HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Modding and Technical Issues

Moderator: Moderators

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:40 pm

eslapion wrote:There are hundreds of photos of EDAC series 307 connectors on Google. None of them seem to have gold yet they all have gold plating. The same is true for series 306 and R644, as mentioned above.


Please look closely at the picture below. (and others on your suggested google search) You can see the gold plating only in the location that contacts the board as it states in the spec sheet. The VIC-20 connector doesn't have this.
edacpin2c.jpg


Added Edit: It's not white gold either (see picture).

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:00 pm

norm8332 wrote:Please look closely at the picture below. (and others on your suggested google search) You can see the gold plating only in the location that contacts the board as it states in the spec sheet. The VIC-20 connector doesn't have this.

You have better eyes than me.

What about the Vector R644-3F ? I don't have one but it sure doesn't look goldish on pictures yet it's gold plated.

The remaining possibility is tin and that's present in less than 10% of connectors.

I am searching for manufactures/models with tin...

Added edit:
Vishay Dale made the EBT-156 series and they have a very special look. That's not the connector you have.
See: http://www.vishay.com/docs/36007/ebt156.pdf

Sullins is the only other manufacturer which I know makes female edge connectors with tin contact finish. Tin is used in when the product code's second digit is 'E'. They use a 'full bellows' type of contact which is totally unlike the photo you posted.
See: http://www.sullinscorp.com/catalogs/65_ ... EYE_RA.pdf
Last edited by eslapion on Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:12 pm

Just click on the picture above for a larger view. That's not the only one either there's more on google. Its classic selective gold plating they are talking about. They do it all the time today because gold is expensive and they developed it as a cost saving measure.

Example:
connector-6.jpg

p11_4578d5388650df4b8ed77a49fc8c2d50.jpg

selective-gold-plated-contacts-1.jpg


EDIT: I just noticed it says MITSUMI-CINCH on the front of the connector.

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:34 pm

norm8332 wrote:...Its classic selective gold plating they are talking about. They do it all the time today because gold is expensive and they developed it as a cost saving measure.

I am familiar with that. The first batch of Behr-Bonz were plated like that.

I can also confirm my own VIC-20cr has the same type of cart port connector as yours. But, AFAICT, this is a Vector R644-3F.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:37 pm

I just noticed it says MITSUMI-CINCH on the front of the connector. You can almost make it out in the picture above upside-down and over exposed. I know Cinch made connectors.

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:40 pm

norm8332 wrote:I just noticed it says MITSUMI-CINCH on the front of the connector. You can almost make it out in the picture above upside-down and over exposed. I know Cinch made connectors.

There are 8 connectors of the correct type from Cinch on DIgikey... all non-stock...

The type of contact is called 'bifurcated semi bellows'. AFAIK, everything Cinch makes for 44 pins 0.156" edge connectors is gold plated but that's according to Digikey.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:13 pm

Here is a close up of the contacts (sideways). Its worn right through! Click image for larger view. The camera only is in focus in a small area because of the orientation of the contacts. I don't know how much use this VIC had. It did come out of a scrap box and had been there for 20 years. I'll check the others for wear at a later date.
vlcsnap-2018-01-02-23h11m15s142.png

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:41 am

norm8332 wrote:Here is a close up of the contacts (sideways). Its worn right through! Click image for larger view. The camera only is in focus in a small area because of the orientation of the contacts. I don't know how much use this VIC had. It did come out of a scrap box and had been there for 20 years. I'll check the others for wear at a later date.

It's always possible Commodore decided to use cheap connectors in the VIC-20cr since the C64 was out by the time it hit store shelves. They probably saw the VIC-20 as a machine soon destined for scrap heap and obsolescence. History shows they were not exactly wrong.

But in the larger context of the argument which this thread is about, using HASL or tin contacts is a guaranteed means to have your cartridge or female connector doomed to a relatively short lifespan.

IMHO, Commodore put the VIC-20cr on the market with the thinking these machines were not expected to last more than 1 or 2 years. My PET style keyboard VIC-20 is now a healthy 36 years old. My VIC-20cr, which I practically never use, is more than 24 years old.

If your photo does indeed show exposed copper then this means oxidation should have appeared in there.

What I just learned from our exchange of the last few days is I should really replace the cart port connector of my CR with a Vector R644.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:42 am

Yes, but it is also about damage to the cartridge connector and based on the wear patterns on the contacts where the leading edge of the contact point shows the most wear and a change in Commodore cartridge design, I propose the following:

Fiberglass Boards with a beveled edge damage the cartridge connector because the glass fibers come into contact and abrade the softer contact material as they are inserted.

Please see the crude drawing I made below to illustrate this (fig. 1). Referring to the closeup picture of the contacts in my above post, you will notice that the deepest wear is at the leading edge of the wear pattern.
I believe this is because that area is the first point to come into contact with the PCB edge during cartridge insertion. When the edge of the cartridge board contains very hard glass fibers, some of the softer contact material (whether gold or tin or copper) is removed. Once the contacts spread and make contact with the fingers on the cartridge and no longer the edge, the wear reduces to normal.

Please note that most Commodore cartridges do not use a Glass impregnated PCB , however many later Commodore carts did and many third party's did also. Please see fig. 2 and 2a below. You will notice that the older Commodore cart uses a resin non-glass based board while a later example uses a glass-impregnated board.

So in conclusion I believe glass impregnated PCBs with a beveled edge will accelerate wear on the connector.


A non-beveled edge would be the way to go since it would limit contact with the glass fibers.

fig 1. Initial contact of edge of PCB with connector contacts during insertion (side view)
longevity_d4vv.jpg

fig 2. Early commodore cartridge edge - non glass impregnated PCB.
vlcsnap-2018-01-03-09h40m50s162.png

fig 2a. Later Commodore cartridge edge - glass impregnated PCB.
vlcsnap-2018-01-03-09h39m52s803.png

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:28 pm

@norm8332
I am stunned and happy at the same time about the level of detail you put into this. I guess this sort of conversation is inevitable when you take a toy computer designed to last no more than a few years and turn it into a historical artefact. I mean, we're pushing the lifespan of VIC-20s close to half a century now, easily 10 times what it was originally intended to be.

The reference design for 44 pins 0.156" spacing boards and female connectors is pretty much the R644 family of connectors and the 3677 and 3677-2 industrial boards. They are all gold plated and the 3677(-2) boards all have glass fibers in their boards but they have a rounded edge, not beveled. It probably amounts to the same potential wear on the female receptacle.

My own Behr-Bonz prototype cart is built on a 3677 board so I was able to check.

I feel safe replacing the cart port connectors on my VIC-20s, same thing with the power switch, capacitors and the DIN connectors. I've seen people suggest methods and tools to do those things that's borderline to total lunacy. That's on top of absolute technical nonsense such as the inability to discern the characteristics of TTL electrical signaling.

Are we on our way to develop some sort of guide book to very long term maintenance methods, guidelines and techniques for Commodore computers ?
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:34 pm

Well, it's a fun hobby and still a cool toy that I want to keep alive as long as possible as I think you do.

I believe we could agree that ENIG is good for different reasons and is recommended. But there are many practices that would effect the longevity of a VIC-20 and since it was originally designed to last only several years, they were deemed acceptable. I think Commodore initially had it right in using resin rather than fiberglass in the cartridge PCBs, but maybe for durability or other reasons decided to change it knowing it would abrade the contacts. After all it would last long enough. Now that we see that people are still using these 30+ years later, everything has to be re-evaluated.

I think a good recommendation for cartridge design going forward is: the board should either be made out of a resin/non-glass fiber or if fiberglass is used then it should not be beveled on the edge. The boards I made were not beveled and there are not any issues inserting them. I also believe ENIG or hard gold is the preferred plating material because it is better for cartridge wear (and you, the connector).

I feel that if people don't adhere to these recommendations it should be politely pointed out, but it is not the end of the world. We could just point them to this thread (I do wish it was cleaner) and let the (now informed) buyers decide for themselves and leave it at that.

Something like "That PCB design may cause issues with your VIC-20 in the long term. See this thread for details." and point them to this thread. Then it doesn't have to be argued every time in a sale thread.
Last edited by norm8332 on Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:00 pm

norm8332 wrote:I think a good recommendation for cartridge design going forward is that the board should either be made out of a resin/non-glass fiber or if fiberglass is used then it should not be beveled on the edge. The boards I made were not beveled and there are not any issues inserting them. I also believe ENIG or hard gold is the preferred plating material because it is better for the cartridge wear (and you, the connector).

I feel that if people don't adhere to these recommendations it should be politely pointed out, but it is not the end of the world. We could just point them to this thread (I do wish it was cleaner) and let the (now informed) buyers decide and leave it at that.

There are people who presently make 8k and 16k boards for themselves with HASL connectors. They have a responsibility towards... themselves.

If you sell a product which has potential detrimental consequences on the customer's equipment and then, instead of acting responsibly you call the whistleblower 'religious', even start a flame war then you should be either banned or receive a serious warning. Perhaps the only notable exception is if you do it 'for no profit' with a 'use at your own risk' caveat. The general idea is to make sure the buyer makes an informed decision.

Concerning the gold plated connectors used on early VIC as well as the resin boards in cartridges. It appears to me there is a significant degradation in quality of the materials and parts used to make VIC-20s and VIC-20 cartridges by Commodore after 1982. This can not only be noted on the cartridges and connectors but also on the components used on the mainboards in general and the type of plastic used to make cases and keyboards.

The video signal quality coming from my VIC-20 with PET style keyboard is incredibly better when compared with what comes from my VIC-20cr. There are a lot more parts on the video amplifier of the older VIC and there is also a second order filter which uses a small inductor. It was a more expensive VIC-20 and this results in more quality in many aspects.
Last edited by eslapion on Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:06 pm

I updated my above post while you were typing. I believe pointing the perspective buyer to this thread is the best way to respond to sellers who sell products that don't conform to the recommendations. Let the informed buyer decide whether they want to risk damage to their VIC-20, and if you must chastise the seller, it's best done in private.

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4549
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby eslapion » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:15 pm

norm8332 wrote:Something like "That PCB design may cause issues with your VIC-20 in the long term. See this thread for details." and point them to this thread. Then it doesn't have to be argued every time in a sale thread.

The thread here contains too many 'parasitic' posts.

I think it would be better to point to this: https://db-electronics.ca/2017/05/31/su ... ion-carts/
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

norm8332
Vic 20 Devotee
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:04 am
Location: USA

Re: HASL for cartridges? (split/OT from: Cheese & Onion)

Postby norm8332 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:25 pm

Yeah, but unfortunately that doesn't include what I know is an issue with the unnecessary beveling of the fiberglass boards. It is clear to me that this is a serious wear issue. The problem is all of these designs including in the link you provided are for use for a pretty limited lifespan. We are trying to extend the lifespan.


Return to “Hardware and Tech”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest