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VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?

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  • Dan Roganti
    I ve been working on my VCFeast exhibit here and noticed my yahoo countdown widget say 86 days left. I was wondering if it s time to register yet ? =Dan -- [
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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      I've been working on my VCFeast exhibit here and noticed my yahoo countdown widget say 86 days left.

      I was wondering if it's time to register yet ?

      =Dan
      -- 
      [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]
      
    • Evan Koblentz
      Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page. What s your big plan? Share!! ... From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@comcast.net] Sent: Tuesday, June 17,
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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        Message
        Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page.
         
        What's your big plan?  Share!!
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:06 PM
        To: MARCH
        Subject: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?


        I've been working on my VCFeast exhibit here and noticed my yahoo countdown widget say 86 days left.

        I was wondering if it's time to register yet ?

        =Dan
        -- 
        [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]
        
      • Mike Loewen
        ... I ve also been trying to come up with a plan for this year s Fest, and coming up dry. I have an 1980-vintage HP 2647A Intelligent Graphics Terminal which
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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          On Tue, 17 Jun 2008, Evan Koblentz wrote:

          > Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page.
          >
          > What's your big plan? Share!!

          I've also been trying to come up with a plan for this year's Fest, and
          coming up dry. I have an 1980-vintage HP 2647A Intelligent Graphics
          Terminal which needs work (severe screen rot, disintegrating tape rollers)
          and accompanying 9872B Graphics Plotter (bad power supply). It would make
          an interesting display, but I don't think I have enough time to get them
          ready.

          I could set up a Kaypro CP/M systems display, with a II, 10/83, IV/83,
          2/83, 4/84, 2X, 4+88 and a 1, along with software and manuals. I'm not
          sure how interesting that would be, though. Ditto with a set of
          Osbournes: 1, 1A, Executive and Vixen.

          Or, I could do the story of SAGE, with a core memory plane, pluggable
          units, miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of
          pictures. I might be the only one that finds that interesting.

          Help me out, guys!


          Mike Loewen mloewen@...
          Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
        • Joe Giliberti
          I think I m just going to be doing a MAME setup in a vintage computer themed cabinet. MAME kind of applies, considering its emulation of vintage hardware. On
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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            I think I'm just going to be doing a MAME setup in a vintage computer themed cabinet. MAME kind of applies, considering its emulation of vintage hardware.

            On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:

            On Tue, 17 Jun 2008, Evan Koblentz wrote:

            > Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page.
            >
            > What's your big plan? Share!!

            I've also been trying to come up with a plan for this year's Fest, and
            coming up dry. I have an 1980-vintage HP 2647A Intelligent Graphics
            Terminal which needs work (severe screen rot, disintegrating tape rollers)
            and accompanying 9872B Graphics Plotter (bad power supply). It would make
            an interesting display, but I don't think I have enough time to get them
            ready.

            I could set up a Kaypro CP/M systems display, with a II, 10/83, IV/83,
            2/83, 4/84, 2X, 4+88 and a 1, along with software and manuals. I'm not
            sure how interesting that would be, though. Ditto with a set of
            Osbournes: 1, 1A, Executive and Vixen.

            Or, I could do the story of SAGE, with a core memory plane, pluggable
            units, miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of
            pictures. I might be the only one that finds that interesting.

            Help me out, guys!

            Mike Loewen mloewen@...
            Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/

          • Evan Koblentz
            ... miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of pictures. Yes! And ask Fred @ InfoAge if there are any interesting connections...
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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              >>> I could do the story of SAGE, with a core memory plane, pluggable units,
              miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of pictures.

              Yes! And ask Fred @ InfoAge if there are any interesting connections...
            • Evan Koblentz
              No massively creative mechanical TV connected to a Babbage Difference Engine...? :) ... From: Joe Giliberti [mailto:Starbase89@gmail.com] Sent: Tuesday, June
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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                Message
                No massively creative mechanical TV connected to a Babbage Difference Engine...?   :)
                -----Original Message-----
                From: Joe Giliberti [mailto:Starbase89@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:35 PM
                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?

                I think I'm just going to be doing a MAME setup in a vintage computer themed cabinet. MAME kind of applies, considering its emulation of vintage hardware.
              • Bill Degnan
                ... Mike, Did you see the Sage light gun on Ebay the other day. It went for somewhere around $600. bd
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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                  <snip>
                  >
                  > Or, I could do the story of SAGE, with a core memory plane, pluggable
                  > units, miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of
                  > pictures. I might be the only one that finds that interesting.
                  >
                  > Help me out, guys!

                  Mike,
                  Did you see the Sage light gun on Ebay the other day. It went for somewhere around $600.

                  bd
                • Mike Loewen
                  ... Yeah, $525.99. I put in an early (low) bid for it, and figured it was going to go for $200 - $250. Silly me. :-) A core memory plane like mine sold for
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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                    On Tue, 17 Jun 2008, Bill Degnan wrote:

                    > Did you see the Sage light gun on Ebay the other day. It went for
                    > somewhere around $600.

                    Yeah, $525.99. I put in an early (low) bid for it, and figured it was
                    going to go for $200 - $250. Silly me. :-) A core memory plane like
                    mine sold for $1600 a couple of years ago.


                    Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                    Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                  • Dan Roganti
                    Well, I was preparing something that involves certain subject and not just about one kind of computer. It s about the history of floating point math and how
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 17, 2008
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                      Well, I was preparing something that involves certain subject and not just about one kind of computer. It's about the history of floating point math and how this type of hardware helped improve scientific computers. For my display, I plan to revive an old project from the 70's which allowed you to add floating point hardware to an early S-100 computer. In my case, I'll have my Imsai with me with the extra math card that I'm building. One thing I have to work on still is what kind of demo program I can use to demonstrate the increase in speed. I could use some suggestions on this part.

                      =Dan
                      [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]
                      


                      Evan Koblentz wrote:
                      Message
                      Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page.
                       
                      What's your big plan?  Share!!
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@...]
                      Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:06 PM
                      To: MARCH
                      Subject: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?


                      I've been working on my VCFeast exhibit here and noticed my yahoo countdown widget say 86 days left.

                      I was wondering if it's time to register yet ?

                      =Dan
                      -- 
                      [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]
                          

                    • schwepes@moog.netaxs.com
                      ... Can you describe what SAGE would have done on that horrible day that it had to be used to its full potential? I mean, in the event of a Soviet attack. I
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 20, 2008
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                        On Tue, 17 Jun 2008, Bill Degnan wrote:

                        > <snip>
                        > >
                        > > Or, I could do the story of SAGE, with a core memory plane, pluggable
                        > > units, miscellaneous parts, possibly a replica panel, and tons of
                        > > pictures. I might be the only one that finds that interesting.
                        > >
                        > > Help me out, guys!
                        >
                        > Mike,>
                        >
                        Can you describe what SAGE would have done on that horrible day that it
                        had to be used to its full potential? I mean, in the event of a Soviet
                        attack.

                        I still remember the tale that SAGE only went off line because the Air
                        Force had to buy replacement tubes from the then Russian satelite of
                        Yugoslavia.
                        bs










                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Jim Scheef
                        If plan becomes reality, my VCF exhibiut will be a 3-4 node IBM Cluster network with one PC and 2-3 PCjr s. Assuming the hardware I have accumulated actually
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 22, 2008
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                          If plan becomes reality, my VCF exhibiut will be a 3-4 node IBM Cluster network with one PC and 2-3 PCjr's. Assuming the hardware I have accumulated actually works, visitors will be able to play classic games on diskless PCjr's loading the programs from the PC's hard drive.

                          Jim

                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Mike Loewen <mloewen@...>
                          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 9:38:48 PM
                          Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?


                        • Jim Scheef
                          Dan, Floating point math was a big problem in early computers - mainframes to micros! The math co-processor was optional in PCs until the 486! Now we measure
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 22, 2008
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                            Dan,

                            Floating point math was a big problem in early computers - mainframes to micros! The "math co-processor" was optional in PCs until the 486! Now we measure performance in "flops".

                            Good topic!

                            Jim


                            ----- Original Message ----
                            From: Dan Roganti <ragooman@...>
                            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 1:57:39 AM
                            Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?


                            Well, I was preparing something that involves certain subject and not just about one kind of computer. It's about the history of floating point math and how this type of hardware helped improve scientific computers. For my display, I plan to revive an old project from the 70's which allowed you to add floating point hardware to an early S-100 computer. In my case, I'll have my Imsai with me with the extra math card that I'm building. One thing I have to work on still is what kind of demo program I can use to demonstrate the increase in speed. I could use some suggestions on this part.

                            =Dan
                            [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]


                            Evan Koblentz wrote:
                            Message
                            Still waiting for Sellam to finish the web page.
                             
                            What's your big plan?  Share!!
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@...]
                            Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:06 PM
                            To: MARCH
                            Subject: [midatlanticretro] VCF east countdown = 86 days, time to register ?


                            I've been working on my VCFeast exhibit here and noticed my yahoo countdown widget say 86 days left.

                            I was wondering if it's time to register yet ?

                            =Dan
                            -- 
                            [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/ ]

                          • Evan
                            ... That s some we can (eventually) teach in a chips musuem exhibit. In college (92-96) I bought a 486DX/33 instead of the cheaper SX because I did lots of CAD
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 22, 2008
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                              >>> The "math co-processor" was optional in PCs until the 486! Now we measure performance in "flops".

                              That's some we can (eventually) teach in a chips musuem exhibit.

                              In college (92-96) I bought a 486DX/33 instead of the cheaper SX because I did lots of CAD work and needed the math coprocessor.

                              That is the ONLY time you guys will hear me speak fondly of anything x86. :)
                            • Mike Loewen
                              ... Opinions are mixed about the effectiveness of SAGE in a wartime scenario. Some say that the use of jamming, chaff, and active decoys by Soviet forces
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 22, 2008
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                                On Fri, 20 Jun 2008, schwepes@... wrote:

                                > Mike,
                                >
                                > Can you describe what SAGE would have done on that horrible day that it
                                > had to be used to its full potential? I mean, in the event of a Soviet
                                > attack.

                                Opinions are mixed about the effectiveness of SAGE in a wartime
                                scenario. Some say that the use of jamming, chaff, and active decoys by
                                Soviet forces would have negated SAGE's automated benefits. The jamming
                                would especially have bollixed the height finder radar info, forcing
                                personnel to fall back on other, more manual methods. They still would
                                have sent interceptors up after the incoming bombers, but more bombers
                                would probably gotten through than desired.

                                By the time SAGE became operational, ICBMs were the order of the day
                                and SAGE wasn't designed to handle those - it was designed to counter a
                                bomber threat. SAGE command posts were built in above-ground concrete
                                blockhouses which wouldn't have withstood even a near-miss by a nuclear
                                weapon. They also tended to be located on prime target bases which would
                                draw fire on their own merits. The only underground SAGE facility was at
                                North Bay, Ontario. The US Air Force tried to talk the Canadians into
                                building the standard blockhouse, but the Canadians weren't having any.
                                I've toured the underground base at North Bay, and it's impressive.

                                > I still remember the tale that SAGE only went off line because the Air
                                > Force had to buy replacement tubes from the then Russian satelite of
                                > Yugoslavia.

                                I've heard the same stories, but haven't seen any supporting evidence.
                                The SAGE systems were simply too expensive to maintain after 25 years of
                                operation, and technology had bypassed them. When a SAGE installation was
                                decommissioned in later years, the tubes were usually pulled and carefully
                                packed up for testing and use in the remaining installations.


                                Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                              • William Donzelli
                                ... Perhaps, but I think it would have taken a very large, well-planned electronic attack to be very effective. The SAGE datalinks to the aircraft were very
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 22, 2008
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                                  > Opinions are mixed about the effectiveness of SAGE in a wartime
                                  > scenario. Some say that the use of jamming, chaff, and active decoys by
                                  > Soviet forces would have negated SAGE's automated benefits.

                                  Perhaps, but I think it would have taken a very large, well-planned
                                  electronic attack to be very effective. The SAGE datalinks to the
                                  aircraft were very flexible, and to know them out would have involved
                                  jamming the entire 225-400 MHz tactical aircraft band. The datalinks
                                  were also so simple that dropping bits every so often could be
                                  ignored, simply because the instrumentation they drove would not react
                                  fast enough.

                                  >> I still remember the tale that SAGE only went off line because the Air
                                  >> Force had to buy replacement tubes from the then Russian satelite of
                                  >> Yugoslavia.
                                  >
                                  > I've heard the same stories, but haven't seen any supporting evidence.

                                  A quick survey of a bunch of mil spec tubes around here from the late
                                  1970s and early 1980s reveals they are all US made - probably older
                                  stock that was warehoused for (then) future military sales.

                                  > When a SAGE installation was
                                  > decommissioned in later years, the tubes were usually pulled and carefully
                                  > packed up for testing and use in the remaining installations.

                                  Was this for all tubes, or certain types?

                                  Reusing tubes was generally very much not the norm, but I suppose if
                                  certain types were not being made anymore, it could have been
                                  justified.

                                  --
                                  Will
                                • Mike Loewen
                                  ... I ve talked with two people who helped to tear down SAGE installations, and neither mentioned being selective about tube types. I suppose it may have been
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 23, 2008
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                                    On Sun, 22 Jun 2008, William Donzelli wrote:

                                    >> When a SAGE installation was
                                    >> decommissioned in later years, the tubes were usually pulled and carefully
                                    >> packed up for testing and use in the remaining installations.
                                    >
                                    > Was this for all tubes, or certain types?
                                    >
                                    > Reusing tubes was generally very much not the norm, but I suppose if
                                    > certain types were not being made anymore, it could have been
                                    > justified.

                                    I've talked with two people who helped to tear down SAGE installations,
                                    and neither mentioned being selective about tube types. I suppose it may
                                    have been easier to just pull them all.


                                    Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                    Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                  • Herb Johnson
                                    In response to Dan s posts on floating point, Jim Scheef ... mainframes to micros! The math co-processor was optional in PCs until the 486! Now
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 23, 2008
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                                      In response to Dan's posts on floating point, Jim Scheef <jscheef@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Floating point math was a big problem in early computers -
                                      mainframes to micros! The "math co-processor" was optional in PCs
                                      until the 486! Now we measure performance in "flops".
                                      >
                                      > Good topic!
                                      >
                                      > Jim

                                      Some corrections of history. The "IBM PC of 1981" is the "PC" Jim is
                                      referring to. Many microcomputers before the IBM PC had math
                                      coprocessor options. In the S-100 world:

                                      http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/float.html

                                      ..one could use floating point chips from AMD or Intel; or floating
                                      point boards. Floating point software was developed for the Intel 8008
                                      early on, and the 8080 later (which was the microprocessor for the
                                      Altair 8800, the first S-100 system).

                                      Dan, look in the S-100 and CP/M world for use of these chips. But,
                                      also in the Intel world where Multibus and other embedded systems also
                                      used these chips.

                                      Jim says "now we measure performance in 'flops'". Floating point
                                      operations per second were one of many measures of performance, for
                                      decades prior to the microprocessor, in the mainframe and minicomputer
                                      world. It was less a "problem" and more a challenge to support with
                                      some efficiency. "Flops" performance was a selling point throughout
                                      the decades. It still is today, in GPU's of video cards in personal
                                      computers for gaming and for design work.

                                      There was a recent MARCH post about the "accident" of a byte being 8
                                      bits. Part of the issue of processor "word" size over the decades, was
                                      in dealing with arithmetic. The consequences of decimal arithmetic,
                                      versus the efficiency of binary arithmetic. It takes four binary bits
                                      to represent ten cardinal numbers; three (octal) are not enough and
                                      four (hexidecimal) are too many. The 8080 and other microprocessors
                                      supported binary and BCD arithmetic. In BCD operations, 8 bits
                                      represents two decimal digits.

                                      Claude Kagan would be a good source from which to learn about
                                      standards history, as he was part of numerous standards committees in
                                      the 60's and 70's.

                                      Herb Johnson
                                      Retrotechnology.com
                                    • William Donzelli
                                      ... During the development of the IBM System/360 during the early 1960s, when the world started to shift to the 8 bit standard, dealing with arithmetic was
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jun 23, 2008
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                                        > There was a recent MARCH post about the "accident" of a byte being 8
                                        > bits. Part of the issue of processor "word" size over the decades, was
                                        > in dealing with arithmetic.

                                        During the development of the IBM System/360 during the early 1960s,
                                        when the world started to shift to the 8 bit standard, dealing with
                                        arithmetic was hugely influential. Early in the project's engineering
                                        cycle, IBM studied data usage, and found that an overwhelming amount
                                        of data in the world at the time was numeric. Storage was also
                                        insanely expensive. 8 bit bytes were shown to be a very good
                                        compromise between storage and processor efficiency.

                                        Those firms that still were using 6 and 9 bit multiples generally saw
                                        the error of their early design choices, and most eventually adopted
                                        architectures in multiples of 8 bits - even stubborn DEC and CDC
                                        eventually changed. Univac never really did the change, and their
                                        architecture is one of the very last still being produced that has to
                                        do all sorts of hairy conversions to talk to an 8 bit world.

                                        --
                                        Will
                                      • schwepes@moog.netaxs.com
                                        ... The word used several frequencies of redundency as per the mil specs of the period. I did not work with SAGE but I used the same mil specs with. as I
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jun 28, 2008
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                                          On Sun, 22 Jun 2008, William Donzelli wrote:

                                          > > Opinions are mixed about the effectiveness of SAGE in a wartime
                                          > > scenario. Some say that the use of jamming, chaff, and active decoys by
                                          > > Soviet forces would have negated SAGE's automated benefits.
                                          >
                                          > Perhaps, but I think it would have taken a very large, well-planned
                                          > electronic attack to be very effective. The SAGE datalinks to the
                                          > aircraft were very flexible, and to know them out would have involved
                                          > jamming the entire 225-400 MHz tactical aircraft band. The datalinks
                                          > were also so simple that dropping bits every so often could be
                                          > ignored, simply because the instrumentation they drove would not react
                                          > fast enough.

                                          The 'word' used several frequencies of redundency as per the mil specs of
                                          the period. I did not work with SAGE but I used the same mil specs with.
                                          as I remember, 32 separate signals to blast through the potential EMS fog.
                                          bs






                                          >
                                          > >> I still remember the tale that SAGE only went off line because the Air
                                          > >> Force had to buy replacement tubes from the then Russian satelite of
                                          > >> Yugoslavia.
                                          > >
                                          > > I've heard the same stories, but haven't seen any supporting evidence.
                                          >
                                          > A quick survey of a bunch of mil spec tubes around here from the late
                                          > 1970s and early 1980s reveals they are all US made - probably older
                                          > stock that was warehoused for (then) future military sales.
                                          >
                                          > > When a SAGE installation was
                                          > > decommissioned in later years, the tubes were usually pulled and carefully
                                          > > packed up for testing and use in the remaining installations.
                                          >
                                          > Was this for all tubes, or certain types?
                                          >
                                          > Reusing tubes was generally very much not the norm, but I suppose if
                                          > certain types were not being made anymore, it could have been
                                          > justified.
                                          >
                                          > --
                                          > Will
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • William Donzelli
                                          ... This does not match my info entirely (AN/ARR-39 tech manual). The SAGE data would come in on any one of the standard UHF tactical channels. Frequency
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jun 29, 2008
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                                            > The 'word' used several frequencies of redundency as per the mil specs of
                                            > the period. I did not work with SAGE but I used the same mil specs with.
                                            > as I remember, 32 separate signals to blast through the potential EMS fog.

                                            This does not match my info entirely (AN/ARR-39 tech manual). The SAGE
                                            data would come in on any one of the standard UHF tactical channels.
                                            Frequency agility essentially involved just having the pilot switch to
                                            a different channel using the knob on the control box.

                                            This scheme was one of the very first military datalinks, and there
                                            was certainly evolution, so what you may have worked with could have
                                            been a later scheme.

                                            --
                                            Will
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