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#612668 - 09/18/17 06:27 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: Carl Navarro]  
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Originally Posted by Carl Navarro
In the very first days of personal computing (about 1979-1981) they made a Selectric interface. It was a solenoid panel that fit over the keyboard and tapped out your print. Remember, dot matrix printers were ugly and didn't even have descenders on the lowercase letters. Qume printers were VERY expensive in 1980's dollars, and the poor guy like me didn't have hundreds of dollars to buy one anyway something like 40 of them.

If you have time to waste, there are some articles and a thread on the interfaces here: https://www.google.com/search?q=IBM+Selectric+keyboard+interface&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


Thanks Carl,

This is exactly the idea which came to my mind while thinking about Selectric: to make an interface based on solenoids to print from PC. Need to see, probably some are still available around.

I have two dot matrix printers here (actually 3 - third is for printing log from PBX): one for A4 width and one big for A3. Both equipped with continuous paper. I print long lists on them. Smaller one is cool - I have a color cartridge for it - CMYK, so it allows to print in color. That was like the top of dot matrix technology just before it died.

But typewriter type printer is much cooler. There were big ones with daisy wheel, which printed the whole line in one hit, but they are rare and expensive. They were very fast in printing

Last edited by RedBul; 09/18/17 06:30 AM.
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#612681 - 09/18/17 05:53 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Underground Phone Lab creation project has started. Underground because it is physically under the ground - in basement.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by RedBul; 09/18/17 05:54 PM.
#612752 - 09/21/17 12:56 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Here they are! Picked up from the owners on the way to business trip.

[Linked Image]

So far the idea was to take 2 or 3 with different defects at negligible cost and make out of that one good. But it looks I was wrong: IBM in 1970s produced with the same approach as Western Electric - i.e. Last Forever. Out of two one has been already repaired by me in the hotel room with no tools (fingers hurt a bit).

[Linked Image]

I'm afraid now that I will end up with 4 good red Selectrics, since I've contacted several people and all of them committed to give their ones away since they can't repair them and most probably don't need.

In States these are pricey. Here people give it for $5-10 only to get rid of them.

I was impressed with the quality: first time saw a carbon tape (this is the one time tape) - quality of printing is exact as on high resolution laser printer or better.

Last edited by RedBul; 09/21/17 12:59 AM.
#612753 - 09/21/17 01:35 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Wow...very neat!


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#612754 - 09/21/17 02:46 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Quote
In States these are pricey. Here people give it for $5-10 only to get rid of them.


Wouldn't know, ours went in the dumpster about 10 years ago. I really don't think they are worth anything here either. Mine had a couple of AA batteries down inside on the bottom when you lifted the cover. Never could figure out what they were for. Don't remember it looking like those- completely mechanical.

-Hal


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#612755 - 09/21/17 07:02 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: hbiss]  
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Originally Posted by hbiss


Wouldn't know, ours went in the dumpster about 10 years ago. I really don't think they are worth anything here either. Mine had a couple of AA batteries down inside on the bottom when you lifted the cover. Never could figure out what they were for. Don't remember it looking like those- completely mechanical.

-Hal


Go to eBay and see what people ask for Selectric II or I. I was shocked!

This is the example of test printout:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by RedBul; 09/21/17 07:07 AM.
#612773 - 09/22/17 12:53 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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We had one Selectric II in the office that we would fight over. It was on a mobile cart, and you never knew where it would end up.

#612833 - 09/25/17 06:16 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: DND ON]  
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Originally Posted by DND ON
We had one Selectric II in the office that we would fight over. It was on a mobile cart, and you never knew where it would end up.

I have four of them now. May share one with you, if you want:)

#612885 - 09/27/17 01:49 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Western Electric 2632CM1 beige Call Director has arrived today safely.

This will be a long restoration project - it looks like it has spend couple of decades in a very humid place, so a lot of oxidation and rust on all metal parts inside and outside. Base will need to be re-painted on the bottom. Nevertheless initial check indicated functionality of all major components within the set.

[Linked Image]

Restoration plan includes complete cleanup of all internal and external parts, housing sanding and repolishing, upgrade to the full 18-buttons functionality and a new paper insert under the faceplate.

Long way to go, but this guy has all chances to see his better times and come back to the mint condition.

P.S. Insects debris has been already removed from the set...

Last edited by RedBul; 09/27/17 01:52 PM.
#612895 - 09/27/17 06:20 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Good luck! That's going to be a long time labor of love!.

Sam


"Where are we going and why are we in this hand basket?"
#612896 - 09/27/17 06:23 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: Silversam]  
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Originally Posted by Silversam
Good luck! That's going to be a long time labor of love!.

Sam

Two days probably if I focus solely on this. But I want to enjoy the process. Now I have a dedicated space for this type of repair, so no need to create a mess at my regular desk

#613162 - 10/10/17 10:44 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Some of more sweet stuff on my table in a new phone lab:

Revox A77 reel-to-reel stereo tape recorder made on Feb 15, 1973. This is to make a repair work on the phones more enjoyable.

This is a nice piece of Hi-Fi equipment with very good Swiss engineering inside. All Audio elements (left, right playback amplifiers, left and right record amplifiers, input amplifier, relays boards, oscillator, etc.) are made in a form of WE 400-type line cards: they are modular and inserted into similar multi-pin connectors on the backboard. So any trouble can be easily traced and corrected in minutes by replacing the cards.

[Linked Image]

I actually have now two of them (I always prefer to have a duplicate item for a good thing, just in case).

For these reel-to-reel guys - this IS the aftermarket! All our 1A2 rare items prices have nothing to do with what these guys pay for Revox devices and accessories. Not to mention WE audio electronic tubes - those cost an arm and a leg.

Last edited by RedBul; 10/10/17 10:45 PM.
#613172 - 10/11/17 02:42 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Ah yes! I have access to an old Sony 7.5" reel-to-reel at my Church. The drive belt must be stretched as the speed is off. The felt pressure pads for the tape heads are worn off and all three heads must be worn by now.

Sadly, nobody really fixes them anymore, and, tapes are long gone from the market. There is a box of tapes I can try to play as time allows.


I FEATURE 00

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#613183 - 10/11/17 09:29 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: dexman]  
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Originally Posted by dexman
Ah yes! I have access to an old Sony 7.5" reel-to-reel at my Church. The drive belt must be stretched as the speed is off. The felt pressure pads for the tape heads are worn off and all three heads must be worn by now.

Sadly, nobody really fixes them anymore, and, tapes are long gone from the market. There is a box of tapes I can try to play as time allows.


For Revox a service manual is available for download from the manufacturer, plenty of parts on eBay, even the special kits with new variable resistors (trimmers) sets, transistors, capacitors, etc. This one has no belt (except the one for mechanical counter, which is not a critical application) - this is a 3-motor direct drive machine, i.e. the tape moving shaft and both reels are set directly on the motor shafts with no gears or belts transmission. I've cleaned and re-oiled the so called capstan motor (this is the one moving the tape at regulated precise speed) and it works well. This one utilizes semi-professional heads - they are huge in size and I believe have a good resource for wear off. And there are plenty of masters who fix them, upgrade them for a very good money. But I prefer to do it myself.

P.S. The 1/4" tape is still available (new one) since there are still many professional studious who prefer to use the classical non-digital technology. Old tapes are indeed no good - they deteriorate and start to produce an oxide dust which is all over the place.

I plan to use one of these machines for recording the telephone conversations (conference calls) at reduced speed of 3 3/4 inches per second, so will have in total ~16 hours capacity on one 10.5" reel with 1100 m of tape (because of 4 tracks available for monophonic recording). Will need to tied it up to a WE telephone - not sure if it should be a direct connection or via some sort of isolating transformer (like in WE 107B loudspeaker). Probably Arthur knows it...

Last edited by RedBul; 10/11/17 09:34 AM.
#613184 - 10/11/17 10:11 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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A NOS NIB Precision Components 4A speakerphone has arrived yesterday. First impression was negative, since it is not a 100% reproduction of Western Electric 4A as I expected from pictures.

The major differences are:

1) Front panel of PC-108A loudspeaker is made of painted grayish-tan metal, not a sand-blasted aluminum like WE 108A

[Linked Image]

2) "OFF" an "ON OR QUITE" designations on the PC-680A transmitter are engraved in plastic and filled with black paint, not a double molding item from WE.

[Linked Image]

3) The red LED cap is attached to the stationary transmitter cover, not to the LED board itself. And the LED is not typical WE rectangular LED with lens, but a simple cheap LED. LED goes off when the ON OR QUITE button is depressed, so there is no visual indication of speakerphone being active while on mute (with coin technique, or I actually use a paper clip from metal wire with PVC cover not to scratch the plastic). On the other hand there is a clear indication that the microphone is deactivated, so this is actually good. Stationary cap has a factory installed shielding from a copper foil strip to protect the volume control variable resistor from RFI when user touches the wheel.

[Linked Image]

4) Better not to look inside - what you see there will resemble that this thing was designed and made in a garage. 4 PCBs are screwed to a thick pieces of transparent Plexiglas on both sides and it looks like it was cut manually by a hand saw and drilled with a accu screwdrver. BUT there are no flexible PCB there connecting the 3 main boards, which is the most thin place in WE 108A design. So chances are it will survive aging better than WE 4A.

But once I have connected that to the system my opinion has changed:

The sound quality is very good on both sides, specifically:

1) there is absolutely no hum from 18 VAC, which was the issue with original WE 4A whta made me to change it from 18 VAC from transformer to a filtered DC power supply.

2) transmission from the microphone is also very good with no hum or distortion.

All in all, because of the sound quality this item from Precision Component receives an approval for use in my 1A2 system.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by RedBul; 10/11/17 10:26 AM.
#613185 - 10/11/17 10:22 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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One comment to all WE 2872 Touch-A-Matic users:

DO NOT connect your TAM power to the system voltage from the KSU. One of the sides of power supply within the TAM has a jump wire to a phone line (T or R side, not sure).

So the transformer 13.5 VAC coil should be a true isolated (free floating) coil. Otherwise it can cause issues within the system.

#613207 - 10/11/17 11:43 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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Note that the area on the TAM faceplate, just above the TT dial, is a perfect spot to mount the 4A transmitter unit, using double-sided tape. It keeps the transmitter from using extra space on the desktop, and its location is always obvious.


Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"

#613249 - 10/12/17 10:45 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: Arthur P. Bloom]  
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Originally Posted by Arthur P. Bloom
Note that the area on the TAM faceplate, just above the TT dial, is a perfect spot to mount the 4A transmitter unit, using double-sided tape. It keeps the transmitter from using extra space on the desktop, and its location is always obvious.


Hi Arthur, you gave me an answer to a mistery which bothered me for a long. I’ve almost bought 2 faceplates for TAM, but stopped when I saw the pictures: both were drilled in that area above the dial. I couldn’t understand who would drill it there and why. Now I see that most probably those were from TAMs with transmitter screwed above the dial.

But I’d like to keep it simple and in two separate parts. I like to move around while at desk, so I place the transmitter in different locations depending on if I present something from my computer or just lean back and participate occasionally in the conversation.

I used to work at the radio station many years ago. Since that time I automatically place any microphone I use into perfect location in terms of distance and direction of voice. This is uncontrollable.

And for my favorite telephones (and TAM is definitely the one, second being black WE 564 which started my whole collection) I always have enough space on the side extention to my desk. It is lower level vs. main desk, so it can’t be used for anything else.

Last edited by RedBul; 10/12/17 10:51 PM.
#613267 - 10/13/17 03:37 AM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: RedBul]  
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As Confucius say: Holes bad. Tape good. Velcro® best.


Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"

#613284 - 10/13/17 08:35 PM Re: 1A2 and some old WECO stuff [Re: Arthur P. Bloom]  
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Originally Posted by Arthur P. Bloom
As Confucius say: Holes bad. Tape good. Velcro® best.

I worked 6 years for 3M. I would say VHB is the best. Or Command for removable bond.

P.S. I’ve got it today - pink beauty 564. Hope it will come safe. I will share with you. This baby will require a lot of hydrogen peroxide and sandpaper, but I know beneath she’s a real beauty.

Last edited by RedBul; 10/13/17 08:38 PM.
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