[rescue] Help needed with Sun V65x

Jonathan Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Thu Feb 20 00:50:39 CST 2014

On Wed, 19 Feb 2014, Toby Thain wrote:

> Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar all went "diffusion" with cheaply made and lower
> priced models trading off a luxury brand name -- decades ago.

On my workbench are the pieces of a thoroughly analog electronic musical
instrument whose most advanced components date back to the early 1970s.
One of the more interesting components in there is a rotary encoder
constructed out of a large-diameter wooden dowel that's half-covered in
metallic flashing cut at a diagonal (with respect to the long axis of the

Riding atop this cylinder are thirty some-odd brush-leads such that
rotating the dowel causes some number of them to contact the flashing
(and, thus, complete a circuit with the common wire at the lowest
position).  Each of these leads has a separate line back to a complex
control network.

These days, an identical device could be made from far less hardware and
at a far lower cost, while having additional resilience against humidity,
corrosion, and physical shock.  Due to the nature of solid-state
components, the inattention to quality control may, indeed, justify it
being called "cheaper" even while being vastly better in every
specification that matters.

I appreciate that my 21st century Bimmers do not require double-clutching,
do not burn oil with alacrity, do not require choking when cold, and get
25+ miles to the gallon even when I drive like my hair's on fire.  The
2000-mile service intervals that accompanied the same time period in which
that instrument was built aren't any sort of luxury I desire.

Sometimes time just marches on and there isn't any conspiracy to it.

Jonathan Patschke
Elgin, TX

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