USR quad modems... (ontopic - really!)
Billy.Pettit at wdc.com
Fri Aug 18 12:49:25 CDT 2006
Don <THX1138 at dakotacom.net> wrote:
TIP: An embroidery hook works wonders for fishing wirewrap wires
out of a nest without too much damage! ;-) (but you have to
find the right size hook to ensure a "good grab" on the wire)
For those of us who go back to the dawn, there was the spring hook, a
beautifully functional tool used on the relay machines. They worked great
on the thick wire mats. I still have all of mine and even today find the
spring hook to be one of the most useful tools around the shop.
Another tool I found useful was a jewelers device to hold rings for
soldering. It looks like a pair of tweezers with the ends bent out so they
can't touch. You squeeze it, stick it in the wire mat, and release. The
tension holds the wires apart. We made a bunch of copies using piano wire
and put shrink tubing over the ends.
If you get a chance, look at the 6600 or 7600 in the Museum. Seymour loved
those dense wire mats - he used wire lengths to tune his systems. If you
worked on one of his machines, you spent a significant part of your working
hours buried in wire up to your forearms.
The worst was the Cyber 170 machines. They were twisted pair 30 gauge wire
mats. If you weren't careful, the pins bent and touched. And there was
what we called "tingles". The broken piece off the end of a wire would
disappear into the wire mat and eventually short two pins out. Even more
fun, if you were tuning clocks, the power was on, so you could watch the
path of the tingle by the little sparks. Always happened on a Friday night,
One of the worst nightmares I worked on was a machine that the engineers
working on, had set their coffee cups on top of the cabinet and forgot about
them. This was before the styrofoam cups, just waxed paper. It soaked
through and dumped the coffee down into the wire mat. We tried for a few
days to fix it but finally had to scrap the entire chassis. Per the Peter
Principle, the chief suspect was later promoted to be my manager.
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