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The Mother of All Circuit Boards...and the downfall of Civilization

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posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 10:50 AM
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On July 21st, 1969 at 02:56Z Neil Armstrong stepped off the last step off the Lunar Module onto the surface of the Moon. He was the first human being to set foot on the Moon. Today, more than fifty years later, mankind is once again talking about exploring another planet, but this time the planet isn't the Moon, but rather Mars. At the same time, there is also discussion about potential intelligent life on other planets outside of our solar system, travel at speeds approaching the speed of light and many other 'far-out' topics. None of these things will be easy, just like landing on the Moon wasn't easy back in 1969. Is mankind up to the challenge? I don't know the answer, but in some ways I don't think so.

This post isn't about going to the Moon, or Mars, or anyplace else for that matter. This post is about a much different journey, and this is the one inside our minds and the way we humans think (or should I say 'you' humans...**grin** I've realized lately I am not from here...on Earth).

Early this morning I was perusing some videos on YT and I came across one from a U-toober I watch from time to time. She has some really interesting stuff and can be pretty entertaining, in a quirky and nerdy sort of way.

The video was made several years ago and it is about a circuit board called the Launch Vehicle Digital Computer, or "LVDC" for short. But once again, this post isn't about space, or space travel, but rather technology and the evolution of the same. What prompted me to even watch the video in the first place was my affinity for off the wall stuff, and Fran can make even the most off the wall things seem interesting. So, away I went.

The video is just under 9 minutes long, but if you don't want to watch a 9 minute video I will provide a brief overview and point out some highlights which I definitely recommend watching. Essentially the video is about the development of a circuit board to control the Saturn V rocket which launched the Apollo missions on their way to the Moon. The circuit board itself, the LVDC, was developed in 1966, three years before Apollo slingshot to the Moon. The LVDC, in and of itself, isn't as important as what happened in the three years before the LVDC was developed...and what has happened with technology ever since. Frankly, the technological leaps which occurred between 1963 and 1966 are beyond fantastical to the point where they are 'pick yourself up off the floor' kind of stupefying!

I really recommend watching the entire video, as it is quite interesting, but if you aren't up for 9 minutes then at least watch the video from the 7:21 mark onwards. I think you'll see what I mean when I say...I don't think mankind is ready to go to Mars or anywhere else until we get our "A-Game" act together and stop with all the talk, and start walking the 'walk'. You might have to watch this once, or five times, to fully digest what she says here and the impact of it.

Here's the video:



So, what do you think? Did you ask yourself, while watching the video, if we are truly ready to travel to Mars or deep space like I did? What was your answer?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk

So, what do you think? Did you ask yourself, while watching the video, if we are truly ready to travel to Mars or deep space like I did? What was your answer?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Cool video... Back in the 70s and before engineers used a slide ruler in everything, and I don't think people understand just how smart they were in they did all their calculations by hand with zero help except the slide ruler. Today engineers have computers to help them and so engineers do not need to be so smart anymore, just smart enough to do the job while the computer is what makes up the IQ difference. I would say engineers were mostly well into the genius level back then and today they are smarter than average, so I think we made crazy gains from lets say 1910 to 1980, just 70 years... But today it is hard for us layman to truly understand how far we have come lets say from 2000 to 2020. It could be even more of a drastic increase than 1910 to 1980 with the computer help, but very hard to see it on our level.

The man problem is that a true genius can create things out of thin air and smart person can not, BUT they can understand what the genius created. Geniuses work on totally different levels. Here is an example... I worked with one and he couldn't find a program language he liked and so he created his own... See my point?

As to being alien, just do a DNA test and you will see... No if'ing around that..


edit on 17-4-2021 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

Using a calculator is just a faster tool to calculate. Same with computers. But with the extra bonus that you can run FEM-simulations which are impossible without a computer.

Nothing of that could compare to true genius, so you still need intelligence and knowledge to be an engineer. Same as 50 years ago. I do not see the difference, besides doing some cool simulations in silicium.

People were not geniuses back then. Look at how many people it took for NASA to build rockets, I think there were about 400,000 people involved in the Apollo-program. Sure, a lot of them were handymen to construct the rockets according to the planning. And there were some true geniuses.

But not every engineer needs to be a genius.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:39 AM
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originally posted by: ManFromEurope

But not every engineer needs to be a genius.


I didn't say that, I'm suggesting they where smarter back then than today. I agree even today they need to be smart, but I see my kids who are engineers and they have a lot of help today that back then it was 99% brain power...



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I don't think we are ready to travel to Mars not because of electronic but because we don't have a propulsion system that can do it quickly enough , the 3 month journey there and 3 moths back holds to many risks , losing the crew on our first trip would be a disaster and set our ambitions back.

The Moon is our limit for now.

She knows her stuff.




posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: gortex
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I don't think we are ready to travel to Mars not because of electronic but because we don't have a propulsion system that can do it quickly enough , the 3 month journey there and 3 moths back holds to many risks , losing the crew on our first trip would be a disaster and set our ambitions back.

The Moon is our limit for now.

She knows her stuff.



I would think we would colonized the moon and space first since ships launched from those places would be much different than ones launched from the earth surface.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

For me the best option would be decommission the ISS and spend the money from NASA and ESA on a Space Station orbiting the Moon then look to Mars.

Sending people to Mars is like running before we can walk , it's bound to end in a fall.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:01 PM
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A brilliant video! I enjoy engineering, but not so much electronics. However, it was compelling to see the comparisons after only 3 years of development.

Perhaps the technology had already been developed years earlier, but not put into practice until needed. That older board could have been sufficient for the job, but it doesn't necessarily mean the newer one hadn't already been invented.

The comparison with a modern Arduino board could be proof of how far advanced research is from consumer tech... so about 45 years for 60s state-of-the-art to be common place today. This implies that what is secretly on the drawing board today should be futuristic by about half a century, if not more taking into account how technology improves exponentially.

Are we ready to go Mars? I think we probably are, technologically. Perhaps, not so much based on mankind's maturity, or lack thereof.

Anyway, I couldn't help but do a quick search and found a site that explains that board in more detail.

www.righto.com...

And here is an image that breaks down and explains its construction... amazing!





posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

ready? if we can do it why should we hold ourselves back or hesitate? we need to expand beyond earth so we can survive even if earth dies, because one way or another earth is only a temporary home and worlds die just like anything else.

maybe it'll be global climate change, maybe a gamma ray burst, maybe the sun swallowing earth in a few billion years, or even when the universe runs out of energy and everything goes dark, one way or another it will happen.

prosperity of the modern age has spoiled us to the point that we forgot that life is still an eternal game of survival for every living being, no matter how smart we are or wise we think we've become. the strong and lucky survive, the weak and unlucky die.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:15 PM
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originally posted by: Encia22

The comparison with a modern Arduino board could be proof of how far advanced research is from consumer tech... so about 45 years for 60s state-of-the-art to be common place today. This implies that what is secretly on the drawing board today should be futuristic by about half a century, if not more taking into account how technology improves exponentially.


Airplanes were 15 to 20 years before you saw them....Today I think computer have exponentially shorten the time line. Compare your iPhone 12 to that board as example.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Cool video, thanks for sharing!

My guess is that NASA/SpaceX/whomever has much more robust and specialized digital hardware than an Arduino.

Also the tech for computer chip development has advanced so far that likely all of the logic gates that the LVDC contains on its printed circuit board could be likely be condensed down to a single IC chip on a modern board.

That said...yeah, the physical construction of our computer hardware hasn't changed much in the past 50-60 years. We are still embedding silicon chips on boards, with pin interfaces, and slotting those into our computer systems.

The next big leap is supposed to be quantum computing, where we can miniaturize our components down to the atomic level, and we need this because we are getting to the point where we are bumping into Moore's Law and are unable to keep shrinking printed circuits onto silicon wafers in an increasingly small and power-efficient way.

I think sometimes about the "alleged" reverse engineering of the onboard systems of the ET craft that crashed at Roswell, and how it was reported that their technology relied on fiber-optics and transmission of light-based signals versus electrically powered circuitry. Seems like a pretty clever thing given how much radiation and magnet fields lurk out their in the cosmos.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:33 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
Cool video... Back in the 70s and before engineers used a slide ruler in everything, and I don't think people understand just how smart they were in they did all their calculations by hand with zero help except the slide ruler. Today engineers have computers to help them and so engineers do not need to be so smart anymore, just smart enough to do the job while the computer is what makes up the IQ difference.


I've used a slide rule. I work with computers. When I went to college (2002-2007) we were taught how to do the calculations by hand as a double check. There's no difference in IQ, we're just using different tools. I still have to know how to do the calculation to write the spreadsheet.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 12:53 PM
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A genius invents a mousetrap.

An engineer builds a better one.

In the decade that was 1960, the technological inventions to accomplish putting a man on the Moon were truly epic.

Herein lies the crux of the matter. Some people view going to Mars as just an extended version of traveling to the Moon, but it is really a whole other set of problems. But again, the OP wasn't about going to Mars. The point was, if such advances in technology could be accomplished in 3 years, where are those same paradigm advances today, fifty years later? But this is only one way to look at it.

Perhaps another way to look at this same issue is, technological advancement seems to happen in phases. There are periods of lots of big thinking, expansive ideas and little actual development. And then there are periods of intense development. Maybe the 60's was just one of those periods where there was intense development. Take for example that Einstein wrote the Special Theory of Relativity in 1915, and the General Theory in 1915, and during and shortly after those times few people knew how to apply some of those principles. Not so now, or in the 60's. Lots of talk about quantum computing now days. Hence my earlier point about maybe now it's time to stop talking and start doing.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 01:13 PM
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Iv always thought the sudden boom in tech was basicaly salvaged alien tech

Binary practically unchanged same with the Microprocessor tho it has had more changed

The cpu world revolves around a very small number of microprosser engineers ... amd and intel fight hard for them

Just seems like we didn't invent this tech we dont act like the inventors we work off of and improve upon it but we have never really made a big change

After 60 years we still bunch alot of transistors together and prosess binary



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 03:31 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
A genius invents a mousetrap.

An engineer builds a better one.

In the decade that was 1960, the technological inventions to accomplish putting a man on the Moon were truly epic.

Herein lies the crux of the matter. Some people view going to Mars as just an extended version of traveling to the Moon, but it is really a whole other set of problems. But again, the OP wasn't about going to Mars. The point was, if such advances in technology could be accomplished in 3 years, where are those same paradigm advances today, fifty years later? But this is only one way to look at it.

Perhaps another way to look at this same issue is, technological advancement seems to happen in phases. There are periods of lots of big thinking, expansive ideas and little actual development. And then there are periods of intense development. Maybe the 60's was just one of those periods where there was intense development. Take for example that Einstein wrote the Special Theory of Relativity in 1915, and the General Theory in 1915, and during and shortly after those times few people knew how to apply some of those principles. Not so now, or in the 60's. Lots of talk about quantum computing now days. Hence my earlier point about maybe now it's time to stop talking and start doing.


It's maybe a bit off-topic to this thread, and we've talked about hypothetical missions to Mars in other threads, but IMHO the significant challenges aren't how we build and engineer the space craft to get us there (other than perhaps challenges with propulsion systems). The big hurdles are how to protect, preserve and keep the crew for these missions healthy. The amount of time that the crew needs to spend in flight, exposed to cosmic radiation, in zero G environment, and crammed into a tiny crew compartment with one another, are for sure exploratory barriers, but not necessarily of the technological kind.

It's my view that one huge, missing aspect in modern times is that we've lost the spirit of exploration and discovery that fueled all of the R&D and advances in the 60's. It's like after we made it to the moon, we became complacent, and made ourselves content with what we'd achieved.

Exploring the unknown requires a particular motivation, and a willingness to put one's life in jeopardy for the sake of exploration. Our ancestors did this in crossing the Atlantic and in their endeavors to circumnavigate the globe. We have become complacent, or too risk-averse, in modern times, and this is why we stagnate and haven't made much progress in space exploration since the 1960's.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

advancement hasn't really slowed down, our lacking of ambition as a nation is the problem. people no longer care about being first in everything or showing off, Americans no longer have any pride in themselves.

if you have no pride or ambition how can you accomplish anything? humility is fine but we aren't even trying to be humble, we simply no longer believe in ourselves and are in denial and hiding behind fake pride and half assed ambitions.

not only that but many advancements we need to be a space faring civilization already exist but its way too expensive to put into production or there's no real need yet, dont forget why rockets and other technology advanced so fast.

first was for the sake of building weapons, second was our ambition to stand above the nations of the world to defeat an enemy and lastly was to show off our greatness as a nation so our allies can feel protected by that greatness and live peacefully.

we no longer think about our allies and only care for ourselves nowadays, the end of the cold war has weakened us as a nation and killed our ambition to lead the world.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 04:17 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
I don't think mankind is ready to go to Mars or anywhere else until we get our "A-Game" act together and stop with all the talk, and start walking the 'walk'.


With Apollo we weren't merely walking were were all-out running.

Instead of calling the program a wrap and settling into low-orbit trucking, we should have kept the pedal to the floor and went for Mars by 1980. Letting the momentum and culture slip away is probably humankind's biggest loss since the Library of Alexandria burned.

Can we get to Mars someday? Absolutely. But we'll be starting pre-Apollo, and we'll be doing it without the Paperclip scientists, a superpower manufacturing industry, or esp. the era that made both. The current timetables are very optimistic, and by the time we do put boots on Mars it'll be minimum 50-100 years later than we could otherwise have done it.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 04:24 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
A genius invents a mousetrap.

An engineer builds a better one.

In the decade that was 1960, the technological inventions to accomplish putting a man on the Moon were truly epic.
Yes, a lot of people worked really hard to make those advances.


Herein lies the crux of the matter. Some people view going to Mars as just an extended version of traveling to the Moon, but it is really a whole other set of problems.
I'm glad you said that because I didn't understand what that video in the OP had to do with going to Mars, since it seemed to have nothing to do with going to Mars.


But again, the OP wasn't about going to Mars.
When you say "So, what do you think? Did you ask yourself, while watching the video, if we are truly ready to travel to Mars or deep space like I did? What was your answer? " that sure makes it sound like it is about going to Mars, but your later post was more understandable than the OP.


The point was, if such advances in technology could be accomplished in 3 years, where are those same paradigm advances today, fifty years later?
She showed a single layer circuit board using 1950's technology that was made in 1963 and compared it to a 1966 state of the art 12-layer circuit board. That does NOT show the amount of advance made in 3 years, it's comparing 1950's tech to 1966 tech, it's just that the board made in 1963 happened to be using 1950s tech. We make very advanced multi-layered circuit boards today, but we also still make some single layer circuit boards in some cases. So you could hold up a single layer board made today and compare it to that 1966 board, it doesn't mean technology has gone backwards.

In 1960 there were already 4-layer circuit boards in production, so that simpler board she showed in made in 1963 was nowhere near state of the art for 1963.


But this is only one way to look at it.

Perhaps another way to look at this same issue is, technological advancement seems to happen in phases. There are periods of lots of big thinking, expansive ideas and little actual development. And then there are periods of intense development. Maybe the 60's was just one of those periods where there was intense development. Take for example that Einstein wrote the Special Theory of Relativity in 1915, and the General Theory in 1915, and during and shortly after those times few people knew how to apply some of those principles. Not so now, or in the 60's. Lots of talk about quantum computing now days. Hence my earlier point about maybe now it's time to stop talking and start doing.
Even if your 3 years advance claim was exaggerated, I do agree that there were impressive technological advances made in the 1960s, and NASA was a driver for those because it had clear goals and funding.

Robert Zubrin has been very vocal about how NASA has stagnated since then and what we need to do to get out of the doldrums. Here's one of his articles on the stagnation of NASA, where he describes how focused and productive NASA was during the Apollo era, in comparison to after the Apollo era in what he calls "random" mode, unfocused and much less productive:

Why NASA Is Stagnant

we see that the Apollo Mode is destination-driven, while the Random Mode pretends to be technology-driven but is actually constituency-driven. In the Apollo Mode, technology development is done for mission-directed reasons. In the Random Mode, projects are undertaken on behalf of various internal and external technical-community pressure groups and then defended using rationales (not reasons). In the Apollo Mode, the space agency’s efforts are focused and directed. In the Random Mode, NASA’s efforts are scatterbrained and entropic.


A manned mission to Mars may be a little too ambitious at present since some of the solutions to the biggest problems may be too difficult to solve in the short term, but Zubrin was lamenting the loss of focus on the Lunar base, a far more achievable goal that he says the Obama administration derailed.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 05:53 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Wow, I found the video very interesting. As a guy who has many many decades experience with these things. This proves that the gov/private sec. has keep a lot of secrets from the general population. That circuit board shows basically current state of the art ( or at least that of a few years ago).

Let me name a few things for example:
1) It uses SOIC packaging (small outline integrated circuit) which is surface mount instead of through-hole. Without measuring, they almost look like they could be TSOP (thin small outline package) ICs (integrated circuits) on the board. This is highly unusual since these package types wouldn't be in common use for another 20+yrs in the case of SOICs and 30 for TSOP. In re-watching the video, the package looks like a TSSOP (thin shrink small outline package), but it wasn't suppose to have been developed until decades later. [I would like to measure that pkg; it's either a TSOP or TSSOP.]

2) As mentioned in the video, the board layout...component placement density, trace layout, vias, number of layers (12), high frequency layout with ground planes and vias. This board looks like something that would be done today, not 65 years ago with all surface mount components. Although the number of layers itself isn't that big of a deal, the rest of it is.

3) This is a biggy. The board has a stacked chip surface mount arrangement in the mid-60s!!! In case you didn't notice it, look closely at the ICs. You''ll see that they are stacked on top of another IC (at 5:58mins) that they are bonded to. This type of 3D arrangement has only been going for about 20yrs, mostly the last 15 in high volume projects.

But all of these things were highly revolutionary in the 60s. I don't like revealing too much about myself, but looking at that video and that circuit board and the time it came out blows me away.

The fact that they potted the board, probably did a couple of things for them. One, being thermal control. The other being vibration resistance. The potting material helps with thermal dissipation, and holds the components in places so that all of the vibration the board experiences doesn't cause breaks in solder joints which is is more critical in surface mount than thru-hole.

So, in the mid-60s the gov/contractors definitely had technology available that they used, that the private sector would not have for decades later. [FYI, I worked on a team to develop a in-house TSSOP pkg. among other things]

FYI, DIPs (dual in-line package) ICs were introduced in 1965 (link). The DIP is a thru-hole pkg. SOIC is the next step in evolution as surface mount, then TSOP, then TSSOP. As it goes to smaller thinner packages with closers pin spacing.



posted on Apr, 17 2021 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: fastfred

WOW...what a FANTASTIC analogy and comparison!!

THANK you!!!



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