[vcf-midatlantic] New member, Intro
w2hx at w2hx.com
Tue Sep 13 23:31:24 EDT 2016
Hi folks, new to the list here. Evan suggested I send an intro email so here it is.
Got involved with computing around 1979, 1980 at about 12 or 13 years old. I had access to a TRS-80 Model I (level 2) through a friend of my fathers. I read every issue of byte and popular electronics that I could get my hands on those days. I never could afford an S100 machine. Eventually I bought a TRS-80 Model III (or IV I can't remember) with some money I had saved. That was the machine I learned on for several years.
I am just starting to get back into this stuff and wanting to get the machines I could never afford as a kid, I have acquired an IMSAI 8080 and a PDP-8e. One of these days I hope to find some time to get them running. Here are some pix.
You might be able to tell by my domain name, my main hobby is amateur radio. Specifically, I enjoy collecting, repairing and operating older (tube) ham and military (army and navy) radios. I also have a "thing" for test equipment and precision frequency stuff. In addition to some GPSDO's I have a working cesium beam atomic clock. Just neat to tell people.
I had been interested in getting some 8" drives to pair with my IMSAI just for the nostalgia of it all. While at the Dayton Hamvention this past year I saw a big blue enclosure containing three 8" disk drives and I had to go look. The guy said I could have them for $50 as long as I also took this other matching blue box. Well it ends up this was a Vector Graphics enclosure/backplane with the matching triple 8" drives. I really didn't want the backplane/enclosure since there were no boards and I really didn't have the room for all of this. But the price was right so I grabbed it all. Card cage looks unused. Here are some (poor) pictures.
I am not really sure what to do with this stuff. I really don't want the card cage/enclosure. I would hate to separate them, but I might be convinced. I like the blue color that kinda matches my IMSAI. But I don't even know if my IMSAI could be made to work with the triple 8" drives. And quite frankly, the triple drives are very large because they are oriented vertically instead of what is often seen, two horizontally.
Anyway, I was really hoping I could come down to InfoAge this weekend and seek out some help with my projects, but there is a military vehicle/radio show that happens every year at the fairgrounds in Gilbert, PA so I won't be able to meet and greet quite yet.
In all, I have absolutely everything to learn about these machines to try to get them running. Electrically I am pretty handy. But when it comes to roms, bios's and getting things to boot and configured will be a challenge. I even have an 8 bit tape punch/reader from a CNC machine that I would love to use to bootstrap these machines.
Well that about wraps it up. Glad to join the group. Now if I could only find some time to enjoy this hobby!
PS. In case the radio stuff interests you, some photos of the shack and lab.
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