What DIP Sockets To Use?

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What DIP Sockets To Use?

Hi there, this is my first post here! I have been planning out an Apple-1 build for a little while and I have finally taken the dive with a Newton board and a Unicorn kit since I was too late for one of Uncle Bernie's. That is part of the reason I want to build one now because it seems like it is getting much harder to get the correct parts. To that end it seems like most things are more or less findable except for those Texas Instruments sockets.

Now I don't mean to build a perfect replica but I do want to at least go as close as possible without going overboard. At the very least have as period correct parts and looks as possible. To that, a large part of the look are those sockets. I am pretty much at the point of giving up any notion of getting a full set of sockets at this point, what kind do others like for looks or maybe even functionality? I do like to tinker and I do hear those sockets are not very durable. Are there some specific sockets that look similar while being more functional?

I am mostly just data collecting on what others have used and like so I may form my own answer. Thank you for any replies!

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Hi NowlasWolf!

The best way to get in XXI st century original low-profile Texas Instruments ic sockets is to buy an old board to take them off of. The closest to the original TI sockets are the Robinson Nugent. They were used on the first revisions of the Apple II and also on the early expansion cards for this computer.

 

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Which sockets to use for an Apple-1 build ?

In post #1, NowLaswolf asked:

 

" What DIP Sockets To Use ? "

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

Be aware that the low profile sockets of the 1970s all were terribly unreliable even when new. The TI ones were the worst, and the ones recommended by macintosh_nik which were used in the early Apple II are only somewhat better. I have a bunch of original Apple II motherboards which had to be pulled out and replaced with Taiwanese clone motherboards due to getting unreliable after only a few years of use. I would not desolder any of these sockets for use in an Apple-1 build. Because I know these are bad sockets.

 

The most trouble free and reliable IC sockets are the "machined" type. These have little round pins containing contact spring inserts. These allow many cycles of IC in-and-out without developing contact problems. But they are expensive.

 

There are cheaper IC sockets with the "stamped contact" type. They can be identified by having a flat contact on the outside, and a "snail" like contact on the inside. These grab the IC pins strongly and also are very reliable. But when you pull out an IC, you must be very careful because the contact spring grabs the IC pin so stubbornly that you might pull out the contact spring (the "snail" part) along with the IC.

 

For a first time builder, I would not recommend to use the unreliable sockets. If only one of the ~1000 contacts is bad, you will most likely never find the fault.

 

If you send me a PM (use the "send PM" button) I'll send you my "Tips & Tricks" pdf for the builders of my kits. It explains all the options for PCBs, IC sockets, other components. Since the kits are sold out now, I probably should have published it anyways, but so far had no time to polish it up for eternity.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

 

 

 

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PM Sent! Thank you!

PM Sent! Thank you!

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Honestly, even though on

Honestly, even though on close examination they might not look perfectly vintage period correct.  I would (and did) use the modern round hole machined pin sockets.  They are just higher quality sockets than the type Apple used and are even more durable than the 2nd best kind you can normally get which are the flat pin ones that Uncle Bernie mentioned.

 

 

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Machined sockets price

The most trouble free and reliable IC sockets are the "machined" type. These have little round pins containing contact spring inserts. These allow many cycles of IC in-and-out without developing contact problems. But they are expensive.

 

Indeed. I have a set in my Digi-Key cart, and the price is close to USD 80 just for the sockets.

-Erik

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ebruchez wrote:The most
ebruchez wrote:

The most trouble free and reliable IC sockets are the "machined" type. These have little round pins containing contact spring inserts. These allow many cycles of IC in-and-out without developing contact problems. But they are expensive.

 

Indeed. I have a set in my Digi-Key cart, and the price is close to USD 80 just for the sockets.

-Erik

Probably well worth the cost.  Actually, the vintage looking unreliable sockets are often the most expensive ones because they're either "NOS" or just not that common of a type.  Just so nobody misinterprets my previous message -- I agree completely (as usual) with Uncle Bernie that the machined sockets are for most people the best ones to use.  The 2nd best are the flat pin "snail" type he talks about.  The vintage looking ones only if absolutely looking as vintage as possible is of utmost concern -- to the point of accepting they may not be as reliable.  And using used sockets, especially of the TI style...  seems really like a bad idea.

 

 

 

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Where to get IC sockets (and Apple-1 TTLs) at a good price.

As seen above, there is pain about the prices of these sockets:

 

" Indeed. I have a set in my Digi-Key cart, and the price is close to USD 80 just for the sockets. "

 

Uncle Bernie says:

 

If you live in the US, try Anchor Electronics in Santa Clara. They have both the "machined" and the "snail" aka "stamped contact" sockets at good prices.

 

here is the link:

 

https://anchor-electronics.com/

 

Most of the TTL ICs (and the 6502 and 6520 in my kits) came from Anchor. But the 6502 ran dry. They still have 6520A at a good price.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Well the good news is that

Well the good news is that supposedly the unicorn set comes with machined sockets so I may not have to source anything more in terms of sockets.

It's sounding like overall it's just not worth dealing with the other kinds unless you are going for a close as possible replica, which really isn't my intention. It will still look very similar, and it will be more durable for tinkering. This is meant to be a fun project to tinker with and functional art to show.

So since I am already (supposedly) receiving the best kind it seems I have very little to be concerned about. The itch to make a super close replica is still there though, this single one is already taking up a lot of funds though. Maybe some time in the future I can think of going for something more accurate~

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Anchor

If you live in the US, try Anchor Electronics in Santa Clara. They have both the "machined" and the "snail" aka "stamped contact" sockets at good prices

 

Indeed, I am even within driving distance! I can't believe I haven't checked that store yet.

 

They still have 6520A at a good price.

 

Is that the same/compatible with the 6820 I see quoted in the BOMs? The Anchor site says it's out of stock now :(

-Erik

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