Out with the new and in with the old

Post this page to popular social media

Last year we reported that the Museum had acquired an authentic Calcomp 565 drum plotter that had once been part of an Elliott 503 system. The hope was to connect the plotter to our working Elliott 803 computer, and so the work began.

The plotter was checked over and found to be in working order and later connected to the 803 with some up to date electronics acting as an interface. You can see the plotter working successfully here.

Never satisfied, our volunteers want to build an authentic Calcomp interface on an original Elliott printed circuit board with minilog units. The picture shows John, one of our volunteers, working last Saturday on the board that is about half complete.

"If all goes well the board will be mounted in the rack in the bottom of the paper tape desk, providing an investigation shows that all the necessary signals are available", he said.

Once the interface is finished and tested it is hoped to be able to produce plots in an authentic Elliott mode using existing programs found earlier by a former volunteer and Elliott 'expert', Peter Onion.

The Elliott 803 and Calcomp plotter are just a few of the exhibits that can be found at The National Museum of Computing. Visitors are welcome to come see our exhibits, some of which will be working on any one day. But also visitors are welcome to come and chat with our volunteers who can tell them more about the remarkable story of computing in the UK and beyond.

Not all our volunteers are involved in conservation using skills with electronics. We also welcome new volunteers who could help steward our many visitors around our galleries. Interested ? Click here for more info, come along and chat with us.

Support us

The Museum has not received government or Lottery funding, so your help is needed.

Become a member »
Make a donation »
Become a volunteer »
Sponsor us »

Latest Tweets Follow