Another newbie

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Another newbie

Postby BobW » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Hi, just joined, why?

Well, I find all this old technology interesting even if 99.99% of the population don't, nice to be a bit exclusive!

Background is eight years with Plessey installing telephone exchanges. I job I quite liked at the time, and in hindsight was a very good job. What you could do with relays, amazing. Mostly time spent on crossbar with some strowger, no TXE2 though.

Graduated as a mature student, off for 11 years around companies, Cincinnati Milacron, Bowthorpe Microsystems, Computer Technology Ltd, Scicon and finally Crosfield. Last 20 years worked for myself making digital readouts until the gormless EU directives put me out of business. I think the EU is great, just the implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

Now haunt the sales buying things that I think look interesting and then trying to sell them to others, who usually don't.

Real interests are electromechanical computation, so if you have a navigation and bombing computer out of a Vulcan spare then let me know. Have mechanical calculators, time clocks, various ex-RAF stuff, in fact almost anything with motors and gears in it.

How can I help Electrokinetica? Who knows, unfortunately bit far away from London, I am near Grantham, to visit but no doubt something might crop up. At an age when everyoe you know seems to be dying of cancer, so want to do what I want, along with a bit of money earning, whiclst I can. Selfish? Right on!

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Another newbie

Postby Lucien Nunes » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:44 pm

Hi Bob
Interesting field that you have focused on and it would be very nice to see some pics of your equipment when you have a chance. We've found that if you can get an opportunity to show people how some of these things work they get quite absorbed, it's just a matter of breaking the ice, so I'd say your 99.99% was a little pessimistic! The original idea behind Electrokinetica was to concentrate on electromechanical technology, before realising that we would be missing a great opportunity by not covering electricity in general too.

Sorry, we don't have any Vulcan navigation computers but if you find two, we'll gladly take the other one. Probably the nearest thing we've got to 'motors and gears' for computation is a section of the tote computer from Perry Barr racetrack in Birmingham, no pics on the site itself as yet but a few here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=226. I won't mention yet about getting it running for open-day, or the fact that it needs someone to look after it...


PS what's the electromechanical device you admire most?
Black was always meant to be a phase. The neutral phase.
Lucien Nunes
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Another newbie

Postby BobW » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:24 am

Hi, most admired item? To some extent it depends on cost, but here are a selection.

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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Another newbie

Postby BobW » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:39 am

Ha, only three attachments, here are some more.

Pevious post shows the Ground Position Indicator Mk4A used in the Vulcan and other aircraft. Takes the input from the airspeed sensor, compass etc and gives an estimated ground position. This can be in three formats. Grid where the position is zeroed at some point, where you take off. AA or across and along where you have a flight path and will indicate deviation away from the path as well as how far flown. Latitude and longitude where the UK is 54 deg N and 0 deg W. On the left is the fix normal control so when you are updating the position etc the GPI will continue to record the aircraft's movement and then restore the saved movement to the front panel display, mechanical memory.

This post shows an Ibico 1002 desktop calculator. Amazing thing because the printing is done with the type on a chain. As the chain whizzes past it is struck to produce theprinted impression. This chain printing was also used on big, fast computer line printers.

A RN master gyro used for the compasses, course plotters, fire control etc on warships. I know nothing whatever about this, searches have turned up nothing, any offers?

A Marchant mechanical calculator with the figurematic multiplier. The ten keys on the right are an on the fly multiplier where it will complete a multiply before you have time to hit another digit. This is an amazing piece of mechanism, easiest to point you to ... /Intro.htm

where your jaw can hit your boots.

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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Another newbie

Postby Roadster » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:02 pm

Hi Bob,
Thanks for posting such interesting pics. I was unaware of the Figurematic and found John Wolff's site fascinating.
I rescued a couple of mechanical "adding machines" from skips, several years ago, including one in it's box which looked as though it had never been used. How deep into these machines have you had to go to repair them? I have worked on gyro compasses on merchant vessels many years ago but do not recognise your RN type.
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:02 pm
Location: Cornwall

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