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Thread: Hungarian ICs--any good?

  1. #1
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    Default Hungarian ICs--any good?

    I need some UA739PC dual op-amps as spares. Apparently the things are pretty dear and prices are all over the place.

    I just placed an order for 20 of the things for a total of $20.50 shipped from Hungary. The vendor on the DIP appears to be MEV, not Fairchild.

    They're advertised as NOS, not pulls.

    Have I just made a mistake? Any experience with Eastern European chip vendors to report?

  2. #2

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    Chuck,

    I think they had fairly high manufacturing standards for IC's & transistors out of that region, especially mil spec ones. I have bought a number of TTL types from Eastern European manufacturers and some OP amps & transistors and never had any problem. Actually a lot of the Russian parts are excellent too, especially mil spec, for example the PIO capacitors are every bit as good as Western Electric ones that people pay ridiculous prices for.
    The parts to avoid are clone parts of late manufacture or recycled parts from the far east. I've had many re-labelled fakes and even transistors with new legs welded onto them. To avoid fakes I go for early date code parts that look original from reputable manufacturers like RCA, TI, Fairchild, Signetics,National, Motorola etc. Hitachi TTL's are also excellent.

  3. #3
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    Do you know anything about the MEV labeled parts? They look to be about 1980, but the date codes and are labeled with the older "μA739" (Greek letter "mu") rather than the later Fairchild "UA739". Not that this may make a difference.

  4. #4

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    I don't know about MEV specifically. But if they really are 1980's vintage it is highly likely they will be ok. It seems that most dodgy cloning and re-labeling practices we see today cropped up in the mid to late 1990's and got worse from there. Also, since you ordered 20 pieces, it will be a reasonable statistical test, if they all appear to work well, then I think you could really trust them.

    It is often easy to see if the date codes & writing is fake, a quick forensic inspection does it.

    With fakes the body of the device looks far too shiny for the supposed age, sometimes there are fine buff marks on it and the writing looks too fresh. Even stored well, a genuine 1980 age part would just have a touch of oxidation here and there on the body & pins to give the game away how old it is. You could inspect them under a binocular microscope. (They did this idea well in the short TV series Six Days to Midnight, where a document supposedly years old from the future was being examined for authenticity, when the paper clip was removed at one corner, there was a faint stain and rust mark in the paper that could only have been there if it genuinely was decades old).

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    I'll update this when they arrive.

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    Got my shipment of UA739s from Hungary today. Looks like NOS--no signs of sanding and the legs are splayed slightly as one would find them on stock ICs. Pins have a layer of oxidation. Absent actual in-circuit testing, I'm calling these good:

    2018-09-14-132551.jpg

  7. #7

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    Chuck,
    They look good & genuine to me too.

  8. #8
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    I did some digging (using Google translate). "MEV refers to "Mikroelektronikai Vállalat", a division of Hungarian Tungsram. The factory burned under suspicious circumstances in 1986 and was never rebuilt. So we have an upper limit on the date of these ICs.

    Interesting stuff. I'm completely unfamiliar with Eastern Bloc semiconductor manufacturers, much less the defunct ones.

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