RAN Technology

The Incredible Machine


History and Humor 0 Comments 04/23/2019

Computer graphics in 1968 and the shape of things to come

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)
Post Date: 04/23/2019

 

The Bell Labs 'Graphic 1' computer system consisted of a Digital Equipment Corporation 'PDP-5' computer coupled with input devices such as the 'Type 370' light pen and Teletype Corporation 'Teletype Model 33' keyboard, married to a Digital Equipment Corporation 'Type 340' precision incremental display backed by 36-bit Ampex 'RVQ' buffer memory capable of storing 4096 'words'. The resolution on the monitor was 1024×1024. This system was designed to transform the graphics-based input into output to be fed into a IBM '7094' (200 Kflop/s). The entire thing was attached to a microfilm-based recorder - the Stromberg Carlson 'SC 4020', which took hours to read and record the data.

And yet it amazed Vietnam-era viewers with fantastic examples of:

* Digital musical composition (including the most annoying soundtrack of all time!)

* Electronic circuit design utilizing a digital pen  (the mouse had not yet been invented)

* Digital movie production (the earliest CGI?)

* 3D simulation of orbiting satellite

* Conversion of pictures to mosaics composed of tiny images

* Digital voice synthesis

 


   Some pieces of vintage ham gear are not really unique, but are so rare as to almost never be seen.   The Multi Elmac PS-500 power supply is an example, it was sold as an AC power supply for the A54 and A54H transmitters in the mid-50s. There's nothing special about it - just a big transformer with 5 volt rectifier, 6.3 volt filament, and 500 volt secondaries.  Two nice chok...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/14/2019 
  

My experience with the Nouveau 75

a new AM QRP transceiver from the 4SQRP group
Category: Technical
Mini-review of the Nouveau 75 by W9RANI like it, warts and all!OK, maybe not quite that "mini"...here's a few of my impressions of this innovative kit from the 4 State QRP Group.I've been interested in amplitude modulation of a class E PA for some time and after Dave Cripe said to stay tuned for the next 4SQRP offering, I wasn't too surprised to see what it was, and bought on...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/12/2019 
   International Crystal Company of Oklahoma City was certainly best known for its crystals but the company was also a not-insignificant player in the CB radio manufacturing business, and also had a pretty extensive line of experimenter kits.   The kits typically had one to three tubes on a PC board and provided a single function, such as an RF amplifier, or transmitter, although some were ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  08/02/2019 
   Equipment manuals and handbooks of the 1950s and 60s were filled with complex oscilloscope screens and discussion of ripple and as a result proper alignment of a phasing rig eluded most hams.    But a clever New Zealand ham, Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ was able to see what everyone else had missed, and published a short note in the NZ ham magazine in 1972 that makes the process simple and r...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  07/20/2019 
    Finding myself in need of a tool to remove a bad bearing on a blower from a linear amplifier I first tried the usual automotive type gear puller but it wasn't able to get underneath this small 5/8" OD bearing.   So I improvised a tool that took 10 minutes to make, cost a few cents, and had the job done in no time at allThe secret is wedges sold at the home improvement stor...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  07/16/2019 
  

W9RAN Field Radio

Vintage light aircraft radios repurposed
Category: Technical
In the early days of aviation radio, transmissions originated from the ground using the longwave transmitter also used for homing,  and pilots acknowledged by wagging their wings.  It didn't take long to realize the benefits of having transmitting capability onboard the plane as well, and the first generation of aircraft radio used the low HF band.    Given today's...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  05/11/2019 
   Watch the video  trailer for the 2019 monster movie that relies on a 1950s vintage Hammarlund SP-600 and Collins 30L-1 amplifier....  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  04/20/2019 
   I find the show-biz association of the founder of Allied Radio, Simon Wexler, to be rather fascinating.  What started out as a supplier of crystal set parts led to a family that became a major force in the entertainment industry and in Chicago business...including many recognizable names:"Allied Radio (now known as Allied Electronics) is a company with a long history. On August 6, 1...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  04/14/2019 
  

Hazard E. Reeves - audio pioneer and defense contractor

Making crystals in midtown Manhattan during WWII
Category: Historic
 Hazard E. Reeves (1906-1986) may not be a household name, but his work is well known to every moviegoer.   He was an American pioneer in sound and sound electronics, and introduced stereophonic sound for motion pictures. He met Fred Waller at the 1939 World's Fair and saw the potential of Waller's "Vitarama" system which he invested in and which soon became the mo...  READ MORE
- BRADLEY STONE (NB9M),  04/12/2019 
    In his book "In Touch with Leo", the success and growing backlog of CB-100 orders is what drove Leo to his banker, Lou Ross, who asked him why he didn't anticipate the number of orders and required capital.  Leo responded "Lou, never on God's green earth could I have believed such an influx of orders!".    More funding was needed than the bank ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  03/18/2019 

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