The cap doesn't fit, more equipment moving and yet another project started

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A number of major projects are under way which is stretching our volunteer resources somewhat but it should make a big difference to what we have on show in the next few months.

Elliott 803 battery charger

The capacitors ordered to replace the failed ones discovered last week arrived. However, there was a lot of discussion and head scratching on whether they were up to the job. The capacity was OK but the concern was the ripple current on the 40A supply rails. After more words over Pizza it was decided not to take the risk with the new ones and try some of the spare capacitors we had. The only unknown with this plan was the fact that the capacitors were dated mid 1970s I.e. over 30 years old, but at least they would be man enough for the job. Peter O then bench tested a number and they appears to be OK so he fitted them in place of the old ones. As John S was not there last Saturday it was decided not to do any full load testing without John's supervision / input. Hopefully John can confirm our decision and complete the fitting and test the unit next week.

ICL 2966 ops console

Still no news on getting the console working. Pete H and others have worked on both consoles but they still refuse to work, so the frustration continues.

Workshop clear out ready for 'the' new project

We have decided to put the 'machine we can't talk about yet' in the workshop to allow both easy access for working on it and to make it available for public viewing. This means having a major clear out of the workshop to turn it into a publicly accessible area - given the fact that the workshop was full of equipment, this was not an easy decision to make. Tony F and others spent several days last week relocating the various spares and lots of other items we have accumulated over the years to a new storage area above the boiler room. On Saturday a group of volunteers spent the day moving two large ICL printers and other equipment to another storage area and the large PDP 8 and 11/70 machines were moved from the centre of the room to either side of the workshop. The 'machine' itself is expected to arrive in about 3 weeks which gives us enough time to decorate the workshop and fit workbenches. We are all very excited about this project.

Electronic Office revamp

After several months of discussion and a lot of planning by Michelle, Kevin M and other volunteers, the go-ahead has been given to do a major revamp of the Electronic office. As a result, this room will be out of action for the next 6 or so weeks.

Debits and Credits (40 column punch card machines)

Graham has been making steady progress in refurbishing and fixing the 40 column punch card machines. The card sorter is now actually sorting cards and one of the two hand punches is now working. He has managed to free up the mechanisms on a number of machines but he is now hitting some of the more difficult areas both in terms of mechanical and electrical complexity. This is very much a long term restoration project. Keep up the good work Graham.

Visitor numbers to the computer museum are still increasing as a result of the popularity of Bletchley Park and some recently publicised events. We are also seeing more people who are visiting just the see the museum which is very encouraging. We have been informed there will be a lot of 'Bedford Buses' at the park next Sunday for some special anniversary, if you are into that sort of thing.... You wait for a bus for ages and 50 come at once!

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