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Mark-8

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  • Evan Koblentz
    ... Considered? Yes, daily! Getting the parts would be difficult. We do have a replica Mark-8 front panel thanks to Titus himself, and he would help us with
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 1 5:50 AM
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      >>> Have you guys ever considered reconstructing a computer like the Mark-8?

      Considered? Yes, daily! Getting the parts would be difficult. We do have a replica Mark-8 front panel thanks to Titus himself, and he would help us with any questions.

      Perhaps that's an idea for VCF East 8.0 in 2012, as MARCH's final pre-apocalypse project. :)

      We'd have a year to gather the parts and plan the assembly .... then we could assign people like Bill Deg. and Dan to start Saturday morning and see if they can build it by Sunday end-of-show!

      (No way would we "give" that project to some other group. It's too core to our heritage to let others have the fun and the credit!)
    • Bruce Freeman
      Replica. That s a good word for it. Build it in 2 days? Sounds like a pipe dream. Did you read that article about how some of the instructions were flawed
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 1 6:13 AM
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        "Replica."  That's a good word for it.

        Build it in 2 days?  Sounds like a pipe dream.  Did you read that article about how some of the instructions were flawed and the PC boards not plated through so you had to solder IC's on both sides of the board?  Sounds like more than a weekend project to me.  Might have to resurrect some of those old BBS correspondences to get all the fixes they came up with.  (THERE's a preservation effort that may have been missed.  Has anyone stashed all that old BBS correspondence anywhere?  There may be only one message in a million that's worth anything, but the same could be said for letters from Civil War soldiers....)

        However, I was thinking more of making most of the unavailable parts oneself.  Cut and etch the boards, etc.  If you can get them, no need for this, though.

        And the article suggested that some folks modified existing boards to use in this design -- but I didn't follow it all that well, so could be wrong about that.

        As to giving it to another space -- combine efforts and build two.  That might make debugging the circuitry easier anyway.  Then each gets one.  It's a moot point till there's a space that shows some interest.

        On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 8:50 AM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
         

        >>> Have you guys ever considered reconstructing a computer like the Mark-8?

        Considered? Yes, daily! Getting the parts would be difficult. We do have a replica Mark-8 front panel thanks to Titus himself, and he would help us with any questions.

        Perhaps that's an idea for VCF East 8.0 in 2012, as MARCH's final pre-apocalypse project. :)

        We'd have a year to gather the parts and plan the assembly .... then we could assign people like Bill Deg. and Dan to start Saturday morning and see if they can build it by Sunday end-of-show!

        (No way would we "give" that project to some other group. It's too core to our heritage to let others have the fun and the credit!)




        --
        Bruce
        NJ
      • Evan Koblentz
        ... Some humor was intended in my comment. ... Yes. Start with www.textfiles.com. ... We re interested. PS - we strongly encourage bottom-posting on this list.
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 1 6:17 AM
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          >>> Build it in 2 days?  Sounds like a pipe dream.

          Some humor was intended in my comment.

          >>> Has anyone stashed all that old BBS correspondence anywhere?

          Yes. Start with www.textfiles.com.

          >>> It's a moot point till there's a space that shows some interest.

          We're interested.

          PS - we strongly encourage bottom-posting on this list.
        • Bill Degnan
          ... especially the part about Bill Deg (me) helping Dan build a Mark 8....I can think of 10 people in this group who would easily be better qualified for a
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 1 6:45 AM
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            -------- Original Message --------
            > From: "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...>
            > Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 9:18 AM
            > To: "MARCH Yahoo Midatlanticretro" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Mark-8
            >
            > >>> Build it in 2 days? Sounds like a pipe dream.
            >
            > Some humor was intended in my comment.
            >

            especially the part about Bill Deg (me) helping Dan build a Mark 8....I can
            think of 10 people in this group who would easily be better qualified for a
            project like that.

            Bill
          • Evan Koblentz
            ... I respect your modesty, and I hope I didn t offend anyone by not naming them.
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 1 6:54 AM
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              >>> especially the part about Bill Deg (me) helping Dan build a Mark 8....I can think of 10 people in this group who would easily be better qualified for a project like that.

              I respect your modesty, and I hope I didn't offend anyone by not naming them.
            • Mr Ian Primus
              ... *Assembly* should be very doable in two days. That, of course, assumes that you ve already etched and drilled the boards. The big question is - are there
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 1 7:02 AM
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                --- On Tue, 3/1/11, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                > >>> Build it in 2 days?
                > Sounds like a pipe dream.
                >
                > Some humor was intended in my comment.
                >

                *Assembly* should be very doable in two days. That, of course, assumes that you've already etched and drilled the boards.

                The big question is - are there board layout drawings available? If so, making the boards ourselves is very doable. The Mark 8 boards were simple, double sided boards. Not through plated. Making those yourself with the laser printer toner transfer method is not hard - just tedious.

                Sourcing all the components, especally the processor, will be difficult - although not impossible.

                I see this as a very viable club project. The first step is to collect whatever information is available about the hardware of the Mark 8 - the fixes necessary to make it work, the board interconnection diagrams, etc.

                -Ian
              • Dan Roganti
                ... yes, the assembly is quite doable for those that have the soldering experience. And there s 24hrs in a day ;) ... Vince Briel once made the scans available
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 1 8:34 AM
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                  On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...> wrote:
                  --- On Tue, 3/1/11, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                  > >>> Build it in 2 days?
                  > Sounds like a pipe dream.
                  >
                  > Some humor was intended in my comment.
                  >

                  *Assembly* should be very doable in two days. That, of course, assumes that you've already etched and drilled the boards.


                  yes, the assembly is quite doable for those that have the soldering experience.
                  And there's 24hrs in a day ;)
                   

                  The big question is - are there board layout drawings available? If so, making the boards ourselves is very doable. The Mark 8 boards were simple, double sided boards. Not through plated. Making those yourself with the laser printer toner transfer method is not hard - just tedious.


                  Vince Briel once made the scans available on his website, I'm sure he can offer it again.
                  There's several websites online documenting the restoration , rebuild, etc of the Mark-8
                  And Jon Titus is still available as a direct source of info.




                  Sourcing all the components, especally the processor, will be difficult - although not impossible.

                  There's the private stash ;)
                   

                  I see this as a very viable club project. The first step is to collect whatever information is available about the hardware of the Mark 8 - the fixes necessary to make it work, the board interconnection diagrams, etc.

                  For the VCF workshop, I would suggest having one person per board to assemble, then strict QA over the whole assembly before ever applying power. Be ready to stay up all night :)

                  =Dan


                • Mike Willegal
                  I casually looked into the Mark-8 a couple of times. Making boards at home is certainly feasible, but you are looking at a lot of effort to fabricate all 7
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 2 6:51 PM
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                    I casually looked into the Mark-8 a couple of times. Making boards
                    at home is certainly feasible, but you are looking at a lot of effort
                    to fabricate all 7 of them. Having a fab house make a batch would
                    cost a small fortune.

                    Most everything you need to get started, including circuit board
                    patterns, is here.

                    http://www.bytecollector.com/m8_docs.htm

                    Before investing too much time in making a PCB, I'd make sure that
                    you can find all the parts. 8008's are available, but you really
                    should to go through the entire BOM in case there is something really
                    difficult to find in the mix.

                    Regards,
                    Mike Willegal
                  • B Degnan
                    Thanks Museum Volunteers The collection looks great, and all of the new stuff was moved and stored in the H building very nicely. There are even some labels.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 2 8:12 PM
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                      Thanks Museum Volunteers

                      The collection looks great, and all of the new stuff was moved and stored in the H building very nicely.  There are even some labels.  I took pictures and will post asap.  Nice rows, clean, not too much junk.  Lots of D|G|I|T|A|L stuff, wow.  The pdp 8/e looks great and there are both RK05 drives and a papertape reader that can be used for I/O.  (assuming there is a matching controller).

                      We all owe a debt of thanks to the guys who have been coming to InfoAge to clean up and re-organize the collection, A huge collection.

                      I could really see the difference from last year.  So much more organized and most of the items are located in a relatively clean space.  It's great too that we can access almost anything in our collection without having to move a bunch of stuff to get at it.  I think the only thing left is the front basement storage room. 

                      I understand we're looking for pallets.  I have a few pallets at my office if anyone wants to grab them next time you're in the Wilmington area.

                      I wish I could get up there more often. 
                      I found and removed the loose screw in the Altair, and tested memory, etc.  It's a CUTTER system.  If you hook up to a  terminal call me, I have notes on how to set the terminal switches.
                      The SWTPC 6800 with terminal and tape controller is was tested - OK.
                      IBM PC - OK
                      Built a Mark 8 computer from parts I found lying around, what luck.
                           just kidding.

                      I had to cut out early from the InfoAge meeting, around 7:30.

                      Bill


                    • Evan Koblentz
                      I m bringing a schematic for the custom power supply in the loaner Mark-8. Hopefully that will help MARCHins get it working.
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 17, 2013
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                        I'm bringing a schematic for the custom power supply in the loaner
                        Mark-8. Hopefully that will help MARCHins get it working.
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