Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

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Krokodil
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby Krokodil » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:59 pm

Dodoid wrote:Not every SGI will survive for forever, but if it's honestly something we care about (and I have every indication that we do), we certainly have the skills, knowledge, and technology to keep a lot of units of a lot of models of SGIs running for a lot of years into the future.


Nothing is forever. Especially old computers and SGI systems in particular. It's the sad reality of the world we live in. There will never be a way to produce new power supplies, boards, or updates to IRIX. Once all the parts out there are dead, that's it.

Eventually all things go.

Just the same way that a place I used to go often as a kid, closed down because the owner got old and sick. When I was a child (an actual child), I could never have imagined it would ever close down, let alone that it would go to complete shambles and years later witness its complete destruction by developers, with little to show to that it was ever there.
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Irinikus
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 am

Krokodil wrote:
Dodoid wrote:Not every SGI will survive for forever, but if it's honestly something we care about (and I have every indication that we do), we certainly have the skills, knowledge, and technology to keep a lot of units of a lot of models of SGIs running for a lot of years into the future.


Nothing is forever. Especially old computers and SGI systems in particular. It's the sad reality of the world we live in. There will never be a way to produce new power supplies, boards, or updates to IRIX.

Eventually all things go.

Just the same way that a place I used to go often as a kid, closed down. When I was a child (an actual child), I could never have imagined it would ever close down, let alone that it would go to complete shambles and years later be destroyed by developers, with little to show to that it was ever there.


It's very sad but true.

Recapping power supplies before they actually blow will probably go a long way to helping these machines to run long into the future. As power supplies seem to be the components that mainly tend to fail.
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Daniel80486
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby Daniel80486 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:41 pm

opcode wrote:I just popped my 4th Indigo power supply. I have been fortunate that Indigo and old Indigo hard drives (the big ones from back in the day) have been the only hardware I have had trouble with. Is the Indigo power supply difficult to recap/refurb?


If you haven't seen it, I repaired one a few months ago:

http://forums.nekochan.net/viewtopic.php?t=16731963
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55cancri
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby 55cancri » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:18 am

Can it be useful to scan entire SGI boards with Xrays?

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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby Dodoid » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:52 am

I think so, if it would show the traces well. Not sure how hi-res Xray gear you are talking about. I don't know how clearly traces show up on xray (as in, how does their ability to block the radiation compare to that of the fiberglass PCB), or how you would separate the board layers so that you could see where traces connected and where they just crossed on different layers, but if you could solve those problems it would be useful I think. I recently completely mapped out the traces of a simple SGI board using a combination of datasheets, a bright light, and a multimeter in continuity test mode, but I only worked on a small, relatively simple PCB and it took days. I can't imagine doing that for, say, one of my Onyx or Origin2000 boards.
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby robespierre » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:00 pm

You need fairly high energy X-rays to see copper traces clearly (30kV or above; 80kV even better). Copper atoms cross section is a lot more than epoxy or glass. The advantage is that you can image very small traces or bond wires: down to a hundredth of a mm should be possible with the right equipment.
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Re: Maintaining Hardware / fesability of keeping hardware running

Unread postby marshallh » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:25 pm

Basically, Xray doesn't work for high count multilayer boards, espeically ones with flood files or split planes (so, all of them). SGI is notorious for being incredibly lazy with their PCB layout, their approach is just to breakout everything to vias and let the autorouter rip. Which is actually a very good method in their defense, considering cost was not a factor. Typical SGI boards range from 8 to 24 layers. Even the Tezro serial port breakout board has a controlled impedance test strip/TDR coupon. They just didn't care and had other things to worry about.

Unforunately this makes reversing super difficult as the best approach now becomes "remove all the parts and hand sand the entire pcb a layer at a time". Some folks in China can do this a little more cost effectively. You get a netlist at the end, but parts are still a problem.


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