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Me Welcome to my site, this is where you'll find all my little projects, stuff i've collected and any other related stuff i've done, I built this site all myself, right from scratch, using PHP, HTML, a little JavaScript and some CSS, i might not be that good at web design, but i do find it fun, If you have any comments or questions (good or bad) then do feel free to send me a Message or Sign My Guest Book.

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Racal 836 Frequency Counter (1972/5)
i bought this of eBay for just under £33 + p&p, it's a 32MHz Nixie tube Frequency Counter, from around 1972 to 1975, i didn't need to do too much to it, just a bit of a clean, inside and out, i did replace all the DP (decimal point) lights, with LED's, because all but one were working, it may not be of much use Today, but it is a really cool bit of kit.

Racal 836 - Radio Museum
Racal 836 Service Manual
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Philco Frequency Meter BC-221-AE (1940's)
This has to be the oldest bit of kit i have, this used to belong to my dad, and has been up in the loft for many years (after his passing), i think it's from the 1940's, used in the 2nd world war, for the U.S Army, it would of been powered by a 135 volt battery (but at some point had been converted to run off AC), from the info i have found, this was used for calibrating radio equipment, by using a method called Zero-Beating, the Frequency Meter still works, but the dial reading's are a bit off from the setting in the Calibration Book, i did replace some of the components in the power supply to make it a bit safer to use, but for it's age it still works really well.

Here's a YouTube video of a newer Frequency Meter, plus the same model as mine (not my video)

and some more info and the User Manuel
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Epson HX-20 (1982)
i got this from a car boot sale, round 15 odd years ago, i can't remember how much i paid, but i'm sure it wasn’t much,
for it's time i would think it might of been one of the first laptops (or should i say a battery powered portable computer).

my HX-20 come with a Micro cassette recorder (for storing data) and a RAM Expansion Unit, it runs a basic programming language (Epson Basic), that is very much like Microsoft's QBasic and Visual Basic, that might explain the CopyRight of Microsoft & Epson (see last picture),

the battery in the HX-20 is a 4 C cell Ni-Cd pack = 4.8 volts (that is totally dead in mine), so i'm powering it of a 5 volt power supply, that seems to work fine.

the built-in printer still works, but the printer ribbon is falling apart, but luckily it turns out that the printer in the HX-20 was the same type that was also used in a lot of cash tills, so finding a replacement is easy (just look for "ERC-05", for the black ribbon), the paper is just standard cash till paper too.

here are some sites i've found on the Epson HX-20:
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Zenith Data Systems - Z-39 Terminal (1985)
I got this terminal the same time as i got the icl terminal (i saved both of them from being thrown away, about 11 years ago), on the back of the terminal is two 25pin ports (one male and one female) plus one Rj11 socket for the keyboard, i think the two 25pin ports are serial ports (one for a printer and one for data), it powers on and shows a blinking cursor, an on-line timer and a keyboard error, but thats because i don't have a keyboard for it, so i can't properly test it out, i've tried to find out what the pins do and from what i can see, pin 1 = +12v, pin 2 = +5v, pin 3 = ??, pin 4 = ??, pin 5 = 0v, pin 6 = 0v, i tried connecting the keyboard from the icl terminal, the icl keyboard pins look to be, pin 1 = +12v, pin 2 = 0v, pin 3 = +5v (may also carry data), pin 4 = 0v, but when i connect up the icl keyboard, i just get some kind of data come up on the screen (still showing the keyboard error) but it just looks like garbage, i even tried connecting up an old pc keyboard, but again i only get garbage but this time it looks like binary, it might need some kind of serial/TTL keyboard or something like that, if anyone can help me out with this, i would be really grateful.

***** Update *****
after tracing were the two data pins goto for the keyboard, i found that pin3 go's to pin4 (output) of a HEX inverter (SN74LS04), then on to pin1 of the CPU (Philips MAB 8031AH 12P), pin4 from the keyboard go's to pin13 (input) of the HEX inverter, then on to pin2 of the CPU, i'm thinking that maybe pin3 (output) might be for some kind of clock signal for the keyboard and pin4 (input) must be the key data from the keyboard or maybe it might just be a standard serial interface.
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Atari CX-2600
this ATARI CX-2600 was given to me by a friend, over 15 years ago now, just the console and the game cartridge,

this is the one that was made in Sunnyvale, California, before they started to make them in Hong Kong, (See this WiKi Page for more info), it still works from what i can tell, i've not been able to test it fully as i can't find a compatible joystick.
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Page last Updated: Tue the 4th of Feb 2020