• Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Whatever happened to this product?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
I remember one could solder different tabs on this component and create lots of different fixed values. Then one day they disappeared from the market. Where are they now?

Scan0001.jpg

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I imagine there was no market for them. I mean...it's not sufficient for trimming and if you're going to take a soldering iron to something anyways, you might as well just stick the actual resistor on which is cheaper, takes less space, and takes less soldering.

Where would you actually use these?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I remember one could solder different tabs on this component and create lots of different fixed values. Then one day they disappeared from the market. Where are they now?
I imagine no one bought them, as it's a completely useless product - expensive, huge, and offers no advantages.
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
I imagine there was no market for them. I mean...it's not sufficient for trimming and if you're going to take a soldering iron to something anyways, you might as well just stick the actual resistor on which is cheaper, takes less space, and takes less soldering.

Where would you actually use these?
As the advertisement says, one unit can substitute for many resistor values. The tabs could also be unsoldered and different values chosen. You would use them anywhere on a PC board where a low wattage resistor is needed.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
As the advertisement says, one unit can substitute for many resistor values. The tabs could also be unsoldered and different values chosen. You would use them anywhere on a PC board where a low wattage resistor is needed.

Ratch
But why would you ever need to change a value that drastically? You tend to have some idea of the resistance required ahead of time.

You can't use it to trim because it's adjusts in discrete steps (that are also probably too coarse). But even if it could, it can't be adjusted in realtime to observe the effect in the circuit.

Not to mention that if you have to desolder to choose a different value, you might as well just desolder the entire resistor and replace it with another one. It saves no effort.

Furthermore, resistors are so cheap that it it would be cheaper to stock multiple values of fixed resistors than a single stock of those things. It saves nothing on cost.
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
That does not make sense because resistors are so cheap that it would be cheaper to stock multiple bags of different values than to stock a single large bag of these things.
I don't remember what they cost, but I imagine that one SFR unit would be cheaper than 90 different fixed resistors of the same wattage.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I don't remember what they cost, but I imagine that one SFR unit would be cheaper than 90 different fixed resistors of the same wattage.

Ratch
Your comparison is not a fair one because 90 different resistors can be used in 90 different projects. One of those might be able to replace 90 different resistors, but a single one can only be used in one project. 90 of those things is not cheaper than 90 resistors and the only time it makes sense to use them is if it became too expensive to just stock multiple values of resistors. But resistors are cheap.

It actually takes more effort to use one of those than to just use a resistor due to the extra soldering.
 
Last edited:

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
But you forget that 90 different resistors can be used in 90 different places. 90 of those things aren't cheaper than 90 different resistors.
If you buy 90 resistors of different values, how long do you think it would be before that last resistor is used? And, if you have to change a value, most likely you will use a new resistor. I don't think your argument of price stands up to scrutiny.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If you buy 90 resistors of different values, how long do you think it would be before that last resistor is used? And, if you have to change a value, most likely you will use a new resistor. I don't think your argument of price stands up to scrutiny.

Ratch
It's your argument that does not make economic sense because you seem to think that it's amateurs and hobbiests who are supplying the vast amounts of money to support the manufacture of products like this. Bourns (and every other electronics component manufacturer) survives by selling to commercial and industrial manufacturing who select and purchase components to build thing by the hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands. For the reasons I have already stated, they would never use or have need for something like this.

Even if industry prototyping itself had a use for these in prototyping, it would not be enough to support the manufacture of these things because prototypes are, by definition, small in number, and wouldn't be used very in the prototyping since at some point you want the prototype to reflect the end-result as closely as possible (aka use the components that will likely be in the end product).
 
Last edited:

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
But why would you ever need to change a value that drastically? You tend to have some idea of the resistance required ahead of time.
It doesn't matter if you change a resistance drastically or slightly, you have to replace it either way.

You can't use it to trim because it's adjusts in discrete steps (that are also probably too coarse). But even if it could, it can't be adjusted in realtime to observe the effect in the circuit.
It is not meant to be a trimmer. It is an adjustable fixed resistor. Use a trimmer on the breadboard and get the stability of a fixed resistor on the final PC board.

Not to mention that if you have to desolder to choose a different value, you might as well just desolder the entire resistor and replace it with another one. It saves no effort.
I don't see it that way. Desoldering the tabs and soldering other tabs is easier than pulling out the fastened resistor and replacing it with a new one, provided you even have what you need in stock.

Furthermore, resistors are so cheap that it it would be cheaper to stock multiple values of fixed resistors than a single stock of those things. It saves nothing on cost.
It shines on convenience and labor.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It doesn't matter if you change a resistance drastically or slightly, you have to replace it either way.
You would have to desolder and resolder the jumpers on this thing anyways so there's no saved effort.

It is not meant to be a trimmer. It is an adjustable fixed resistor. Use a trimmer on the breadboard and get the stability of a fixed resistor on the final PC board.
In which case you might as well use an actual fixed resistor on the final verison because it's smaller, cheaper, and you already know the value that you need ahead of time.

I don't see it that way. Desoldering the tabs and soldering other tabs is easier than pulling out the fastened resistor and replacing it with a new one, provided you even have what you need in stock.
This is personal opinion. If you're going to argue that it's cheaper, you probably have to use copper braid in order to desolder those jumpers each time you want to change it. It's like a fish knife. It has it might have its obscure uses, but none are compelling enough to warrant them and no one uses them because there are not enough people who buy them in order to support their production.

Let's also not forget that you could just use a pot in this instance as well which is not only faster, but also has more general usage and thus is commercially viable.

It shines on convenience and labor.

Ratch
Except it doesn't because it takes more soldering to install and setup in the first place compared to a fixed resistor.

We can argue all we want, but the fact is, the
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
Your comparison is not a fair one because 90 different resistors can be used in 90 different projects.
Probably not. Some of those different values might not get used for years.

One of those might be able to replace 90 different resistors, but a single one can only be used in one project. 90 of those things is not cheaper than 90 resistors and the only time it makes sense to use them is if it became too expensive to just stock multiple values of resistors. But resistors are cheap.
Certainly one resistor is cheaper than one SFR, but convenience and ease of use have to considered also.

It actually takes more effort to use one of those than to just use a resistor due to the extra soldering.
I beg your pardon, but it takes effort and time to hunt down the correct resistor, too. And, when they first went on the market, resistors were not so inexpensive as now.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Probably not. Some of those different values might not get used for years.



Certainly one resistor is cheaper than one SFR, but convenience and ease of use have to considered also.
A pot beats it in convenience and also has more uses which means greater volumes which means cheaper for what it is.

I beg your pardon, but it takes effort and time to hunt down the correct resistor, too. And, when they first went on the market, resistors were not so inexpensive as now.

Ratch
It also takes time and effort to solder the settings into a new device or desolder and ressolder.
And, when they first went on the market, resistors were not so inexpensive as now.

Ratch
You do realize you just answered your own question to your first post, right?
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
It's your argument that does not make economic sense because you seem to think that it's amateurs and hobbiests who are supplying the vast amounts of money to support the manufacture of products like this. Bourns (and every other electronics component manufacturer) survives by selling to commercial and industrial manufacturing who select and purchase components to build thing by the hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands. For the reasons I have already stated, they would never use or have need for something like this.

Even if industry prototyping itself had a use for these in prototyping, it would not be enough to support the manufacture of these things because prototypes are, by definition, small in number, and wouldn't be used very in the prototyping since at some point you want the prototype to reflect the end-result as closely as possible (aka use the components that will likely be in the end product).
Bourns has their marketing attuned to the needs and wants of the electronics manufacturing industry. Evidently they thought that the product would be a success or they would not have produced it.

Ratch
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Bourns has their marketing attuned to the needs and wants of the electronics manufacturing industry. Evidently they thought that the product would be a success or they would not have produced it.

Ratch
Remind me again, was your initial question "Where are they now?" Or was your initial question "Why weren't these things ever made in the first place?"

Because my responses are valid for both the former and probably the latter (contingent on past resistor pricing vs this thing). Whereas the only argument you put forward that had potential validity only holds merit if we are talking about a question you never asked and only if certain past pricing conditions were met.

And evidently, what they thought was either wrong or no longer true, because they seem to not make them anymore.
 
Last edited:

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
You would have to desolder and resolder the jumpers on this thing anyways so there's no saved effort.


In which case you might as well use an actual fixed resistor on the final verison because it's smaller, cheaper, and you already know the value that you need ahead of time.
Maybe you do have the value and maybe you don't. It takes effort and expense to keep a stock of parts updated. I don't agree with you that it is easier to install or replace a resistor than a SFR.


This is personal opinion. If you're going to argue that it's cheaper, you probably have to use copper braid in order to desolder those jumpers each time you want to change it. It's like a fish knife. It has it might have its obscure uses, but none are compelling enough to warrant them and no one uses them because there are not enough people who buy them in order to support their production.
I never said they were cheaper, just more convenient. Bourns thought that was compelling enough to introduce them.

Let's also not forget that you could just use a pot in this instance as well which is not only faster, but also has more general usage and thus is commercially viable.
A pot is not the same as a fixed resistor in terms of stability.

Except it doesn't because it takes more soldering to install and setup in the first place compared to a fixed resistor.
No, you have to include the effort it takes to order maintain a stockpile of different resistor values. You just cannot just compare singley what it takes to install a resistor and a SFR.

Ratch
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
You do realize you just answered your own question to your first post, right?
Wrong. SFRs were pulled from the market long before resistors became inexpensive. If they were still viable, it is not beyond reason that their machine produced large quantities would be competitive with fixed resistors.

Ratch
 

Ratchit

Well-Known Member
Remind me again, was your initial question "Where are they now?" Or was your initial question "Why weren't these things ever made in the first place?"
Read the title of the thread to answer your question. I know they are not made anymore, but I thought it was a neat product that had potential during the time it was produced. Evidently so did Bourns.

Because my responses are valid for both the former and probably the latter (contingent on past resistor pricing vs this thing). Whereas the only argument you put forward that had potential validity only holds merit if we are talking about a question you never asked and only if certain past pricing conditions were met.
I don't think so. Your argument on raw cost alone does not take into consideration the convenience of one unit being able to substitute for several different resistor values, or having to go to the trouble of maintaining a stockpile of resistors.

And evidently, what they thought was either wrong or no longer true, because they seem to not make them anymore.
That is what I would like to find out. It is possible that economics was not the reason. Perhaps they were not as stable or trouble free as a discrete resistor would be. I don't know, but it would be interesting to find out.

Ratch
 
Last edited:

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Ask a question, and then argue with the logical replies. Guess it wasn't really a question.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top