Early 360 machines (Was: Front panel switches - what did they do?)

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Wed May 25 19:12:14 CDT 2016

On 2016-05-25 8:47 PM, jwsmobile wrote:
> On 5/25/2016 4:29 PM, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> On Wed, 25 May 2016, Noel Chiappa wrote:
>>> Those printers had an amazingly long life! They were first 
>>> introduced in 1959
>>> with the 1401 computer, and, like I said, the brand spanking new 
>>> System 3
>>> they got in ca. 1976 came with one! I wonder when IBM stopped producing
>>> them?
>> Did they discontinue the most long lasting printer that they had made
> The 1403 was and is a great printer, but IBM didn't make a lot of 
> crappy ones.  We had a 6262 and a 3xxx (don't recall it) with a 
> builtin channel both of which were great printers too.  Don't forget 
> such as the laser engine coupled units either.  Huge messes, but could 
> turn out amazing volumes of printed material.
The 1403 was replaced by the 3203 which used the same print trains there 
was also a faster 3211 that used a different train.  Later there was the 
4245 band printer which was a 3203 with a different front gate and later 
the 6262 which was the last of the big impact printers. The 3211 was 
announced in 1970 which may have been the end of the 1403, but people 
where still using them long after that.  The 3203 was announced around 
1979 and had performance comparable to 1403 and used the same trains, 
but did not have as good of a stacker.

The 6262 had electronic hammer timing which took away one of the really 
tedious, not to mention deafening  jobs in these printers. On the 3203 
and 4245 each hammer had a set screw behind it that adjust the hammer 
flight timing and you would run a H pattern and look for columns that 
where off to one side adjust and run again and repeat until all 132 
columns where looking good.  On the 6262 there was a special setup tool 
that was put in front of the hammers and connected to the printer, and 
then you would run a test and it would electronically measure the timing 
of each hammer and adjust the firing time accordingly.

I liked the big 3800 duplex setup,  two 3800s where set up end to end 
with precise spacing between them the paper was fed through one one 3800 
and into the other with the paper being turned over between them.  The 
3800 printer also had burst and slit features available that the CEs 
called rip and tear feature.  Printing steadily a 3800 could empty a box 
of paper in four minutes and it would detect the end of the paper and 
stop before it fed all the way in and there was a fold down table with 
pins on it so the operator could align and join on the new box so they 
did not have to completely re-thread the paper.


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