December 2021 CQ magazine.
Eric Nichols (KL7AJ) "Haywire State" article begins on page 64.
CQ magazine is a great monthly
publication for the electronics hobbyist and professional. Each month it is chock
full of amazingly informative articles covering circuit design, system design, antenna
design, product reviews, electronics theory (even including some real mathematics),
prototyping and kit building, industry news, and more. Being primarily an amateur
radio publication, CQ also contains many pieces on equipment setup and
use, operational suggestions, contest coverage, ARRL events, FCC regulatory news,
reports on personal accomplishments, etc. CQ has been on the forefront
of the adoption of digital techniques in the Ham radio realm and frequently includes
articles on highly effective coding methods and use of the the very popular Arduino*
experimental development kits.
Now that I have doted over CQ magazine in general, in particular the
reason for writing this is to let you know about Eric Nichols' (KL7AJ) December
2021 column entitled "Analog Adventures." His topic this month is called "Haywire
State." Haywire, in case you don't know refers to electronic breadboards which use
short pieces of wire to interconnect components (as opposed to a printed circuit
board). As part of his missive, Eric highlights the venerable
Bob Pease (sadly
no longer with us) of National Semiconductor with his famously messy workbench and
tangle breadboarded circuits. Back in the days of relatively low frequencies (less
than a couple MHz), it was possible to accurately build prototypes using
solderless breadboards that
contained springy finger contacts inside plastic bases to permit wires to be pushed
in and pulled out to make fast, reliable connections. Bob Pease prototyped many
of his integrated circuit designs using "haywire" methods, including phased locked
loops, operational amplifiers, voltage regulators, and more. He was fundamentally
an analog guy who didn't mind admitting not overly appreciating digital circuitry
and software. One of his favorite sayings was "My favorite programming language
As part of his research for the "Haywire State" article, Eric ran across the
image I had posted on an RF Cafe page entitled, "The Successful Use of
Breadboards for Complex Prototype Circuits." It was the only high resolution
image available, which I came from a scan of an autographed copy given to me by
the Great Mr. Pease himself. Eric's concern was getting a clear enough view
of the breadboard to print in his published article. Evidently that was acceptable
because it now appears in "Haywire State." Online access to the December 2021 issue
of CQ magazine is not yet available, but might be in a few months. You could of
course sign up for a
subscription (Kindle edition),
which I highly recommend for your reading enjoyment and technical knowledge edification.
The July 2021 issue
of CQ is available now for review if you would like to see a sample.
BTW, even if you are not interested in the Arduino programming interface, some
of the best prices on a wide collection
of assorted electronics components can be had with the Arduino kits.
Posted January 5, 2022