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Wire Wrap Technology

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Chuck W., Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. Chuck W.

    Chuck W. Guest

    Is wire wrap dead? I was looking for some 16 pin DIP wire wrap blocks
    over at Mouser. Not finding them, I called Mouser and was informed by a
    tech there that only academia really uses wire wrap anymore.
    Apparently, according to him, after breadboarding you generally go
    straight to PCB.


    P.S. Yes, I am aware of Digikey, etc.
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest


  3. Jeff Dege

    Jeff Dege Guest

    I use wirewrap with protoboard, instead of soldering lead to lead.

    PCB costs too damned much for the sort of hobbyist foolishness I do.
  4. Chuck W.

    Chuck W. Guest

    Then how would one prototype something that clearly exceeds the
    confines of a breadboard?

    What about changes to a prototype? Isn't wire wrap much easier to make
    changes to than a PCB?

  5. :-)

    :-) Guest

    I find some at catalogue page 326
    I was also browsing around for some ...
  6. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Go directly to pcb. Wirewrap isn't suitable for lots of stuff anyway ( e.g.
    power electronics ). Otherwise simulate.
    If you plan on making lots of mistakes it has that advantage ! ;-)

  7. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I usually use wire wrap for breadboarding, and also if I am only making one
    of something for a customer. You can still find lots of wire wrap items at
    JDR Microdevices at . In their search box, type in wire
    wrap. It will display lots of items.

  8. neil

    neil Guest

    Over her in UK wirewrap is almost gone, but we still use it for some of our
    test equipment.
    It has the advantage of being able to implement major changes when the
    customer (with our help) eventually figures out what he really needs, having
    delivered what he asked for "on time, to budget".
    I get wire and sockets from RS Components ( and Farnell
    (partnered/owns Newark in US).
    Tools can be obtained from OK Industries, but are expensive - although a
    hand wrap tool can make 8000 wraps before wearing out (from personal
    For power, 26awg can be used. If doubled, a few amps can be passed. More
    than that - solder a fat wire.
    If you're interested, I've developed a program which simplifies the wirelist
    generation, and checks for duplicate pins/names, non-existant pins (pin 20
    of a 14 pin device), split nets, and produces a reverse view of the card for
    inspection. It's not optimised for user friendliness (!) but I find is
  9. Guest

    It has gone out of fasion but you can still get parts from a few
    suppliers. It's still the fastest method of building one off jobs
    subject to a few provisos.
  10. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest


    I was looking for some 16 pin DIP wire wrap blocks

    No, breadboarding is dead, too. Think, design, check, pc board.

  11. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    The last project I genuinely breadboarded was in 1990. It's more useful with
    power electronics ( which that was ).

    A couple of guys I work with were quite surprised when I first suggested
    prototyping on a pcb. I reckon they still think it's cheating slightly !

  12. Wire wrap is dead and so is breadboarding (well, almost) and so is hobby
    electronics (meaning that an individual cannot nowadays come up with
    something at least mildly interesting to friends and family).

    SURFACE MOUNT TECHNOLOGY has taken over. Try to get some late model
    semiconductors and ICs with leads that one can work with and you will see
    what I mean.
  13. Chuck W.

    Chuck W. Guest

    Wire wrap is dead and so is breadboarding (well, almost) and so is hobby
    How profoundly depressing... That is, if I were to believe you, it
    would be depressing. Saying that an individual cannot nowadays come up
    with something interesting says something about your imagination ;)

    Perhaps that is true, but not with the chips I'm using. I'm currently
    laboring under the delusion that I can create a 16bit CPU using only
    TTL chips that will boot the Linux Elks kernel. I haven't had any
    problem finding 74ACTXX chips. I plan to do it all with wire wrap. Why?

    1. A CPU is a very complicated thing and will require changes after
    creation no matter how carefully it is designed.

    2. It's a one-off project. Printing a PCB would be a waste of time and

    3. The only way to truly understand something is to dig into it a
    deeply as possible.

  14. Nobody really breadboards either. It used to be that you made
    a wirewrap board to test your design. But now with simulation,
    DRC, peer reviews, etc, it is tough for a design flaw to get
    very far. With all the programable logic that is used these
    days, many design changes are done by reprograming a chip.
  15. Rodney

    Rodney Guest

    Some questions,
    I'm wondering what small electronics manufacturers will do with only surface
    mount technology. There must be a lot of companies who now assemble circuit
    boards manually with workers on an assembly line. I don't know much about
    surface mount but isn't surface mount done with expensive robots or
    something similar? Can the small manufacturers afford automatic equipment?
    I can't really see people installing surface mount components manually, at
    least not very well. And as long as there are small manufacturers won't
    there be a market for conventional style components? And as long as there
    is a market won't component manufacturers supply the conventional parts?
    What do students do in the lab if there is no breadboarding? Will
    oscilloscopes in the lab be obsolete when only simulators are used?

  16. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Small runs, you can do with tweezers. A few more, and a solder stencil
    and a manual (pantographic) pick-and-place aren't too expensive. We
    have power stencils and two semi-automatic p-n-p machines, where an
    operator places parts guided by a computer; they cost about $25K each.
    Full automatic p-n-p machines (some place 8 parts a second!) cost a
    good fraction of a megabuck and setup is complex enough that they only
    make sense for very large batches.

  17. Alan B

    Alan B Guest

    Absolutely not. Much depends on your application; it sounds like you
    are doing low-level breadboard design, which I can't speak to. But in
    various applications of the telecommunications industry, wire wrap is
    used almost exclusively for large scale interconnections between
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