Interfacing Concerns

Often times, classic computer peripheral designs can easily utilize contemporary electronics components without compromise.  However, two areas require special care:

  • Electrical Interfacing
  • Physical Interfacing

As electronics components move to LVTTL (3.3 volt) and below, designs require more buffering to maintain electrical compatibility.  Thankfully, such buffering solutions are common and relatively inexpensive. Connectors, on the other hand, bring additional issues.

However, with contemporary connectors moving to serial-based solutions and miniature sizes, larger classic connectors become harder to source and more expensive.  This, in turn, greatly drives up product costs and can often price a product out of manufacturing viability.  Thus, a while ago, I started dipping my toe into the bulk purchasing pool.  With success in hand, I’ve expanded the effort, just recently purchasing 24 and 40 pin headers (for PCB designs that plug into DIP sockets, IEEE-488 jacks (for ZoomFloppy usage), 22/44 .156″ edge connectors (for VIC-20 expansion port usage), and DIN6 jacks (for most IEC-based applications).

While there is inherent risk in such purchases, I feel it’s required to ensure designs can be viably produced and sold.