Forgotten PC History
Roy J. Tellason
rtellason at verizon.net
Sat Aug 9 00:29:47 CDT 2008
On Saturday 09 August 2008 01:12, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 9 Aug 2008 at 0:39, Roy J. Tellason wrote:
> > I remember a couple or three hobby kits of one sort or another that were
> > RTL in cans. They came with a board but I'm not remembering the
> > orientation of the board holes at this point, might've been DIP but
> > we're talking 30+ years ago so I'm not sure. I do remember that I had to
> > bend the leads, though. :-)
> I remember the Moto mWRTL experimenter's pack. Cans, but no boards--
> and a fair number of analog suggested applications. RTL was kind of
> neat that way--it could swing both ways. If you wanted to make a
> microphone mixer using a 4-input NAND gate, you could without much
> trouble at all. Probably getting close to 40 years, no?
Probably, yeah. I used to wander around lower Manhattan and other places
around NYC where I might find interesting places selling assorted odd bits of
electronic junk (an obsession I still have to some extent, collecting that
One time I went into this place that wasn't in the usual areas, not on Canal
St. nor down around Cortlandt/Chambers, that area further down, but I'm
thinking West Broadway maybe. I can't recall the name of the company, but I
can still picture the guy's face.
The kit that I remember well was this "electronic music maker" thingy that had
basically an LFO driving a 4-bit counter and on each counter output you had a
pot and a switch with the common point of those driving an oscillator, so
you could select all sorts of patterns, and sequences. I put a lot of care
into building that for one of my kids back then. Dunno whatever became of
it, either. But it was all definitely RTL in there, it ran off a set of 3
or 4 C cells if I'm remembering right, because those were what would fit in
In recent email conversation talking about all those old Don Lancaster
cookbooks I mentioned that the RTL one was the only one out of the set that I
didn't have yet, and it was pointed out to me that there were copies *real*
cheap on Amazon, which surprised me. I may yet get a hold of one of those,
though I have little hope of running across any of those chips any more,
even though they used to be common.
And I don't suppose you can have quite as much fun with TTL, either. CMOS
does have some possibilities, maybe. :-)
> > > That's the way I did my first IC boards--single-sided PCB, laid out
> > > with tape and etched. Hooked the pads together with No. 26 magnet
> > > wire.
> > >
> > > I didn't know any better, but it worked.
> > I guess that's what counts, eh?
That reminds me of my first wire-wrap board, a CPU (only) build around an
8080 chip. Three regulators on the board, power supply connections by way
of some strips of Vector bus stips cut in thirds, and I never did nail down
any particular niterconnect scheme before I got majorly sidetracked away from
it. But it did work, when I tried it...
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be killed but can't be tamed. --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James
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