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Bi-Tran Six

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    #46
    Originally posted by dlarue View Post
    valeen1959 thanks for the original post! The Bi-Tran Six was used by the USAF Air Training Command in the Instrumentation Mechanic (AFSC 317x0 [telemetry]) tech school at Lowry AFB Colorado, circa 1974. The training material and equipment were simple, but the instructors were top-notched. The computer lesson was brief, about 1 week of a 20-week course. At the time, most of the training was analog based. This short digital encounter with the Bi-Tran Six stood out and planted seeds for the future. A little while later a "personal training computer" was purchased, the $250 Kim-1. Off and running, a career was started based on the simple computer in your post. I sit here today, typing Python code with many powerful, graphical development tools, but there was nothing like learning the basics writing machine code, punching it in, and watching the lights flash! Please keep that baby running...
    To bad dlarue doesn't appear active I wonder if we might have met because I also trained as an Instrumentation Mechanic at Lowery in 1974 - in fact I still basically work the same job except as a contractor at Cape Canaveral for satellite telemetry systems. Some times I use to think the Bi-Tran 6 was something I made up since there appears to be very little data on it.
    Who let out the magic smoke!!!!!!!!!!!

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      #47
      Here are some pictures of the COM-TRAN TEN

      com-tran_ten.jpg
      20170811_201414.jpg
      20170811_201346.jpg
      20170812_142403.jpg
      20170920_112909.jpg
      20170823_170022.jpg
      20170823_170251.jpg

      The computer was stored in a barn for a long time and has needed a lot of cleaning. The third picture is of the core memory unit. The main display can be lifted on sliders for access to changing the light bulbs, raising the display for viewing and seeing the back side of the main circuit board. There are two views where you can see the main circuit board. Mostly TTL 7400 series I.C.s. I hope to get it working again. Give that about 50% chance at this point but that confidence is getting higher as I get into it more.

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        #48
        Thank you for posting your pics! I have never seen one of these computers "in the flesh".
        How many bytes of memory is in the core module?

        EDIT: I think I found the answer to my question on page 45 of the CT-TEN Manual. 1024 words.
        (8 bit words - so 1KB)
        Last edited by livewire; September 24, 2017, 11:21 AM.
        where did the blinky-binkys go?

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          #49
          Yes, the core memory is 1K bytes. The machine has a 10 bit address bus. The core memory is actually the part I have the most concern about getting working. So far the only part I have powered up is the front switch panel. Most of the lights and switches work. I did that test with all the ribbon cables disconnected from the main circuit board. No power on the main circuit board yet. I now have a replacement for the original power supply to continue testing. So far the display lamps appear to be ok but I haven't tested them all yet. That is 82 #47 6 volt lamps. Most of the power used by the machine is used to light the lamps of the display. Will be pulling each I.C. and cleaning the pins and replacing them one at a time. Will be testing some of the I.C.s when they are pulled.

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            #50
            I would dearly love to run across one of those or even any further information on them.

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              #51
              I studied Avionics when I was in the Navy. One of the schools I went to used a ComTran 10. I was shocked to see something so primitive being used to teach computer logic and progamming.

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                #52
                Page 9 shows photos and a description of Fabri-Tek

                https://ia800604.us.archive.org/14/i...oduct_Line.pdf

                BI-TRAN SIX Computer Education System
                Fabri-Tek has recently introduced to the educational market
                the BI-TRAN SIX Computer Education System.
                The central unit of this system is a modern,
                inexpensive, general-purpose computer which is designed exclusively for teaching purposes.
                The BI-TRAN SIX system is used to teach the fundamentals of computer science at any grade level
                from secondary schools through college, and can be used in vocational and military schools as well.
                Complete course material for every grade level is available.
                Peripheral equipment, also designed specifically to teach, makes the BITRAN SIX system a complete instructional laboratory.

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                  #53
                  I used the bi tran six as part of a class in 1980. Then ran into it again in the air force. It was just for training on computer operation at a hardware level. You could trace signals for theory of operation. It was a base six machine. The lights on the front we're the actual registers if the cpu. All pre microprocessor.

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