• The meaning of part numbers

    The other day, a friend had asked me about the difference between a BC108 and BC108C, and this got me wondering about part numbers. The 2N3055, 1N4001, BC108 etc… what do these part numbers actually mean. Well it turns out that these codes aren’t exactly random and do mean something… sort of… JOINT ELECTRON DEVICE […]

  • Bi-Colour, Tri-Colour and RGB LEDs

    I was having an argument with ChatGPT today, initially about Bi-Colour LEDs, then it spilled over to Tri-Colour LEDs. Let me explain. A Bi-Colour LED has two different colour LEDs in the one package. In theory any two colours could be used but Red & Green or Red & Yellow are pretty common. Now according […]

  • Update on updating the Retro IC Chip-Tester

    Like most engineers I can’t leave something alone for too long if it’s broke and have to keep picking at it. In my previous blog post I talked about wanting to test some suspect ICs I’d bought and the fact that to accomplish this, I would need to update the firmware on my Retro IC […]

  • Why is nothing ever simple

    I’ve just bought 100 x 74LS590 IC’s for a project. They came from China and looking at them, I’m not sure they are genuine. They look a bit suspect (the laser etching isn’t quite right) and the packing was terrible with the pins bent all over the place, so it makes sense to test them. […]