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Author Topic: Wondering where your BFL Singles are?  (Read 5485 times)
Blaztoize
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June 28, 2012, 02:29:39 PM
 #41

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.


I don't say anything. I merely offer you a facial expression that suggests you've gone insane.

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June 28, 2012, 02:31:04 PM
 #42

Does this explain why some Singles run the 896 firmware at 34C, while others can't run anything in the 800s without throttling?

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June 28, 2012, 02:55:42 PM
 #43

I have debated on whether or not to respond to the criticism in this thread, because I know it will be met with lots of FUD, BS, armchair EE's and just plain trolls.

I've elected not to respond up until now, and I'm probably not going to engage much.  But here's the thing:

ESD is a specter that has haunted the electronics industry since the 80's (well, earlier than that, but really came into it's own starting in the 80's).  Early electronics were definitely sensitive to ESD and could be damaged/destroyed by just breathing on them wrong.  In the past 30 years, advances in material and design have rendered ESD for consumer electronics a virtual non-issue.  I'm sure some anecdotal wiseass will pop up and say "Well gosh, my friends brother blew out his iPod by putting it in a Van der Graaf generator!"

That's great, seriously... it is.  I'm glad you are the one in a million person who's experienced an issue with ESD.  Meanwhile, the rest of the nation and the rest of the world somehow manages to handle, operate and abuse billions of pieces of electronic parts per day without blowing out their device.  Pull that motherboard out of your computer and run across the carpet in a dry environment, now go put it back in your computer... it fires right back up! WHOA!

That graphics card?  Yeah, pull it out, rub it on your hair while patting a balloon.  Now go put it back in, WHOA IT WORKS!  

Your iPod?  Take it apart, rub the circuit board on your fuzzy nuts, how put it back in... hey, it still functions!  Crazy!!!!

The fact of the matter is, ESD for consumer electronics has been a non-existent thread for at least a decade if not two.  It's a hold out from 30 years ago when electronics were far, far more fragile and sensitive to ESD.  Now let's discuss the BFL singles for a minute... go grab your single, take it apart (Ok, you might void your warranty here, so you're on your own) and fondle the board lovingly.  Now put it back together... hey it still works!

Want to live dangerously?  Put 12v through the USB port on your single... still works.  

Anyway... ESD, while still a problem in some situations, for most consumer electronics is a boogy man and it's time to grow up and stop being afraid of monsters.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 28, 2012, 02:56:09 PM
 #44

Well, maybe BFL would be open to making some changes for better ESD protection. If, as has been pointed out, everything but the flooring is cheap to implement, they might go for it. At the very least ESD mats and ground straps would be reasonable to ask for. Do we have a good liaison (Inaba?) who can broach this topic with them? The first thing to find out is if they already have changes planned.  
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June 28, 2012, 02:56:19 PM
 #45

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 28, 2012, 03:25:33 PM
 #46

Does this explain why some Singles run the 896 firmware at 34C, while others can't run anything in the 800s without throttling?

I would not go so far as to say that anybody has received a ESD damaged device from BFL. We have yet to get (more than likely we will not) any verification that this is actually an assembly area at BFL.I still have a hard time believing a company that has advanced to the level of designing ASIC, would be so ignorant of basic ESD protocol.

Also,almost any kind of IC of sufficient complexity (FPGA definitely qualify), go through a "binning" process.

One is only guaranteed what the IC specification states, anything over that is gravy. The binning process tests the IC's and separates them into various categories determined by the buyer (internal or external). So, people that have units that only run throttled, probably have chips that bin out at specification, while others my receive chips that binned out higher and thus do not need throttling. Weather or not BFL actually bins out anything other than meets/fails specification, I do not know, but I suspect is probably true. They might not even have the details on the binning process depending on the vendor they are buying from and may simply test completed units to make sure they meet a minimum specification.

CPU's are a classic example, many of the different models are exactly the same except the ones that "binned" out higher are sold as a higher model chip. The opposite is also true, AMD is famous for this. 3 core chips are the 4 core chips with one of the cores disabled, normally this would be because the disabled core failed the binning process.Of course if demand is high enough, AMD will disable perfectly good cores to meet demand for the 3 core model. Many people have gotten a great deal by activating the fourth core and finding it to run just fine.

I have a feeling that is what the "jalapenos" are going to be, ASIC that are partially deactivated due to a flaw in part of the chip.Not necessarily a bad thing, it gives BFL a chance to make some money back on those chips and gives customers that do not want/have thousands to spend a perfectly viable option. Purely speculation on my part, but it is an industry practice.
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June 28, 2012, 03:26:10 PM
 #47

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?
If I were to bet I'd say you are BFL.

But time will tell.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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June 28, 2012, 03:41:58 PM
 #48

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?
If I were to bet I'd say you are BFL.

But time will tell.

It's well known that Inaba lives and works in the same town as BFL, and visits them frequently.

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June 28, 2012, 03:49:29 PM
 #49

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?
If I were to bet I'd say you are BFL.

But time will tell.

It's well known that Inaba lives and works in the same town as BFL, and visits them frequently.

It is well known Satoshi is Japanese.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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June 28, 2012, 03:52:13 PM
 #50

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?
If I were to bet I'd say you are BFL.

But time will tell.

It's well known that Inaba lives and works in the same town as BFL, and visits them frequently.

How fucking dumb are you?

Edit: This was meant for ElectricMucus
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June 28, 2012, 03:55:42 PM
 #51

Cool.

I nominate Inaba for the scammer label.

Wat?
If I were to bet I'd say you are BFL.

But time will tell.

I will take that bet.  Please let me know how much you want to bet, I will cover any bet you care to name.

So... put your money where your mouth is before further sounding like an idiot.  I propose we go with 1000 BTC to start, what say you?  We can pick a neutral escrow agent that we both agree upon.  If you want to bet more, just name your amount and I'm in.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 28, 2012, 03:58:14 PM
 #52

Edit: This was meant for ElectricMucus

Haha I was like wtf?!

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June 28, 2012, 04:05:39 PM
 #53

I have debated on whether or not to respond to the criticism in this thread, because I know it will be met with lots of FUD, BS, armchair EE's and just plain trolls.

I've elected not to respond up until now, and I'm probably not going to engage much.  But here's the thing:

ESD is a specter that has haunted the electronics industry since the 80's (well, earlier than that, but really came into it's own starting in the 80's).  Early electronics were definitely sensitive to ESD and could be damaged/destroyed by just breathing on them wrong.  In the past 30 years, advances in material and design have rendered ESD for consumer electronics a virtual non-issue.  I'm sure some anecdotal wiseass will pop up and say "Well gosh, my friends brother blew out his iPod by putting it in a Van der Graaf generator!"

That's great, seriously... it is.  I'm glad you are the one in a million person who's experienced an issue with ESD.  Meanwhile, the rest of the nation and the rest of the world somehow manages to handle, operate and abuse billions of pieces of electronic parts per day without blowing out their device.  Pull that motherboard out of your computer and run across the carpet in a dry environment, now go put it back in your computer... it fires right back up! WHOA!

That graphics card?  Yeah, pull it out, rub it on your hair while patting a balloon.  Now go put it back in, WHOA IT WORKS!  

Your iPod?  Take it apart, rub the circuit board on your fuzzy nuts, how put it back in... hey, it still functions!  Crazy!!!!

The fact of the matter is, ESD for consumer electronics has been a non-existent thread for at least a decade if not two.  It's a hold out from 30 years ago when electronics were far, far more fragile and sensitive to ESD.  Now let's discuss the BFL singles for a minute... go grab your single, take it apart (Ok, you might void your warranty here, so you're on your own) and fondle the board lovingly.  Now put it back together... hey it still works!

Want to live dangerously?  Put 12v through the USB port on your single... still works.  

Anyway... ESD, while still a problem in some situations, for most consumer electronics is a boogy man and it's time to grow up and stop being afraid of monsters.


Don't do this Inaba, I have nothing but respect for you. But to claim that ESD is a non-issue is just...

It can take less than 50v to blow or severely weaken a transistor junction. A person cannot generally "feel" a ESD until it is around 3000v. Just because one can do the balloon dance with a retail level GPU card and have it still work, does not mean one has not weakened any of the internal components of the IC's.

Most ESD failures are not immediate and can show up as shortened lifespan or intermittent issues until complete failure.

Yes, IC's these days are designed with safeguards to try and protect the internal circuitry, but they are by no means foolproof. If you were to visit other electronics assembly plants, you would see that ESD protocols are taken very seriously. It is not a "boogeyman", it is a fact of life.


Calling me an "armchair" EE or troll?? Come on Inaba, you are above that. I showed a genuine concern, about what appears to be a problem with normal industry protocol.

I really do not know what else to say, I really have nothing else to add to the thread. I have stated what I felt needed to be said and now sit disappointed.

16 years as an EE, working in and out of the electronics industry, I have seen many crazy things. But after this post I am left speechless.
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June 28, 2012, 04:07:55 PM
 #54

ESD aside... having that coffee cup poised for a suicidal plunge into the murky inner world of someone's $29,000 investment doesn't really seem like a best practice. Just guessing here, but while I can channel lightning through my USB ports (cool! I learned something today...) and power my iPhone with St. Elmo's fire, having 12 ounces of slightly acidic, sticky, syrupy hot liquid suddenly meet with a circuit board, spinning fans and a non-grounded Midwestern hottie seems like a bad idea. And I'm going to get enough dog fur, dust mites and stray fasteners into the guts of my hardware without them arriving loaded up already. There are levels of "Clean" that should be at least a minimum standard, and that damn coffee cup should be in a break room.

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June 28, 2012, 04:34:24 PM
 #55

I have debated on whether or not to respond to the criticism in this thread, because I know it will be met with lots of FUD, BS, armchair EE's and just plain trolls.

I've elected not to respond up until now, and I'm probably not going to engage much.  But here's the thing:

ESD is a specter that has haunted the electronics industry since the 80's (well, earlier than that, but really came into it's own starting in the 80's).  Early electronics were definitely sensitive to ESD and could be damaged/destroyed by just breathing on them wrong.  In the past 30 years, advances in material and design have rendered ESD for consumer electronics a virtual non-issue.  I'm sure some anecdotal wiseass will pop up and say "Well gosh, my friends brother blew out his iPod by putting it in a Van der Graaf generator!"

That's great, seriously... it is.  I'm glad you are the one in a million person who's experienced an issue with ESD.  Meanwhile, the rest of the nation and the rest of the world somehow manages to handle, operate and abuse billions of pieces of electronic parts per day without blowing out their device.  Pull that motherboard out of your computer and run across the carpet in a dry environment, now go put it back in your computer... it fires right back up! WHOA!

That graphics card?  Yeah, pull it out, rub it on your hair while patting a balloon.  Now go put it back in, WHOA IT WORKS! 

Your iPod?  Take it apart, rub the circuit board on your fuzzy nuts, how put it back in... hey, it still functions!  Crazy!!!!

The fact of the matter is, ESD for consumer electronics has been a non-existent thread for at least a decade if not two.  It's a hold out from 30 years ago when electronics were far, far more fragile and sensitive to ESD.  Now let's discuss the BFL singles for a minute... go grab your single, take it apart (Ok, you might void your warranty here, so you're on your own) and fondle the board lovingly.  Now put it back together... hey it still works!

Want to live dangerously?  Put 12v through the USB port on your single... still works. 

Anyway... ESD, while still a problem in some situations, for most consumer electronics is a boogy man and it's time to grow up and stop being afraid of monsters.


Don't do this Inaba, I have nothing but respect for you. But to claim that ESD is a non-issue is just...

It can take less than 50v to blow or severely weaken a transistor junction. A person cannot generally "feel" a ESD until it is around 3000v. Just because one can do the balloon dance with a retail level GPU card and have it still work, does not mean one has not weakened any of the internal components of the IC's.

Most ESD failures are not immediate and can show up as shortened lifespan or intermittent issues until complete failure.

Yes, IC's these days are designed with safeguards to try and protect the internal circuitry, but they are by no means foolproof. If you were to visit other electronics assembly plants, you would see that ESD protocols are taken very seriously. It is not a "boogeyman", it is a fact of life.


Calling me an "armchair" EE or troll?? Come on Inaba, you are above that. I showed a genuine concern, about what appears to be a problem with normal industry protocol.

I really do not know what else to say, I really have nothing else to add to the thread. I have stated what I felt needed to be said and now sit disappointed.

16 years as an EE, working in and out of the electronics industry, I have seen many crazy things. But after this post I am left speechless.

It wasn't directed specifically at you, just in general. 

I am not saying ESD is not a concern under certain conditions, with certain electronics and at certain places.  I am saying modern consumer electronics are far more robust than 1980's era electronics. 

Now lets address the weakened transistor junctions on BFL singles:  If it's weakened to the point of a shorten life span, it with either A) fail nearly immediately or within the first 36 - 48 hours of burn in.  or B) Fail so far down the road that the device has long since become useless.  I'm not really up for getting into a debate about this.  ESD is a boogy man for modern consumer grade electronics, plain and simple... the fact that there are billions of electronic devices out there, all operating fine on a day to day basis is proof enough of this assertion.  Trying to provide any other evidence to the contrary on my part pales in comparison to the real world, day to day activities of millions of people, so I won't even try. 

Quote
Yes, IC's these days are designed with safeguards to try and protect the internal circuitry, but they are by no means foolproof. If you were to visit other electronics assembly plants, you would see that ESD protocols are taken very seriously. It is not a "boogeyman", it is a fact of life.

I can give you the gamut of electronic assembly plants that go from the clean room Intel plants that cost millions or billions to build to some dude making crap out of his garage, so that doesn't really work as an example.  Examples covering the entire spectrum of assembly can be picked a dime a dozen. 

But lets examine the ESD protocols at assembly plants very briefly:  Those that have extended precautions and you see the clean rooms, etc... what do they do?  They work on component level systems and subsystems.  Those things require more ESD awareness than a fully assembled unit or even a fully P&P board with everything already soldered on and packaged to go.  While I fully believe you can dig up examples of extensive ESD preparedness at a fully assembled board manufacturing plant, they are going to be few and far between.  When you're the schmuck on the Dell assembly line putting together the machines, do you think they have elaborate ESD precautions?  Why is that... because  the fully assembled boards are not nearly as ESD sensitive as the 1980's would have you believe. 

Having begum my electronics career in the 1980's, the full fear of god against ESD is still with me; I habitually touch grounded items before doing anything with electronics. I have been trying to break myself of that irrational fear for years, but it's pretty damned ingrained and habitual... however, the last time I killed a device through ESD was somewhere around 1987.  It was a Checkmate memory board for an Apple ][gs and I killed a couple of the DIP chips I was trying to put in there.  Beyond that, even grounding myself out through numerous modern PCBs, I have yet to see a dead/damaged board in recent memory.  I haven't even HEARD of anyone legitimately damaging a board.

Modern boards are also surprisingly resilient when it comes to liquid, although I am certainly not denying the dangers of liquid around electronics, but having water cooled my machines for around a decade now, I've had my share of leaks.  I have yet to kill a board with liquid either... even ran a SoundBlaster Audigy for 2 years after it was nearly submerged in water while turned on... had a ton of corrosion all over the place, but it happily went about it's merry way until I upgraded to a PCI-e SB. 

So yeah, I'm not taking anything away from you or devaluing your work or career, I am just saying that the modern terror of ESD and electronics damage is overblown to the extreme and a relic of an era where it was a real issue.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 28, 2012, 04:54:57 PM
 #56

Open liquids (coffee cup) in an electronic assembly room??? Seriously???  Shocked

I don't know about you, but if I am paying up to $30k for a piece of equipment, I EXPECT it to be assembled professionally.

I once worked in a cordless phone factory, that produced phones that at a max went for around $80, and all the above protocol was used.
I just wanted to chime in with some wisdom from the former CEO of my company who actually had a long experience managing assembly lines in the electronic industry.

The neatnik streak as displayed by dreamwatcher, especially the anti-ESD propaganda, is just a cover for the real management issues:

1) theft, both occasional and organized.
2) sabotage, especially when temporary labor force is employed.
3) anti-union or other political/labor issues, e.g. drug distribution amongst the people doing monotone work.
4) need for managerial control of positive factors: tracking of the good workers for possible promotion.
5) need for managerial control of negative factors: locating and investigating of workplace accidents and incidents.
6) saleability, state of being visibly spotless, mostly in case of consumer goods.
7) ESD is nowadays mostly a human factor, not a technical precaution. When people are repeatedly zapped their productivity goes down and it increases the chance of accidents.

Really, please think a bit about the history of the USA. Messrs. Hewlett and Packard probably should consider themselves lucky that nobody was there in their garage to make a snapshot of the sweat on their backs as they assembled the first laboratory oscillator that they sold to Walt Disney.

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June 28, 2012, 05:05:13 PM
 #57

FYI - this is a non debate.  Ours is an ESD protected environment.  I would agree with Inaba in terms of scale of concern, but it's not an issue either way.  Open board work is done with ESD Matts & pretty blue wrist straps.   (I feel icky for having stepped in to answer this at all)

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June 28, 2012, 05:12:56 PM
 #58

I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but that Minirig assembly area really does look like a plain wood table sitting on top of carpet.

As to ESD, in consumer gear it isn't much of a problem. Manufacturer's work hard to protect their devices, and a lot of the reason why it's so much less of an issue now is the almost fanatical control that exists in modern electronics assembly line. That being said, handling an iPod or graphics card is entirely different than handling unmounted individual components. Many small components are still very susceptible to ESD, and if their facility where they populate the PCBs (assuming they do it themselves) looks anything like their MR assembly area I would be very worried about it. SD tile isn't THAT expensive, but even a proper smock, wrist strap and ESD table mat would be a great start. This is an issue of will as opposed to cost, they could probably outfit all the tables and their production employees for the cost of one Single.
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June 28, 2012, 05:56:27 PM
 #59

FYI - this is a non debate.  Ours is an ESD protected environment.  I would agree with Inaba in terms of scale of concern, but it's not an issue either way.  Open board work is done with ESD Matts & pretty blue wrist straps.   (I feel icky for having stepped in to answer this at all)

Step 2 - forbid any photography by visitors because it might result in bad publicity.
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June 28, 2012, 05:58:31 PM
 #60

FYI - this is a non debate.  Ours is an ESD protected environment.  I would agree with Inaba in terms of scale of concern, but it's not an issue either way.  Open board work is done with ESD Matts & pretty blue wrist straps.   (I feel icky for having stepped in to answer this at all)

Step 2 - forbid any photography by visitors because it might result in bad publicity.

Yes, because the last thing from this company is LESS transparency Roll Eyes. Right ...

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