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About Gary C

Basic Information

About Gary C
Started with the UK national electricity company, the CEGB in 1983. Moved in to engineering and worked on DPS6, Intel Multibus, DEC VAX/PDP and programmed in CEGB CUTLASS.
Now in operations
Vintage computers and old cars
Assistant shift manager - Nuclear operations


Current fleet
TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - VAX 3100,3300,4000VLC & 4000 Model 96 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - DEC Micro PDP 11/73 - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Alpha server - MicroVax II.


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General Information
Last Activity
Today 09:50 AM
Join Date
May 26th, 2018
View Gary C's Blog

Recent Entries

Piles of computers

by Gary C on Today at 03:11 AM
Exciting month

Daver2 arranged for some equipment from work to be picked up from the station by various interested parties. Arrived at the building to see a pile of DEC equipment (apparently it was much bigger earlier).
Took home a Microvax3300 and a microvax II. Maybe this time I wont blow up the PSU on the 3300 (labelled 240V, actually 110V) and then I can use it to diagnose the first unit and eventually have two working 3300's.

Last week met PG31 who had three

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Wife thinks I am mad

by Gary C on September 6th, 2020 at 02:39 AM
So the PSU of the MZ-80K has been reunited with the computer and it works. Monitor is clear and bright with no screen burn. The rest of the computer on the other hand is filthy. The keyboard keys are sticking and some of the graphic keys have labels under the plastic covers, obviously to represent a numeric keypad for some program.

Keyboard has now been stripped, this required desoldering of every keyswitch, but after that they pop out of the frame as easy as anything and the keytops

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Further adventures of Multibus

by Gary C on August 19th, 2020 at 12:07 PM
Finally got my 286/10 processor running in my multibus rack.

I wire wrapped a iLBX bus between the CPU and memory cards but it wasn't starting on power up. In the end it wasn't getting a clean reset so I have now wired up a toggle switch to the Multibus master reset line and now it starts with a memory check (i think, it gives a row of 0 0 0) then the intel monitor program welcome message).

Next issue is software. Not sure if I will program it myself with a simple OS,

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Thats Sharp

by Gary C on August 9th, 2020 at 04:54 AM
Bought an MZ80K for a very reasonable price 6 months ago and have just been able to pick it up owing to the distance and the lock down.

Love the design details, like the support for the case lid and the little screw to lock the support into place
And the internal monitor controls all nicely labelled.

Unplugged the PSU from the board and powered up, nothing. Strangely there is no fuse on the rear of the computer, but there are five inside the PSU case and the mains

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Updated August 10th, 2020 at 06:07 AM by Gary C


5160 rides again

by Gary C on August 4th, 2020 at 09:22 AM
The 5160 has been restored to good health.

The case has finally been filled and sprayed. Pantone 413U seems to be a reasonable match, it has that greenish tinge but seems quite a bit lighter, however after sanding down the case it became apparent that the original paint was very very dirty so it might be spot against a new machine. For the bezel I used some BMW mini pepper white spray and that looks reasonable too.
Due to the extensive damage to the metal case, it lost a lot of

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Updated August 4th, 2020 at 09:34 AM by Gary C