Schedule October 2007

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Wed October 03 - general,
Wed October 10 - general, Thurs October 11 - 729 tape drives, Sat October 13 - 2nd Sat.
Wed October 17 - general,
Wed October 24 - general, Robert is visiting N.Y., Sat October 27 - 4th Sat.
Wed October 31 - general,

Wed October 03 - general

Wednesday October 10 - general

  • Present were: Ron Williams, Bob Erickson, Allen Palmer, Joe Preston, Stan Paddock, Robert Garner, Ed Thelen.

  • Allen Palmer brought in a framed organization chart from "The Tabulating Machine Co." with Thoma J. Watson as President and Director. Included are the board of C-T-R-Co. All of the above companies were renamed International Business Machines" in 1924. Apparently Joerg & Gisele Ebel of Saratoga, CA gave the picture to Allen.

  • Bob Erickson has been trying to re-assemble the punch die and magnet assembly. It has been "tedious" yet "interesting", as in the ancient Chinese curse "may you live in 'interesting' times.
    All but the last row of electro magnet assemblies has been inserted and connected mechanically. - but this last row is stubborn :-((

  • We were happily doing our things, when all of a sudden - THAT SMELL - overheated lacquer, - something is way too hot.
    Allen was powering up and testing one of the recently re-assembled 729 tape drives. The Rewind Motor (left center) overheated. What was causing that?? A missing phase on the three phase motor?? Miss plugging?? - It turned out that one of the clutches (right center) was locked up (energized) while the Rewind Motor was trying to spin the tape reel. Now what??

  • Alex Bochannek dropped by with a count of Unit Record (IBM card equipment) that we had been talking about at the previous "1400 Demo" meeting. Looks as though there are sufficient 083 sorters such that one can be run as part of a "unit record" demo. The name "unit record" comes from the fact that a punched card can (usually ;-)) contain all of the data for a transaction. This makes easy correction, sorting, merging, ... and was a major factor in promoting punched cards as the medium of choice rather than the much cheaper paper tape and other equipment. Also there are sufficient 077 collators :-))

  • The three card controller for a 729 tape exercizer has been returned.

  • Towards the end of the day, Tim Robinson dropped by, and we leaped at him to give us a demo of his Babbage type machines. My goodness - It all seems to grow daily !! Tim's web site
    It is fascinating to hear Tim tell about his "models" to an interested audience :-)) There is so much to know, and he has studied it so thouroughly. See this web site for an introduction on what values to use to initialize difference engines for different functions.
    This year for Vintage Computer Festival, November 3,4 at CHM, Tim is showing his Mecano based Differential Analyser - first time in several years - I think that alone is worth the price of admission. Torque amplifiers, mechanical integrators, plotters, ... :-))

Thurs October 11 - 729 tape drives,

Saturday October 13 - 2nd Saturday

Wed October 17 - general

  • Present were: Ron Williams, Bill Flora, Frank King, Bob Erickson,Glenn Lea, Joe Preston, Stan Paddock, Ed Thelen

  • The 513 summary punch, which had a badly damaged punch mechanism from some mis-adventure before arriving at CHM, was powered-up today for the first time. No one dared? punch a card, but the card path was sufficiently well timed for correct card passage. :-))
    Unfortunately, this cylindrical slotted rubber thing which is supposed to help push the cards is hard and not at all flexible - how to get a replacement?

  • Bill Flora trying to re-assemble a tape exerciser controller. It seems that some vital information was scrambled during dis-assembly. Bill is not his normal smiling self.

  • Frank King and Joe Preston are re-furbishing a spare 026 print mechanism for installation on the 026 from Illinois, which came with out a print mechanism.

  • Granddaughter Rose is not pulling her fair share during this walk Would you believe that the handle of her lunch box, with new toy inside, is still firmly clasped in her right hand?

Wed October 24 - general

Some 729 tape capstan rubber info:

From Grant Saviers
Allen loaned me a "like new" stop capstan and I measured the durometer of the the rubber.

On a Shore A scale it measured 90 and on a Shore D scale it measured 50. Although the A to D scale comparison is not reliable, these are within the +/- 5 durometer typical of rubber specifications.

The other question is what type of rubber and my bet after a little research that it is neoprene (Dupont trademark) alias for chloroprene. It is unlikely from the little history search I did that EPDM or polyurethanes were common in the late 1950's although the dates of introduction of these materials is hard to determine. Perhaps some one of our mail list has more data.

In any case, neoprene is available from McMaster from Shore A 30 to 80 step 10. I suspect the capstan has hardened some over time so we might try the A80 material. Machining this stuff is difficult and not fun, but can be done. Grinding is the way to finish the capstan OD's. Very messy.

I also advise starting with known property rubber as using hammer heads etc. is a complete random walk.



From Allen Palmer
Lynn dropped 4 of the rebuilt stop- capstans. I will bring them in Thursday & if you are in the area please stop in to look at them.
Allen j Palmer
From Lynn Liebschutz
Grant's comments are well received.

Since I have provided 5 pieces to Allen ( and I still have one completed with me ) from the mallet material and have suffered through the odorous fab process, let's give these a try. The material is about the correct Durometer or maybe sightly softer and it is reasonably robust. I still have some spools and I can retire these with Buna N, Neoprene or an equivalent depending on the results of live testing.

Lynn Liebschutz
408 - 717 - 8137

  • Present were: Ron Williams, Bill Flora, Frank King, Bob Erickson, Glenn Lea, Joe Preston, Stan Paddock, Robert Garner, Ed Thelen. Later Dr. Mike Williams, author, very special ex-head curator of CHM, now president of the IEEE Computer Society, came for a visit. He was in town briefly and (among other things) wanted to see how we were doing :-))

  • We started the day in snappy fashion - "new" old IBM 083 sorter arrived, and "old" (rusty German) 083 got moved into the ramp area to make room. This machine looks excellent - we went through a quick capacitor reforming exercize and started sorting cards - Frank reports it was at least 98% perfect, and didn't even jam once. (Frank says the sealed bearings didn't need checking for grease.) (We never did get the other rusty one to quit jamming.)

  • Bob Erickson and Glenn Lea continued bringing up the completely overhauled IBM 513 summary punch that had been brought in badly damaged internally. Now to assure everything correctly timed -

  • Mike Williams, Robert Garner, Ron Williams and Dag Spicer watching 729 Tape Drive in action. Ron, Dag, Mike looking at BigPrint printout of Mike Williams visited CHM October 24,2007/ Joe Preston and Frank King in background.

  • Mike Williams examining a pre-IBM organization chart of "Computing- Tabulating- Recording Company (C-T-R)," with T. J. Watson as its head :-))
    This is on loan to Allen Palmer from one of his neighbors.

  • The 1401 system successfully reproduced a 200 card deck BigPrint for backup. This was the first time the 1401 system successfully reproduced a non-trivial deck of cards :-))

  • There were two "Smart Cars" on exhibit in the CHM lobby. A few years ago, Frank King negotiated for one - but couldn't agree on a price.
    Looks as though Frank is still lusting for one ;-)) He wants these pictures.

Robert Garner is in the state of New York to visit this 1401 - Oct. 26/27, 2007, images by owner's family













Sat October 27 - 4th Sat

  • Bob Erickson, Ron Williams, Judith Haemmerle & Tim Coslet - This report by Ron Williams

  • no tape people - Ron tried to run DFT tests and own test on 729 tape drive - everything failed.

  • Bob & Judith worked on 513 and ?077? plug board programming.

Wed October 31 - general

Notes from meeting - October 24, 2007 Wednesday afternoon

    Preparation for VCF demo series, starting 3:00 Saturday Nov 3,

Present Bill Worthington, Stan Paddock, Jim Somers, Ed Thelen
    (After the meeting, Bill Worthington and Stan Paddock
         discovered they were unavailable for the VCF 1401 demos)

Discussion of rights to IBM images - 029 key punch, ...

Vintage Computer Festival
    open house ?
VCF is the one day we really try to control access to Visible Storage
 - because these guys really like to touch things !!
Have the public stay behind the 1401 room rail -

Have a red band with stanchions at the top of the ramp -
    How many people can see from the ramp?       15?

Jim will make a sign saying when the presentations start
   likely 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30
 how to terminate a session,
      we can't turn out the lights as in the PDP-1 demos last year


   - sign name as come in, we can key punch names off list
     feed to cards into the BigPrint program,
         return cards and printouts as  souvenirs
          (Ron Williams knows how to run the program)

   - Stan has put the CHM logo and web site on the backs of IBM cards
       Stan has say 300 already in a drawer
          near the good Liebert

    - relief for presenters after 1/2 hour -
          15 minutes for talk - 15 minutes Q&A
        then time for a mini break, and/or other presenter

    - Jim Somers will  work on sign on the outside of the 1401 room.

    -  Robert has camcorder / Video camera?  record one of the sessions,
        to present on monitor on outside later?
         Jim S can get volunteer to operate.  Between tours?

    - Jim will contact Sellam  about above schedule

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November 2007
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