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parts researcher

Started by John Larkin September 10, 2021
On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 3:50:57 PM UTC-4, John Larkin wrote:
> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time > job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month.
Too bad unemployed English majors can't do the job, because then you could find a service to do it for 5$.
On Friday, 10 September 2021 at 21:50:57 UTC+2, John Larkin wrote:
> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time > job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month.
Hey, John- if nobody else suitable has interest I could maybe give it a try. Could be interesting. After the 19th or so. I have doubts that it’s an easily outsourced function though- we’ve/I’ve tried outsourcing some research-type functions with somewhat mixed results. There are a lot of “cultural” aspects at play in a functional company. -
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 10:59:27 -0400, Joe Gwinn <joegwinn@comcast.net>
wrote:

>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:57:59 -0700, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com >wrote: > >>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:15:54 -0700, Don Y >><blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote: >> >>>On 9/10/2021 4:43 PM, John Larkin wrote: >>>> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >>>> <danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >>>> >>>>> On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>>>> >>>>> What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >>>> >>>> A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >>>> silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >>>> second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >>>> the engineers. >>>> >>>> I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >>>> parts! >>> >>>"5-10 hours a month" is "a lot of time"? >>> >>>Don't your folks spend that much -- and more -- just trying to stay current >>>with the offerings available in those industries? Or, do they let that >>>knowledge atrophy cuz it's "too expensive" to keep current? >>> >>>> I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >>>> distracting. >>> >>>Let your distis do the gruntwork -- if you have decent quantities. >>>They'll be more than happy to find a part that THEY sell to meet >>>your needs! And, drop off samples to get you started. >> >>And tell me which other distributors have the 2nd source parts in >>stock. > >Back when I was designing at the discrete-components level, working >for a pipsqueak company, I insisted on triple sources for everything I >could not buy a lifetime supply of. Electronically, we were not doing >anything leading edge. So, we never had any obsolescence dramas. > >Joe Gwinn
That adds a lot of work, like seeing if the pins line up on relays. Good sort of thing to outsource. ICs are less easy to multi-source than passives. -- Father Brown's figure remained quite dark and still; but in that instant he had lost his head. His head was always most valuable when he had lost it.
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 11:06:36 -0400, legg <legg@nospam.magma.ca> wrote:

>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 16:43:24 -0700, John Larkin ><jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote: > >>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >><danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >> >>>On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>> >>>What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >> >>A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >>silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >>second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >>the engineers. >> >>I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >>parts! >> >>I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >>distracting. >> >>For example, I want to find a pre-assembled 10-pin cable to connect >>this LCD thing to a controller board a few inches away. >> >>https://www.dropbox.com/s/fd9y8d7rjxxbztr/VM800_3.jpg?raw=1 >> > >Part of engineering discipline is not to put your design into a >difficult supply position. > >The only way to learn this, is to force the engineer to spec >the actual part numbers or drawing, for quotation - ie rub his >nose in it. > >You don't want your staff looking for parts because . . . . > >RL
Because their time is valuable, and because we will finish more product designs if someone can research parts for us. I don't make them order office supplies or snacks either. People who are good at design are rare and should get all the help we can give them. -- Father Brown's figure remained quite dark and still; but in that instant he had lost his head. His head was always most valuable when he had lost it.
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:40:00 -0700 (PDT), speff <spehro@gmail.com>
wrote:

>On Friday, 10 September 2021 at 21:50:57 UTC+2, John Larkin wrote: >> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. > >Hey, John- if nobody else suitable has interest I could maybe give it a try. Could be interesting. After the 19th or so. > >I have doubts that it&#2013266066;s an easily outsourced function though- we&#2013266066;ve/I&#2013266066;ve tried outsourcing some research-type functions with somewhat mixed results. There are a lot of &#2013266067;cultural&#2013266068; aspects at play in a functional company. > > >-
We would appreciate help now and then. It could sometimes be dull though, like finding relays and MS connectors. We have a project coming up with both! Email me please. If the researcher actually understood electronic design, the requirements could be a lot less specific. And the function more valuable. -- Father Brown's figure remained quite dark and still; but in that instant he had lost his head. His head was always most valuable when he had lost it.
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:42:53 -0700, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com
wrote:

>On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 10:59:27 -0400, Joe Gwinn <joegwinn@comcast.net> >wrote: > >>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:57:59 -0700, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com >>wrote: >> >>>On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:15:54 -0700, Don Y >>><blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote: >>> >>>>On 9/10/2021 4:43 PM, John Larkin wrote: >>>>> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >>>>> <danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >>>>> >>>>>> On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>>>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>>>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>>>>> >>>>>> What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >>>>> >>>>> A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >>>>> silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >>>>> second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >>>>> the engineers. >>>>> >>>>> I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >>>>> parts! >>>> >>>>"5-10 hours a month" is "a lot of time"? >>>> >>>>Don't your folks spend that much -- and more -- just trying to stay current >>>>with the offerings available in those industries? Or, do they let that >>>>knowledge atrophy cuz it's "too expensive" to keep current? >>>> >>>>> I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >>>>> distracting. >>>> >>>>Let your distis do the gruntwork -- if you have decent quantities. >>>>They'll be more than happy to find a part that THEY sell to meet >>>>your needs! And, drop off samples to get you started. >>> >>>And tell me which other distributors have the 2nd source parts in >>>stock. >> >>Back when I was designing at the discrete-components level, working >>for a pipsqueak company, I insisted on triple sources for everything I >>could not buy a lifetime supply of. Electronically, we were not doing >>anything leading edge. So, we never had any obsolescence dramas. >> >>Joe Gwinn > >That adds a lot of work, like seeing if the pins line up on relays. >Good sort of thing to outsource.
At the time (late 1970s), it did not, and was useful for pushing transistor makers and their reps off their sales pitches for their proprietary super-dooper kind of transistor. For one thing, we didn't need super-dooper. Conversation-stopping question: "Great. Who else makes this exact same transistor? The answer was always to go to a 2Nxxxx (or the European equivalent), which were made to a spec the manufacturers did not control. Passives were already there. PWBs were one- or two-sided through-hole.
>ICs are less easy to multi-source than passives.
Well, we were using only 74-series TTL and 4000-series CMOS in the day, so there were lots of second sources. Still are, 50 years later. Raise a toast to jellybean components. A year ago, I did a design that used a TI CD40106B (CMOS Hex Schmitt-Trigger Inverters) to buffer angle-encoder outputs and match them to Arduino digital inputs. Joe Gwinn
On 9/11/2021 7:31 AM, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 20:35:53 -0700, Don Y > <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote: > >> On 9/10/2021 6:57 PM, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote: >>> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:15:54 -0700, Don Y >>> <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote: >>> >>>> On 9/10/2021 4:43 PM, John Larkin wrote: >>>>> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >>>>> <danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >>>>> >>>>>> On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>>>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>>>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>>>>> >>>>>> What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >>>>> >>>>> A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >>>>> silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >>>>> second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >>>>> the engineers. >>>>> >>>>> I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >>>>> parts! >>>> >>>> "5-10 hours a month" is "a lot of time"? >>>> >>>> Don't your folks spend that much -- and more -- just trying to stay current >>>> with the offerings available in those industries? Or, do they let that >>>> knowledge atrophy cuz it's "too expensive" to keep current? >>>> >>>>> I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >>>>> distracting. >>>> >>>> Let your distis do the gruntwork -- if you have decent quantities. >>>> They'll be more than happy to find a part that THEY sell to meet >>>> your needs! And, drop off samples to get you started. >>> >>> And tell me which other distributors have the 2nd source parts in >>> stock. >> >> Tell the disti that is one of your selection criteria. >> > > You seem to be suggesting that we write up a specification (for what > may be a fuzzy requirement, namely a problem to be solved) and send > that to multiple distributors and evaluate their responses.
No, I'm suggesting you do enough business with a disti/rep that you can describe what you wawnt, to him, and let him figure out the likely parts that he sells -- and would like to sell TO you -- and run those past you. So you, nor your grunt, need to dig through dozens of manufacturer's catalogs.
> That sounds like a lot of work, but I could hire some part-timer to do > it.
Again, 5-10 hours a month is too much for staff? How much time do they spend reading trade mags, research papers, attending conferences, department meetings, project meetings, etc.? Or, are those hours also considered wasteful? Maybe hire someone to do each of those things, FOR THEM, as well?
On 9/11/2021 12:02 PM, Joe Gwinn wrote:
> At the time (late 1970s), it did not, and was useful for pushing > transistor makers and their reps off their sales pitches for their > proprietary super-dooper kind of transistor. For one thing, we didn't > need super-dooper. Conversation-stopping question: "Great. Who else > makes this exact same transistor? > > The answer was always to go to a 2Nxxxx (or the European equivalent), > which were made to a spec the manufacturers did not control. > > Passives were already there. > > PWBs were one- or two-sided through-hole.
That's largely impossible, nowadays -- esp if you use a CPU in your design. Even worse if an MCU. Even (integrated) peripheral devices tend to not be pin compatible. I'm captive to my choice of MCU -- but, only to the extent that I rely on the various subsystems embodied within it. So, think really hard before using some device specific aspect -- do you really *need* this? And, let the field be schlock parts that are a dime a dozen moving any functionality that *could* burden them into the MCU (where it *can* be portable to another processor)
>> ICs are less easy to multi-source than passives. > > Well, we were using only 74-series TTL and 4000-series CMOS in the > day, so there were lots of second sources.
Back then, I worked on a design that used 4K devices, ECL 10K, MECL III and HiNil. Because each requirement could only be met by specific devices in specific families. Purchasing guy lost a lot of hair trying to find alternates.
> Still are, 50 years later. Raise a toast to jellybean components. > > A year ago, I did a design that used a TI CD40106B (CMOS Hex > Schmitt-Trigger Inverters) to buffer angle-encoder outputs and match > them to Arduino digital inputs.
And what do you use as a second source for the Arduino? Assuming, of course, that your code is 100% portable (and not arduino-specific).
On 9/11/2021 8:06 AM, legg wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 16:43:24 -0700, John Larkin > <jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote: > >> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >> <danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >> >>> On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>> >>> What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >> >> A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >> silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >> second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >> the engineers. >> >> I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >> parts! >> >> I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >> distracting. >> >> For example, I want to find a pre-assembled 10-pin cable to connect >> this LCD thing to a controller board a few inches away. >> >> https://www.dropbox.com/s/fd9y8d7rjxxbztr/VM800_3.jpg?raw=1 >> > > Part of engineering discipline is not to put your design into a > difficult supply position. > > The only way to learn this, is to force the engineer to spec > the actual part numbers or drawing, for quotation - ie rub his > nose in it. > > You don't want your staff looking for parts because . . . .
Same reason he doesn't want them talking to factory reps, distis, answering phone calls, dealing with email, attending meetings or offsites, taking lunch breaks, browsing the 'net, etc. These "distractions" are the very things that expose folks to new ideas. Trying to keep people "on" continuously leads to less inspired designs. Look at the folks who work in large bullpens. Put them in a bubble and see how many NOVEL ideas they come up with!
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 13:29:33 -0700, Don Y
<blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:

>On 9/11/2021 8:06 AM, legg wrote: >> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 16:43:24 -0700, John Larkin >> <jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote: >> >>> On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:19:27 -0700 (PDT), sea moss >>> <danluster81@gmail.com> wrote: >>> >>>> On Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:50:57 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >>>>> We could use an occasional parts researcher. Anyone need a part-time >>>>> job? Maybe 5 or 10 hours a month. >>>> >>>> What types of parts do you need to research? For silicon parts, your new staff member should be able to help. >>> >>> A lot of connectors, hardware, passives, cables, relays, and of course >>> silicon. Part of the work is to look into price, availability, and >>> second-sourcing, maybe to read some data sheets and discuss needs with >>> the engineers. >>> >>> I don't want any staff members to spend a lot of time looking for >>> parts! >>> >>> I don't mind looking for silicon so much. All that other stuff is >>> distracting. >>> >>> For example, I want to find a pre-assembled 10-pin cable to connect >>> this LCD thing to a controller board a few inches away. >>> >>> https://www.dropbox.com/s/fd9y8d7rjxxbztr/VM800_3.jpg?raw=1 >>> >> >> Part of engineering discipline is not to put your design into a >> difficult supply position. >> >> The only way to learn this, is to force the engineer to spec >> the actual part numbers or drawing, for quotation - ie rub his >> nose in it. >> >> You don't want your staff looking for parts because . . . . > >Same reason he doesn't want them talking to factory reps, distis, >answering phone calls, dealing with email, attending meetings >or offsites, taking lunch breaks, browsing the 'net, etc.
Why do you make up nonsense like that? It's not even very good nonsense.
> >These "distractions" are the very things that expose folks to new >ideas. Trying to keep people "on" continuously leads to less >inspired designs. Look at the folks who work in large bullpens. > >Put them in a bubble and see how many NOVEL ideas they come up with!
Researching availability and price and pinouts of connectors and relays isn't our concept of inspired new ideas. Some junior engineer might learn something from that sort of thing. To a serious designer, it's wasted time. Tell the kid what we want and see what she comes up with. -- Father Brown's figure remained quite dark and still; but in that instant he had lost his head. His head was always most valuable when he had lost it.