COMPUTARIUM LCD


WORKS

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This page is about ongoing works of the Computarium crew. Newest items are on top.

What? Who? Description State
An vintage electrotherapy device. Massen Francis
(Jul 2017)

I found another portable electrotherapy device in the legacy of Jean Mootz; he had repaired it, but then cut off the power-wires so that the device was not working. I "repaired" it by adding a new battery holder and replacing Jean's rather ugly screws by more stylish ones. After some cleaning the device works beautifully, and the electrical shocks it delivers can be quite invigorating! The instrument will be used as a "vintage-atmosphere" enhancement for the Computarium.
See album !

Done.
A SNOOPIE's cabinet Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis
(Jun 2017)


We installed on the 3rd floor a new cabinet with a subset of Jean Mootz's collection of Snoopies, which the Computarium has inherited as a steward.They have been cleaned and groomed with uttermost care and seem quite happy to be again out of the box.
Done.
SIEMENS SIMATIC S5 rolling presentation stand Massen Francis
(Jun 2017)

I transformed an existing rolling presentation stand to show the complete Simatic S5 system, together with the PG675 computer, the handheld programmer and the S5-100U  PLC. A board with several switches and buttons is available for some quick demonstrations. The raw wooden boards were beautified with black felt and black foil.

Done.
Mercedes Euklid M21 (1931) Massen Francis
(Apr 2017)

I repaired a vintage Mercedes Euklid M21 electro-mechanical calculator, auctioned at eBAY. The electrical cable was completely rotten inside the machine, and had to be replaced by removing the shut-off board. After a few trials, the machine blocked, probably due to a missing screw on the motor block. Removing the carriage and some fiddling cured this. Inside the machine looks like new, without any traces of rust. The main surprise was a live little spider crawling out of the machine where it had built a tiny comfortable nest.

Done (probably).
RetroGameMachines Massen Francis
(Mar 2017)

I finished today the creation of 8 RetroGameMachines, based on HP T610 thin clients running Win7e (Windows 7 starter embedded) with 4GB Ram and a 16 GB SSD Sata disk.. All these second hand computers were bought at eBAY. Eight emulators allow to play a selection of vintage games, using  joypad and/or keyboard and mouse. The computers are very robust (no moving parts) and tamper proof, frozen by a write filter. Cloning is easy with a USB stick. Besides the gaming user  there is a user "LOGO" to learn Logo (I installed the excellent FMS logo). The machines will first be used at the next LCD Science Déeg (10 May 2017).

Done
SIEMENS Simatic S5 LEGEL Andreas
Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis
(Feb 2017)
Our contributor Guy Schintgen arranged a meeting with Mr. Andreas Legel (director of EFG-TA), who has installed many Simatic S5 systems in various big industries. Mr. Legel gave us a very good introduction using our PG675 and S5-100U system, so that many known unknowns have been morphed into simple knowns. Many thanks to Mr. Legel for having found the time to remember and share rare vintage knowledge! Done.
SIEMENS PG675 Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis
(Jan 2017)

We are working on an vintage Siemens SPS S5 system donated by the LTPEM. The PG675 computer (8088, 5.25" floppy SSDD drives) runs its original software under CP/M86-1.2.
We build several new disks from .TD0 images. Knowing how to use the AG S5 SPS system and the handheld PG675 programmer will take a bit more time...

Communication between the PG675 and the AG (S5_100U) is now ok (03-Feb-2017).

Going on.
Archiving Jean Mootz's software legacy Massen Francis
(January 2017)
Start of archiving and registering the huge amount of 5.25" and 3.5"disks of Jean Mootz (+2013), which contain many rare software items (like an original of Multiplan 1.0) Going on.
Making real 5.25" floppies from Osborne 1 CP/M applications in SSSD (single side single density)format Massen Francis
(Sep 2016)
The marvelous Osborne 1a we received had two CP/M 2.2 system disks (5.25" in SSDD) which were easily copied on a vintage XT using COPYIIPC. No applications as Supercalc, Wordstar, dBase II were joined. I worked quite some time but was unable to write the common Imagedisk format; switching to Teledisk and its images in the .TD0 format solved the problem reliably.
See small video (YouTube, 7:26).
Done.
Repair of an EVEREST Multarapid_S printing calculator.

Look here for a picture of the assembled calculator.

Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis
(Sep 2016)

 

We auctioned a rare Everest Multarapid-S calculator (from Officine Serio, Italy, 1958). This is an electromechanical three function calculator using a phone dial to enter the multiplicator and sort of a handle bar for the usual sub-total, total and negative actions. It was in a bad state, very dirty, with neither multiplication nor zero-keys working. Some metal work with a Dremel was needed.

Done.

There remains an unsolved problem with the multiplicant, which must be entered with trailing 000 to give a proper print-out. A special bar probably defining the grouping of decimals is missing; this would have been activated by the right level marked with dots (see picture of assembled calculator). Also missing is the key-cap to loosen the paper-friction.

Repair of two Schubert DRV pin-wheel calculators Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis
(Aug 2016)
Done; one machine does not clear the first right entry due to a tiny broken metallic piece. This is not repairable.
Repair of a MONROE Monromatic CSA10 electromechanical calculator
 (1950's). See YouTube video.
Massen Francis
(Aug 2016)

I auctioned a Monroe CSA10 fully automatical 4 function calculator on eBAY; the vendor specified that the machine was broken (motor spins idle). After quite some hours of work and a bit of luck the machine is back to 100% working condition. This is a very nice, compact calculator, in mint condition (no rust, no scratches); it came with an original German Monroe instruction manual.

Done
Repair of a MADAS 12e electromechanical calculator
 (~1940 to 1943)
Massen Francis
(Jul 2016)

 

I repaired an old Madas 12e, which was donated by Guy Bollendorf in 2006 in an absolute blocked state. A first tentative repair 10 years ago did not succeed, but experience helping, I was able to bring back to working conditions this nice machine today. Several elements were severely blocked by (invisible) hardened grease or oil, and a weakly spring had to be replaced by a twin pair to give the necessary pull to bring back the main black action key.

Done
Repair of a Sinclair QL and a Commodore 64G Massen Francis
(Jun 2016)
A Sinclair QL had a non-working keyboard, due to the usual problem with vintage membrane keyboards: brittle plastic and broken conducting lines. The membrane was replaced by a new one bought in the UK. The QL works good, and can even read the microdrives.
The C64G had a missing keycap + spring: the spring pushes the key up, so it is important as otherwise every slight tremor activates the key. A key from a dismembered C64 was used as a replacement (the color is brown instead beige, but the C64G works fine).
Done
Repair of BBC Master power supply Massen Francis
(May 2016)
Yesterday (11 May 2016) two BBC Master computers used during a LOGO workshop started blowing acrid smoke...most probably due to a power-supply going bad. Inspection today (12 may) confirmed: a filter capacitor has exploded:



As I had not a correct rated (100nF) foil capacitor at hand, I used a 330nF replacement...and it works! I will try to go back to a correct X2 type, and probably replace the 100nF and 10nF caps on all our Masters (time permitting). Sprow's webpage was a great help.
Done.
Restoration of a vintage IBM 5150.

Album.

Massen Francis
(Feb 2016)

This is a rare original IBM 5150, the first "real" IBM computer after the IBM Junior. Has a DIN connector for an audio cassette player used as storage. Runs now PCDOS 1.1.

Done; ATI GS+ graphics card not yet running (missing documentation on Dip switch settings).
Naked HP25 display Massen Francis
(Feb 2016)

A non working HP25 has been disassembled and the different elements put into a frame, so that the 5 IC's can clearly be seen.

Done.
GENAILLE-LUCAS rulers ("bones") Massen Francis
(Feb 2016)

I finally build two sets of Genaille-Lucas rulers in a form that is similar to the Napier-Bones. I found wooden prismatic rods in a market, and adapted the template using Photoshop.  Kudos to our member Claude Baumann who found an error in one of the division templates (ruler 7, look at 6) from the GERMEA group of the University of Pau. The beautiful boxes were bought from Amazon.

Done. Some minor cosmetic changes will be made if time permits.
MOVIT 913B line tracking robot.

See two videos on YouTube: the first shows the robot following a very large and simple track, In the second video the track detection has been optimized and the robot must follow a somewhat nasty track.

Video 1, video 2, album

Massen Francis
(Jan 2016)

Claude du Fays donated a vintage MOVIT line tracking robot he received in assembled state a long time ago from a computer dealer in Belgium. The MOVIT 913B was sold as a kit, probably in 1984. It is a non-programmable device whose only function is to follow a black line. This item was in a very bad state: both batteries (2 AA cells for the motors, a 9V battery for the electronics) were totally corroded, had expanded to crack their holder, and the corrosion hat eaten away many contacts. One of the little motors was blocked.
Done.
IBM 5160 (IBM XT) with 256 kB Ram, 1985.

See other other pictures here and here (the machine has two graphics cards: a CGA and a MDA/parallel combo).

Massen Francis
(Jan 2016)

In late 2014 our contributor Pol Hoelzmer brought in an IBM 5160 (the original IBM XT), that I was unable to make running: the screen remained dark! Changing the power supply and removing all boards did not cure the problem. I resumed this work today and rapidly found the cause: one of the two floppy drives had an electrical short and brought down the power supply. I did not find the fault on the floppy drive, but replaced the culprit by another original IBM model (from Jean Mootz's attic). Everything now works ok, the computer is in a very good state.
Done.
GENAILLE-LUCAS rulers

See short album.
Massen Francis
(Jan 2016)

For our next upcoming workshops I built sets of Genaille-Lucas rulers. There are different rulers for multiplication and division.
The picture shows the multiplication of 916*7 = 6412.
Done.
BINARY LOGIC/Arithmetic Module Massen Francis
(Jan 2016)

A binary logic and arithmetic teaching aid built by the late Jean MOOTZ in 1973. Contains only two IC's: a SN74181 and a SN7404.
OK!
Heathkit EC-1 educational analog computer (1960)

See album and video ( YouTube, 11 Jan 2016)
Tholl Raoul
Massen Francis
(Dec 2015)

Only one channel (of 9) was working ok. Many wires broken at the points of solder. All valves ok (surprise!). Some balance potentiometers a bit "scratchy". Linearity of ramp integrators is good (check done with a vintage Heathkit IR-5207 XY plotter).

All channels ok. Still to do:
1. Replace old electrolytic capacitors
2. Make plug modules with R and C.

January 2016: Capacitors replaced, a first set of modules made.

Corona Portable .

See album.
Massen Francis
(Dec 2015)

Printing calculator from the1930's. Was in a very bad state, non working

Minimal restoration. Works good.
Milton-Bradley BIGTRAK
 

More see here.

Massen Francis
(Dec 2015)


I bought this vintage 1980 programmable truck from ebay UK some time ago: it did not work correctly. Main problem was misaligned rotation sensor, broken battery-holder plate and shaky battery contacts. This truck has a TI TMS1000 4-bit microcontroller with about 160 available bits of Ram on its board.
Works good!
Rasberry Pi2 Massen Francis
(Sep 2015)


with 3.5" Tontec TFT touchscreen and Rii mini-keyboard (wireless keyboard with touch-panel). The pink case is a Cellularline power box (4400mAh, max. 2 A).

Screen shows graphical desktop of Rasbian-Wheezy.

Works good with Rasbian-Wheezy, but Retropie Dispmanx based Emulationstation refuses to display on the Tontec TFT.
1. Rasperry Pi Retropie 3.0
 

2. Monroe CSA-8
 

3. Win286

Massen Francis
(Aug 2015)
1. I configured a Retropie v.3.0 Rasperry Pi to see how it could work as an emulation station during a possible workshop. The big problem remains the controller (I use a Microntek USB controller) and the many different handlings of the controller  by the emulators and the games. For the moment, I am still not 100% happy with this. (Solved, ok now 17Sep2015).

2. I auctioned (very cheaply) a Monroe CSA-8 fully automatic electromechanically calculator from the 1950's. It is in a bad shape, and after having spent many hours (and removing the carriage), I am still unable to get the multiplication and the division working properly.

3. I am putting a very old Windows286 on our BULL Micral45 which is on display. It works (still a mouse problem; solved!), but the EGA monitor is showing its age. This becomes a major problem for the Computarium: we have only very few CGA and EGA monitors, and my efforts to make a Jamma board working are without success until now. If you have an old EGA or CGA monitor, please do not throw it away, the Computarium would be glad to take it into its collection.

BELL PUNCH PLUS Sterling

See album.
Massen Francis
(Aug 2015)
Restoration of a rather unique Bell Punch Plus "Sterling & Farthing" adder. Many missing rubber dampers, one missing spring, and a lot of dirt.
 
Ok.
EDMUND Analog Computer


See  album.
Massen Francis
(Jul 2015)

An Edmund Scientific analog computer bought at eBay USA came in a non working state This primitive device has only 3 potentiometers, a push button switch and a galvanometer. The cardboard case badly needed a wooden frame to give some stability. One of the 50 Ohm wire potentiometers had broken contacts, and one of the contacts of galvanometer broke away. The plastic hands on the dials also were broken off.
Read here an article in Popular Electronics (1961) how this "computer" works.

Repaired: made wooden frame inside of box, repaired push button switch, galvanometer contact and right potentiometer. This should be replaced, as the soldering caused of windings some loss at the start and the end. Plastic hands glued to dial knobs.
COMDYNA GP-6 analog computer Massen Francis
(Dec 2014)
Finished with repair. Modifications: new display (multimeter with voltage divider), added internal 220/117 VAC transformer and separate power supply for the multimeter (must have different ground), repaired banana and power sockets.



 

Tests in "POT" mode are ok, all OP's seem ok, but remaining  problems in "OPERATE" mode.

26Dec2014:
The GP-6 now solves the system of 3 non-linear differential equations of the Lorenz attractor. Practically all resources of the GP6 are used. The scope shows the YZ cut through the 3D figure.

15Dec2014:
The analog computer is now fully functional. Click on the pictures left to see the patching and display of a solution of the differential equation ax"+bx'+cx=0 (exponential damped oscillation). The timing signal of the GP-6 triggers the oscilloscope.

Tests on the AMF665D analog computer.

See video.

Massen Francis
(Oct 2014)
Testing this nice analog computer. I made a quick programming for a damped oscillation (i.e. a differential equation of the type k3*y"+k2*y'+k1*y = 0). Click on the pictures to see the calculation scheme, the patch cables defining the scheme and the result on a Fluke digital oscilloscope.



Watch video!

The AFM665/D has been fitted with a small 220/110 step-down transformer (located below the grey plate at the lower right corner) to allow plugging into a 230 VAC power outlet.
1. A repaired FACIT ESA0 was mounted in the nude into a plexiglas enclosure; when executing operations on this machine, the sight of the inner workings is quite amazing.

2. The educational analog computer AWMF665D has been repaired
Massen Francis
(Sep and Oct 2104)


...and fitted with a European power cord. Most blocks worked fine, but one 741 opamp was dead and has been replaced. This computer has 3 modules for addition/substraction and 2 modules for integration. The pictures show the switch board and the electronic boards.

Facit ESA0 done.




AWF665D needs three missing knobs (done), and eventually an additional step down 220/110 VAC transformer to make an external transformer unnecessary
(done, 22 Oct 2014).
Update of virtual museum

See album of Hamann Manus R

Massen Francis
Heirendt Colette
(Aug 2014)
Busy month with ongoing update of virtual museum (new items, and many new photos and albums). Also some repairs, one being that of a Hamann Manus R which had 5 broken wheels. ongoing work.
A FACIT ESA0 electromechanical calculator (~1952) is back to working. Massen Francis
(July 2014)
We have 2 ESA0's, and one of them was "repaired" in March 2012. Actually, this was short lived, and a later trial showed both machines completely blocked. After spending quite a lot of time, one of these beautiful calculators (which counts 2200 parts!) is running smoothly again. It will probably be put into a transparent enclosure to be able to securely watch the rotating wheels and clanking levers. See videos: part 1, part2, part 3.

Mostly done; transparent enclosure will be made later.
Repairing an unbootable IBM 5155 Massen Francis
(Mar 2014)
A luggable IBM 5155 from 1985 did not boot from floppy drive A. Repair was easy: some thinking and a very small amount of oil. See album. Done.
Repairing several Canon BJ300 bubble jet printers Massen Francis
(Mar 2014)
The preparation work for our next Logo workshop in April is now finished. We will use vintage BBC Master computers (1984) holding Logotron Logo and the Printmaster Eproms. The Printmaster contains a screen-dump function that is mandatory to make a paper copy of the Logo screen.

Vintage bubble jet printers from 1991 (donated by the LTHAH) will be used, as these dot-matrix printers are reasonable fast. Making them work was quite a job, as the ink channels and print heads were thouroughly blocked.
A short video showing an open printer is here.

Done.
Repairing a vintage Valiant Turtle from 1982.

See two  small YouTube videos here and here and album.
Massen Francis
Schintgen Guy
(Jan 2014)

The son of our late member Jean-Claude Asselborn donated some BBC material to the Computarium; among these items was a Valiant mechanical, remote controlled Turtle. It is probably one of the first models from 1982. The 10 individual AA NiCad batteries were dead, there was no software and no manual. We had some electrical problems with very bad contacts, but finally brought the turtle back to life with new NiMH batteries, some tinkering, an old diskimage of the Valiant Mover software found on the internet and a working BBC. mod.B.
 

Turtle is back to life!
Repaired a Texas Instrument Silent700 terminal Massen Francis
(Dec 2013)
We received a TI Silent terminal (~1971) as a donation from C. Ritzerow; this machine was an electronic successor to the mechanical ASR33 and has an inbuilt thermal printer and an acoustic 300 baud modem. The mechanism for moving the print head was broken, and I spent quite a lot of time trying to fix it. As the female power connector was unusual, I  installed a standard EU cable

Printer works now, but the acoustical modem seems to be dead.
Repairing a NISA PK5 calculator

Video
Massen Francis
(Aug 2013)
I auctioned (for a good price!) a NISA PK5 4 function electromechanical calculator. As usual, the automatic division did not work, so I opened the machine (which needs removing the carriage) and after some fiddling, the automatic division works most of the time. Look this video on YouTube which shows the funny movements of the carriage when 88888 is divided by 3333. in the works
Repaired vintage Pong game and Albums Massen Francis
(July 2013)


G. Laures donated a German UNIVERSUM Color Multi-Spiel 4106, which is a PONG from 1977 sold by Versandhaus QUELLE. There was no power supply, a flaky ON/OFF switch and a bad power connector. The game made many noises on powering up and did enter rarely a working mode. Disassembling the "keyboard", blocking the ON/OFF switch in the ON position, making a new power input with reverse polarity protection and driving the game with a much lower voltage than 9V cured the problems.

Work on the albums continues: this is a time-swallowing job, as the machines must be cleaned, tested and photographed. On the next upgrade of the virtual museum links on the pictures will lead to the album (where available). Look here.
Mostly done.
Cleaning and repairing a Brunsviga RK13 Massen Francis
(June 2013)
The last workshop showed that we need several more Brunsviga RK13, which have become sort of a standard for our mechanical calculation workshops.
I bought one on eBAY (these machines do become really expensive!), but it came in a very dirty state, and an only partially working carriage displacement lever. Nevertheless, all major operations are ok.
Cleaning nearly finished, left displacement of carriage tricky with the right lever, but ok with the front button.
Cleaned and tested Compaq Concerto computer found in the attic of Jean Mootz. Massen Francis
(April 2013)

This is one of the first "tablet-like" computers from 1993. The whole computer (main-board, HD, 3.5" floppy) is contained in the touch-sensitive screen, which reacts to a wireless pen. System was "MS Windows for Pen Computers 1.0". On this machine DOS 6.2 is installed, and the stylus is missing. One hinge is broken off; LCD screen is very dim (screen shows a Mandelbrot picture being drawn by a GWBASIC program... very slowly!)

Nearly finished.
Albums of new donation. Massen Francis
(April 2013)
Started making albums of the most interesting computers from the huge donation by Gérard Laures (April 2013). See here! Ongoing work. The albums will be referenced from the slides in the virtual museum.
Restoration of a vintage MBLE tuner + amplifier from 1964.


See the album and video.
Massen Francis
(Mar 2013)


I found this very retro design ensemble in Jean Mootz's attic. He assembled this valve driven pair (sold as a kit by famous Belgium company MBLE) in 1964. Restoration was mainly cleaning and changing voltage from 130 to 220 VAC. Will be installed as a retro decorum in the Computarium.
Finished.
Restoration of a vintage Radiostat violet wand.

 See the album!
Massen Francis
(Feb 2013)


I found this device in a cabinet of the physics lab. Cabling was in very bad shape. The wand is not quite so nice as the Norisan, but it is functional again... and it is an item that the famous Powerhouse Museum in Sidney, Australia, also has in its collection!
Finished.
Restoration of a vintage Norisan violet wand.

See the album! ( also YouTube video)
Massen Francis
(Feb 2013)


From time to time switching from calculator or computer repair can be a welcome distraction. I found in Jean Mootz's attic an old 1931 German electrotherapy device (a "violet wand") that was not working. Repair and cleaning were not too difficult. J. Mootz probably had it running on 110 V in 2001, but meanwhile two wires were broken and it was well hidden among the rubble
Finished.
Siemens & Halske railway Morse telegraph.

 See album.
Also look at this marvellous collection of old telegraphs from Fons Vandenberghe..
Massen Francis
(Jan 2013)

Restauration of a vintage Siemens & Halske telegraph, which was used at a railway station. Thorough cleaning, some slight changes in wiring to operate device with one single battery, searching and finding a paper tape as replacement of the original.

Almost finished.
Virtual Museum web pages Massen Francis
Heirendt Colette
Massen Florence(Dec 2012)
Change of conversion software to produce html pages that look ok on all browsers and tablets. Update to include new items. In progress.
See here.
MERCEDES Addelektra

 
Massen Francis
Baumann Claude
Krack Jean-Claude
Klein Jean-Paul
(October 2012)

 

 

 

Three of us were unable to assemble the electrical motor correctly but Claude found the trick. The reassembled motor ran for a very short time, but than blocked as the bearings seem very used.  A second problem is the flaky insulation, which makes using this engine during a demonstration an impossible risky adventure.
So I looked for replacement AC motor (~1360 rpm, 60 W, single phase) and found one at an eBAY shop. There was some work needed to make a new support, but today (27Oct12) the task is mostly finished.

New motor installed, runs ok..
MERCEDES Addelektra

This booking machine from 1930 (serial number 4708) was in a bad shape, extremely dirty, and the electrical motor removed and disassembled. The beautiful photographs at eBAY surely were made a long time ago, when the machine was still in better condition.

The auction price will be paid by the association of former LCD students (AALCD). Many thanks!

Massen Francis
(October 2012)
Machine as auctioned on eBAY:

Machine after heavy cleaning, oiling an minor repair (original motor replaced by a temporary one):, upper part switched back:



Look at the beautiful keyboard:

Getting the machine to operate at least as an electrical typewriter was heavy work.
Jean-Paul Klein and myself are unable to reassemble the original single-phase AC motor (does the cage-type rotor belong to the same motor?). It will probably be replaced by a new one, as most electrical wires in the stator are in a bad state.

The two counters are not yet working (they are clipped to the front at the columns where numbers are typed, and add these numbers).

The lower numerical keyboard is working again, albeit somewhat roughly.
Heathkit chart recorder EUW-20A from 1967

See short album and YouTube video

See also here at the website of EarlyComputers

I continued the 14/15th June with chart recorders, audio generator, frequency scale/counter and digital multimeter.
See YouTube videos here and here.

Massen Francis
(June 2012)
Machine was extremely dirty after spending > 40 years under the roof. Mercury reference cell was broken loose and empty. Replaced by alcaline cell.



From time to time it is a great fun to return to working condition items that are not computers or calculators. I spent two days cleaning and repairing a vintage Heathkit chart recorder EUW-20A from 1967, found in the attic of Jean Mootz.
This marvelously designed analog Y-T recorder has full scale inputs from 10mV to 250mV. Three vacuum tubes (one 6BQ5 and two 12AX7) make the amplifier.
Ok, works fine.
Repaired two Quickshot SVI-2000 robotarms (1985) donated by Jean Mootz
Labview program to control the Robotarm from a PC in works by Claude Baumann.

See You Tube video here (from another web-site)

Baumann Claude
Massen Francis
(March - May 2012)
One had been modified by J. Mootz to enable powering by external (+3)-0-(-3) VDC. Some movements were blocked. Dismounted base and main arm; resoldered/lenghtened some wires. Relatively easy to dismount, tricky to reassemble this el-cheapio robotic arm, which is driven by 2 joy-sticks. Second arm modified for external power-supply and repair.
Electronic board to drive through parallel port PC interface tested with several programs..

 

Repair done, programming in the works.
1. Repaired/tested a lot of XT motherboards (8088 type) and big old 5.25" floppy drives.

2. Finally brought to working state a FACIT ESA-0 fully automatic electromechanical calculator (from the fifties, see here)

Massen Francis
(March 2012)
1. Boards will be used in a future workshop, so this is work done in advance.

2. This was quite a bit of fiddling: the whole machine was blocked rock-solid. Many hours and much oil!

in progress


Mostly done
There has been so much going on, that I do not find the time any more to update this correctly. So here a short resumé

 

Massen Francis
(22 Jan 2012)
-  made RGB -Peritel connection of an ORIC Atmos microcomputer (one difficult to find trick)
-  checked, cleaned and restored Commodore 1541 floppy drive and several C64 computers
-  checked Olivetti Envision 400 system
-  cleaned, repaired (partially) "Supertotalizer" Comptometer
-  assembled many new boards for storing equipment
-  ongoing repair of 3rd ASR33 (tricky)

and much more....

done
GOUPIl Golf SX had exhausted battery in DALLAS 1287 RTC chip   We received a very nice French semi-portable Goupil Golf SX (1989) from the Lycée Charlemagne in Thionville. Alas, it has a soldered Dallas RTC chip with an inside exhausted BIOS battery. The location of the chip made the repair instructions found here and here impossible to follow, so a new third variation of the theme had to be done. It is tricky work. See album.

Repair done, Goupil works flawlessly again.
Finished restoration of second ASR-33 (115VAC model) Massen Francis
(18May2011)

Jean Mootz donated a second ASR-33, a model with quite some differences from the previous one (as someone said: "2 ASR-33's are never the same"). As the first ASR-33 developed some nasty mechanical problems (intermittent blockings) I decided to use this one with the OSI500. I first built a new +5/-9 VDC power-supply for the OSI500, using an old ATX PS and a switching PS from Conrad Electronic. I made a hybrid of these 2, which was not without some pain. The OSI is mounted at the right side o the hollow TTY stand, which contains a step-down transformer, a separate PS for the tape-reader, the kludged OSI PS and a dual 230VAC outlet. The stand has to be closed for obvious electrical security reasons (the connectors of the 230/115 transformer and the tape-reader PS are blank and accessible!). The ensemble works fine, with the exception of the tape-reader (reads but characters are gobbled). There is also a second non-lethal flaw: the calling drum (which should be activated only if the "Hereis" key is pressed or "WRU" (who are you?) code is received, is always engaged. I had to immobilize its switches to avoid garbage from two set of switches working at the same time. From time to time the TTY goes into an "absent" mode, with the magnet on the receiver side refusing to work (or a mechanical clutch blocking its function...). Both problems will have to wait before being corrected. Look here for a short album.
TTY with attached OSI500 throughly cleaned and mounted an rollers, ready to be shown in action.
Tape-reader, calling drum and "absent" problems not yet solved.
No source for 8.5" perforated paper roll (or fan-fold) for sprockets found here in Luxembourg (if you have some old US paper, please tell me!).
Will use A4 fan-fold paper with right side cut off; holes on left side suffice for correct guiding (with some helping hand).

Work on the first TTY will resume asap.

Built RS32 - current loop converter Massen Francis
(15May2011)

As the OSI500 is the only device having a current loop serial output, I wanted to built a general RS232 -20mA CL converter. This enables to drive the TTY by a laptop. I found a good and affordable kit for an active CL interface here. There was some head scratching regarding active and passive CL, Tx and Rx and polarity (yes!). Click on the above figure for the layout with the proper connections to the DB9 socket of the PC RS232 port and the terminal strip of the TTY. I was happy to find an old copy of the marvelous MICROLINK communications software (Win95), which is capable of 110 baud and 7 databits, whose existence seems to be forgotten by many more recent programs.
Finished.
Brought OSI500 + ASR-33 TTY to work Massen Francis
Making the OSI500 to teletype assembly working was a bit tricky. The OSI has no crystal controlled oscillator (only a cheap 555 based circuit), so getting the 110 baud right asked for some fiddling (change of potentiometer, new toggle switches...).The serial line to the TTY is of the 20mA type, and the 1977 vintage OSI is laid out for this (he also has a regular RS232 output). Look here for an album and a video.(m4v, 25MB)
Basic repair and cleaning done. OSI will be mounted with a new power supply (+5V, -9V) into the original stand of the TTY.
Installed Home PC corner Heirendt Colette
Massen Francis

We installed a cosy home PC corner, laying out some carpet and exposing a working TRS80 system (1977-1983), a Philips vintage Pong game (1977) displayed on a vintage black/white Sony TV, and a working BBC Master2 system (1986)
Mostly done
Privately bought a Millionaire calculator Massen Francis A very beautiful working calculator (serial 4201, probably around 1920), bought from Antikma. Needs some cleaning.
Repaired a totally blocked Brunsviga 13RK
Repaired a 2nd Brunsviga 13RK whose reset to zero was not working
Repaired a Odhner Original who had one blocked button to move the carriage 
Massen Francis Mostly a work of patience, cleaning, oiling an slight bending All 3 machines ok now.Brunsviga 13RK will be displayed "naked" to show the inner workings 
Work on the ASR33 teletype Massen Francis Trying to make the teletype interact with the OSI computer Baud rate (stability?) problem still unsolved.
Major transformation of the TC Massen F. and Heirendt C. The bureau/workshop part was displaced into a new, separate  refurbished room. Visitors are such spared the view of creative chaos inevitable in a workshop! Finished
Work on the IMSAI 8080 Mootz Jean
Massen Francis
(28Oct10)
We have the computer running (lights  blink, stop/go/single step seems to work) Terminal attached (computer using Hyperterm) gives no answer. Did not found time to study the doc.
Repaired Triumphator CRN2 Massen Francis
(20Oct10)

Three faults made the machine not working: two missing nuts and one partially blocked slider of the clear-all mechanism.
In good working condition now.
Installed LED lighting in exhibition shelves
 
Baumann Claude
Massen Francis
(19Oct10 to 21Oct10)
We mounted LED-strips to give a better impression of the machines exposed in the blue shelves. A problem was to avoid being blinded by the visible upper row strip. Solved by mounting it into a cable-channel. Finished. LED's switched on by wireless operated outlets.
HP2100A now exposed as first visible item
 
Baumann Claude
Massen Francis
(19Oct10)

The HP2100A was the first (mini-)computer ever used in a Luxembourg school (1973, introduced by Prof. Jos Lahr). So it stands out as one of the most precious items of the collection.
We built sort of a semi-boot, so that the display enhances the structure of the computer.
Before entering the Thesaurus Computarii, this is the first item to see.
Put SBC Mazel II back to working Massen Francis
(16Oct10)
We received this board from contributor N. Malget. It had no power supply, and the pin-outs of the connector were not marked. An email exchange with Silicium was only partially helpful, so a more rigorous investigation led to the solution. Contributor F. Thillen donated an self-built power supply with the needed +5V, -5V and +12V voltages. Board is again in mint condition.
Exorset30 system now booting Massen Francis
(15Oct10)
This marvellous system donated by N. Malget refused to boot into XDOS and BASICM. There clearly is a problem with the first 5.25" floppy disk. Making the 2nd disk the boot disk solved the problem. 
Repairing or reclaibratiing the other disk remains to be done.
Put HP 7585B A0 plotter to work. Baumann Claude
Massen Francis
(06Jul10)

The big A0 plotter donated by C. Bechoux did its demo flawlessly, but we were unable to drive it from a computer

Problem solved with new RS2132 cable and many fiddling on the different setup parameters. The plotter works from Windows XP Pro through Roland HPGL drivers or (what is our default) through the Winline HPGL drivers for Windows.
Installed shelves and show cases in the TC.
Some more painting and wood work.
Started final cleaning before moving objects in.
Baumann Claude
Massen Francis
The main room is now almost ready. Installation will start in two weeks. Most objects will be installed  after the summer vacations (in September-October 2010)
Repaired MADAS 16LS calculator Massen Francis
(12Feb10)
I bought a MADAS electromechanical 16LS calculator on eBAY. It was in a very good shape, but, as common for eBay goods, didn't work. The machine was blocked, one key-columns showed one unit to much (pressing key 1 displayed 2). I dismounted the casing and carriage and with a bit of luck, inspection and WD40 put the whole thing back to correct working. I was unable to complete a division, but this too was solved with the help of Computarium team member C. Heirendt. Working again 100%
Lighting in room #2 of the TC Massen Francis
Baumann Claude
(03Feb10)
We installed the full mounty of all nice lamps of the LCDNB restaurant that I managed to salvage. There was a nasty problem with excessive current (a 132W rated lamp uses ca. 400W) that has been solved through rewiring. Done
Works at the TC progresses as planned. Massen Francis
Krack J-Cl
Jean Mootz
Room#1 is finished, as well as major repairs in room#2.
Approx. 500 working-hours invested up to now.
Look at an album here!
Painting and electrical wiring will be done next.
Heavy work at the Thesaurus Computarii (TC), the storage rooms in the attic of the LCD Massen Francis
Krack J-Cl
Baumann Cl.
(19Sep09)
Provisional gathering of all material in first part of the attic. Wood work, painting, LAN, furniture, lightning.  First room (administration, repair shop, large vitrine...) almost finished
Repaired an Olivetti Summa15 printing calculator (donor: anonymous) which was in a very bad shape. Massen Francis
(Feb 09)
Will be used as an open machine to see working innards Working again 100%
Tested 2 Russian electronic pocket calculators from the Elektronika series. Massen Francis No batteries anymore but... In good shape.
Repair in progress on machines donated from N. Friob. Mootz Jean
Massen Francis
(Dec 08)
Many of these machines are not working.
Started with electronic booking machine from Olympia; printing works intermittently, cause as yet unknown.
Diehl, Marchant, Facit  thoroughly blocked...
Repair in progress
Repaired a Hamann Elma Massen Francis
(Dec.08)
Old Hamann Elma bought from eBay (link to picture, not actual machine!). Was in bad shape. Electrical motor had one missing carbon contact, bearings were blocked.
Restaured Olivetti Divisumma 15 Massen Francis
(Nov.08)
Machine was very dirty, but mostly functional after some fiddling. Cleaned, checked. Working again 100%
TIM UNITAS bought The AALCD (=Amicale des Anciens du LCD) financed two major acquisitions: a very old TIM UNITAS calculator and a newer Brunsviga D13R dual rotary calculator used in geodesic work. Both machines working 100%
We made a major successful bid on eBay for about 20 old calculators, all from a single collection. All are in a very "dusty and rusty" state, none is working as is. Mootz Jean
Massen Francis
Olivetti Divisumma 24 repaired and working at 98%
Olivetti Divisumma 26GT working 100%
Rheinmetall printing adder (beautiful old black steel) repaired and working.
Facit electromec. calculators (2) partially working
Old Olympia calculator with Nixie tubes: no success, but Nixies are lighting up.

Also repaired a non working MONROE LA7160 from another bid.

Ongoing work
The Cirque des Sciences left us with a legacy of
broken-down machines, which did not survive the children's sometimes brute force
Mootz Jean
Massen Francis
Several big 4 function calculators are blocked, as well as a couple of
rotary machines.
Big Friden electromec. and several rotary calculators repaired
Building an RS232 interface to connect an old Siemens telex to a PC Baumann Claude
Massen Francis 
Baumann Claude (with minor help from FM) designs a microcontroller (PIC) driven interface; the very complicated programming is made in Labview. The method used is VERY unorthodox! Telex to PC ok
PC to Telex still problems
Some pictures of the repairshop Massen Francis 
Mootz Jean 
(2008)
Many repairs going on. Last success: Cellatron R44SM Still much to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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last revision: July 2017