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Oh SAGE Can You See?

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  • lasertower
    If you have one question for a SAGE building administrator who has a pile of documentation, let me know by Noon Mountain time. I ll be in a re-purposed one
    Message 1 of 15 , May 22, 2013
      If you have one question for a SAGE building administrator who has a pile of documentation, let me know by Noon Mountain time. I'll be in a re-purposed one tomorrow till about 8 Pm.


      Steve
    • couryhousesmecc
      we have one in az... they made it into a finance office I think for the base; In a message dated 5/22/2013 11:11:40 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
      Message 2 of 15 , May 22, 2013
        we have one in az... they made it into a finance office I think for
        the base;


        In a message dated 5/22/2013 11:11:40 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
        osr@... writes:




        If you have one question for a SAGE building administrator who has a pile
        of documentation, let me know by Noon Mountain time. I'll be in a
        re-purposed one tomorrow till about 8 Pm.

        Steve






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • ColdWar COMMS
        My aunt worked in the Sage blog at Fort Meade. Vaguely remember the story about a fire there that shut it down. Curious about the story behind that. Sent from
        Message 3 of 15 , May 23, 2013
          My aunt worked in the Sage blog at Fort Meade. Vaguely remember the story about a fire there that shut it down. Curious about the story behind that.

          Sent from my iPhone
        • lasertower
          Considering whom I received emails from after I posted this, Let me clarify things. The offer to get one or two simple questions answered is withdrawn. I was
          Message 4 of 15 , May 23, 2013
            Considering whom I received emails from after I posted this, Let me clarify things. The offer to get one or two simple questions answered is withdrawn. I was going to pick the best question and see if I could get it answered. Under no circumstances was I going to disclose current use etc.

            Steve
          • OZOB99
            You may be thinking of the 1970 s fire at the Ft Lee Direction Center, AKA Petersburg 50/Station 76/WADS/; started in the electronics & put it out of service
            Message 5 of 15 , May 23, 2013
              You may be thinking of the 1970's fire at the Ft Lee Direction Center, AKA Petersburg 50/Station 76/WADS/; started in the electronics & put it out of service for a few weeks; other Direction Centers picked up the load with additional interconnect circuits rushed in.



              --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, ColdWar COMMS <cappy755@...> wrote:
              >
              > My aunt worked in the Sage blog at Fort Meade. Vaguely remember the story about a fire there that shut it down. Curious about the story behind that.
              >
              > Sent from my iPhone
              >
            • John K Scoggin, Jr
              AFAIK, Fort Meade was an ADCCP site (Nike s), not SAGE. And I think the ARADCOM region HQ was there too. At least one of the old buildings was still being
              Message 6 of 15 , May 23, 2013
                AFAIK, Fort Meade was an ADCCP site (Nike's), not SAGE. And I think the
                ARADCOM region HQ was there too. At least one of the old buildings was
                still being used by the DOIM (Directorate of Info Mgmt) on base.



                john



                From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of OZOB99
                Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:58 AM
                To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [coldwarcomms] Re: Oh SAGE Can You See?





                You may be thinking of the 1970's fire at the Ft Lee Direction Center, AKA
                Petersburg 50/Station 76/WADS/; started in the electronics & put it out of
                service for a few weeks; other Direction Centers picked up the load with
                additional interconnect circuits rushed in.

                --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>
                , ColdWar COMMS <cappy755@...> wrote:
                >
                > My aunt worked in the Sage blog at Fort Meade. Vaguely remember the story
                about a fire there that shut it down. Curious about the story behind that.
                >
                > Sent from my iPhone
                >





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Marc's Yahoo Account (original)
                My mistake: it was a Missile Master bldg at Fort Mead that had the fire. Sent from my iPad
                Message 7 of 15 , May 24, 2013
                  My mistake: it was a Missile Master bldg at Fort Mead that had the fire.


                  Sent from my iPad
                • ozob99
                  I have just heard off list from an insider who was there, and the appx date was June/July 1976. I have only found a couple of mentions online about this fire,
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 25, 2015
                    I have just heard off list from an insider who was there, and the appx date was June/July 1976.


                    I have only found a couple of mentions online about this fire, but no details; here is a snippet from a website:


                    "I served as maintenance technician, crew chief and site trainer at Fort Lee AFS, VA (Washington Air Defense Sector - WADS) from 1966 through 1969. The Q-7 provided one of the best basic computer operations and air surveillance mission training available anywhere. Its maintenance console hosting over 10,000 neon lights allowed technicians to single step through machine operations to watch data transfers and troubleshoot with ease. Its size was equivalent to 23 ranch-style home with an internal telephone system to match. It had 123 miles of internal signal wire and 75,000 vacuum tubes. It was so impressive that Hollywood bought several of the surplus machines as they were shut down or never installed. They were featured in "Lost in Space," "Journey to the Bottom of the Sea," "Time Tunnel" and many more. The expertise I gained at Fort Lee made it easy to become site computer maintenance trainer for AUTDIN at Clark AFB, RPI and complete an electronics engineering degree. As an officer, I led a special team out of the 4754th Radar Evaluation Sq at Hill AFB, UT to respond to a disabling fire at the Fort Lee Q-7 by redirecting all air surveillance inputs and response capabilities to two neighboring Direction Centers. The severely limited data handling capacity was addressed by focusing computer processing on only those aircraft of interest instead of the entire civilian air traffic load. The basics of computer operations and maintenance learned at Fort Lee led me into over 20 years of active USAF time in computer systems design and engineering culminating with 4 years at the USAF Academy leading a mathematics department and teaching engineering application to thousands of Academy cadets. I have always been grateful to the knowledge and experience I gained through that old vacuum tube computer!




                    Tuesday 27th May 2014
                    Dr. Dave Felsburg (USA)"


                    (from old-computers.com/museum)


                    The story I recall from telco guys there was: extensive damage to the Q7 & Battle Staff room, and inoperable for one or more weeks; the DC operations were picked by Tyndall and/or Gunter, or?


                    There's bound to be official investigative reports somewhere, but apparently not online.


                    Also surprised one of the IBM guys hasn't posted something after all these years.




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • David
                    ... Indeed, there is a prop rental house that has sourced such for many years...and MANY productions.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 25, 2015
                      On 3/25/15 4:31 PM, ozob99@... [coldwarcomms] wrote:

                      > It was so impressive that Hollywood bought several of the surplus
                      > machines as they were shut down or never installed. They were featured
                      > in "Lost in Space," "Journey to the Bottom of the Sea," "Time Tunnel"
                      > and many more.


                      Indeed, there is a prop rental house that has sourced such for many
                      years...and MANY productions.

                      <http://web.archive.org/web/20090421022615/http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Q7/>

                      <http://woodysprops.com/inventory.php>

                      <http://www.uncleodiescollectibles.com/html_lib/tt-props/>

                      <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dz2t5EV_NA>

                      If only the junque in my basement was worth half as much....
                    • couryhousesmecc
                      we have parts from the Luke afb site wish we had gotten more of it though. but between the artifacts we have and some photos the kids get an idea of
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 25, 2015
                        we have parts from the Luke afb site wish we had gotten more of it
                        though.
                        but between the artifacts we have and some photos the kids get an
                        idea of the mass of it....

                        we are looking for ANYTHING connected to SAGE.
                        Part of our mission here is to preserve communications and computation
                        at any of the nearby bases.
                        Ed Sharpe archivist for SMECC _www.smecc.org_ (http://www.smecc.org)






                        In a message dated 3/25/2015 3:47:50 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
                        coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com writes:




                        On 3/25/15 4:31 PM, ozob99@... [coldwarcomms] wrote:

                        > It was so impressive that Hollywood bought several of the surplus
                        > machines as they were shut down or never installed. They were featured
                        > in "Lost in Space," "Journey to the Bottom of the Sea," "Time Tunnel"
                        > and many more.

                        Indeed, there is a prop rental house that has sourced such for many
                        years...and MANY productions.

                        <http://web.archive.org/web/20090421022615/http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloe
                        wen/Q7/>

                        <http://woodysprops.com/inventory.php>

                        <http://www.uncleodiescollectibles.com/html_lib/tt-props/>

                        <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dz2t5EV_NA>

                        If only the junque in my basement was worth half as much....






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • radionut500
                        Have a look at this. Note the windows, that must have been fun to cut out. http://www.unr.edu/ntf/about/sage-building
                        Message 11 of 15 , Mar 25, 2015
                          Have a look at this. Note the windows, that must have been fun to cut out.

                          http://www.unr.edu/ntf/about/sage-building http://www.unr.edu/ntf/about/sage-building


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • ozob99
                          Another anecdote on the fire with some specificity : The fire was in the summer of 1976. I was stationed at Fort Lee AFS as a Display Maintenance Tech. We
                          Message 12 of 15 , Mar 27, 2015
                            Another anecdote on the fire with some specificity :


                            "The fire was in the summer of 1976. I was stationed at Fort Lee AFS as a Display Maintenance Tech. We were told that a utility 220 V panel caught fire.


                            The General Battle Staff equipment was totally destroyed and some of it fell down on to the third floor (It was between the 3rd and 4th floors)."






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • ozob99
                            More details on the Ft Lee DC fire (from my query on ColoniesRadarVets group) I was stationed at 632nd Radar Sq., Roanoke Rapids, NC when they had the fire.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Mar 28, 2015
                              More details on the Ft Lee DC fire (from my query on ColoniesRadarVets group)

                              "I was stationed at 632nd Radar Sq., Roanoke Rapids, NC when they had the fire. I was there from '73 to '77. Our radar site was one of the sites controlled/directed by Ft. Lee's computer. It controlled the radars for all of the Southeastern U.S., from Virginia to Texas. Ft. Lee's computer replaced an older system which I believe was base out of Florida.
                              I was a radar repairman in the height finder section, we had a FPS-6A and a FPS-26. Our site also had a search radar, I've forgotten the model. Our search radar would send all it's data from our onsite computer tracking system to Ft. Lee's computer. The controllers there would be monitoring traffic along the edge of the U.S., and when they saw one they wanted more information about they would aim their pistol shaped mouse at the target. Their radar monitor would draw a little circle around it, and they'd press the trigger. \
                              Then the Ft. Lee computer would send the target info to our computer, and our computer would swing the height finder around to the correct azimuth automatically. A set of crosshairs would line up just left of the target on our radar operater's height finder console. He'd use a trackball to center on the height and distance of the target, and press enter on his keyboard. Our computer would relay that back to Ft. Lee's computer and their controllers would get the info displayed on their radar screen with the correct and accurate information next to it. He'd make any further decisions from there.
                              I got to tour the Ft. Lee building once, before the fire. It was a big cement blockhouse, built to be somewhat survivable in case of nuclear war back in the days of the cold war. A couple hundred feet square, and 6 stories high if I remember it right. The 1st and 2nd floor were the power supplies and cooling equipment for the computer system. The computer system took up the entire 3rd floor. The 4th and 5th floors were radar monitors and controllers, supposedly including the areas where the officers made the decisions to scramble or not, etc... The 6th floor was upper level management as I recall?
                              The computer was made up of 2 complete analog tube computers. Each was identical to the other, and each received all the information sent and received from all us radar sites. The information was compared and if they both had the same results, then it was considered correct and operating. They were separated from each other by two concrete fire barrier walls, with nothing in between the walls except for interconnecting wiring. This was for protection from fire, bomb damage, etc... and if one side was down then the other would still be protected and operational.
                              On the nite in question, I was working 3rd shift. I came on duty and reported as always to the control room. I was surprised to see the usual keyboard/trackball equipment shoved against the wall, and the old stuff that usually sat behind the terminals in front and being used. I'd only seen them turned on a couple times in 3 years, so that was different! When I asked what was up, they informed me that there was a fire in the blockhouse, and Ft. Lee was down. We'd switched back to the old Florida system for real.
                              I checked on the progress a couple times that night, and was informed that the fire started between the 2 firewalls in the interconnected wiring system. By the time they knew there was a fire it had come out the cable troughs into both sides of the computer, and the magnesium alloy troughs were ablaze and impossible to put out in a hurry. It took the fire department 8 hours to put out the fire, including 3 hours spent jack hammering through the thinnest portion of the roof to get some water in from from above.
                              By the way, magnesium burns even under water, and is hotter'n hell as you might imagine since it's metal ablaze. So it was a very hot fire inside a solid concrete blockhouse with no way for the heat to be released. The monitors were all made with lots of plastic, and they as well as all the cable and wire insulation melted into puddles and joined the blaze.
                              The result was that the building was an oven, melting everything it could before it got put out. Maximum damage, total destruction, stuff like that. All the wiring, cabling, and equipment had to be replaced pretty much completely. They were scrambling all over everywhere to find equipment to rebuild it ASAP. The USAF brought in everyone it could on a super priority and got the place back online in a miraculous 30 days. Seemed like forever to the controllers at the radar sites since it meant everything was manually operated till Ft. Lee was back online.


                              Hope that helped?
                              William McNeill, former SSGT, USAF, civilian since 1979."











                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • couryhousesmecc
                              tubes YES analog NO!!! It was a Sage blockhouse digiatal computer but yea.... lots of tunes!! Ed Sharpe archivist for smecc In a message dated
                              Message 14 of 15 , Mar 28, 2015
                                tubes YES analog NO!!! It was a Sage blockhouse digiatal
                                computer
                                but yea.... lots of tunes!!

                                Ed Sharpe archivist for smecc


                                In a message dated 3/28/2015 1:34:05 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
                                coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com writes:

                                The computer was made up of 2 complete analog tube computers. Each was
                                identical to the other, and each received all the information sent and
                                received from all us radar sites. The information was


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • couryhousesmecc
                                correction tubes not tunes In a message dated 3/28/2015 3:38:26 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time, coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com writes: tubes YES analog NO!!!
                                Message 15 of 15 , Mar 28, 2015
                                  correction tubes not tunes



                                  In a message dated 3/28/2015 3:38:26 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
                                  coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com writes:




                                  tubes YES analog NO!!! It was a Sage blockhouse digiatal
                                  computer
                                  but yea.... lots of TUBES (tunes)!!

                                  Ed Sharpe archivist for smecc


                                  In a message dated 3/28/2015 1:34:05 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
                                  coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com writes:

                                  The computer was made up of 2 complete analog tube computers. Each was
                                  identical to the other, and each received all the information sent and
                                  received from all us radar sites. The information was

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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