Schedule Febuary 2006
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Wednesday February 1st
Wednesday February 8th
Saturday February 11th
Wednesday February 15th
Wednesday February 22th
Saturday February 25th
- Wednesday February 1st - 10 AM - Roll up sleeves -Present were Ron Williams, Bob Erickson, Allen Palmer, Bob Feretich, Chuck Kantmann, Robert Garner, Jeff Stutzman, Ed Thelen. Bob Feretich's brother Jim, visiting from Chicago, helped from about noon to 6:30 P.M.
- Allen Palmer worked to get all the indicator lamps on the 729 Mod 5 tape drive working correctly and gave demos of the drive passing tape in the forward direction and rewinding :-))
Allen Palmer dug out this off-line tape tester. We hope that this text translated from German is a close relative.
Bob Feretich and his visiting brother Jim opened it up and are attempting a reverse engineering. This involves tracing and documenting all the wiring, switches, and the three circuit boards in the unit. This is turning into a non-trivial job as we don't have the schematics for the three SMS cards in the off-line tester.
Bob Feretich (and the rest of us) have a problem identifying some resistor looking parts - there are too many color bands. Here is a chart of what he sees. Anyone identify what are the components or what are the values please e-mail Ed Thelen.
Bob Erickson, Juff Stutzman and Ed Thelen worked on the 077 collators. They swapped out the bad feed rollers and the electric motor from the German machine into the Visible Storage machine. The two motors had different shaft sizes and there is no bushing for the oiler pulley to drive the oiler pump on the Visible Storage machine. (There was no oiler pump on the German machine which used needle bearing and likely needed more frequent oiling.) Possibly the lack of oil caused the failure of the needle bearings. The Visible Storage machine used porous bronze bearings instead of the needle bearings. "We" determined that the makeshift 48 volt power supply in the German machine (with the disabled circuit breaker) is likely more robust than the selenium rectifier based power supply in the Visible Storage machine and are not swapping them. We are almost ready to return the Visible Storage machine.
- Some images from past work sessions -
Ed Frank 1403 First Printing
Bob Grant 729 Connector
Bill Bob Frank Ron Ed 1403
Bill 1402 Read Timer
Grant 729 Working
- Wednesday February 8th - 10 AM - Roll up sleeves -Added to Jan 14th log to add detail and credit -
- To replace the defective printer column 131 hammer solonoid, Ron used our only spare solenoid coil from his CE friend Phil Clark (Thanks Phil!).
Present were: Ron Williams, Bob Erickson, Frank King, Chuck Kantman, Don Cull, Glen Lea, Grant Saviers, Bob Feretich, Bill Flora, Ron Crane, Jeff Stutzman, Robert Garner and Ed Thelen.
We had an honored guest, Dave Hawley - right, President of the Australian Computer Museum Society. Dave was toured about the Computer History Museum and its Visible Storage by Robert Garner.
The 1403 printer is working well, so Frank King put the exterior covers/sound barrier back on. Chuch Kantman and Glen Lea are - well - assisting. Ron Williams, Don Cull and Bill Flora are bug shooting in the background.
- Ron Williams found a marginal card that caused another card to overload until the machine warmed up. Apparently a transistor base was not going high resistance when the transistor was cut off. We need Tim to fix it Saturday as there is no more spares of that type.
Bob Feretich brought in a large (2 foot x 2 foot x 6 inches) sheet metal box containing his part of the Tape System Tester. Bob is doing the logic (TTL) and Grant Saviers is doing the level shifter part of the total effort. This is to help check out both the 1401 Tape Adaptor Unit and a 729 tape drive. Bob says part of the game is to round off the very sharp TTL voltage swings because the 729 cabling system is not well terminated and IBM used approximately "Gausian" waveforms (well rounded rectangular waves) to reduce the effect of reflections in the cabling system. Both the forground board and the background boards are involved. The forground board is covering two power supplies.
- Bob Erickson and Glen Lea returned the Visible Storage 077 to its rightful place. Well, most of it - it now contains some badly worn primary and secondary feed needle bearings.
I don't know how to say this. Ideally we wear white gloves while working on artifacts. You will notice the Glen Lea is not wearing white gloves as he is using a 2x4 to help pry up on this 077 assembly. Hmmmm. And is that a mallet in Bob Erickson's hand ?? Dag Spicer, you didn't see this!!
- Don Cull, Bill Flora, and Ron Williams worked on the 1402 card reader interface - I couldn't figure out what.
Bob Erickson and Robert Garner with the Visible Storage IBM 604. Bob used to fix 'em :-))
- Saturday February 11th - 10 AM - Roll up sleeves -Present were Ron Williams, Bill Flora, Bob Erickson, Tim Coslet and Ed Thelen.
- Is this a good time for "True Confessions" - that was a TV show wasn't it? OK - We had a "spare" 1401 Operator's Panel - with a problem. For some reason, someone painted the back of the panel white - so densely white that verry-little light would show through. It was totally useless because the 1/4 watt front panel indicator lights were invisible - OK - we didn't try a totally dark room.
And someone had trouble seeing the panel lights through the panel that is installed on the 1401, and drilled about 6 holes through the panel - apparently so they could see the lights better, but the drilling removed the printed digits that aided operator interpretation of the position values. (And looks weird.)
Various people have volunteered to do something about the white paint - but didn't. So today I decided to do something. We consulted with an un-named CHM volunteer, who advised, that if we were going to do something, to use GOO OFF - from say Orchard Supply. This was obtained.
I did the job outside in the open air and -
- - good news - cleaned off the white paint
- - bad news - localized alarm red under the white came off also
So we will probably place thin red cellophane on the back side on the alarm locations.
The front of the panel shows signs of rough wear - and some areas looks less glossy than other areas.
- Allison Ackbay was in the building so we asked what to do. She looked at the panel and said - The museum will probably - was it re-surface - the outside of the 1401 system when we are done, and to leave the front surface of the subject panel alone till then.
- Tim Coslet fixed the bad JHxx board discovered by Ron Williams last time. The problem was indeed the diode the Ron has suspected. The diode when removed from the circuit exhibited a loop in the V/I curve - like many of the bad transistors. No one has explained how this loop can happen as the driving frequency is 60 Hz and no reactances are present that should do that at 60 Hz.
- Some bad transistors exhibit a curve that Tim calls a "peanut curve", bent, loops on both ends, narrow in the middle. We have a number of circuit savvy people, and none can explain the loops - could there be a thermal factor we are not aware of???? Tim also fixed three QD cards.
- Bob Erickson worked on the 077 collator. He replaced a roller and a card deflection relay/solenoid that directs cards into one pocket. Grant Saviers, we need help with washers.
But you really wanted to know about the 1401, the 1402 card reader, Ron Williams and Bill Flora. Ron and Bill are struggling - apparently with the undocumented overlap feature that they are not familiar with. They have scoped and timed the problem and have a clearer understanding of the failure of the second CardRead after the first CardRead. As best I understand it - Bill Flora tried so hard to explain it to me -
- The normal 1401 waits until after the Card Read (and other) operations are complete before executing the next instruction. This machine with the OverLap Feature continues executing instructions before the CardRead instruction is complete. There is a problem about a ReadCardPrintLine instruction as the printer starts before all the data is in?? Forgive me - it seemed to make sense a few hours ago.
- And there is the blue Unknown Switch back of the Customer Engineer's panel that looks like an un-official local add-on. Unfortunately Arnold Schweinsberg didn't remember what that switch was for a year ago. Is that related to the problem? The problem does not change regardless of the switch handle position.
- Wednesday February 15th - 10 AM - Roll up sleeves -
- Present were - in no particular order - Bob Feretich, Allen Palmer, Bob Erickson, Frank King, Ron Williams, Robert Garner, Ed Thelen, Chuch Kantman, Bill Flora, Grant Saviers -
Old business - last month John Van Gardner donated some 1401 parts to our effort. The donated lamps have already been placed into service and spares.
- An original unused charge of magnet clutch powder. I though someone could use it as a reference to compare to.
- bottle of silver plated wire contact relay contacts. There are two long ones in the bottle and they were for the star wheel contacts on the program drum of a key punch or verifier.
- new unused switch and knob like some of the switches on the 1401 console. If you ever break or loose a knob it would be very hard to find one to match.
- An assortment of fuses. There are three 1403 hammer driver fuses in the bag.
- replacement drive capstan motor rubber. The stop capstan is excentric on the back to adjust for clearance to the prolay idler when in neutral.
- assorted small transistors
- tool you screw into the end of a Ungar soldering iron tip to remove a wire wrap pin from a Garvey socket. You unwrap all the wires off the pin. Heat the iron & tool and place it on the pin. When it heats the plastic Garvey block enough you can push the pin out and put another one in.
- some wire terminals that were in my bag.
- I think this is part of number 16.
- power transistors - used in power supplies- Some of the probably were prolay drivers.
- tachometer used to adjust the hydraulic carriage on the 1403 and to measure the response of the reels on a 729. The maintenance manuals for the machine has pictures and the proceedure.
- back panel noise decoupling capacitors, jumper wires to tie down floating lines. some silicon grease for the keypunch friction clutch and the two Z shaped black wires. These wires came with the CE meter and they were used to probe the back of wire contact relay sockets. One end had a round tip that could be plugged into an empty hole and the other end has a concave end that would fit between two wires if all the empty holes were full.
- more pins
- That looks like a ground wire for a Tektronix scope probe. Did I send that?
- More brass wire terminals. Some of these are the kind that go in the back of the 1403 shoe connector.
- IBM came out with part numbers for jumber wires in three different length with 6-32 thread on each end. There were part numbers for alligator tips, pin tips, bannana jacks and different scope probe tips. These were for working on the 1401 but could be used on any SMS machine.
- replacement wire terminals for the 729 shoe connectors. I saw someone was building an interface to the 1401 TAU and thinking about using a terminator block to house it. I thought they might need these.
- Allen Palmer came in to find his 729 mag tape unit non-functional.
- - The newly re-worked clutches started to slip :-((
- - There is a new logic error preventing proper retraction of the heads during rewind :-((
- It was discovered that the availability of the IBM 1401 Special Features manual was not widely known. I made 4 copies (thank you CHM) and distributed them to the people working on the Instruction Overlap problem.
- At lunch, Robert Garner and Grant Saviers suggested that next Wednesday we should gather at Grant Saviers' Ranch - at noon. The ranch is 3.2 miles up the road, *much* closer than "Grant's Ranch" further up the same road. Bring food that you like - we plan to tour Grant's machine shop. Apparently there is room to shoot - so, if you got 'em, you can bring 'em. - No jokes here, there have been enough on TV ;-))
Here is Bob Erickson re-assembling the 077 collator. Look at all those parts!! You know, the mission of the 077 collator is rather simple sounding - merge two card streams together depending upon selected card fields being greaterto,equal,lessthan of the current card of two card streams. And there are three selectable pockets for some reason. About half the parts are removed from this side, revealing the parts hidden by the removed parts. One wouldn't think a machine should be so complicated - and you should see the stuff on the other side !!
Scott Adams - please forgive me - please call it free advertising.
I saw this "somewhere" and just had to image it.
Back in the daze of the 1401, most of the nouns on this document had a much different meaning.
- OOPS - forgot to add that John Van Gardner also gave a 1403 Hammer Magnet Tool. (Entry added Feb 21)
- Wednesday February 22nd - Party time ;-)) at Grant Saviers' Ranch :-))From: Robert Garner
To: 1401 Restoration Team, 1401_software' Team, ...
Subject: Invitation to 1401 offsite lunch affair at Grant's!
After nearly two years and ~4,500 man hours of hard work (and fun!) on our mainframe restoration project, and in celebration of our recent victories--chain printing, card reading,?and vacuum tape spinning--it's time for a little time off?from the client's job site!? ;-)
You're all invited to an informal 1401 team get together and R&R at Grant Saviers' spread this coming?Wednesday the 22nd, noon 'till about 3 pm.
- Come enjoy the great views, world-caliber machine shop,?and operating cows!
It's a BYOL (lunch) affair but drinks will be provided.
- Please let me know/RSVP if you can make it!
p.s. Here's the Google satellite snapshot of Grant's back 40:. 14800 Mount Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA
Not be to outdone, here's an old-fashioned, hand-drawn map Grant sketched this morning: (He's 3.8 miles past the junction of Alum Rock Road and Mt Hamilton Rd, on the left, at flag.)
And here we are - and there are indeed deer grazing near that horse.
The following people enjoyed :-))
- Ron Crane, Frank King, Bob Feretich, Bill Flora, Bob Erickson, Robert Garner, Grant Saviers, Ed Thelen, Ron Mak, Allen Palmer, Glenn Lea, as recorded by Ron Williams. Kirsten Tashev and Dag Spicer (of CHM) showed up after lunch - and we talked about the museum and plans for the 1401.
- Saturday February 25th - 10 AM - Roll up sleeves -
- Well - how to recover from the party - and it was non-alcoholic yet! Present at WORK today were Ron Williams, Bob Erickson, Tim Coslet, Bill Flora, Allen Palmer, Ed Thelen, and new volunteer Gordon Andrews.
- Gordon started helping Bob Erickson - but quickly remembered that he liked electronics a lot better than mechanicals - and joined Tim Coslet in fixing four bad SMS cards.
- Allen Palmer realized that the weak torque in the 729 tape reels that plagued him last time is due to worn clutch brushes. These 1/4 inch diameter carbon/graphite rods need to be replaced. The checked the clutch brushes in the four other 729 drives - and they are all in poor condition - either too short to function or just about that way. Grant Saviers has been requested to come up with a solution. (The usual motor brush has a rectangular contact surface.)
- Ron and Bill continued to struggle with the Instruction Overlap feature in the 1401 -
- Bob Erickson is fighting a bearing alignment problem on several of the rollers in the 077 collator. Tightening up the bearing housings to the big side plate causes the otherwise loose rollers to basically jam. After anguished consideration Bob is going to use 5 mil shim stock to cock the bearing housings at a slight angle - no one is delighted.
- Ron Crane is helping Dave Dial of CHM with the sound system in auditorium.
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