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Erik
September 30th, 2003, 05:51 AM
I got a new machine via FedEx ground yesterday. It was a donated Franklyn 1200 with the original software and a few other odds and ends. I already have (by some stroke of luck) a Franklyn 1200 manual so I'm now in possession of a complete system including original disks.

The machine is now running (mostly) but the rest of this message probably belongs in the rants section...

Although the Franklyn was very well packed, there was some obvious jarring during shipment. Most of the boards had come loose from their sockets (which isn't too unusual with Apple cards anyway) and, much to my amazement, several ICs had become either partially or totally dislodged!

In the end I was able to reassemble the machine and get it to boot. I've got to go back in and find out what's wrong with the keyboard (about half a dozen keys don't work at all), but I'm fairly confident I can make the needed repairs there.

My real issue is this. How is it possible to pack a machine so that FedEx, UPS or the USPS won't be able to destroy it? Perhaps a better question is: is there such a thing as a shipping company that actually gives a crap about your stuff?

/rant off.

Erik

ravuya
September 30th, 2003, 06:42 PM
I'd recommend bubble wrap, that stuff has saved my parts more than once. :)

Erik
September 30th, 2003, 07:51 PM
When I send stuff I use only bubble wrap. I don't believe in styrofoam next to gear.

If the item in question is particularly valuable or fragile I double box with styrofoam between the outer and inner boxes and bubble wrap at least 4 layers thich around everything in the inner carton.

When I am receiving stuff I often don't have the same level of control.

This machine, while single boxes, was packed very well (sans bubble wrap) and suffered no cosmetic damage. Just sufficient jarring to dislodge chips. . .

Erik

barryp
September 30th, 2003, 08:19 PM
How is it possible to pack a machine so that FedEx, UPS or the USPS won't be able to destroy it? Perhaps a better question is: is there such a thing as a shipping company that actually gives a crap about your stuff?

I usually bag the item, then use whatever I have (often peanuts) to completely fill the remaining space, making certain that the bottom is well protected.

You have to expect that it'll be tossed around and plan accordingly. I was in the FedEx facility in Memphis a few years ago, they handle zillions of boxes there every day.

Actually USA shipping is quite cheap compared to other countries.

olddataman
November 26th, 2003, 09:01 AM
I have been shipping computers for over 45 years, without complaint here are some "tricks of the trade" that are the key to success. Ror Personal computers, here is my standard way of packing. First, remove all pll plug-in boards and package them individually. Note where they should be re-installerd. Second, fill the computer's now empty insides with bubbles or popcorn plastic acorns or similar "popcorn". Next, I wrap the whole computer cabinet with bubble wrap in both directions I then put thr whole works i a box with the bottoma padded well. If it is to go via UPS or FFEE-EX, the box containing the computer must be suspended in a second box. The boards pulled out should be plafed in conductive plastic and packed in another box which is completely filled .

We did some measurements when I worked at B.N.L. to see what kind of stress various sized electoronics "stuff" was subjected to in shipment. Would you believe 5 to 30 Gs? Is it any wonder things get smashed in transit? My method of packing has never failed for a computer similar to the SOL-20, Apple II, Commadore and similarly pasckaged PCs and I have used it on IMSAI, ALYAAIR, CROMEMCO, VECTOR GRAPHICS and similar systems and while it is more work due to size constraints on shipping boxes, it does work.

Erik
November 26th, 2003, 10:01 AM
I agree with most of your packing advice but I refuse to use Styrofoam of any sort in packing electronics. Peanuts and formed Syrofoam are just evil.

I wrote up my packing standards an posted it at www.vintage-computer.com/howtopack.shtml. Your feedback would be most welcome!

Erik

olddataman
November 26th, 2003, 12:27 PM
Hi Erik;
I read your posting re packing that you referred to and only have one thing to add. Otherwise, it puts my advice to shame in it's thoroughness.
The only thing I would add is to remove any and all plug-in items that are inside the item itself. That is, the printed circfuit boards inside the computer that are plugged into edge cfonnefctors and otherwise are essetiallay "waving in the breeze." For example, Aapplle II add=in boards like the disk controller, I/o interfaces, display controllers, etc. and the same for S-100 boards. They can easiuly be jolted loose and raattle around to do much damage. They should be removed and packed seperately along with a note or chart to show where they should be placed when reinstalled. Most boards in machines produced since the IBM PC have the boards fastened in by brackets screwed down. But ever there, if the box is dropped from the cargo bay of a freight plane to the ground, the g forces are tremendous and the intermal boards can be subject to strains in directions that theyh wern't designed to resist.

Erik
November 28th, 2003, 09:24 PM
At your recommendation I added a section to the "how to pack" article.

Please let me know what you think!

Erik

olddataman
November 29th, 2003, 03:55 AM
Erik;
Well said my friend. I wish I could write so well.
Ray