The History Of Tech-The Idea Factory

5137957_origWell ok this is not about the entire history of every technology. That would be crazy hard and subjective. What I would like to share is a book I recently read. It is called The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. It is about the coming to together of the great minds that were the Bell Labs in the very beginning. Coming across and inventing things like the vacuum tubes and semi-conductors. All the minds that were there, where they came from and how they got there.

In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT&T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular elephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner’s riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago.

I would highly recommend picking this book up for a read. Especially if you have a background or mind for technology or electronics.


74xx Contest Prize

7400 Contest

These are terrible pictures but I wanted to get something up right away to show appreciation for my prize to the 7400 folks. Now what this is, is a device that takes the 20-pin connector from a computer power supply and give you used power points to run things. As you can see there’s a Ground, 12v, 5v, 3v and a -12v points. There’s LED’s from each volt, a powered LED and a device on LED. Of course at the top right next to the 20-pin plug the push button, On/Off switch.

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Last Project of the Year-Tube Headphone Amp

41xLzbeWL-L._SL500_AA300_This is just a little write up for you all of what I think will be my last project of the year. This one was an easy one. I did very little work on it. Mostly just a few modifications of a previous design and when everything arrives, assembly. Now as I said, not my original design this time, but that’s ok. It’s a epic design none-the-less.

What is it you ask? A Tube Driven Headphone Amplifier. Link below.
Specifically it is a 12AU7(ECC82) Tube / IRF510 MOSFET Headphone Amplifier.

It uses one 12AU7 vacuum tube for signal amplification and a pile of other great passive components and a few semi-conductors.

So far I’m not very far into it. I have ordered all my parts. As of Sunday November 25th I have received:

  1. Groove Tubes ST-12AU7 Preamp Tube Silver – Link
  2. 9-Pin Tube Socket Ceramic PC Mount – Link

Printed Circuit Board – PCB

In addition to all that I’ve also out-sourced my PCB construction to a pretty awesome service. Which is called OSH Park. These guys, best I can tell, round up multiple orders for PCB’s and submit them as one board to there builders. This makes it worth while money wise and your not stuck with 50 copies of one board. This is what has forced me in the past to make my own PCB’s. Which I hate to do!

With this service you create your circuit board in Eagle CAD and then upload your design to there website. It will ensure a proper design and tell you how much your going to be charged. It also renders you out pretty pictures of basically how your board will look. I included mine below. Now when you order, you have to order in multiples of 3, but that beats 50 or more. I paid $21 USD for my project. Which to me, that’s not bad. I’ve got 3 boards coming, that’s 7 bucks a piece. I can sell 2 of them if need be to pay for the entire project easily.

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