Museum readies touch-tastic retro comms gear hands-on
Teletypes to tin cans
NSFWish According to my Wiltshire-born partner, Swindon is a grim place to spend your weekend, but this month sees an event that may nonetheless tickle a tech-head's taste-buds.
As part of National Science and Engineering week, the Museum of Computing will hold two days of workshops that reminisce about tech, with an emphasis on the retro communications methods of yesteryear.
Visitors will not only build tin-can telephones and Morse Code keys from Lego, but will receive expert lessons at semaphore flag waving and learn how to decrypt secret messages.
Best of all, the museum hopes to have a fully-working 1960s teletype on show, the inspiration for the keyboard and monitor system we all use today.
Functioning, perhaps, but I don't think the model below would be in the same condition:
Workshops run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, 12 March and 19 March. Standard museum charges apply. Get on down there, matey - as a Swindonian would say. ®
Mmm, very nice
Looks like iambic paddles.
Much nicer than straight keys.
I could read the paper tape straight off the punch, without printing - five-bit binary code...
Ah "73 Magazine," how much you are missed
Back in the 70's and early 80's, the major Amateur Radio press was trying to gain respectability with articles filled with calculus to find the absolute noise floor of the input stage and the mixer/intermediate frequency chain behind it. The belief was if you had enough equations to look like a scientific journal, you must be a scientific journal.
Then along came "73" with the attitude that radio was supposed to be fun, dammit. If you wanted to do all that fancy stuff you got a job at Rockwell-Collins designing commercial aircraft HF radio and military boxes that we still haven't figured out what they do,
Circuits published in "73" stood about a 50/50 chance of working if you built a copy since the author's version actually depended on the distributed capacitance of the wiring, something an MSEE could figure out, but not the average ham. Still, if you persevered, you probably ended up with something that accomplished the desired end, but looked very little like the simple device in the article.
As far as editorial policy, you'd have a hard time distinguishing it from el Reg. Supposed to be fun, remember? Every April was one big April Fool's joke with my favorite being the April 1966 edition which turned "73" into a parody of Playboy. The famous rabbit symbol morphed into a pig, there were the usual columns such as "73 After Dark" and, as in the original, the last two pages were a cartoon about a big-boobed airhead named (here) Little Annie Hammy.
Wayne Green, the publisher, eventually ended up in jail for tax evasion, having taken his Libertarian views much too seriously. W2NSD ("Never Say Die") took a long break from the stress of contacting operators like the one in the picture. Did I mention the whole operation was headquartered in New Hampshire?
73 de K8QN
Casting my mind back,...
to recall a female operator who didn't have thighs the size of tree trunks. Nope, 0 rows returned.
(They were all lovely to talk to and very switched on BTW).
Respect Sir, is due to you!
You're not by any chance also The Stig are you?