My lumpy schedule didn't quite prevent my taking half a day to go see the sights in Santa Clara.
There was somewhat more walking involved than usual, as the usual overflow parking lot at Great America was closed - something to do with stadium construction - so convention center parking was rerouted down the street a bit.
Not much new & exciting there. Most of the regulars were present, though a few more drop out every year. There were a couple of PCB fab houses of which I'd previously been unaware; none of them fit my usual needs (got Sierra Circuits, PCB Fab Express, OSH Park, and BatchPCB for that, according to budget and schedule), but clients sometimes have exotic requirements, so it's just as well to have the exotic fab houses on file.
There was a fair amount of test equipment on display, most of which doesn't fit my budget at the moment, though that could change according to what work comes in.
Various connector vendors showed up; since I'm always looking at better/smaller/cheaper ways to get signals onto and off of boards, I stopped at most of those booths. Amphenol / SV Microwave has a cute new bayonet-locking mini connector, vaguely SMA-sized and more convenient. The Samtec Firefly micro flyover system caught my eye, with something about a small-footprint optical link, but, with a choice of 10, 14, or 28 Gbits/sec, it's sort of Not At All What I Want (which is something bidirectional, with a tiny footprint, rugged, at least automotive temperature range, and, oh, around 250 Kbits/sec; needed for extreme galvanic isolation rather than speed). AirBorn, noted for crazy-expensive mil/aero connectors with unobtainium plating, has a new line of high-density (by my standards) connectors at, apparently, quite reasonable prices. And somebody (who I hope scanned my badge, 'cause I didn't get a flyer) was showing off a line of edge-launch RF connectors with a nice board-alignment feature.
Not much in the way of schwag; I was most of the way through the expo floor before I even found a bag to carry the flyers home in. (Perhaps, for the next show, I should go counterclockwise. We are, after all, north of the Equator.)
And, no, I didn't take any kittens. Not even to try to barter for test equipment.
Update: that new connector family from AirBorn is called verSI, and it's really meant for high-speed data, not dense termination of many discrete low-speed signals; contrary to what I thought I'd heard, the mating connector doesn't appear to be available with discrete-wire pigtails. So, back to the same old mil connectors (expensive, inconvenient to use, long lead time, inadequate documentation), unless I can sneak in the sort of intermediate-spec 2mm pitch connectors from Harwin.
And I didn't stop by the Molex booth to ask why the Sherlock family isn't available with gold-plated contacts. Really, guys: "an ideal solution for applications where secure mating is important" and no gold option?
Update 2: edge-launch connectors with board-alignment feature.