Wire wrapping

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Khalid Abur-Rahman, May 28, 2009.

  1. Khalid Abur-Rahman

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
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    Do you think its is beneficial for me to learn wire wrapping nowadays. I never even studied it or heard of it in school, and I just received a BSECET. I ran into an article about it though and wondered if it was necessary to learn it. Should I try and pick up that skill?
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    That depends on how much prototyping you intend to do. It's great for big logic planes, but perhaps not so useful working with microprocessors and limited interfaces.

    The tools and sockets have become quite expensive as well. If I didn't already have the guns and bits plus lots of sockets, I would probably not approach it.

    If you need to make hundreds of connections and make changes, it can't be beat.
     
  3. radiohead

    Active Member

    May 28, 2009
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    With practice, and the right wrapping/unwrapping tool, you can quickly make connections that are comparable to a solder connection. If you already have the tool and the sockets, try it. If not for anything else, just for the experience of it.
     
  4. PRS

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
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    Wirewrapping is a must for prototyping. Digital circuits have an enormous number of wires that need to be attached. This is especially true with microprocessors. Chips require a data bus and an address bus plus control lines. I once designed a computer with a M6800 processor; even drawing it was tedius, but making it? When I got done it looked like angel hair, or fiberglass insulation. But to have made it with any other method would have been far more work.
     
  5. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    536
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    If you DO go in for wire-wrapping, do yourself a favor and get differently-colored wires, get a color plan, and stick to it. (I use Red & Black for power & ground; yellow and blue for control lines, and green & white for bus lines, alternating the green and white lines.)

    I once worked on a project that got "professionally" wire wrapped. They must have really liked the color blue because all non-power lines were that color! Imagine trying to check the wiring to find a mistake in hundreds -- if not thousands -- of blue wires!

    Thankfully, verifying these lines was not MY job!

    Use colored wires to help you!

    --Rich
     
  6. Mike Mandaville

    Active Member

    May 27, 2009
    81
    1
    Once I found out that Steve Wozniac was a wire-wrapper, I knew that I had to learn the technique, because Woz was my hero! Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Radio Shack sells a wire-wrapping tool with a thirty-gauge wire-stripper that fits into the handle. That little stripper can be real easy to misplace.
     
  7. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    There's an article in this months Nut/Volts about wire wrapping...
     
  8. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Well, the Woz has my respect if he used a hand tool. I have always had electric wire wrap guns that make things lots faster (mistakes, too).

    My firt experience was with those old Univac computers. They were all wire wrap, but used 20 ga wire. Imagine doing that by hand. Look like Popeye in a week.
     
  9. Mike Mandaville

    Active Member

    May 27, 2009
    81
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    You used to wire-wrap Univacs? I'm impressed! Do you have any experience with any of the old vacoom-tube models?

    When I studied computers in college, we had an old Digital Equipment Corporation DEC-10 which was always breaking down. The school was given the computer for free, though, so there was nothing to complain about. My Fortran teacher wanted me to apply for the job of keeping it on line, but the first personal computers were already on the market, and the Compuserve networking company was taking out full page ads in Popular Electronics, so I could see where everything was headed. I didn't actually get online until the price of a computer came down to three hundred dollars, though. The early users paid my way, basically.
     
  10. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Not that far back. I learned to repair the AN/UYK-20 series (models 1206 and 1208 and 1218) in the Navy. All transistors - the 1206 had germanium and the 1208 had silicon.

    Strange to think of a mainframe computer with 32K of core memory.
     
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