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Re: [midatlanticretro] Lambda Physik TRS 80 Model 1 scan control unit model 580

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  • B. Degnan
    Christian. I am located in the Wilmington, Delaware area. Thanks for the info. I have alot of laser stuff too, but I gave a lot of it away to Herb Johnson a
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 26, 2011
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      I am located in the Wilmington, Delaware area. Thanks for the info. I
      have alot of laser stuff too, but I gave a lot of it away to Herb Johnson
      a few years ago. He would probably have more ideas about the Lambda unit.

      Bill Degnan

      -------- Original Message --------
      > From: "Christian R. Fandt" <cfandt@...>
      > Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:54 AM
      > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Lambda Physik TRS 80 Model 1 scan control
      unit model 580
      > Ahhh, yes. Something from a field I've long thought interesting, laser
      > optics. Predates by a bit my work with laser interferometry in linear
      > metrology in the past. We didn't need equipment this complex for our work

      > though. Very foggy memories of the commercially available hardware from
      > then, unfortunately.
      > Possibly used to tune the wavelength of some type of laser judging from
      > apparent positioning functions on the right hand panel. The electronics
      > inside the attractive orange enclosure probably controls a
      > stage upon which an etalon is mounted. An etalon is an optical
      > interferometer and an interferometer is an instrument used to measure
      > distance, for example, through use of, in this case, interference
      > of light. Therefore, tiny distances. The etalon is inserted into the
      > beam and the angle positioned such that the desired spectral output is
      > obtained. If my estimations are correct from looking at the pictures, the

      > system is part of an adjustable optical filter used in an extremely high

      > resolution measuring system. Maybe for semiconductor manufacturing when
      > submicron positioning accuracies are very important to have.
      > Maybe an engineer or technician who worked at a semiconductor fab
      > back in the days when the instrument was new could fill in more info on
      > such equipment. Or an optical engineer who specialized in laser
      > systems more complex than I did? Back in those days early versions of
      > lithography were being used for semiconductor mask making or even for
      > direct photolithography of higher density integrated circuit chips. Man,

      > you're causing me to dig through my memories --- which is a good exercise

      > for older people :-)
      > Then again, it could have been used in a company that was a fiber optic
      > manufacturer or user and the thing could have been used as an instrument

      > that would measure spectral performance of optical fibers, lens systems,

      > transmitters, and/or receivers. Interesting to speculate on this.
      > not something found everyday nowadays and is indeed an interesting use
      > a consumer-grade computer in a very high tech application.
      > That brings to mind the distinct probability this is not a completely
      > Lambda Physik-made system, but a one-off made by a well-staffed optical
      > or even a university research/teaching lab. I'd be able to figure that
      > if I lived close by to Bill and could study the thing myself. I know
      > German/European electronic and mechanical construction technique rather
      > well. However, the photos show a bunch of homebrew wiring and one or more

      > homemade circuit boards inside that pretty orange cabinet which pushes my

      > thinking to the non-commercially made side.
      > I recall Lambda Physik was a rather classy company not prone to use, um,

      > cheap stuff. So, the builder had the L-P hardware at hand and then
      > asked themselves: "Lessee, pay $20,000 or so for a computer system that

      > can be used to control this thing or pay around $1000 or so?" The
      > result could have been approximately the same between the two choices, so

      > which do you figure might be chosen? ;-)
      > Nevertheless, this equipment is a good example of integrating a
      > then-contemporary commercially available computer system into an
      > type piece of equipment that is dedicated to just do something in the
      > A type of "embedded" computing, so to speak.
      > Polish it up, neaten the wiring and stuff, and treat it as an interesting

      > piece of technical history. Check for an embedded custom ROM (if this
      > machine had facilities for one) and see if you can come up with some
      > commands. Maybe dump the contents and rummage around for something that
      > makes sense. My two EPSON HX-20s used with British-made Taylor-Hobson
      > metrology devices have embedded ROMs. They are used to cause the machine
      > seamlessly come up into measuring mode all ready to go and handle
      > measurements taken. Wish I had those measuring machines too....
      > Regards,
      > Chris F.
      > Upon the date 10:25 PM 3/22/2011, B Degnan said something like:
      > >I read about this on cctalk and picked up from ebay last week...a
      > >scan control unit model 580 by Lambda Physik of Germany. It uses a
      > >TRS 80 model 1 as the main computer, and the scan control unit is
      > >attached to the expansion port, kind of like a stringy floppy. I
      > >have not yet determined for sure, or if there is a SYSTEM command
      > >
      > >SYSTEM [return]
      > >
      > >*/nnnnn (where nnnnn = a memory location where the ROM of the scan
      > >control unit is activated ??)
      > >
      > >Anyway, it's orange.
      > >
      > >I have a CBM 8296 that was adapted to serve as a particle sizer of
      > >some kind. I think control equipment with a vintage computer as the
      > >heart of the unit is especially interesting.
      > >
      > >So...what do you think this thing was used for?
      > >
      > >http://vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=410
      > >
      > >(link includes link to lots of pictures..note the card cage inside)
      > >
      > >Bill
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >------------------------------------
      > >
      > >Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > =======================================================
      > Christian R. and Beverly J. Fandt
      > 31 Houston Avenue Electronic/Electrical Historian
      > Jamestown, New York Phone: +716-488-1722
      > 14701-2627 USA email: cfandt@...
      > Members of Antique Wireless Association
      > URL: http://www.antiquewireless.org/
      > ------------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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