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Thread: Morse code transmitter with memory and keyboard

  1. #11
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    This thing was exhibited at the 1915 San Francisco exhibition. What the heck was FSK then?

    No, this is simple dot-dash make-break old-style telegrapher code.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    This thing was exhibited at the 1915 San Francisco exhibition. What the heck was FSK then?

    No, this is simple dot-dash make-break old-style telegrapher code.
    Well, basically FSK is phase modulating the carrier with 1's and 0's. Its been around a long time; at least since the early 1900's. Didn't mean to provoke a debate.
    Last edited by Agent Orange; August 20th, 2019 at 12:51 PM.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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    No problem; if you look at the first photo in #7, you'll see that his machine is connected to an ordinary telegrapher's click-clack sounder. Old telegraphers went by clicks and not beeps--and most likely "Railroad Morse" and not International Morse code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    It's interesting to note the 1919 reference to "a storage element".

    One wonders if a electromechanical computation device could be worked out using this technology.
    Well, I suppose you could count the subtotal and total accumulators of the 19th century adding machines as 'storage elements', no?

    The somewhat later programmable Burroughs machines had an 'accumulator' and up to 20 'registers' (all non-volatile! ), terms we still use today; completely mechanical except for the motor that drove it all. Wish I'd kept one of the four I had at one time; even actually programmed and used one for a simple spreadsheet application back in '68!

    They used a remotely similar concept, but instead of resettable pawls they rotated a set of tabbed disks to selected positions.

    Someone on this list recently posted that he'd acquired one; wonder if he got it to do anything...
    Last edited by MikeS; August 20th, 2019 at 02:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Found the patent--took a bit of doing, though. The fellow's name is "Edwin H. Piersen" patent 1,359,463. (1920) All I've got so for is an image of the device, but I'll keep looking.

    Here it is

    It's interesting to note the 1919 reference to "a storage element".

    One wonders if a electromechanical computation device could be worked out using this technology.
    As someone else suggested perhaps the other way round? Mechanical Calculators were widespread by the 1920's with many companies making them, some with motors.

    The basic mechanical calculator has an input register, an accumulator and turns counter. Each turn of the handle adds the contents of the input to the accumulator and increments the turns counter,
    Usually the accumulator is on a slide so that you can add 10,100 etc times the input. You can also subtract. So to multiply by nine for example, make one turn backwards so you have the "-" the number then move the slide and add ten times the number....

    Several companies had a "back transfer" mechanism that allowed the current value in the "accumulator" to be transferred back to the input for chained multiplication so in effect a store.......
    Dave
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    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

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    I guess folks aren't following my thinking. This is, in effect, a keystroke-to-code translator with buffered memory. Note the dial on the front of the unit--it meters the amount of memory used.

    For 1915, this is a very advanced (conceptually) device. Its complexity was probably its downfall. Paper tape was much simpler and provided a hardcopy record.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I guess folks aren't following my thinking. This is, in effect, a keystroke-to-code translator with buffered memory. Note the dial on the front of the unit--it meters the amount of memory used.

    For 1915, this is a very advanced (conceptually) device. Its complexity was probably its downfall. Paper tape was much simpler and provided a hardcopy record.
    Definitely an interesting device; I was just pointing out that the concept of keyboard-to-mechanical-storage already existed.

    As a matter of fact I designed and built a TTL equivalent of the same thing back in the early 70s, using a diode matrix for the code conversion and 3341 FIFOs for the buffer.

    How would you apply this technology to an electromechanical computation device, different from what already existed at the time?

  8. #18
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    I'm not doubting that this could have been done in various ways that didn't involve tubes or transistors. I remember that a do it yourself morse typewriter from an issue of Radio Electronics in the 60s used mostly relays and microswitches for a keyboard. There have been many, many such kits. The 1952 Codetyper used tubes (naturally). I suspect you could do one with magnetic core devices (magnetic amplifiers).

    But to your question, how about starting with a "stored program" concept? Memory on this thing would be about 40 bits wide. If you added some mechanism where pawls could be flipped under program control, you have the capability for self-modifying code.

  9. #19

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    A Turing Machine.

    Really it shouldn't be difficult to implement; but who's got the time and money?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    ... If you added some mechanism where pawls could be flipped under program control, you have the capability for self-modifying code.
    Then maybe it's a good thing that it didn't catch on

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