On 6/2/23 22:41, Stefan Monnier wrote:
5~10 years ago, I cut the end off of a bad red SATA cable.
To my surprise, the copper conductor was disintegrating as Gene describes.
Somebody botched their chemical engineering.

Cool: second first hand account.  Thanks.
So there is at least some anectodal evidence.

I also found a potentially related reference to a 70's problem
with corrosive wire insulation at 
but still can't find anything more concrete (and that one doesn't
mention the insulation's dye as the culprit).


I'm convinced after chasing electrons to make them do work since the middle of WW-II, that the dye is the most likely suspect. The evidence is admittedly thin, but its there by the fact that other colors may flex, fatigue from flexing and fail but they are still copper colored when cut into. In broadcasting, which I switched to in late '63 after getting a 1st phone in '62, dependability is the target and while its not even the biggest reason for replacing a cable, I have probably replaced half a mile of it that no longer said it was conductive, 5 or 6 feet at a time. I've never been reticent about calling a maker who screwed up and telling them so. The surprising thing is that of course there are folks who've never made a mistake, those soon get crossed off my procurement list. However 90% of such phone calls have been met with at first surprise, and then thanked for alerting them to what could be a costly warranty make good. Those folks filtered to the top of my srcs lists. Some of my hunches have worked very well if only by serendipity. As a mid market CE, we often would buy yesterdays tech from folks in the top 10 markets, so we bought one of the legendary Grass Valley 300-3A/B production video switchers, this one from the JCPennys production house in NYC. It had some problems, mostly corrosion from NYC's poor air. Chip legs turned black, so we bought tarnex by the pint. Several times.

It also had a serial interface, so I wrote an e-disk that worked better than grasses $20,000 item, ran it on an old coco2 with floppy drives.

Once I had that working I could ask a circuit to do something and see its response. This thing was full of 4 bit wide fifo's, 2 to make an 8 bit byte.

They were out to lunch and usually late getting back. Called Grass, it was special and they were out. Sorta memory, so I called AMD next, yeah, we made them for grass but we've given then a JEDEC number now, how many do you want at $1.90 ea, so I ordered a stick of 25. Fixed it right up. I could go on with my war stories, but I'm boring the list with off topic rattling. Just suffice to say I've BT & DT many times.

Take care & stay well Stefan.

Cheers, Gene Heskett.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author, 1940)
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.
 - Louis D. Brandeis
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/>

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