Very Rich Man, but I was holding out for Filthy Rich and it all went wrong" Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\07\03@063043 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> >  Edison was dead wrong on the issue of DC vs AC
>  power, but was right about the incandescent bulb.

> Which was Swan's idea anyway, wasn't it?

Edison was, in certain aspects, the Microsoft of his day.


       RM

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2004\07\03@081724 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I could not recall where I learned that! Thanks for refreshing my memory...

I think the worst situation is where an entity uses a patent to keep a
innovation from others and refuses to develop it for itself. NCR had a
really clever ferrite rod memory technology in the 1960's that it sat on. It
would have lent itself to available mass production of the day. Every one
else was stringing cores on wires. That was a time when 64K of memory cost
$75,000 and a new Corvette cost $3800.

A similar problem seems to have occurred with the Wankel engine.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\03@082804 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I think the worst situation is where an entity uses a patent to keep a
> innovation from others and refuses to develop it for itself.



AFAIK patents are on a use it or lose it basis. Owners MUST use or licence
the IP at a "reasonable" price. I'm sure that people will tell me that
that's incorrect, but that's my recollection. Probably varies between
countries.


       RM

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2004\07\03@093520 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <.....71075a390407021223710783a4spamRemoveMEmail.gmail.com>>          Ben Hencke <RemoveMEbrainstarspamspamBeGoneGMAIL.COM> wrote:

> BTW SMT is not an excuse (at least .050 SOIC stuff). I switched to SMT
> and it takes some practice, but you can solder a 8 pin SOIC with a
> normal $9 RadioShack 15W iron in less than a minute using the right
> technique.
I've done similar things with my Antex 660TC. Bear in mind this only works
for TSSOP, QFP and similar small-pitch parts.
 0. Make sure the pads you're soldering to have been tinned. If they
    haven't, tin them now.
 1. Coat the area you're soldering the chip to with a layer of flux. I've
    heard paste flux works quite well, but all I can find are those flux
    pens.
 2. Place the chip on the board. Make sure you get the alignment EXACTLY
    right. You won't be able to correct it easily later.
 3. Clean your soldering iron's tip - I use one of those tip-cleaning
    blocks - wipe the iron tip on the block, then wipe off any excess solder
    with a damp sponge.
 4. Solder two diagonally opposite pins on the chip. Recheck the alignment.
 5. Pick the horizontally opposite pin to one of the alignment pins you
    soldered earlier. Starting from there, run the iron along the pins.
    Rotate the board and continue.

I usually keep the soldering iron preheated to around 375C (700F) for this.
Don't worry about the (relatively) high temperature - if you work quickly
enough, you won't damage your precious $95 FPGA (or whatever). Roughly,
Damage = time * temperature. 0.5 seconds per pin at 370C causes less damage
to the chip than 10 seconds per pin at 370C.

> Free samples of all kinds of chips. Plenty enough to design and proto your idea.
I'm still waiting for someone to offer free samples of RDS demodulator and FM
tuner ICs. I want to build a digitally-tuned FM radio with a stereo audio
demodulator and RDS, computer controlled. I've tried various distributors,
but the only responses I got were of the form "Come back when you want 1,000
of them". Oh well.

Now to finish off my PIC18F bootloader... Gee, that's going to be "fun".
Anyone know how to erase the config memory before you write to it, or does
the chip do an erase before writing the config bytes?

Later.
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2004\07\03@093936 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <200472155431.978045@dragon>
         Matt Pobursky <piclistEraseMEspamMPS-DESIGN.COM> wrote:

> the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven".
Does anyone have any idea where the heck I can get a toaster oven in the UK?
I've never seen anything even remotely similar over here...

Later.
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2004\07\03@104527 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <EraseMEOFC164BC49.A143F2DB-ON86256EC5.0075BBD6-86256EC5.0075D5ECspam@spam@saltonusa.com>>          @spam@llilespam_OUTspam.....SALTONUSA.COM wrote:

> Did you price any electronic CAD software 30 years ago?  Try $100,000 for
> something not as nice as Eagle Light.
How about a set of templates, some paper and a pencil? :)
I still prefer scribbling down ideas on paper - I only use Protel (the old
DOS versions of Schematic and Autotrax) or EAGLE when I'm sure the design
works. For final schematics, I use a set of Rotring Isograph pens and a sheet
of tracing paper (I kid you not). Print the grid on one side (0.1 by 0.1 inch
rectangular) and draw on the other. At least it means I don't end up losing
the grid when I have to rub out a mistake, even if the tracing paper is more
expensive than normal paper.

Later.
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2004\07\03@121356 by Gus S.Calabrese

face
flavicon
face
I think the prospects for the solitary inventor look better than ever.

1) First you have to love inventing.  If you are doing it for money,
forget it.
Loving what you are doing often leads to money however.

2) The advent of low cost tools makes the lone inventor more powerful.
In the future, advances like nano.technology and biological assembly
will make individual designers more powerful than ever.

3) The internet makes it possible to do research much faster and
collaborate
with individuals around the world.  Like those on the PIC list.

You just gotta be smart.  And those inventors who committed suicide
were obviously more attached to fame and fortune than the joy of
inventing.

So there !



Gus S Calabrese 303.964.9670
http://www.omegadogs.com   Denver, CO

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2004\07\03@122846 by D. Jay Newman

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> You just gotta be smart.  And those inventors who committed suicide
> were obviously more attached to fame and fortune than the joy of
> inventing.

While I agree with you that the individual inventer is still in a
strong position, I think you're being too harsh on those that committed
suicide.

My wife is working on filling out US Social Security disability paperwork.
They've already lost her on-line version so she had to redo it by hand
(luckily she kept her backups) and we have to give it to somebody by
hand. They they get to keep it, shred it, ferment it, and so forth.
If we're *lucky* then in 8-12 months we get a decision, which is very
likely to be negative (they turn down a *large* percentage of first-time
claiments) and have to do it all over again. If we're very unlucky
they lose it again and we have to repeat the process from the start.

Until then we exist on my salary plus about 20% of her's from third-party
disability insurance.

Trust me, dealing with this sort of paperwork has brought her to emotional
lows I never thought her capabile of.
--
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2004\07\03@133020 by Scott Fraser

flavicon
face
At 06:41 AM 7/3/04, you wrote:
>In message <200472155431.978045@dragon>
>
> > the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven".
>Does anyone have any idea where the heck I can get a toaster oven in the UK?
>I've never seen anything even remotely similar over here...


Phil,

I checked the uk version of the local auction house, and ZERO toaster ovens
returned.
The US version shows 29 available to be shipped to the UK from US.  Of
course they'd all need a stepdown transformer

http://search.ebay.com/toaster-oven_W0QQfromZR6QQsorecordsperpageZ50QQsaavailabletocountryZ3

Scott

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2004\07\03@141549 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> > the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven".
>Does anyone have any idea where the heck I can get a toaster oven in the
UK?
>I've never seen anything even remotely similar over here...

The term "toaster oven" does not seem to be used in the UK. Instead look in
your local shop or on ebay for "mini oven". I do not think the "ready steady
cook" childrens ones on ebay are likely to reach a high enough temperature.

Alan (looking for the same thing in the UK).

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2004\07\03@144328 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <0e1601c46129$e4407740$RemoveMEe7bdf682spamspamBeGonespace.rl.ac.uk>
         "Alan B. Pearce" <spamBeGoneA.B.PearceKILLspamspam@spam@RL.AC.UK> wrote:

> The term "toaster oven" does not seem to be used in the UK. Instead look in
> your local shop or on ebay for "mini oven".
Ah! http://www.johnlewis.com has a Tefal mini-oven listed at about £80. Claims to go
up to 260 degrees C with a heat-to-240-degrees-C time of around 5 minutes.
Given that Kenneth Maxon's article on SeattleRobotics.org lists 450F (about
235C by my calculations) as the maximum temperature used during soldering,
I'd be tempted to think that it would work.
Someone want to buy one of these things and try it out?

The URL for the oven I was looking at is
<http://www.johnlewis.com/stores/product.asp?sku=230196563>. £79.50.

What I would like is a service manual for the Maxi Oven. I want to replace
the thermostat with a thermocouple, a PIC and a really beefy triac or relay.
Why? Because the thermostat in the oven is most likely designed to be
accurate over a 30 minute period - for soldering it needs to be accurate over
a much shorter timespan, with a better temperature slope.
I think it's time for a "PIClist Group Project", don't you? :)

> I do not think the "ready steady
> cook" childrens ones on ebay are likely to reach a high enough temperature.
If they're designed for children, I'll bet they're hopeless for soldering.

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
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2004\07\03@145401 by John Ferrell

face picon face
The catch is how much do they have to use it or what is a reasonable
liscense fee....

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\07\03@154459 by Bob Barr

flavicon
face
On Sat, 3 Jul 2004 19:41:55 +0100, Philip Pemberton wrote:

>
>What I would like is a service manual for the Maxi Oven. I want to replace
>the thermostat with a thermocouple, a PIC and a really beefy triac or relay.
>Why? Because the thermostat in the oven is most likely designed to be
>accurate over a 30 minute period - for soldering it needs to be accurate over
>a much shorter timespan, with a better temperature slope.
>I think it's time for a "PIClist Group Project", don't you? :)
>
>> I do not think the "ready steady
>> cook" childrens ones on ebay are likely to reach a high enough temperature.
>If they're designed for children, I'll bet they're hopeless for soldering.
>

You'll find a wealth of information at the E-Z-Bake Yahoo group. Group
activity varies quite a bit but there's quite a bit of information in
the message archives.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/E-Z_Bake/


Regards, Bob

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2004\07\03@161304 by Matthew Brush

flavicon
face
> Does anyone have any idea where the heck I can get a
> toaster oven in the UK?
> I've never seen anything even remotely similar over
> here...

Canadian Tire?  hehehe

But really, maybe eBay.com or something?


Cheers

=====
MJ Brush
LeftClick.ca Internet Media Services
mbrush@[NOSPAM]leftclick.ca

______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca

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2004\07\03@200033 by isaac

picon face
This month's issue of Circuit Cellar has an article about using a
toaster oven as a reflow oven.
www.circuitcellar.com/library/print/0704/Lacoste_168/index.htm
I've also found plans for similar through google. :)

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2004\07\03@221546 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> Did you price any electronic CAD software 30 years ago?  Try $100,000
>> forsomething not as nice as Eagle Light.
>>
Not a real good comparison, since circuit complexity was a lot lower
then as well, and you didn't really need a computer as much...

On the other hand, it's pretty clear that NOW is a golden age for
software development.  Never has so much computering power, and such
great development environments, been available to so many for so
little.

Of course, this also means that it's tough to get RICH doing software.
But I suspect, even among the rare solitary inventors that have existed
in history, that getting rich was pretty rare even for the success
stories.

Certainly, the university environment pretty much sucks for getting
rich.  If you're lucky, you get a reasonable salary, a lovely
environment, and a chance to keep on inventing stuff.  Having been
deeply involved in the creation of the internet, one of the sadder
aspects is all those professors and such that were, based on their
contributions, every bit as worthy of getting rich as assorted dotcom
founders, but stayed at their comfortable universities and didn't.

BillW

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2004\07\03@222621 by D. Jay Newman

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> Certainly, the university environment pretty much sucks for getting
> rich.  If you're lucky, you get a reasonable salary, a lovely
> environment, and a chance to keep on inventing stuff.  Having been

Actually the pay isn't too bad. And the benefits are usually extremely
good. Yes, I'd like better pay, but I prefer the university environment.
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2004\07\04@043337 by Jose Da Silva

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On July 3, 2004 06:41 am, Philip Pemberton wrote:
>In message <200472155431.978045@dragon>
>
>          Matt Pobursky <spamBeGonepiclistspam@spam@MPS-DESIGN.COM> wrote:
>> the "$100 SMT Toaster Oven".
>
>Does anyone have any idea where the heck I can get a toaster oven in the
> UK? I've never seen anything even remotely similar over here...

You can try a waffle iron.
Separate the plates so they are about 3 to 5 inches apart, this way you
have a top side and bottom side.
Then have an electric motor run a pair of continous wire similar to a
clothes line.
Similar to this:
       WWWWWWWW

 __board->___________
/ \                / \
|   |   WWWWWWWW   |   |
\_/________________\_/


Place the board on one side (on top of pair of wires).
Let it run throught waffle-iron assembly.

Board comes out other side all soldered.

Trial and error for speed and heat, but once figured out, works fine.
Seen it done, know it works.

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2004\07\04@071214 by Richard Graziano

picon face
I know someone who built an IR oven for SMD on PC by using sheet aluminum,
nichrome wire and a small DC motor to move a sliding aluminum bed under the
nichrome wires.  He did this because he had several PC boards to make and he
got poor results with the toaster oven.  I believe he said it cost less than
$50.00 USD.

{Original Message removed}

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