Sunday, November 1, 2015

Starting in on string retrheading in 1053 and further debugging of the SAC Interface Box

Work reaching a peak level lately, which starves me of time to spend on the systems.


The string is fouled up that winds the mainspring when a carrier return is done and releases that energy powering space, tab and similar forward operations. It has wound around the hub of the mainspring takeup pulley, which I have to clear up before I can put the string back on its small pulleys and tensioner. I may need to rewind the spring as well to get it back to the right initial tension.


I found an interrupt status word feed that wasn't sourced, cleaned it up and had a successful load and verification of core memory. I could then get back to testing.

I did get the 2310 diagnostic to get through reading the first sectors of the virtual disk drive I had mounted on the PC. I made a few changes in the code but also saw the transactional engine hang up, which meant that a 'done' signal was not sensed leaving one or more FSMs stranded in the wrong state.


I assembled a clock with six Nixie tubes displaying the hour, minute and second digits, and a Dekatron tube spinning back and forth as an electronic pendulum. Nixie tube clock working I wanted the retro feel of the orange glow of these cold cathode gas discharge tubes. The Nixies have ten cathodes, shaped like the ten digits, while the Dekatron has ten positions around the circular face of the tube.

Dekatron's were built to display decimal data, often counters of some kind, with the discharge moving around the clock face each time a pulse arrives to make the glow jump to the successor position.

This was a quick little project to leverage the tubes which I have had in my collection of retro esoterica for quite a while. The final project will be a melange of different eras and looks - it will be housed in a cathedral radio cabinet, very 20s-30s, has digital display not analog so modern, but uses tube technology so kind of 1950s feel. I guess the pendulum is quasi-analog, with the moving dot reflecting the virtual pendulum swing. 

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