And so, the version numbers tick ever upwards…
It occurs to me that every part I’ve made for the Mitochondrion has, at that time, been the hardest piece of kit I’ve ever made. Case in point – the new centre board. It’s a double-sided circuit board, 14 cm long, 2 cm wide, so the same area as half a Post-It note. It contains a computer about as powerful as a Spectrum, a separate 256k memory, a two-channel audio pre-amp with cross-over and rectifier, a regulated power supply and a battery monitor. And twenty off-board connections. Oh, and there’s a daughter-board taking up 40% of one side. That’s four chips and 35 other parts. Half a Post-It note. Yeah, it’s pretty packed.
I’m definitely getting better at the process. I started the design on tuesday, including picking up an entirely new circuit drawing program (DipTrace, I love you), and the design just needs an hour or so of more tweaking to be done. Then I’ll be spending at least a day checking over the design and modeling/breadboarding the bits that I can, coz I don’t want to have to make yet another. And then buying parts, which will involve me phoning up suppliers and saying:
“A MAX710 in so16 please?”
“How many thousands do you want?”
“Just the one, thanks.”
“Only one thousand?”
“Sorry, no, only one.”
And then, some time later, actually making it and seeing if my design works or not… But it’s not like the other parts of the Mitochondrion don’t need further work…
The next project is going to involve no electronics at all, just hand saws and hammers. Well, and maybe the Gimp. The next electronics project is going to involve no boundary pushing at all, just bits and pieces that I’ve used before and can put together and expect it to work. Well, and maybe lithium batteries, so I’ll need to investigate better battery controllers. But apart from that, nothing new at all.
*drowns brain with booze to stop all the new ideas*