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USAF COM-TRAN 10 Trainer

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    USAF COM-TRAN 10 Trainer

    I have a section of my USAF Computer and Switching System training manual which describes in detail the COM-TRAN 10 Computer Trainer Unit with op-code listing.
    Attached are scanned pages from it. I am cleaning house and was looking to donate it - preferably to collage or museum.
    I have not been able to find any info on this by searching the web.
    Thank You
    William B. Higinbotham
    higinbotham@hotmail.com
    Attached Files

    #2
    OMFG!!!

    We used that VERY THING in our classes at FC 'A' school, IIRC!

    I ended up writing a program for it to walk the lights around... in between class 'projects'.

    A 100-pound, 300 watt programmable calculator.

    Ah... the memories!

    Did you manage to snag an actual machine too?

    Comment


      #3
      I have collected and played around with military systems for years and this is the first time I have seen anything about the COM-TRAN 10, looks like it was a great way to understand structure and operation of lots of the early systems that were deployed back then. I have been wasting lots of time setting up and using old 8080 and Z80 base stuff from that time but this is the first time I have come across that training system. Things I have been looking for from that era are the old Rolm 1602 or any other Data General instruction set systems. This is an example of one of the messaging terminal that I have been playing around with.

      ID-2390G.jpg

      Comment


        #4
        I used the ComTran-10 in Avionics "A" school in the Navy. Millington, Tennessee, back in late 1977 or early 1978. I haven't been able to find much about it on the Internet.
        Remember, no matter where you go... there you are!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by DoctorPepper View Post
          I used the ComTran-10 in Avionics "A" school in the Navy. Millington, Tennessee, back in late 1977 or early 1978. I haven't been able to find much about it on the Internet.
          So...

          Did they try to teach 'hole flow theory' to you in 77-78?
          Such a joke... 'holes move' rather than 'electrons move'. Our instructor explained the premise... and it was never heard from again!

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for your post. I've been looking for information on these for years. There is very little that shows up on the internet. I might try to make a wikipedia page about it if I can get more information. It might be fun to make a simulator too.
            I was in Millington from Feb to July 1978. Fun times !!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by plauscher2 View Post
              Thanks for your post. I've been looking for information on these for years. There is very little that shows up on the internet. I might try to make a wikipedia page about it if I can get more information. It might be fun to make a simulator too.
              I was in Millington from Feb to July 1978. Fun times !!!
              Yes I was there in Millington as well in '78. I loved the Comtran 10, it was my favorite part of A school. Sure wish I had one at home just to play around with. Frank O

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                #8
                Is there a TM with schematics for this device anywhere? I've never seen or used one, but now I'm really intrigued.
                Looking for: IBM RT PC (Model 615x)

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm starting to make a wikipedia entry for the Comtran Ten. On my first submission I was told that I don't have enough references, but that's the problem, isn't it? There's no information on these although thousands of people have trained on them. I did find a photo of one and some information that it was made by the Digiac Corp.

                  COM-TRAN10f.jpg

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not quite the same, and from a different branch of the armed services, but still very neat: a trainer used by the US Navy, circa 1970.

                    Compumedic_US Navy analog trainer.jpg

                    This one is actually being offered for sale. I think I might have the manual for this. Too bad I can't afford the machine to go with the book. :-/

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/200840038391
                    Looking for: IBM RT PC (Model 615x)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by higinbotham View Post
                      I have a section of my USAF Computer and Switching System training manual which describes in detail the COM-TRAN 10 Computer Trainer Unit with op-code listing.
                      I just finished pdf and OCR of it

                      http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/p...ning_Jun81.pdf

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I created a profile just to reply to this thread.

                        I remember using the Com-Tran 10 in US Navy SWSE "A" School back in 1990 at Guided Missile School, Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, VA.

                        Brings back memories.......

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I recently became the owner of a FABRI-TEK COM-TRAN TEN. I am trying to get it working again. I downloaded the pdf manual but would like to find circuit diagrams and I.C. layouts for the main circuit board. Many of the I.C.s don't have their labels anymore. The one I have is I believe an early one. I.C.s have date codes of 1968 through 1971 and the serial number is CT-0002-C2. Probably from 1972. It uses the Model 422 Magnetic Core memory, Serial Number 68373. It was the property of Cincinnati Technical College back in that time frame. I have a lot of computers that I use for STEM education including a Relay Based Machine I designed and built. I think the COM-TRAN would add a lot to my demos.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Stephen,

                            I am wondering if you had any success in getting your COM-TRAN TEN working? I used it three separate training courses at NATTC Millington TN in the late 80's and early 90's. Avionics A School, AFTA (Advanced First Term Avionics) and Avionics C School. Each time the training was more in-depth. The large register display allowed you to see and understand what was going on during the execution of machine language instructions. We even studied the computer at the logic-gate level, and troublshot down to the TTL chip level. This provided a deep level of understanding about how a digital computer works, a understanding that I don't think many current students receive.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sheadog View Post
                              Stephen,

                              I am wondering if you had any success in getting your COM-TRAN TEN working? I used it three separate training courses at NATTC Millington TN in the late 80's and early 90's. Avionics A School, AFTA (Advanced First Term Avionics) and Avionics C School. Each time the training was more in-depth. The large register display allowed you to see and understand what was going on during the execution of machine language instructions. We even studied the computer at the logic-gate level, and troublshot down to the TTL chip level. This provided a deep level of understanding about how a digital computer works, a understanding that I don't think many current students receive.

                              I did some work on it and got some portions working. Have been looking for the schematics manual as I think it would make the process go faster. The student manual I got from bitsaver has been great. Could finish the job with it and a lot of time tracing out circuits. Have drawn up some portions of the circuit that way. I came close at the Mini-Maker Faire in Dayton Sept 5th. Met a guy who had actually used my very machine at Cinci Tech in 1975. Unfortunately he had the manuals until two years ago when his wife had him throw them out. I got into computers back in 1972 and worked on MODCOMP Minis at the time. Became the main man on those in the area. We had similar diagram sets for troubleshooting down to the I.C. or transistor or capacitor etc.. I have a MODCOMP I in my computer collection which may be the one I started working on in 1975. Still have it working. Your right that people don't troubleshoot down to that level anymore. I do a lot a STEM education programs and have created a number of tools for that. One is a Relay Based computer that also has a small tethered robot it controls. It is a general purpose computer with 16 function ALU. Can single cycle, run/stop, vary speed and with a lot of LEDs its easy to follow how each of the instructions work in the machine. Program comes from dip switches or paper tape. All machine language. It's next outing is Air Force Museum WPAFB Oct 27 2018.
                              So... any idea where I can get the schematics manual for the COM-TRAN TEN?
                              I have had the COM-TRAN TEN to two STEM events so far even though it is not fully functional. May have some questions to ask you as I get more of it working.

                              Stephen

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