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Old 07-10-2017, 11:04 AM   #221
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Si also agree. Years ago when I picked up my trailer with WD on my one ton, the handling was terrible. Using the WD on an already rear light truck only made the rear end lighter. If I used the WD hitch I set it up with almost no WD just so I could have the sntisway feature. I eventually went to a ball hitch no WD, and used two antisway bars.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:00 PM   #222
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Hi

Interesting factiod:

On a reasonably high end vehicle, you have more than a hundred "computers" in the driver seat. No, that's not a typo. It just happens to be empty space that you can shove stuff into. It also happens to be a less hostile environment than under the hood.

Like apparently 98% of the rest of the group on this thread, I've spent a few years going from discrete transistor logic based computers to modern MCU's. I've also converted a *lot* of designs over to MCU's. Why do that? It turns out that the demonstrated reliability is *much* better. That's not just my experience, it's what everybody is seeing.

Anything can be designed wrong. That includes a lump of iron that goes from my hitch to my trailer. Mistakes get made. Each time they pound out an iron bar, it happens a bit differently. Each time code goes into an MCU, it's the same. Iron pounding hasn't changed in a long time. Computer Engineering moves along pretty fast. Eventually the variability in "the old way" makes for more trouble than the debug issues with the new way. That's happened in a lot of areas and it continues to happen today.

It's not magic, it relies on a number of things. You have to do things right. Doing it right actually is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago. Don't even think about trying to compare it to 30 years ago ...

MTBF wise, modern silicon from a good outfit is amazing stuff. That's not a guess, it's a documented fact. The sort of issues I would routinely see on JANTXV parts in the 1970's would be "junk grade" today (or even 20 years ago). Things have come that far.

There are a number of things I'd worry about on any anti-sway setup. The whole "one size fits all" idea is pretty near the top of my list. Reliability of an MCU from a good supplier? Very far down the list. That's based on personally putting millions of them into applications where I'd know if one failed ... boy would I know ....

Bob
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:22 AM   #223
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Your wealth of experience is laudable, Sailor. But digital technology has progressed way beyond stacked disc drives. Those large scale mainframe computer systems you worked on bear little resemblance to modern micro digital systems. I have no idea what the "MTBF" rate is for the latest ESC devices that rely on micro digital technology. But if is anything like the MTBF as you saw with mainframes, Apple and Microsoft would have gone bankrupt decades ago. Micro miniaturization has led to huge strides in reliability such that you don't have to worry whether your GPS will quit while you out in the Desolation Wilderness, that your Iphone will just quit working for no reason at all, or your airbags won't deploy when you need them.

The odds of hitting that MTBF low number are so remote its like the chance of winning the lottery. Nothing, tho, is 100% golden AFAIK. So if you can't stop yourself from worrying about redundancy et al, get yourself a couple of those little light bulbs on your dash (right next to your plastic St. Christopher) and keep an eye on them to feel assured the ESC is still on the job.

Let's assume tho, just for the sake of discussion, that the ESC does crap out. What does that mean, and what is the consequence? It means simply that the trailer brakes will not be individually activated in a sway inducing event. It means that your TV's redundant sway control module will instantly take over and send a brake actuator signal. This signal goes to both trailer brakes simultaneously, but that's still a vast improvement over old school sway control mechanisms that don't interact with the trailer brakes at all.

One final point. If the wind is so damn strong its pushing your rig...TV and trailer together...from side to side, what the hell are you doing out there on the highway trying to go 60 mph anyway? Slow down and pull off the road as soon as you can. The life you save could be mine.
Well reasoned and spot on.
As if mechanical WD Sway control hitches never brake and never need maintenance.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:21 PM   #224
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Even a standard paving brick needs some form of maintenance. Modern computer hardware needs much less, but clean connectors and attention to proper cooling airflow is still required.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:43 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Interesting factoid

On a reasonably high end vehicle, you have more than a hundred "computers" in the driver seat. No, that's not a typo. It just happens to be empty space that you can shove stuff into. It also happens to be a less hostile environment than under the hood.

Like apparently 98% of the rest of the group on this thread, I've spent a few years going from discrete transistor logic based computers to modern MCU's. I've also converted a *lot* of designs over to MCU's. Why do that? It turns out that the demonstrated reliability is *much* better. That's not just my experience, it's what everybody is seeing.

Anything can be designed wrong. That includes a lump of iron that goes from my hitch to my trailer. Mistakes get made. Each time they pound out an iron bar, it happens a bit differently. Each time code goes into an MCU, it's the same. Iron pounding hasn't changed in a long time. Computer Engineering moves along pretty fast. Eventually the variability in "the old way" makes for more trouble than the debug issues with the new way. That's happened in a lot of areas and it continues to happen today.

It's not magic, it relies on a number of things. You have to do things right. Doing it right actually is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago. Don't even think about trying to compare it to 30 years ago ...

MTBF wise, modern silicon from a good outfit is amazing stuff. That's not a guess, it's a documented fact. The sort of issues I would routinely see on JANTXV parts in the 1970's would be "junk grade" today (or even 20 years ago). Things have come that far.

There are a number of things I'd worry about on any anti-sway setup. The whole "one size fits all" idea is pretty near the top of my list. Reliability of an MCU from a good supplier? Very far down the list. That's based on personally putting millions of them into applications where I'd know if one failed ... boy would I know ....

Bob


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
factoid |ˈfakˌtoid|
noun
North American... a brief or trivial item of news or information.
an assumption or speculation that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An interesting way to interpret a post.....

Bob
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:35 AM   #226
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Even a standard paving brick needs some form of maintenance. Modern computer hardware needs much less, but clean connectors and attention to proper cooling airflow is still required.
Hi

There is a lot of "blur" when using the term computer today. When I had a PDP-8 spread out all over the dining room table it was easy to say - that's a computer, it's why we have to eat in the kitchen. Today the term gets applied to a ARM MCU that costs < $1 and has way more of everything resource wise than that PDP-8 had. No PCB edge connectors, no fans, no paper tape readers any more. It still gets called a computer. There is less and less commonality with that PDP-8 every generation that comes out. The 100 "computers" in that seat in the car most certainly do not get maintenance "love" on any sort of regular basis. The PDP-8 was lucky to run for a week without intervention of some sort.

Bob
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:56 AM   #227
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Progress??

Computer as a term is getting to be ubiquitous. Pretty much everything has at least one processor-type device in it. Heck, my stupid iPhone has at least 5 in it that I know of.

Its getting so its easier to wire in a programmable microprocessor and its associated interface hardware than it is to design and wire up some simple logic on a board.

Yeah, I remember the PDP-8 days..nowadays we have compute power in the palm of our hand that would be science fiction a decade or two ago.

Whether this is real progress or just complication of our lives remains to be seen. At least its fun to watch and use, until the batteries go dead or the power goes out...then we are back to hand-powered tools again...
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:46 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Computer as a term is getting to be ubiquitous. Pretty much everything has at least one processor-type device in it. Heck, my stupid iPhone has at least 5 in it that I know of.

Its getting so its easier to wire in a programmable microprocessor and its associated interface hardware than it is to design and wire up some simple logic on a board.

Yeah, I remember the PDP-8 days..nowadays we have compute power in the palm of our hand that would be science fiction a decade or two ago.

Whether this is real progress or just complication of our lives remains to be seen. At least its fun to watch and use, until the batteries go dead or the power goes out...then we are back to hand-powered tools again...
Hey- did that PDP8 come with a WDH? I remember selling the PDP11 with 325MB hard drive and 9 track real to real tape drive with 9" Phosphorous display for $300K. The hard drive was as big as a wash machine! I sold many to Intel and Fairchild back in the day...then came the 19" black and white monitors, and a year later color...those were the days alright!
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:50 AM   #229
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When I got to my first nuke sub in 1980, the Yeoman shack was getting rid of the buff punch cards and trying to find room for the 12" floppy drives.

But I didn't notice any WDHs 😆.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:37 AM   #230
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Hi

In the era I was running them, the PDP-8's came with a model 33 and a paper tape reader. The big fancy ones came with a DEC Tape drive. The PDP-11's that I babysat when on the job had whopping gigantic 5 MB cartridge based disk drives. They would run for almost two months without realignment. When you did the realignment ... toss out the data on last weeks cartridges.

====

We started replacing random logic with PIC's back in the mid 90's. It simply made sense cost and board space wise. It's not a lot different than the transition from big cards full of logic to a single chip UART or floppy controller. Reliability went up as parts count came down. We made wiring errors on random logic and had to re-spin boards (taking 6 to 8 weeks back in that era). We made code errors on PIC's and fixed it in about 10 minutes. Indeed a FPGA might have been an option, but at higher cost and greater board space.

=====

All of this *assumes* the human element is doing it's job. If Bob's a jerk (as I sometimes am ... sorry about that) the result will be a bit of a mess. It will be a mess if I'm coding or if I'm welding up a bunch of angle iron. If there is no check on my work (coding or angle iron) the customer will suffer. QA procedures have come a long way in 50 years. Since computer engineering is also moving pretty fast, it is a bit of a race. Keeping up with best practices on *both* sides (design and validation) does take some effort. People doing their job right still *does* matter.

Bob
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:16 AM   #231
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In the DEC PDP-11 family world, the RX02 8" floppy retired my paper tape reader. The RK-05 with 2.5 Megabytes was enormous. Then the RL-01 five 5 Mb came along closely followed by the RL-02 with 10 Mb for about $10,000. Wow! The RK-07 had 28 Mb. And then there were the eight or so platter drives with 300 Mb. A head crash on the latter was a $30K repair bill..... Thus the creative "sales" for maintenance contracts.

Had a customer with a DEC PDP-1134 with 256k (yes that is the letter "K") that had 16 VT-100 terminals and four parallel Dec printers. They had two of the RK07 drives for data and a RL02 as the system drive. They had a 20,000 item inventory and point of sale software from MCBA that generated picking tickets for the warehouse, payroll, accounts receivable and payable and general ledger. The VT-100 with a keyboard sequence could switch to the spreadsheet application and again to word processing.

The coding was tight and precise as we had to get all applications to run in at most 56k of memory but usually would shoot for 32k or less in the DEC Dibol programming language.

Most programmers had to be able to drop back to machine language to create a callable program for fancy data manipulation.

Data backups were even day and odd day disk sets along with end of month and end of year disks. This site had a standalone separate building for their backups.

I had lots more brain power back then and sitting in a different state on vacation could talk the general manager thru opening an editor and manually going into a data file to fix an issue in the control record of the MCBA data files.

The challenge today is the zipper up or down.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:55 PM   #232
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Yup. We had a PDP-11/70 running our manufacturing. Had a Data General running out in-circuit board tester. Core memory, 8" floppies, and paper tape. That was real hardware with meaningful lights on the front panels...
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #233
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"First you forget names, then you forget faces. Eventually you forget to pull your zipper up. Then you forget to pull it down..."
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #234
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Yup. We had a PDP-11/70 running our manufacturing. Had a Data General running out in-circuit board tester. Core memory, 8" floppies, and paper tape. That was real hardware with meaningful lights on the front panels...
Was that the nova 2 or 3?
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:50 AM   #235
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:01 PM   #236
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Yup. We had a PDP-11/70 running our manufacturing. Had a Data General running out in-circuit board tester. Core memory, 8" floppies, and paper tape. That was real hardware with meaningful lights on the front panels...
Hi

Lights on the front panels driven by machine code that you could easily modify.... The computer is running backwards what should I do ??? So much fun ...

Bob
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:18 PM   #237
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:22 PM   #238
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In the DEC PDP-11 family world, the RX02 8" floppy retired my paper tape reader. The RK-05 with 2.5 Megabytes was enormous. Then the RL-01 five 5 Mb came along closely followed by the RL-02 with 10 Mb for about $10,000. Wow! The RK-07 had 28 Mb. And then there were the eight or so platter drives with 300 Mb. A head crash on the latter was a $30K repair bill..... Thus the creative "sales" for maintenance contracts.

Had a customer with a DEC PDP-1134 with 256k (yes that is the letter "K") that had 16 VT-100 terminals and four parallel Dec printers. They had two of the RK07 drives for data and a RL02 as the system drive. They had a 20,000 item inventory and point of sale software from MCBA that generated picking tickets for the warehouse, payroll, accounts receivable and payable and general ledger. The VT-100 with a keyboard sequence could switch to the spreadsheet application and again to word processing.

The coding was tight and precise as we had to get all applications to run in at most 56k of memory but usually would shoot for 32k or less in the DEC Dibol programming language.

Most programmers had to be able to drop back to machine language to create a callable program for fancy data manipulation.

Data backups were even day and odd day disk sets along with end of month and end of year disks. This site had a standalone separate building for their backups.

I had lots more brain power back then and sitting in a different state on vacation could talk the general manager thru opening an editor and manually going into a data file to fix an issue in the control record of the MCBA data files.

The challenge today is the zipper up or down.
I don't know if I should admit to this but until about 5 years ago when I retired I was still using a Computer built in 1983, running Unix based programs. I had built up an extensive estimating data base which only needed to be updated with current pricing from year to year. My son still hangs on to it as backup.
BTW I paid 35 grand for it and the programming in 1983.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:54 PM   #239
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Sounds like you got fantastic use of that carbon footprint. Pat
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:30 PM   #240
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I still remember the Data General ad when they dipped their toes into the PC market: "Don't settle for a half-fast computer."

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