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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:28:10 PM on 19 October 2021.
SteveC's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 19 October 2021
 Member #: 2468
 Postcount: 4

Hi all,

I found this forum after a Google search for something similar in Australia.

I qualified as a radio tech in Sydney in 1969, working for Qantas at the time. I subsequently moved into the IT industry in 1981 and stopped working on radios, apart from my hobby as a ham radio op.

Our son contacted me today as he has inherited an old Monarch UA8 radiogram from his maternal grandfather who passed away in 2003. The unit has been sitting in a garage since then and he has asked for my help in restoring it, hence I joined this forum to refresh my memory of equipment I have not serviced in appr 40 years.

I look forward to learning many things I have forgotten and helping others where I can.

My most recent project, although not necessarily vintage, was replacing a faulty CD module in my 2009 Toyota Camry head unit.

Regards,

Steve


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:42:22 AM on 20 October 2021.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1038

Welcome to steam radio. Someone here is sure to have repaired one of these.

One of these was on my parent's radiogram in the '50's.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:59:25 AM on 20 October 2021.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6237

Welcome to V-R.

If it's to become a project, suggest starting a dedicated thread in Tech Talk.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 12:44:10 PM on 20 October 2021.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6625

My most recent project, although not necessarily vintage, was replacing a faulty CD module in my 2009 Toyota Camry head unit.

I once had to do the same in my Holden Commodore. Fortunately it was easy as I'd hit a big bump at one stage and dislodged a plug with a ribbon cable attached. It was fairly easy to plug back in. Fortunately a Blaupunkt car radio is not as complex as most of the other gear that company makes.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 6:57:22 PM on 22 October 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 237

I subsequently moved into the IT industry in 1981

What sort of work have you done in IT? when I think 80's IT I think of a data centre with a halon fire extinguishing system


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 1:49:40 PM on 23 October 2021.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Hill Top, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1517

I began my IT career in the latter 1980's, in a data centre with Univac mainframes, and, yes, with a halon fire extinguishing system.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 11:46:33 PM on 24 October 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 237

Wow Univac. What sort of operating system did that run? Unix or something?

I do get a fair bit of entertainment pushing vintage computers to their limits. Like I built a 386SX based computer the other day with a NOS motherboard and installed windows 95 via floppy disk onto it. running at 25MHz with a 16-bit bus the speeds were absolutely comical compared to what we have today but it's very much my sort of fun.

Only class of x86 I don't have is an old school XT or AT class machine.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 8:20:41 PM on 25 October 2021.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Hill Top, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1517

Univac had its own OS called EXEC-8.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIVAC_1100/2200_series

We had a 1100/84 and a 1100/62, then later got a 1100/92. Just before I left that area we got some 2200 types.

The 84 took up a whole room, the 62 was wardrobe-sized, and the 92 was a big H-shaped thing that was liquid-cooled.

Each hard drive was the size of a washing machine. The hard drive controllers were each the size of a wardrobe.

The machine itself ran off 400 volts DC from a big rotary converter that sat at the back of the room. If that failed (it never did), power could be taken from a room full of batteries in the basement. And if all that failed, power could be grabbed from the overhead wiring used by the trains.

As for 386-type computers, I have 2 working ones here, each running Windows for Workgroups, and with soundblaster cards. One of them also has a network card, which lets it talk to my Win98SE machine, and it can also surf the internet, very very slowly.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:29:43 PM on 25 October 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 237

Having a quick look at the Wikipedia page, it's staggering just how far we have come in such a short period.
It would be awesome to check out those hard drives. How long would a system like that run of battery power?

Sounds like you've got two nice old machines. Windows 3 sure is a interesting stepping stone operating system.
What sort of web browser would you have on that? A network card is the only thing I don't have for mine. It's got just a basic Vibra16 card which does the job.

Computers also had interesting short lived screens like gas-plasma displays and amber crt's.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 4:29:14 PM on 26 October 2021.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Hill Top, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1517

The browser I'm using is Opera 3.62, but I think that certain versions of Netscape should do the job too.

If you want to install a network card, you need an ISA card (obviously), that has jumpers or switches to set the addresses manually. Windows 3.1 doesn't support Plug'n'play. Windows does come with some drivers, but you may need to dig up the original floppy disk and install the driver yourself. When selecting the addresses, make sure you don't accidently conflict with another device in your system.

The fun of the good old days.

My machine has 16MB of RAM and runs at 33MHz, and at just 10Mbits, the internet will be very sluggish, or even appear to just freeze up. But I wanted to find out how far one could go on a last-century machine.

For network protocols, WFW only came with the now-useless IPX, and with NetBEUI. No TCP/IP. But you can download the TCP/IP install program and it works well enough. Although NetBEUI is supported by all windows versions up to XP, Win9x systems are the least troublesome to communicate with.

The only use of IPX these days is to set up networking when playing Doom or some other games. The days of Novell Netware servers are long gone.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 4:41:55 PM on 26 October 2021.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1038

Actually, even a last-millennium machine.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 6:36:03 PM on 27 October 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 237

For a network ISA card I do believe that some can be configured outside of windows with their own dos program. So you might not need to get one that relies on jumpers for configuration.

Next time I put together a PC of that era I'd try out WFW. My 386SX only has 8MB so it is a little limited but can still do most things a 386 should be able to do. sounds like you've got the blazing fast 33MHz one!

I'd imagine you would have to shrink the screen size way down to get playable frame-rates on a 386! but I'm guessing you have another machine for that


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 10:49:41 PM on 27 October 2021.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Hill Top, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1517

I'm using a real VGA monitor from the period, so its probably 640x480 or something - I haven't really looked.

But yes, I have many more old computers that are much more capable.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:14:48 AM on 28 October 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 237

That's the main piece of era appropriate gear I don't have! Not surprised that CRT monitors have become rare now.
But it would be nice to have one that fitted right in with the old PC's.

Probably the only other thing would be a dot matrix printer. Always wanted to watch one of those draw almost line by line.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 12:47:04 AM on 28 October 2021.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Hill Top, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1517

Yeah I had a dot matrix printer back in the 90s, but it blew up so was thrown out.

Even if you could find one, they are really noisy and getting a ribbon could be a problem. Mine used an ordinary typewriter ribbon, but I'd guess even they would be hard to get now.


 
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