Rock around the clock

… When I have been playing my overclocking games, I was sourcing a lot of oscillators from eBay. One thing I noticed was that there are a lot more choices for modern SMD oscillators than for the old DIP14 tin cans. As a matter of fact, I found 50 and 100MHz oscillators in all sizes quite easily, but what if you want to go up gradually, say 105 or 108 MHz? Maybe I looked in the wrong places, but I was out of luck.

A solution had to be found, and that was to put a rock under the clock to make it fit. And of course I was just looking for a project simple enough to try and build something with KiCad.

The rock: oscillator adapter board

Being a hardware developer in 2020 is almost as easy as being a software developer in 1980. You basically need a computer and a lot of patience.  Once my KiCad design was done, the first version was quickly uploaded to OSHPARK. This place is fabulous. Want to try some hardware really quickly? Get three boards of decent build quality and great looks for two bucks in the mail, with no delivery fees. It’s almost paradise.

The order process is simple and small design are not discouraged by 15 dollar delivery fees

Of course, right after I finished the first design, I sent out pictures boasting to everybody who isn’t sick of my retro obsession yet. Some of those guys were Matthias Muench and the awesome folks from the AmigaWorld telegram group. Going back to the drawing board, I added round corners, two more holes for DIP8 barrels on top or bottom, and extended the pads to make them hold even smaller oscillators as well as being easier to hand solder. Another order, and of course the second version is also shared on OSHPARK.

It’s been a never ending two weeks. Yeah, you don’t get overnight shipping if you’re not paying for delivery. But this is a hobby, right? So today I finally got mail from OSHPARK.

This is so hip

Rip it open, and there you go, my two orders of oscillator adapters and another sticker. OSHPARK definitely upped their sticker game since my last order with a metallic since. Kudos.

The last meeting at work seemingly took forever, but once it was done, the soldering iron started cooking already

It’s tinier than it looks Uber the microscope

Good thing, the second version got the larger pads. But a few minutes later I had the first three candidates ready

Gooey fluxy mess.

The whole family looks quite cute together:

I was experimenting with the amount of some a little

You will have a lot of flexibility on how to use this adapter. I tried building one with normal pin headers instead of the nicer, machined/ round ones. I’m sure there are scenarios in which that works, but I’d recommend using the round pins. It will be easier to build, too.

Now the big question of course is…. Does it blend? It probably does but we are here to make things, not destroy them (at least not on purpose). So does it work?

My A3640 with a personal touch

And it works like a charm. Last but not least, of course this has to go to github, so you can download it and change it as you like. But please contribute back:

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