The WordPress plugins which my M-209 Cipher Machine Group pages relied upon have been abandoned for a while, and I’ve found that the pages no longer work properly. Since active participation in the group has stagnated, I’m retiring the group pages. To everybody who has participated over the years that the group was active, thank you very much!
Tandy 6000 Power Supply Replacement
I bought this Tandy 6000 computer system back in 2013. It’s the last model in the Tandy/TRS-80 model II/12/16/6000 series. It would not power up, and I began an on-again/off-again project of fixing its power supply spanning over several years while being distracted by all sorts of other shiny objects. I ended up temporarily (?) replacing its power supply with a modern generic power supply in 2018. This is a summary of what I did, in case it might inspire other owners of the Tandy/Radio Shack business computer system line.
I got this AN/TGC-14A(V) Mite Teletypewriter at the 2019 Military Radio Collectors Group meeting. One of these days, I plan to mate it up with an AN/PRC-47 transceiver and CV-2455 converter to make an RTTY set like Dave Ross N7EPI (SK) used to operate at MRCG events. I think that his Mite was one of the rare as hen’s teeth models that was configured to be powered by 28 VDC. Mine is configured to be powered by 115 VAC 400 Hz, which is going to be a lot less convenient to produce… but at least it’ll be a power source which can also directly power the AN/PRC-47 set.
This Mite has a single external 12-pin connector. I believe that its connector is Amphenol part number 165-11, and the mating connector for it would be Amphenol part number 165-10. I don’t have any cables or mating connectors for it yet, and I don’t know if it works yet, either.
On May 30, Chris Osborn alerted me on Twitter about a Reddit post announcing a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11/34A computer system available for free in Indio, CA, about an hour and a half away from where I live. That sounded right up my alley, so I contacted the owner to see if I might be the lucky guy to adopt it.
Say hello to my new money pit… a 1989 Allegro M-28 Basement model RV made by Tiffin Motor Homes! At least I think that’s the model… it’s not marked anywhere I can find on the RV, and I have not yet gotten my grubby fingers on any old Tiffin brochures from that era.
At the moment, I’m hearing a whole bunch of traffic around 14.074 MHz in a digital mode that I don’t recognize. I haven’t been able to get intelligible text out of fldigi from this yet. From the amount of traffic, I wonder if this might be some sort of contest activity. Can anybody provide a hint about what this mode is?
This weekend, I gave The Orange Dragon a much-needed upgrade: a nice, big rear-view mirror.
Quick and Easy Loader Valve Fix
My new Kubota L3301HST tractor’s loader valve developed a couple of minor (and as it turns out, related) issues. The fix was very easy.
Audio Frequency Monitor AN/PTA-1
At the 22nd annual Military Radio Collectors Group meet in San Luis Obispo, CA, I gave a presentation on an interesting piece of equipment called Audio Frequency Monitor AN/PTA-1. This set allows wiretapping of both two-wire and ground-return field telephone lines, using several different intrusive and non-intrusive coupling methods.
Here are my pictures from the 22nd annual meeting of the Military Radio Collectors Group, at the Camp San Luis Obispo NCO club. A good time was had by all. We had 48 folks on the sign-in list. Weather was a bit chilly on Friday, but we missed the worst of the incoming storm.
MRCG Fox Hunt Transmitter
It’s about time that I wrote a quick blog post about the 6m fox hunt transmitter that I made for Military Radio Collectors Group events. I made it out of an AN/PRT-4A transmitter. From the outside, it looks unmodified. But on the inside it has a few changes!
Backhoe Alignment, and A Simple Upgrade
I discovered an issue with the alignment between the backhoe and its subframe on my tractor, which is getting it a free vacation at the dealer’s shop so they can take a look at it. I’ve also made a simple little upgrade to the implement height adjust lever stop.
The Orange Dragon has Arrived!
The newest member of my motor pool is a brand new Kubota L3301HST tractor. Say hello to The Orange Dragon!
I bought this neat little piece of test equipment in an online Goodwill auction. Not much military surplus electronic equipment shows up there, but every now and then something cool pops up.
I found this 1950s-era Canadian military radio in an online Goodwill auction, of all places. It is missing its whip antenna, but a friend in Australia is helping me out with that. This one may be tricky to repair if it doesn’t already work, because all but one of the vacuum tubes are hermetically sealed into individual metal cans. The modular construction made these easy to repair in service, but I don’t have a stock of spare modules to draw from. Updated 2020-09-15: Added manual scans.
Thanks to David Reid W6KL, I now have my first Teletype Model 28! I’ve had a number of Teletype Model 33 machines over the years, but this is my first 28. I’ve always been impressed with the 28 machines I’ve encountered at Military Radio Collectors Group meets, so I’m happy to finally add one to my collection. This one was owned by Al Tipsword W6GER (SK) before David adopted it.
Retrochallenge 2016/10 Wrap-Up
So here we are at the end of October, 2016, and with it, the end of Retrochallenge 2016/10. My silly project is much too vast in scope to finish in just one month, so this isn’t the end of my project… it’s just the end of October, for me.
Retrochallenge 2016/10 Update
I sure picked an impossibly huge project for Retrochallenge! There’s no chance of finishing the whole project during the month of Retrochallenge, but I’ve made a good start.
A friend of mine just brought me this old rack-mount chassis containing two " half height floppy drives. It turned out to be much nicer than just a box with a couple of floppy drives inside: It also contains a 7-slot S-100 bus backplane! So, now this begins my quest to acquire a set of S-100 cards to turn this back into a working computer.
Retrochallenge 2016/10: Convert a DEC RL02 into a Ginormous USB Hard Drive
I have decided to participate in Retrochallenge 2016/10, which is pretty much an excuse to spend the month of October working on a retrocomputing project. Ok, let’s be serious: That doesn’t really make October much different than the preceding or following months for a lot of us retrocomputing enthusiasts. But this month, it’s official!
I’m taking on an ambitious project which will almost certainly remain unfinished at the end of the month: Converting a DEC RL02 into a ginormous USB hard drive, so I can use it for imaging and writing RL02 packs!