Data General Nova Star Trek (Rockwell Collins vs. Vaisala SPT11A)

Erik Baigar erik at
Tue Apr 26 12:39:33 CDT 2016

On Tue, 26 Apr 2016, Swift Griggs wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Apr 2016, Erik Baigar wrote:
>> Apart from Rolm mil-spec computers, my hobby is airborne vintage avionics
>> and I know that Ferranti tested their intertial navigations systems for
>> aircraft also by torturing them in a car driving around Edinburgh in
>> Scotland...
> That is an interesting hobby. How did you get into that and how do you
> actually test/use the stuff you tinker with?

Hi Swift, I got into this hobby via the computer side - everything started
as I wanted to have a computer using core memory and so I bought a black
box from the Tornado aircraft which contained core. This started a
10 year yourney of analyzing it, decyphering the command set and building
tools to program it. Only years later I got the information, that
the box is a 12 bit version of the famous Elliott 900 family which
was "popular" in the UK in the 1960ties. I have a project page on this:

> Are you a pilot?

No, I am just keeping this stuff with two goals: (1) Keeping it
in working order to preserve some strange unknown technology and
(2) learn how the guys of the 1970tis squeezed out amazing things
of this technology.

> more interesting facets of the avionics gear you collect?

Well in my opinion the inertial navigation systems are the most
complex and advanced pieces of equipment available: They combine
outstanding mechanics and mechanical, analog-electronic and
digital computing...

Apart from this I am fascinated from graphics generators which
(e.g. for the head up displays of the 1970ties) achieved vector
graphics update rates of 50Hz an more (circles and lines) in
512x512 pixel resolution without having memory to store a single

I have a logbook on my activities, but of course I should do more
for "marketing" all this stuff...


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