Re: plotter from Kagan
- David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote at length about the MARCH/Kagan
Calcomp plotter and about mine, based on the pictures I've posted of
both on my PDP-8 Web page. I've responded privately and he and I will
discuss details. Any results of note will be on my PDP-8 page or
Addtional photos on my PDP-8 Web page now include a picture of the pen
mechanism, taken from the Calcomp manual available via David's
excellent PDP-8 and Calcomp plotter Web pages. Thank you to David.
David's site is linked from my Web page.
In due course, I expect MARCH to create their own Web page, on the
MARCH Web site, about the RESISTORS/Kagan PDP-8 and related devices.
There is considerable history about this donation which MARCH should
explore with Claude and put on a MARCH-generated Web page and into
documents associated with MARCH's PDP-8 display. I just got things
started, as did Bill with his photos, and Evan by setting up the '8
for display; and as other MARCH friends and members contributed their
efforts. (Those contributions are better noted on a MARCH Web page
than on mine.)
I'm busy enough, working on a PDP-11/20 display for MARCH.
Otherwise, as I've posted, I'm willing to work on the Calcomp plotter
because I have what is likely to be a duplicate, working unit. And I
need parts for mine as well!
- "John Allain" <allain@...> wrote:
>David's Web page is now linked on my PDP-8 Web page, and he has
> > There IS a "Bendix" nameplate behind the
> > drum as David noted. I did the image "zoom and ehnance" Bob suggested.
> Here's my version of a zoom and enhance for group view:
> > But look at Bill's and David's and my (Herb's) photos and I
> > think it's likely the Kagan plotter is Calcomp.
> Yes, Didn't David even bring one of those Calcomps to the VCFe?
> John A.
pictures of his PDP-8/I exhibit.
John, about your "zoom and enhance". Here's an idea, others can
participate. The '8 Web page has photos of the modules on either side
of the PDP-8. Why not "zoom" in and make a text table of the modules
by name? Someone will have to do that eventually to inventory the
modules, see that they are in their proper places, and see if any are
missing or needed. A table of "original" positions, before any work is
done, will be a useful reference.
Just give me time to add higher-resolution images to that page.
I've done this for the 11/20, on its Web page.
- It reminded me of Clerks 2 -- funny, but not as good as the original.
From: Bryan Pope <bryan.pope@...>
Subj: OT: Harold & Kumar (was: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: plotter from Kagan)
Date: Fri May 2, 2008 4:45 pm
Evan Koblentz wrote:
> Will do (or at least will try to remember -- someone please send me anyou are correcto-mondo sir.. It picks up a couple of hours after the
> email Saturday in the early afternoon).
> Tonight I'm going to see "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay".
> I'm told that it picks up in the evening, as they are back in their
> Hoboken apartment digesting the White Castle burgers.
last movie as our intrepid heroes try to follow the beautiful Maria to
Amsterdam.. Neil Patrick Harris will be making another appearance.. :)
P.S. Have a joy joy day!
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- Evan wrote:
> It reminded me of Clerks 2 -- funny, but not as good as the original.LOL! And speaking of that, I *just* finished watching Clerks! :) Lots
of funny parts...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bryan Pope <bryan.pope@...>
> Subj: OT: Harold & Kumar (was: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: plotter from Kagan)
> Date: Fri May 2, 2008 4:45 pm
> Size: 1K
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Evan Koblentz wrote:
>> Will do (or at least will try to remember -- someone please send me an
>> email Saturday in the early afternoon).
>> Tonight I'm going to see "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay".
>> I'm told that it picks up in the evening, as they are back in their
>> Hoboken apartment digesting the White Castle burgers.
> you are correcto-mondo sir.. It picks up a couple of hours after the
> last movie as our intrepid heroes try to follow the beautiful Maria to
> Amsterdam.. Neil Patrick Harris will be making another appearance.. :)
> P.S. Have a joy joy day!
- I just read
That's a fine web page about the plotter. The manuals are greatly
appreciated. It would be great seeing the Plotter Excerciser and
Plotter Diagnostic running the plotter again.
I have the IBM 1627 model 1 as shown in
I used it on the IBM system 1130 at college and got to keep it when
the systems were scrapped/decommissioned (no space!) I wrote FORTRAN
programs to generate Bode plots on the semilog paper, pausing to
change pen color for phase and magnitude.
They're actually made by Calcomp (and the 1130's paper tape reader was
actually made by Tally).
The interface is /really dumb/: just wires for
+X one step (1/100 inch)
-X one step
+Y one step
-Y one step
I have the IBM manuals for the plotter. It's an amazing amount of
transistorized circuitry for just advancing the stepper motors without
anything fancy such as slewing them motors.
I have at least 50 paper rolls for it (one foot by about 100 feet) but
most are pre-printed with semilog and log-log scales.
Yes, the takeup spool was just a spare cardboard tube from the paper
roll. The drum was large enough to tape a letter sized paper on it
(preferably with drafting tape so it removes completely without residue).
When I can dig out the fitted wood accessory boxes, I'll photograph
all the pieces
- the solenoid used for all pen types
- the sleeve and low top for the small ballpoint pens
- the sleeve and high top for the pressurized ballpoint pens
- the tip, barrel, collar, ink reservoir and hollow top for the
- the small glass alignment reticle with crosshairs for aligning the
carriage using the holder one inch above the pen (the program had to
move back one inch since it's not reasonable for the operator to count
100 single steps). (the Bendix carriage does not have that).
- the large glass alignment reticle with crosshairs that goes into the
pen holder for aligning where the pen goes.
The hollow top for the drafting pen also allowed felt tip pens that
were fitted with a metal ring.
-- Jeff Jonas
- It's been a while - I have updated my home page.
- I borrowed that first issue from Erik K. @ VCF last fall. Had it
autographed by Lee Felsenstein. :)
From: B. Degnan [mailto:billdeg@...]
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 12:53 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] vintagecomputer.net update
It's been a while - I have updated my home page.
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Bryan Pope wrote:
It reminded me of Clerks 2 -- funny, but not as good as the original.
LOL! And speaking of that, I *just* finished watching Clerks! :) Lots of funny parts...
I AM I-I-I-R-R-O-O-N-N-M-M-A-A-N-N
Definitely worth absorbing the ambiance from the silver screen.
But then I didn't grow up without my comic books nor graphic novels.
-- [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/ ]
- "mejeep_ferret" <mejeep@...> wrote:
>Hello, Jeff, my compliments.
> I just read
> That's a fine web page about the plotter. The manuals are greatly
> appreciated. It would be great seeing the Plotter Excerciser and
> Plotter Diagnostic running the plotter again.
> I have the IBM 1627 model 1 as shown in
> I used it on the IBM system 1130 at college and got to keep it when
> the systems were scrapped/decommissioned (no space!)...
Thanks for the Web link and your compliments about Dave's Web page.
I've added the IBM link to "my" PDP-8 Web page. In due course I'll add
your plotter comments here as a description there, with your
> I have the IBM manuals for the plotter.You might compare them to the Calcomp manuals which Dave links to on
> I have at least 50 paper rolls for it (one foot by aboutPreprinting is no big deal; one could reverse the roll. I'd like a few
> 100 feet) but
> most are pre-printed with semilog and log-log scales.
rolls for my plotter; I presume MARCH would like a few. I'd be glad to
pay shipping for some rolls and pass a few along to MARCH. I'll
contact you privately to discuss terms.
> When I can dig out the fitted wood accessory boxes, I'll photographGreatly appreciated, I'll add them to the page, you can send them to
> all the pieces
me. Let me know if there are any photos I need to take of *my*
plotter. Presuming Evan permits me to restore the MARCH/Kagan plotter,
I'll photograph it while in process.
Hmmm...this bit of work may evolve into a permanent Calcomp plotter
Web page on my (retrotechnology.com) Web site. Ultimately I presume
MARCH will have their own PDP-8 Web page with other bits like the
plotter, TTY, any papertape reader MARCH comes up with).
- Today was the first day our '8 was on public display at the museum. We had
a typical amount of visitors today (around a dozen), most of whom seemed
very into computers (sometimes they're not). Everyone today had that 'wow'
expression when they saw the minicomputer. :)
NJARC's Harry Klancer was particularly happy to see it in our museum,
because he used to work on the same model. I suggested to him that he sign
on to our list here...
Tuesday night, I'm meeting the plastics guy (see thread below). Going to
bring him the intact side of the '8 cover so he can take measurements and
assess whether it's feasible to make two replicas at a decent price for us.
(Dont worry, I am NOT leaving the original cover with him.)
I had to bring the cover home today in the passenger seat because it doesn't
fit in my trunk!
From: Evan Koblentz [mailto:evan@...]
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 1:37 AM
Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: PDP-8 ... On display
Cool. I didn't look at it that closely but I will this weekend. (Might be
down there Saturday AND Sunday this weekend. There's some kind of special
"Monmouth County Historal Trail", or whatever it's called, and Fred
announced at the meeting last night that InfoAge is on the map. We're
supposed to be open 12-5 both days.
Also, today I called a couple of local plastics fabricators. One company
particularly impressed me. As soon as I said "non-profit science museum"
the guy was very responsive. Said he's been in the field for 30 years and
he rattled off a list of high-profile clients, including a bunch of artsy
things, so he 'gets' that what we're doing is special and fragile. Said I
can bring him the intact original side of the '8's plexi cover, and that
he'll take some measurements and assess if he can build two new covers in a
cost-effective manner. From what he said on the phone today, I feel very
From: mejeep_ferret [mailto:mejeep@...]
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 1:25 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: PDP-8 ... On display
--- In email@example.com, "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:
> As promised, here are some cameraphone pictures from tonight (just
the plotter on the left
- what is the nameplate: IBM or CalComp?
- do you have all the pen accessories?
- is it interfaced to anything?
The reason I ask: I have an identical IBM 1627 plotter complete with manual,
both wood boxes of accessories, and lotsa paper rolls for it!
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