Forum Rules and Etiquette

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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

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Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

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Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

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New user moderation

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Do you use wirerapping for fabrication?

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    Do you use wirerapping for fabrication?

    I still wirewrap my projects, but wirewrap supplies are getting scarcer.

    Can anyone recommend a source for sockets? Jameco has them, but they are quite expensive now!
    eBay ain't much better.

    And did anyone use "Wrap-ID's"? I loved those little plastic labels. They made wiring much easier.
    The ones I could locate online request a king's ransom to purchase

    Solderless bread-boarding is fine for small and temporary projects ..

    So, how is everyone fabricating now? Or has computer fabricating gone the way of gaslights

    (And yes, I do have several Arduinos, so I know about them too! )

    I use wire wrap all the time. I usually purchase from Mouser. They are expensive, but work. But they don't have all the socket types I need. I don't know how to have circuit boards made. I'm concerned, because I make so many errors, the turn around is long, I make larger circuits than a few square inches ........ Using the Arduino or PI can reduce the amount of circuit, but I'm dealing with vintage stuff and general don't use them. I suspect that wire wrap will go the way of the buggy whip and button shoes, but I'm going down with the ship. Mike


      Here's another source that is cheaper. Mike


        Originally posted by KC9KEP View Post

        So, how is everyone fabricating now? Or has computer fabricating gone the way of gaslights
        I find wire wrapping doesn't suit many of my projects because of the length of the pins that project from the wired side of the board. Especially say for boards like S-100 boards that might be stacked together with limited space in between, like in my SOL-20 computer. Therefore I hand wire and solder all of my prototype boards with multi-color teflon covered wire and I route the wire so that it does not cover most of the IC pins and I restrain the wire to the pcb surface.

        For your interest there are photos in this S-100 card project with numerous IC's showing how to do this. Unless this structured and orderly approach is taken to the routing of the wires, you can see that some people end up with a real mess and Rat's nest of wires and paint themselves into a corner by losing access to the IC/socket pins because they were impatient and just ran multiple wires across them in the rush to finish the task. Have a close look at the photos in this article. The method results in a very tidy and compact result, it is also highly reliable, but I have no doubt it takes longer than wrapping, but the result is better:

        I have also attached a picture of another variation on the theme of the methods described above, in this case the IC's were much more closely placed, about 66 IC's and there were many hundreds of interconnects. In this variant I laced the wire into looms with silk thread, but it uses the same basic routing method. The photo resolution is not wonderful.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Hugo Holden; November 17, 2020, 09:14 AM. Reason: add image


          I have not wirewrapped for quite a while but I used the 30ga wirewrap wire for point-to-point wiring. My boards are generally not too complex, so I just wire them directly without routing. There are a couple examples of direct wiring on this page:


            I use wire wrap wire, but do point to point soldering with it. I have done some pretty sophisticated projects that way, including S100 single board computers and Motorola DSP56000 DSP boards. I think both Unicorn Electr9nice (the one in PA) and Anchor electronics in CAhave pretty decent prices on most electronics. Terry, N4TLF