Monday, January 5, 2015

Data Center Shed construction day 3 plus some other work

I went into the Computer History Museum today to work with a few of the team members trying to restore both of the 1401 systems' card reader/punches to full operation. We have broken parts, maladjusted machinery and oxidized connectors which had to be faced. A great deal of progress was made but we still have erratic read checks on one machine and punch checks due to skewing of incoming cards on the other machine. At least all the other problems appear fixed.

DATACENTER SHED CONSTRUCTION

This morning I installed the three cross beams on the platform base that will have limited accessibility when the framework is put in place on the pilings. It is now ready to be moved onto the pilings once I get them suitably level and properly situated.

Placing and leveling pilings
The pilings were tweaked and leveled, then the framework put in place. A few of the pilings still need some adjusting, but with just a bit of work tomorrow the framework should be level and ready for the plywood sheathing to be screwed atop it.

Framework ready to move onto the pilings
I cut the three major sheets to size today and have them ready to move into position. One of the remaining cross beams was nailed into place, the other two are ready to nail down tomorrow. There is one 4" by 93 1/2" strip of sheathing to cut, which will fill in the extreme rear of the platform after the three main sheets cover 144" of the 148" total depth.

Tonight I unpacked and organized the parts bags for the coming construction steps and located the first large plastic parts (floor boards) I will need. Since I feel optimistic that I can wrap up the construction of the base tomorrow, I will be assembling the rest of the shed beginning immediately afterwards.

Time to start planning for tasks in and around the shed

  • internal lighting (probably overhead fluorescent fixtures)
  • the power feed cord that will be connected to the outdoor fixture on the house
  • fan with thermostat and battery to keep temperatures reasonable on hot days
  • plan for outdoor fixture to feed 220V to the shed
  • temporary ramp to get the 1130 system up into the shed

NEW KEYPUNCH INTERFACE

I updated the documentation on GIThub for the keypunch interface, including pages from the 029 wiring diagrams with indications of where each wire should be attached for the cables going to the interface box. The project is public, named KPgolem, and has all the Arduino code and the construction manual uploaded.

I am working on a detailed wiring diagram for the interface box and details on the voltage regulator board I built for the unit. I also listed the specifications of the RS232 and relay boards I used for the reference implementation.

Over the next few days I will complete the other parts of the project documentation including a sample program to use the interface.

While at the CHM today, I picked up a replacement feed wheel for the keypunch, which hopefully will restore its ability to properly register cards at the read station. I will install the new wheel in the next couple of days and get the keypunch working well.

Replacement feed wheel for my 029 keypunch

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