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Thread: ITT Satellite navigation system 6000 (PDP8/L)

  1. #1

    Smile ITT Satellite navigation system 6000 (PDP8/L)

    So finally I got enough money to buy a second hand satellite navigation system. Somehow I'm
    a bit worried about map updates... But also the satellite is probably not working any more.

    PDP8L - 01.jpg PDP8L - 02.jpg PDP8L - 03.jpg PDP8L - 04.jpg PDP8L - 05.jpg

    I got this PDP8/L system from a man who installed and maintained these kind of systems.
    When the system became obsolete he took one of these systems home. The idea was
    to use it for his miniature trains. That never happened so it was waiting for 40 years in the attic.
    So after navigating for the last time it was never turned on any more.

    He told me that is was used on the first Satellite navigation system Transit.
    https://youtu.be/yzUH5w9-O5M So I guess this is also a kind of history on its own...

    I got some spare parts with it but the most modules don't seem to belong to the 8/L.

    PDP8L - 07.jpg PDP8L - 06.jpg

    And some documents. But the PDP8/A manual clearly doesn't belong to the system.
    A few data sheets on the modules are quite fun to have...

    PDP8L - 08.jpg PDP8L - 09.jpg

    And I think these cables were used in the original ITT equipment which
    belonged to the system. Unfortunately there is nothing left from the
    rest of the system...

    PDP8L - 10.jpg PDP8L - 11.jpg

    So another winter project...
    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  2. #2
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    Add an ASR33 Teletype and you have a complete system.
    You can read about the RICM 8/L restoration here.
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
    Add an ASR33 Teletype and you have a complete system.
    You can read about the RICM 8/L restoration here.
    Yes I have two Teletype 33 ASR machines, both need some work...
    My 8/L has also the single power transformer like you pointed out in your PDP8/L story.

    PDP8L - 13.jpg

    But what a mess before you have that power out of the system!
    The key switch was loose from the power supply. But also the fans were
    not connected. So I think there was a problem with this system back then already...

    PDP8L - 12.jpg

    And again, I don't have a power connector that fits into the machine.
    The outside diameter is just a fraction too big. Does anyone have two plugs
    which fit into these machines for sale? I have the same problem with my PC04.

    PDP8L - 15.jpg PDP8L - 14.jpg

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  4. #4
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    >And again, I don't have a power connector that fits into the machine.

    Is there enough plastic in the yellow power plug so that you could put it in a lathe and reduce the diameter so it would fit?
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

  5. #5
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    DCC or digital command and control is very popular amongst model railroaders. I'm never heard of anyone using microwaves to do it though

  6. #6
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    The "easy" way to power your 8/L (or PC04, etc.) is to get an extension cord similar to the one shown here. The blocking nub on the female end can be cut off with a sharp knife and the modified receptacle will mate with the smaller DEC connector.

    Of course, "easy" is relative - no problem here in the states, maybe not so much in Europe, but you can probably find something on Amazon or AliExpress.

    71BWyB+tr+L._SL1500_.jpg

  7. #7

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    Super cool find! Pitty it's just the PDP8, you didn't get any software or manuals for the complete setup?
    Collector of all things Digital, but mostly VAXes and corporate knick-knacks.

  8. #8
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    You mean like a Trident submarine? :>)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
    Is there enough plastic in the yellow power plug so that you
    could put it in a lathe and reduce the diameter so it would fit?
    I hope so, tomorrow I will ask if someone can do that for me at my work on a lathe.
    And if not, no problem, I could not use them anyway now...

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrubin View Post
    The "easy" way to power your 8/L (or PC04, etc.) is to get an extension cord similar to the one shown here. The blocking nub on the female end can be cut off with a sharp knife and the modified receptacle will mate with the smaller DEC connector. Of course, "easy" is relative - no problem here in the states, maybe not so much in Europe, but you can probably find something on Amazon or AliExpress.
    Yes that would be much easier. But the ones I found on
    Epay, which would actually ship to Europe, had quite short cables.
    I will check out Amazon or Ali if there are better ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by DECtechGuy View Post
    Super cool find! Pitty it's just the PDP8, you didn't get any software or manuals for the complete setup?
    The only software with it is probably in core... But I'm afraid that I can's save that.
    This machine will definitely need a lot of fault finding and testing which would
    wipe the core contents...

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrubin View Post
    The "easy" way to power your 8/L (or PC04, etc.) is to get an extension cord similar to the one shown here. The blocking nub on the female end can be cut off with a sharp knife and the modified receptacle will mate with the smaller DEC connector.

    Of course, "easy" is relative - no problem here in the states, maybe not so much in Europe, but you can probably find something on Amazon or AliExpress.

    71BWyB+tr+L._SL1500_.jpg
    I found one of those locally here in Sweden. And I did just that, cut it down with a knife! I used it on my on an RM503 Tektronix oscilloscope, my 8/L has a different connector.

    I started to restore my 8/L back in 2010 (time flies) and documented it pretty well on a Swedish forum in Swedish (https://www.elektronikforumet.com/fo...hp?f=3&t=46611).

    When you come to loading software and using a terminal it might be handy to connect it to a PC instead of an ASR33. It is possible to increase the baudrate clock above 110 Baud and to use a RS232 interface instead of the current loop interface. Vince Slyndstad has made some boards for doing this.

    Nice find and good luck!

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