Vintage computers

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by KE0CPH, Oct 4, 2016.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: L-Geochron
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
  1. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even more basic than that, I learned RTTY with a VIC-20 and an AEA-CP1 interface box and I honestly think that made me a better digital mode operator today Why? No macros! When you wanted to talk to somebody, you really had to talk to them in real time.

    I even did the 1996 RTTY Roundup with this setup and made a whopping 63 contacts! During that year, I acquired a "real" computer with a 386sx microprocessor, a KAM+ and a Timewave DSP filter. In the 1997 RTTY Roundup, I made 274 contacts!

    Yeah, the VIC-20 served its purpose in its day, but there is no way I would ever dream of putting it back into service today. The VIC-20 eventually gave up the ghost and it got tossed into the trash. I actually had 2 CP-1 interface boxes and I gave those away for the cost of the shipping. I have no regrets.
    NK2U likes this.
  2. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a Kantronics "The Interface" sitting on a shelf outside the shack. The front panel says "RTTY-CW-uP Terminal Unit". I've had it for so long I don't remember what I used it with. I'm thinking it was used with either a VIC-20 or a Commodore 64. I've only kept it because of the case, thinking it could make just one more home brew project. It doesn't take up much room.

    If somebody has a use for it, you can have it for the shipping costs.

    It goes back to my late boat anchor days of hernia-makers like Kleinschmidt TTY machines, R-390As, DX-100s, HT-32s, etc,

    I still have a great old SX-62B that is available for free if someone will just come pick it up. I'm about 17 miles west of Winchester, VA, just off US-50 west.

    Edit: Fat Finger corrections.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  3. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went through the Commodore 64 thing in the early 80s. I still have the RTTY/CW interface that plugged in the back. It was an interesting machine. The Basic was useful, but I mostly worked in machine language. Many of the Basic subroutines/functions were accessible from machine language. But, after a few years it broke and I didn't want to bother fixing it.

    Before that I had a couple of the Motorola MEK6800-D1 and D2 evaluation kits and a test chassis built around the M6800 boards. I have a 8K expansion board and a special debug board that had serial and parallel port expansions. The documentation easily weighs 10 times more than the computers combines. I still two 9 inch CRT monitors that run directly off of 12 volts. They all still work. While I do have the assembler and debugger still on cassette tape, I wrote a assembler that was easier to use in GAWK on a Unix machine. That was much easier to work with. I still have all that stuff but I don't pull it out very much lately.

    But that was all my home stuff. At work we were a DEC house and I used lots of the PDP and LSI variety computers. I think my first was a PDP-8 that was used in a PC board test machine. It included a ASR-33 TTY, a CRT monitor, and a paper tape reader. The PDP series was pretty simple to understand. Mostly I worked between the software designers and the hardware designers. They had me teach the hardware designers how to design a interface that the software group could talk to. And then teach the software designers how to write programs (drivers) that could talk to the interface. It was the early days of computers and this kind of thing was not well understood.

Share This Page

ad: Mircules-1