CYCLOPS: Here it is, but come see it in person at VCF East

Bill Sudbrink wh.sudbrink at
Fri Apr 15 06:21:42 CDT 2016

Brent Hilpert wrote:
> I had assumed that you came across a hobbyist unit
> built in the 70's and was repairing or completing it.
> Sounds like that's incorrect - this is a new build
> from scratch?

Yes, for certain definitions of "new" (more below).

> including the printed circuit boards?

Yes, I used "toner transfer" to make the board.  The
board is made from the original art in the article.

Back to "new"...

The copper clad board that was used is from a piece I
bought in 1977 to make a memory addition for my OSI
C1P.  The IC sockets were recovered from an old board
where all of the ICs had 1974 date codes.  The chips
used have date codes ranging from 1969 to 1976,  The
Sprague Atom cap (the orange one) is not only the same
type as the one in the article pictures, it has the
same data and batch code "USA7413H".  The other two
electrolytic caps are the right make and physical size
(Mallory TT) but unfortunately had to be "restuffed".
The ceramic caps and the resistors are all from parts
assortments I've had since at least 1979 (except for
three 0.1 pf caps).  The lens is the same type, 8.5mm
Elgeet Magnaview.  The chassis is a bit of a "hack".
It was originally a used TenTec JW-8.  I could not
find a new or even used JW-6.  The only difference
between the two is 2 inches of width.  I trimmed the
lid and had a new bottom made.  Etc, etc...

This project has been more scavenger hunt than technical
I guess.  I wanted to make it as "right" as possible.

> I had actually wondered from years ago whether the
> design ever did work reliably, or whether it might
> be the sort of magazine project where 1 in 100 might
> function, e.g. say, the memory chips were an iffy
> proposition as image sensor.

It worked pretty much as soon as I powered it on.  The
only problem I had was a "duh" moment.  The CYCLOPS
outputs 0 volts for pixel off and -12 volts for pixel
on.  The Z input on my scope wants 2 volts for intensity
off and 0 volts for intensity normal.  After finally
RTFMing and a helpful email from Dr. Walker (the designer)
an external power supply and a couple of resistors
solved that problem.

Bill S.

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