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ben
May 13th, 2010, 05:24 AM
I have come accross this machine, and picked it up for something to have a tinker with.

It's an all transistor construction, not an IC in sight. All made on Vero board, and all wiring done on the back in point to point. I can only imagine how long it took to make this!

The transistors that I can see are 2N1980 and BC108 on the logic boards (must be about 500 by my estimations), while the PSU has an OC25 and TI3027. From what I gather, these devices were popular in the late '60s.

First impressions are good at the state of the machine - a few broken off wires to resolder, PCB fixing brackets to resecure, and the power supply electrolytics look very suspect.

Pictures (http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=754360&image=346275103&images=346275103,346275109,346275117,346275125,346 275131,346275138,346275147,346275158,346275170,346 275182&formats=0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0&format=0)

I'll take some of my own pictures once i've got a bit more time to have a play with it, but these are from the auction I bought it from.

jthiemann
May 13th, 2010, 06:08 AM
I'd say it's a homebrew computer simulator/trainer. I can't say if whoever built it also designed it, but it seems likely - if your timeframe estimate is correct, articles explaining basic computer operations were not uncommon, and a skilled hobbyist could easily build a basic unit like this. It's very interesting, I would really hope it comes with notes from the original owner/maker!

ben
May 13th, 2010, 06:16 AM
Thanks for your reply.

I have the machine in my possesion, it arrived this morning, and unfortunately it didn't come with any other information or documentation. I'm hoping that as I start to dismantle it to fix the problems, I come across at least something hinting of the builder/designer.

Even the people selling it didn't have a clue what it was - they described it as a machine for logging orders in a hotel! I guess the 'Order register' row of switches gave them that idea.

barythrin
May 13th, 2010, 09:24 AM
lol at the description. Pretty neat find although I have no idea other than home brew. There were several guides to making your own system back then so I could see that being one although the design is beautiful and does look professional. Not sure what you got it for but sounds like a pretty good deal :-) Are you familiar with TTL logic/CPUs?

wigton.museum
June 25th, 2010, 08:45 AM
You have got a very nice computer, it featured in the magazine
Wireless world back in 1967.
Helpfully the link should show a photo of the magazine
we have got all the issues that relate to the kit, so if you need
any info just let us Know Ben.
http://www.t-lcarchive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1201:recent-donations

per
June 25th, 2010, 10:48 AM
You have got a very nice computer, it featured in the magazine
Wireless world back in 1967.
Helpfully the link should show a photo of the magazine
we have got all the issues that relate to the kit, so if you need
any info just let us Know Ben.
http://www.t-lcarchive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1201:recent-donations

I think you got the BBcodes wrong regarding the link... Here is problably how you meant to show it:
http://www.t-lcarchive.org/images/stories/wireless%20world%20%20digi%20comp%20003-1.jpg (http://www.t-lcarchive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1201:recent-donations)

barythrin
June 25th, 2010, 12:09 PM
Very cool! So does it have a name? Are there scans of this magazine somewhere?

retrohimpi
June 25th, 2010, 12:44 PM
You have got a very nice computer, it featured in the magazine
Wireless world back in 1967.
Helpfully the link should show a photo of the magazine
we have got all the issues that relate to the kit, so if you need
any info just let us Know Ben.
http://www.t-lcarchive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1201:recent-donations

Wow, I remember reading those articles and dreaming of having enough money and time to build my own.

Raven
June 26th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Yours is a bit different than that one - same computer line, obviously, but yours is wood while that picture looks like it's metal, and also the top overhangs on that picture on the magazine.. A couple other details are also different - perhaps it's a later or earlier revision? It would be cool if it was a prototype or some such. :D

Cool machine, though, and nice find undoubtedly. :)

Dwight Elvey
June 26th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Hi
That has to be the coolest computer I've seen. I'm not sure how one would
program it but it is definitely a demonstration machine. There seem to be
more switch combinations than things to do. Most likely the intent was that
one could expand things like the memory to 8 bytes and add several more
alu operations.
dwight

Dwight Elvey
June 26th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Hi
Looking at the cover of the magazine, I'd say it was a bit serial.
The speed switch would just set the execution of 8 bits. One would
have to enter the next instruction and then execute the 8 bits again.
At least that is the way it looks to me. It just has to be the coolest
computer I've seen in years.
Dwight

tezza
June 26th, 2010, 09:57 PM
Cool indeed!