Adapter Image Submissions for the Tool

   In order to save me lots of unnecessary work, here are some recommendations for the submission of scans of adapters and parts to the Tool:

  Devil's in the details, and I'm a punctuation point. If you have driver disks, ADFs, user's guides, etc, you can send me a link, or if the company doesn't exist, you can send them to me HERE .If you can find datasheets for significant components, it sure is appreciated.

Camera Images
   Camera shots may be at whatever dpi you want, but I may make a lower resolution image for the page, and link the larger image to it. Camera shots tend to have poor lighting and are at an angle... Cameras have one focal point, and there is distortion the farther away from dead center one gets.

Take Me Down To Parallax City...
   This depicts the challenge that using cameras bring. You can get everything at once, but now detail may be lost due to it's being masked by other components. Also, there will be distortion of spatial relations towards the edges. [ed. spatial relations does not refer to the person you could of swore was from outer space...]

Flat bed scans:
  This is the - preferred - method for creation of adapter and part outlines. The card/part will be about as accurate as can be for dimensions. In other words, "what the doctor ordered and why the preacher danced".

Flatbed Scanner - No Parallax

   In this example, the adapter has a card guide to keep the card's PCB at the same height above the scanning head. Don't expect this to happen every time since some adapters (and planars) lack card guides. Also, some cards tend to pivot on the guide and bracket. To fix that, I use a small object near the bracket to weight the card so it rests parallel to the glass. For cards without guides or for planars, use something to prop up the PCB. SIMMs work fairly well, BTW...

   Use paper to cover the top of the card. This gives you plenty of reflected light to determine the outline of the card. If you let external light to be scanned, it will do a job on your brightness and contrast. You can use scrap paper, but the clearer the paper is, the easier to see the PCB edge when adjusting the angle. The covering paper doesn't have to be super tight, like scanning in a closed room with no lights, but I find that three to four sheets of normal 20lb paper get the job done.

   Please scan at 144dpi to 300dpi maximum. Use JPG and set image quality to 5-6. I don't need the back of the card scanned, unless there are significant parts on the back. Please have the scans aligned in the same direction.

Long Adapter Scan First Scan

  For long adapters, please do not send one scan that cuts off an end. What you need to do is scan the card bracket end towards the front. Where the scan ends, do another scan from the card guide back towards the card bracket. 

Long Adapter Scan Second Scan


   I only need about 1/4" overlap between the two scans to properly align them. It is easier if you do the second scan so it cuts a chip or component in half [roughly] so I can eyeball where the scans are in the right alignment.

Modules or Daughtercard Scans 
   For cards with modules or daughtercards, scan at the same setting used for the adapter. I will do the calculation so the adapter and the card are at the correct size relation to each other.

Unless your scans are totally washed out, please let me do the contrast/brightness on your images.

Try to Keep it Straight!

   I can't set adapters up at perfect right angles on my scanner, and I don't expect you to, either. BUT... most software allows you to free rotate or enter an arbitrary angle to rotate the image. For long adapters with bulky components, the adapter may not lay on the scanner and you can't exactly shim it up to the same height. Do your best, and I will "interpolate" your scans.

  For those looking for the edge, you can scan system planars. There, I usually had three seperate scans where the board is at a different angle to the glass. If you burn with desire to scan a planar, do your best to prop the board up so it's at the same angle to the glass surface, get enough overlap between scans [make sure scans overlap!], and I'll stitch 'er up.

Submitted Outlines
   As men know, size is everything... I chose to use 600 pixels wide as a format. I can't tell what kind of "Super-Whizz-Bang" machine you have [from Bob Watts]. For all I know, you have barely managed to get online and are desperately searching for drivers, manuals, or configuration information to get something to work better.
   Example - Windows VGA is 640x480. So your looking for the drivers for the whatever card, and all the images are... oops, too long to fit in the screen. Rule of thumb, full length adapters will be 600 pixels or a little less. Cards like the Corvette are 450-500 pixels in length. Just look at the image on-screen and see what the height to width ratio looks like. A small card like a BOCA parallel port card 600 pixels wide would result in mega wasted space.


  In this neo-classist version, the artiste known as "William R. Walsh" has cunningly used color to wake up the viewer. He has chosen to detail the video memory on the left, although there isn't enough space to put the Chip IDs on. The empty area  is most likely populated with support logic chips, and therefore is not detailed.

BusLogic BT-646 S/D

  In this ode to austerity, the artiste known as the "god Emperor of Microchannel" approaches this difficult combination of two adapters that share the same PCB with a "callout" around the Differential version components. Again, much of the support logic chips are omitted. 


   This simple and understated image is from Sandy. Note the use of component IDs on the image. While this technique works well on adapters with sparse components, it becomes unwieldly on more densely populated cards.

Reverse of Corvette

   This is one of the times that detailing the back is worthwhile. After further study, U8,9 were determined to be autotermination for the external SCSI channel, U10,11 autotermination for the internal channel, CR3 provides TERMPWR for the external channel, U14,19 are the RAM for the adapter commands, and CR2 is the status LED. [ed. see the amount of screen that the Corvette takes up at 500 pixels?]


   This outline is an illustration of a fixed component on the 1MB SVGA. C31 as originally installed, causes a flicker, and eventual failure, of the video output. When a component is crucial to understanding, put it on... [thanks to Peter Wendt, Jim Shorney and David Beem for tracking down the reversed capacitor problem].

Stylebook for Detailing Scans
LEDs / CR [both discrete and SMD versions)
Jumpers [at least the block outline, individual pins are extra]
Headers [inter-board, memory sockets]
Unpopulated Components [solder pads / silk screen for jumpers, headers, or components]
Significant Chips [controllers, A/D, VRM, fuses, RAMDAC, etc]
Wires as rework.

  The goal of outlining the card is not to faithfully record everything, but instead to aid in card identification, illustrate component layout, and draw attention to significant items. 

Details, details, details...
   Again, if you have a remnant of empire with disks and/or user's manual, check if the company still exists or if the company is still around, check if you can find those same drivers or manuals. If you can't find drivers or guides on the web, chances are good that I can't either.

   If the company is gone or no longer remembers your adapter, PLEASE zip the files and send to me. For manuals, if you can scan them, great! ZIP and send. If you have no scanner, making a copy and mailing it to me is fine. Or if you have extra manuals, send one to me.

Postscan Processing
   Once you have sendt the image, you aren't done quite yet. After I put everything together, convert to 600 pixels at 72dpi, then I do the chip IDs. Sometimes the manufacturer puts the chip ID under an edge, or the markings on a chip aren't clear. If it's possible, please have the card out until I get done. If it's a critical adapter, please let me know, then I can put it at the top of my list. If I can't get to it, then ""c'est la vie"", I'll put it up as-is. [gutteral French courtesy of "Diamond Jim" Shorney]. 

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