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A remote control

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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2022 at 10:11am
So what will we do in good old Blighty after the economic implosion? Make spears out of flint?

I have on my desk one of these Holtek chips and the packaging says made in Britain! But that was over 10 years ago (yes I know I said it was 7 years ago, but John C set me straight).

These are now made in Taiwan (soon to be a Chinese island?), but we did DIL packages in Britain, so we can do lead-frames, and we lithographed silicon wafers, scored them and microscope operators gold wired them, then we potted them in plastic.

The thing is that employees might not be as particular as they could be, and mask alignment may not have been their forte, so, much silicon was wasted.

And it's the same in Taiwan. They have tons of reject chips just like we did, but their people work for less remuneration, so waste is cheaper.

Now, when engineers die, within seconds all knowledge they had evaporates to nought, and their bodies sleep in the dust of the earth, and decompose. It is likewise with all those operators. The girls (are we even allowed to say girl?) who gazed through stereo microscopes, and with a steady hand, fed the microscopic gold wires, welding between chip land and lead-frame pin - well aren't they entering the realms of the elderly? Perhaps some are also sleeping in the dust?

Isn't globalisation great?

The reason I do these few little projects is to spark interest, to try and enthuse folk to get back into real electronics, and if it worked (which I doubt) then it would lead to demand, and then what?

Ah, but, it was only a dream.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote gwebster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2022 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

The girls (are we even allowed to say girl?) who gazed through stereo microscopes, and with a steady hand, fed the microscopic gold wires, welding between chip land and lead-frame pin - well aren't they entering the realms of the elderly?
Back in the '70s when I was involved in IC production at Mullards Southampton, memory chips and teletext chip set (remember that?), wire bonding was pretty well semi-automated. These days it's mostly fully automated and once the process is established has high yields.

Where I came across manual wire bonding was in a later career with a specialist company working on thin film microwave stuff destined for radar systems and the like. We were doing mostly customised builds literally by hand under stereo microscopes. The only "girl" we had was an ex-Plessey employee to tidy up our scrappy work and she was red hot at the job!
Inspire Apollo tt, O/L modded RB250, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Different Approach inspired Phono, Putzeys Pre, Cusat, Raspberry Pi/Volumio, Bitzie, Self Load Invariant Power, Acoustic Energy AE509s
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2022 at 12:16pm
Thanks for that Geoff. Great to get this information first hand from one who actually did the job!

I can only say what I saw, and I only saw disused manufacturing labs at Ferranti during a chance meeting about something else (the place was demolished a few years ago). All other things have been gleaned through books, press releases and magazine stories, plus the few documentaries on YT.

Through your profile you've allowed us to see your age, and I wish you many more years, but it confirms the gist of what I was saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Dec 2022 at 8:17am
I have decided to publish the remote control description, circuit and construction at


The website is still under construction and so is the remote control project.

Questions about it can still be asked and answered here. However, the threads here don't allow large enough circuit diagrams etc.
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