Hobby Electronics is not same any more

Gone are the days when electronics hobby meant spending a tidy sum in building most funky amplifier in the town. In my student days it was mostly transistors, with some ICs making its appearance. All electronics had their legs that went nicely inside the holes of a vero board. Sometime a few more adventure loving specimen went ahead and actually made their own PCBs.

I had left electronics in the nineties and thought of picking up the lost thread. In the current state of economics, building amps are no more viable. So I thought of piking up the latest fad in town and ventured into the world of micro controller.

After some research on net and then after reading a bit more on the new animal in technology, I finally ventured into ordering some part. After mousing through the catalog I zeroed on 12f519. Supposed to be a neat tiny piece of silicon. It packs more computing power than what I had used for my first computer project at BHU on a 3rd generation computer.

After a week or so I get a nice package – some 6″ x 3″ cardboard box. I open it, inside there is another box of foam, open that. Now all I see is an envelop.

Inside the envelop there is a tiny pipe. Not to be intimidated, I open the sealed pipe – out come two tine pieces of plastic.

Welcome to the world of qfn package – chips with no legs.

It is nice for miniature piece of appliances, but for hobbyists I hope, there were some better alternative.