More Elliott woes, ICL 2966 remains elusive and an exciting new project
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Another busy couple of weeks with a number of park events and a Geeky girls day out!
Elliot 803 store fault is fixed
Peter O spent several weeks perfecting a PIC based signal capture breadboard to aid his store fault investigation. After a few issues and a bit of reprogramming the board started capturing the point at which the store parity error occurred, thus identifying the bit that was causing the error. He then tweaked the sense amplifier related to the bit and repeated the testing and the problem no longer occurred so it looks like the problem has now been fixed. He still needs to run more tests the following weekend but things are looking very good......
Elliott 803 goes pop!
Last Saturday was no different to lots of previous ones and the Elliott was switched on as normal, but after a few minutes a strange smell was detected by John S and the system switched off again. The smell appeared to be coming from the main battery unit used to supply power to the system. The cover was removed but nothing was found, so the cover was refitted and the system powered up again. This time John S saw a large spark coming from the battery unit and the system was shutdown again. After removing all the covers the cause was quickly spotted - a number of 8000uF capacitors showed severe signs of arcing and had popped. This was also the likely cause of the smells detected several months ago. So the system is now out of action until we can source some replacements.
ICL 2966 operators console
Pete H's (and the rest of us's) frustration continues as the ICL 2966 operator console remains reluctantly silent so the big switch on day gets delayed once more. The problem is proving very difficult to find as no circuit diagrams have been found for the devices yet. Pete H and others continue to fault find so hopefully that eureka moment is not too far away. In the mean time Pete H has been making progress on a wooden box to fit on the top of the main cabinets to dissipate the large amount of heat out of a nearby window.
Bletchley park hosted a 2 day event last weekend called wireless waves. This was a major display of very old radio and TV sets. This certainly attracted a lot of visitors and thus the computer museum was also busy. Thanks to all the volunteers who came in on Sunday to open the museum.
We had a visit from a group of geeky girls and Lin drew the short straw offered to be their guide. They had organised a very busy day at the park with one of the key events being a visit to the museum. Thanks to Lin everything went smoothly, and she even managed to get them to buy some of our merchandise from the shop. Thanks Lin.
Exciting news about a new project
Last week we got the go-ahead to start a new restoration project - it's all very hush hush at the moment so don't tell anyone I said so. We have taken the best part of a year to organise this and get approval but it has finally been given. This is going to involve a number of the volunteers working on it for the best part of a year we reckon to get the system working again and a major re-organisation of the workshop to accommodate it (which has already started). That's about all I can say at the moment but I'm sure in due course all the details will be revealed.