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why aren't electronics schematics trade secrets?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Dan Jacobson, Dec 2, 2004.

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  1. Dan Jacobson

    Dan Jacobson Guest

    Just curious why electronics schematics aren't closely guarded trade
    secrets. Is it because the hard part is making the parts, not
    stringing them together?
  2. peterken

    peterken Guest

    oh but they ARE closely guarded....
    ever tried finding schematics created by companies ?
    try for instance finding a schematic of any gsm
    (except in service manuals of course....)

    and the hard part is also stringing them together thereby thinking further
    as just principles, about as hard as creating parts if you try to do it
  3. At least 97% of the production use very common circuit solutions, usually
    copied directly from from the application notes from the manufacturer.
  4. Anyone remember the days before VLSI took over (60's and 70's), when the
    manual for just about every electronic device included a wiring diagram?
    I remember seeing this in televisions, transistor radios, and even some
    early calculators.
  5. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Mine are. And you can't get a schematic any more from Tektronix or
    Agilent or most anybody big. Probably not for a cell phone or any
    serious automotive controller.

  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I remember forty or so years ago, we got a stereo and the schematic was
    actually pasted on the inside of the cabinet, right alongside the tube
    chart. The only tube types I remember seeing are 12AX7. ;-)

  7. dB

    dB Guest

    They did it with monos too.

    Your good health!
  8. I remember forty or so years ago, we got a stereo and the schematic
    I disassembled several radio-gramophones when I was a child.

    Big furniture floor types and slightly smaller desk models.
    Those radios usually had many shortwave bands, and anything from 1 to
    6 tubes, and often a circuit diagram inside.

    What surprised me were the ingenious half-mechanical solutions which
    showed up in those radios.

    One was using a piece of cottom string to pull a coil further away from
    another coil, changing the degree of magnetic coupling between them,
    probably changing the characteristics of a filter.

    Another was a lever to move which moved a metal foil on top of another
    metal foil, a variable capacitor. Movable coil cores to change the
    inductance, etc..

    Today we see very little of mechanical movement in machines, we hardly
    have real switches anymore, just plastic buttons which move half a
    millimeter. And all circuits which needed mechanical movement have been
    replaced with full-electronic variants.

    The last to go in consumer electronics was the variable capacitor in
  9. DAW

    DAW Guest

    The circuit is protected by Patents.
  10. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  11. hotkey

    hotkey Guest

    because one can make the same FUNCTION with different component/schematics
  12. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    They are. It's just that you never see them. If they published them, they
    wouldn't really be secret, now, would they?

  13. Our mainframe computer used to have a microfiche reader with boxes of
    microfiche containing all the schematics of the boards and backplane,
    power supplies, disk drives, tape drives, etc. These were all marked
    trade secrets by the maker of the mainframe, and were only supposed to
    be read by the field techs.

    So the answer to your question is that just because you don't believe
    that electronic schematics are closely guarded trade secrets does _not_
    mean they don't exist. For the obvious reason, that trade secrets are
    meant to be just that: a secret. Duh.
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