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

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Wed May 25 20:16:57 CDT 2016

On 2016-05-25 9:46 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 05/25/2016 05:17 PM, Paul Berger wrote:
>> The train printers where amazing technology but what often killed
>> the trains was an operator who neglected to top off the oil
>> reservoir, if the train went dry they would literally screech to a
>> halt.   It was always interesting when someone put a carriage control
>> tape on backwards or didn't lower the brushes, the first skip would
>> empty the box and the paper would be all packed up under the cover.
> The CE's nightmare for the 512 was a ribbon that started to disintegrate
> and become lodged in the train.  As I've witnessed, it involves a
> container of solvent and a brush and completely disassembly of the
> train, scrubbing each type slug carefully, the putting the whole mess
> back together.  Can you say "dirty filthy frustrating work?"
> --Chuck
Yeah I watch some of the large system guys disassemble and repair trains 
and of course when you put them back together you had to make sure the 
slugs where all in the right order.   We had customers that would buy 
3rd party ribbons that where practically dripping with ink that would 
gum up everything in the machine.  The other problem we had with 3rd 
party ribbons on 3203 and 4245 was some would be too transparent and 
would mess up the tracking sensor so the ribbons would go off one side.

I only ever saw one of the drum style high speed printers and I think it 
was a Honeywell wavey line printer.  I remember the operator demoed it 
for us by printing a picture, if you printed a whole line of the same 
character it would fire every hammer at the same time, it was very 
noisey.  The 1403 limited the number of hammers that could fire 
simultaneously, for testing the CEs had what was called train breaker 
routine that would exercise the printer firing the maximum number 


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