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Thread: What is this - Ibm Display

  1. #1

    Default What is this - Ibm Display

    Hi All,
    I recently acquired this part from a private sale.
    The salesperson told me that it may be laser equipment . I payed up and upon further inspection realized that it was a digital display unit made by Ibm. Do you know what this unit would have been a part of?
    The ibm part no is 3046227 and the another identification may be IP-385/FSQ . Any input would be appreciated .
    IMG_9976 2.JPGIMG_8981 2.JPGIMG_3427 2.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Silicon Valley


    it may be a charactron display for the SAGE control director console
    If you look at the pictures, there is a large tube and a small one in the upper right of the console
    that would be a charctron

    if you take off the magnetic shield, there should be a deflection coil underneath

    it is covered in 3-62-0_Display_System under

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Blog Entries


    A ruler or something to get scale would be helpful.

    I think it is for the Sage.

  4. #4


    It is ! I found a tag that says Typotron . What would be the rarity of it ? The width is 5 inches .

  5. #5


    After a bit of an investigation I found another label which says IBM Typotron . A cousin of the Charactron but with a storage capability. Indeed from IBM SAGE. Imagine my astonishment. Supposedly it was developed along side Hughes Aircraft and many others.
    What would be the rarity/ Value of it ?

  6. #6

    Default Part 2 IBM Display - IBM SAGE!

    I looked a little closer and found another tag. I was astonished to find out exactly what it was.

    It’s called an IBM Typotron a cousin of the Charactron. It was part of the cold war era Program, IBM SAGE Semi-Automatic Ground Environment. It had system of large computers and associated networking equipment that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area. The actual typotron , was announced and developed circa 1956, combined the character generator method of the Charactron with a storage-tube screen structure. The result was a display that required no further use of computer memory – very expensive at that time – once the information was written on the storage target until one desired to change the displayed information. In all other respects operation was similar to that of a conventional storage tube. From my research there is only a handful in existence as this was quite the achievement at the time. What would be the rarity or worth of a piece like this ? IMG_8981 2.JPG
    Last edited by lutiana; January 9th, 2020 at 06:12 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NorthWest England (East Pondia)
    Blog Entries


    What would be the rarity or worth of a piece like this
    Who knows how many survive, but I suspect a few thousand were made. Apparently there were 56 Sage computers built each with 100 consoles , so if each console had one tube thats 5600 plus spares...

    Sage parts don't seem to attract the big money that S/360 and S/370 parts do, it would be hard to ship, but its rare and interesting. If only one person wants it a few bucks, perhaps even $100. If you get a few people fighting over it a few thousand. All you can do is put it up for sale in a specialist auction (I wouldn't use E-Bay) and publicize the heck out of it on here, cctalk mail list and every vintage facebook page I could find. Perhaps even the IBM-MAIN list.

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  8. #8


    Thank you so much! I might consider selling it if that will bring a little money to help my son through college.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Austin, Texas


    I assume its some sort of CRT, but it looks like it may have a broken seal and lost its vacuum. What appears to be glass around the edge of the face has bubbles in it.

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