Circuit Classics

Exquisite printed circuit boards that bring to life Forrest Mims' vintage designs from "Getting Started in Electronics."

Jun 22, 2016

Project update 11 of 20

First Articles and Potentiometers

Did you know it’s nearly impossible to find a good series of potentiometers that range from 5k up to 1MΩ resistance? Turns out I’ve needed to go back to shopping for these for Circuit Classics, because the original line I sourced for the Atari Punk Console and the Bargraph Voltage Indicator hasn’t been as good as I wanted (in a variety of ways — the feeling of the knob wasn’t great, the quality of the materials wasn’t great, the way it sits on the board was annoying, the resistive wiper feeling wasn’t very smooth, and a problem I feel fortunate to have discovered after about 60 days of use — a lubricant grease leaking from on 1 of the 4 I had populated on prototype boards. Out with them!)

So this week, while I’ve been going over the BOM with a fine-toothed-comb overall (that means things like making sure parts are available in bulk packaging so that your kits won’t have that nasty Cut Tape packaging stuff) I decided to replace the line of pots also. Wow, they sure don’t tell you how easy it is to become obsessive about the details! Fortunately I have managed to find and settle on another (currently in stock and available in volume) type, which I’ve ordered (and just received) samples of. I’m feeling happy with it!

I am otherwise this week wrapping up final verification steps of my Gerbers to ship to the board manufacturer to get First Articles made. Exciting times! ("First articles" are a "production prototype" and these are going to be the first boards I’ll see back in the blue soldermask color. I can’t wait!)

And of course one’s work is never done. Once First Articles are shipped I am returning my focus to designing the packaging & placing bulk orders for the other other necessary accessories for the final kits.

Thank you all — that’s the news for now!

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