[time-nuts] Form factor

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 01:29:47 EST 2010

>> Eurocard has been one suggestion as a form factor. While I personally
>> love Eurocard, the boards and connectors are expensive.
>> Stackble connectors are a pain in assembly.
>> Backplanes are inherently evil at high speeds.
>> Plugging everything into one main board makes that a critical design
>> item and that much harder to upgrade.

I agree with all of the above.

I think what we want is simply a mechanical standard.  Something that
will simply hold everything in place.

What if every module was in it's own metal box?  Each box has a
forward or "user facing" panel that is tall and narrow and contains
things like input jacks and status LEDs and a rear facing panel that
is for power and module to module interconnect.    Many of the
modules, I assume would work as stand alone gadgets (a trigger is a
usful device all by it self)  To assemble a system you place all the
boxes like books on a shelf.  Maybe even some book end so they don't
fall over.  But you might build a wood cabinet, put a handle on top
and metal bumpers on the corners.  The wood cabinet would house the
modules and also the power supply and the rats nest of interconnect
wiresSo those who like to be neat can make nice wood cases and the
rest of us can have a working system made of a half dozen boxea and
cales all over the work bench

Here is an example of a module box

We would not have to specify a height or length, only the width needs
to be uniform.  But in our case the width becomes height when you turn
them on edge.   Some modules might need two PCBs and a wider box.  We
should make a list of connectors to be used for power and so on for
the rear pannel

I had previously suggested about the same thing but only to make the
box the same size as a disk drive so we could use common existing
racks.  I'd still prefer that but maybe these hammond boxes are more

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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