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So, this big metal box followed me home...

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    So, this big metal box followed me home...

    ... and it turned out to be a Spirometer (a deal that measures how much air you breath out, or some such).

    It's a Medical Graphics Microloop System 1100 and the heart of it is an Apple IIe, absolutely loaded with cards. No pics until tomorrow, I'm afraid. I foolishly left the camera at my workshop, while I am now at home getting outside of a beer, so it's too late to go back for it.

    From memory, though, it has:
    The 80 column / RAM expansion
    An Apple CAT II modem, with the expansion card for 1200 Baud
    A Microbuffer II
    Disk II card
    What I think is an A/D card - can't remember the make
    A Titan accelerator
    A Titan RAM expansion

    That's 7+1, so that must be the lot.

    The box holds the IIe (with no lid), a 5.25" FDD and a 9" mono monitor. It also has a bunch of proprietary electronics for handling the measurement & interfacing to the (possible) A/D card.

    There was a disk labeled "Initialization" in the drive, so I fired it up and it loaded a program and asked for a patient data disk. I had some (I guess this was pre-HIPAA) so I put one in and hit Enter. Error, crash. Powered down, restarted and did the exact same things except this time I took the write protect sticker off the data disk. It chuntered along, then asked me if I wanted to make another copy. I said no, it asked for the program disk, I gave it to it and we were in a loop. Back to wanting a patient data disk again.

    There are some other program disks, but I haven't played with them yet.

    Some other observations:

    There's a port on the back marked RS232, which is connected by two wires to the telephone line pins of the modem card.

    There's also a two wire connection from the joystick port to a 3.5mm jack socket on the back panel, which is unlabelled.

    While it only has one FDD, the case looks to be designed to accommodate two. Perhaps there were different versions of the system.

    That's all I can remember, right now. It would be cool if I could get it to take a spirometry measurement, so let's hope the other disks are good.

    #2
    Hey Robert.

    Sounds like a nice score!

    Strong suggestion, wipe the patient disks. That is the ethical thing to do. That or shred them.

    Curtis
    Outside a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read! Groucho Marx

    Curtis McCain

    http://pages.suddenlink.net/curtismc/

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, Curtis. Yes, I intend to get rid of any data there might be, one way or another.

      So, here's the front of the beast:

      mgc1.jpg

      The back (note the telephone socket, bottom left - it's labelled RS232 but connected to the phone line connector on the modem):

      mgc2.jpg

      The front with the panel off:

      mgc3.jpg

      The interface between the pneumotach breath sensor and the A/D card:

      mgc4.jpg

      The IIe pulled out so's you can see what she's filled with:

      mgc5.jpg

      A better view inside the back:

      mgc6.jpg

      A close up of some of the cards:

      mgc7.jpg

      The Titan Accellerator IIe and 128k RAM card

      mgc8.jpg

      And, with those removed the best pic I could get of the A/D card. It's an Interactive Structures A113-A, 16 channel job. Apparently one was used on the Space Shuttle: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/...nalCode=ancham

      mgc9.jpg

      I couldn't see a revision # on the main board, but there was a copyright date of 1986.

      Comment


        #4
        Wow, that's a really interesting machine!

        Have you done any breathing test? Does it work perfectly, or it crashes?

        Comment


          #5
          Not yet. The disk that was in it doesn't seem to want to do anything other than what I described above. I do have a bunch of other disks, but it wouldn't boot from them. I did get it to boot from a couple of other disks, unrelated to the spirometry thing.

          I think I may have to dig out one of my other IIes and see about making a DOS disk, so's I can take a look at them. Of the two that I know about (there may be another - it wouldn't surprise me!) one has a super serial card, but no FDD controller, the other I don't remember whether it has a serial card, but it has a Disk ][ card (along with an 8080 card, a drawing tablet card, a hard drive card and I can't remember what else - a modem, maybe?) so I should be able to figure something out. Probably best to start with a minimalist rig, with just the 80 col/RAM, Super Serial and Disk ][, for that.

          Comment


            #6
            Oh and, just to give y'all a chuckle, here's what the current version of this machine looks like: https://store.carefusion.com/respira...mk8r2and3.html

            Comment


              #7
              That'd make for a pretty nice all-in-one docking station for an Apple II. It houses everything.

              Comment


                #8
                Very cool machine! At first glance you wouldn't think it housed a basically stock Apple IIe.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Bumping this thread, because I want some opinions. I have some new toys coming, next week and I'm really short of space, so something has to go.

                  I haven't played with this in ages (never did get it to take a breath reading) and it's a candidate for going. But my question is, how should it go?

                  I wish I could sell it all in one piece - it's a neat machine and I hate to tear it apart. But it's big and shipping it would be a nightmare. It seems easier to part it out selling the Apple II, monitor etc and then offering the metal box as an Apple II hutch. Even then, there's two options - strip all the custom electronics out, or leave it in.

                  So, which of these would you do?

                  1. Try to sell the whole thing in one lump.
                  2. Part it out but leave the custom electronics intact.
                  3. Part it out and gut the metal box.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Try each, in that order, if you have the time.
                    70s-computing

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ClausB View Post
                      Try each, in that order, if you have the time.
                      Well, I made some space in my storage, so that might be possible. I'm not optimistic about option 1, though. All of those cards add up and I would expect lowball offers from flippers wanting to part it out.

                      I could do that myself, but before I do I'll at least give #1 a try. It's a pretty unique machine and it would be nice if it could be preserved.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'd honestly try to keep that thing in one piece. It's unlikely that there are many (if any) other ones in existence.
                        My blog on finding electronic treasure, audio oddities, and anything else I find interesting

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by roberttx View Post
                          I could do that myself, but before I do I'll at least give #1 a try. It's a pretty unique machine and it would be nice if it could be preserved.
                          Out of curiosity, how much does it weigh? It is certainly interesting and should be kept together.
                          Maintainer of http://vintagecomputer.ca

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by snuci View Post
                            Out of curiosity, how much does it weigh? It is certainly interesting and should be kept together.
                            I've never weighed it, but I'll do so when I get a chance (probably not tomorrow, though - I'm taking my 70 year old father in law to pick out his first electric guitar, for his birthday). It's not just the weight, though, it's the size, the irregular shape and the fact that the IIem drive and monitor are not nailed down in their cubbies. No amount of packing would prevent FedEx or UPS from destroying it.

                            Honestly, I think the only way to ship it would be crating and freighting and the nearest place that does that is a 250 mile round trip from us. I guess, in a pinch, I could put it in a 30"x30"x30" double walled box and strap it to a crate, but that would use a lot of padding and be a lot of work.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by roberttx View Post
                              I've never weighed it, but I'll do so when I get a chance (probably not tomorrow, though - I'm taking my 70 year old father in law to pick out his first electric guitar, for his birthday). It's not just the weight, though, it's the size, the irregular shape and the fact that the IIem drive and monitor are not nailed down in their cubbies. No amount of packing would prevent FedEx or UPS from destroying it.

                              Honestly, I think the only way to ship it would be crating and freighting and the nearest place that does that is a 250 mile round trip from us. I guess, in a pinch, I could put it in a 30"x30"x30" double walled box and strap it to a crate, but that would use a lot of padding and be a lot of work.
                              You would be surprised at what I have had shipped via UPS. As long as you use the right packing material and, quite honestly, expect a little damage, you are okay The monitor and IIe need to be packed separately with cards removed and documented (before removal) but it is doable. Let me know. I, personally, would be interested depending on cost. I've had an IMSAI VDP-80, some Apple Lisas and a couple of IBM 5120s, among other things, shipped in the past. I am hazarding a guess that this is "light" in comparison It is definitely worth saving in it's current form.
                              Maintainer of http://vintagecomputer.ca

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