HP engineering excellence - was Re: Cyber ECL Wiring

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Sun Nov 30 15:07:31 CST 2014

On 2014-Nov-30, at 12:28 PM, Toby Thain wrote:

> On 30/11/14 3:19 PM, Brent Hilpert wrote:
>> On 2014-Nov-30, at 8:59 AM, Jon Elson wrote:
>>> Then, there was the system that came before wire-wrap.  It had rectangular
>>> posts on card edge connectors, and I think the wire was stranded. There was
>>> a "gun" that had a roll of little tin-plated clips.  You stuck the wire into the
>>> gun, and squeezed the handle.  It drove a clip onto the pin, pinching the
>>> wire through the insulation.  I've forgotten the name of this system, too.
>>> This was used for connecting up standard logic boards into a backplane,
>>> not for use at the chip level.
>>> Jon
>> Would that be these?:
>> 	http://www3.telus.net/~bhilpert/tmp/HP2116C/crimps.jpg
>> 	http://www3.telus.net/~bhilpert/tmp/HP2116C/backplane.jpg
> Lovely. One can see HP's famous devotion to engineering here.

The 2116 is amazing even just from the mechanical engineering.
Looking at the backplane picture, the major frame pieces are cast aluminum.
Then notice the solid 1.5-by-0.5-inch machined aluminum rails which the backplane slides out on.
Two of the rails split in half - you can see the stainless-steel alignment pins on the ends of the rails, and the backplane swings open - the other two rails have integral hinges.  I should make a video showing this in action.

The rail structure is quite hidden, when I first got the machine it was quite perplexing and I dismantled it from all angles trying to figure out how to get inside, before realising what was going on.

> --Toby
>> It's the backplane of an HP2116C.
>> I've always wondered what the tradename for the technique was.
>> Looks like in these machines the wire was stripped before crimping though.

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