[time-nuts] RS232 / GPS interface/prototyping board

Nick Sayer nsayer at kfu.com
Wed Jun 22 18:14:24 EDT 2016

> On Jun 22, 2016, at 1:33 PM, Mark Sims <holrum at hotmail.com> wrote:
> The value, quality, and turn-around from all these places is amazing.   In the olden days, one was paying $50 a square inch for a single prototype board with 4 week turn-around. 

Not to turn this into the “Four Yorkshireman” sketch, but in the olden days (which by my reckoning were maybe only 10 years ago) there wasn’t reasonable hobbyist access to PCB CAD software either - like EAGLE or Altium or KiCad or the like.

When I was a teenager (mid 80s) I tried making my own PCB with clad board, an etch resist pen, that nasty brown acid and the smallest drill bit I could get my hands on. This was a single-sided board - I had absolutely no way to line up a two-sided design even if through-hole plating would have been an option (of course, it wouldn’t have). No solder resist, no silk screen.

It was a disaster. Even with a drill press I couldn’t line the DIP holes up closely enough to mash a chip in without bending the leads to hell and gone.

It was that - and seeing the arrival of surface mount - that convinced me at the time that there was no future for hobbyist electronic design and creation. I dove with both feet into a career in software engineering.

I had no clue that all I had to do was wait 20 years.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list