Sunday, June 9, 2019

key tronic corp. Keyboard 065-01149- on Entrex Data/Scope

Now that we can finally see more close up what the internal workings of an Entrex Data/Scope keyboard look like, we can see the manufacture and at least one of the model numbers:

KEY TRONIC CORPORATION

065-01159-

And then the stamped 003 after that.  Not sure how significant that is, but since it's stamped and the other numbers are etched directly into the board, it seems like those last 3 digits can change easily, where the previous digits are the true model number "set in stone" for this board.

Let's see what insights the experts over on Deskthority.com have on this...

 




Thursday, June 6, 2019

Entrex Data/Scope in Atari 400 800 XL XE catalog - ZiMAG

I came across this advertisement for ZiMAG magnetic media (clearly quite vintage early 80s) at 


And on PAGE 10 (or 11, depending on if you count the front cover as page 1), we clearly see an Entrex Data/Scope!  What's that doing in there?  Well...let's take a closer look...
Firstly, the chassis cover is painted this very nice dark charcoal color, which matches the advertisement colors very nicely.  I've never seen one in charcoal before, only white and off-white (or yellowed with age).  I've seen red, but then again, it could be for exactly the same "display only" reason that I suspect here.  Here's why I say this:

It sure looks like the blue and white keys have been all painted black, and that a few red and black keys have been moved around a bit.  (Note that only a few black keys show the white lettering, but most are just plain black).  
For example, the HELP! key should be on the top of the right (atop the right vertical row), but instead, it is on the extreme left middle of the main key group, which should be a red RESET key instead of the black HELP! key.
It sure looks to me like this keyboard has been modified for the aesthetics of the advertisement, rather than functionality.  Still, VERY nice job...from first glance, it is quite an attractive piece in this context.

What I'm more interested in, is the code on the screen.  Looks like standard line basic to me...was it really displayed on this Entrex, or superimposed there?It appears a bit too close to the top edge to be on a CRT, and they were all green, as far as I know, not yellow(ish).  BUT, who knows?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Backplane "Mapper" (DG Nova, DCC D-116 & Entrex 480/Nixdorf 620)

This is a crazy project that I'm just muddling my way through with sheer ignorance and determination.

I want to test every connection in every slot of the backplane of Dominique's Entrex 480/Nixdorf 620, since it is the only known surviving system of its kind in existence, and then reverse engineer the thing from the center outward.

So, here's the backplane "adapter board" design...
Click to download the Gerber files

And here's my schematic on how I'm going to use an Arduino (I know...can't I do better??!!!) to test each and every connection in each slot I plug the set into.

Yes, there are so many things wrong with it...I know...
Click to see full-size schematic

I even asked for help here on Upwork:
https://www.upwork.com/jobs/~017df3e1f95d130afa

But I haven't hired anyone yet...

Here's the text from the job post...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Digital Computer Controls - D-116 16-Bit Computer Handbook - 1972

Well, since the Entrex 480 / Nixdorf 620 system clearly has a D-116 as it's processor, it seems that acquiring this manual was a priority...so we did!

Vintage Digital Computer controls - D-116 16-Bit Computer Handbook - 1972


For comparison, Dominique's Nixdorf 620 processor label

Saturday, March 23, 2019

DCC-116 Nova 800/1200 Clone on YouTube - with DG Nova ALL

https://youtu.be/E_1ExBFGtYE?t=872

And The Woz...discusses DG Nova

And I'm PRETTY sure that the THIS is the instruction set section that WOZ is talking about at 0:45, right in the context of what probably is the very same full brochure he is referring to...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Nixdorf DSS 620 Service Manuals

eBay Seller vitesse1000 reports on 2019-02-26:

He was the seller of these 2 auctions.  (And I was the buyer, of course...)



Nixdorf DSS 620 Computer Service Manual - Entrex Key-to-Disc

 

The use of Nixdorf 620 systems in [European] lottery coupon processing

The seller of these fantastic service manuals has provided his history working with these systems.  We are all thankful that he remembers this, saved these images, and especially, the service manuals...thank you Brian!

Here is his own story, in his own words:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the second half of the last century, many European countries introduced national or regional lotteries in order to raise funds to benefit good causes and charities.

Coupons were available to buy by the general public at agent locations such as tobacconists, newsagents and other local stores. Each coupon had a unique machine-readable (magnetic or optical fonts) serial number in a range of layouts depending on the games offered by the lottery operator – could be simple games of chance e.g. selecting 5 numbers out of 45, 6 numbers out of 49 etc. or based on skill and knowledge such as predicting the results of soccer matches.

All of the completed lottery coupons were returned to each lottery organisation’s central processing centre by the selling agents on a weekly basis. At the centre the coupons were microfilmed for security before passing through high speed document reader / sorters (up to 30 coupons per second / 108,000 per hour) in order to capture the betting mark and serial number data of all the punters’ coupons, which was then written to magnetic tapes.

Any coupons with read errors, such as not enough or too many marks, missing or invalid (e.g. failed check sum) serial numbers, were physically segregated by the reader / sorter equipment.

The Nixdorf 620 Key to Disc systems were used for a range of processes but mainly to access the rejected coupon data records from the magnetic tapes, load them to disc to facilitate the manual correction / verification of the data by operators visually checking each rejected coupon.

The corrected data records were then merged with the previously correctly read data to produce a master record of all coupons entering the pool that week. After the drawing of the lucky balls for a straight lottery or the completion of the soccer matches, the master record was then processed to produce winners lists for the different classes of win and the printing of payout cheques to be sent to the winners.

In the early 1970’s, I was involved with the installation and commissioning of the reader / sorter equipment and the Nixdorf 620 systems at the French lottery’s new computer centre situated in the grounds of a chateau not far from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. This lottery was originally setup to support French war injured soldiers but subsequently became the French national lottery. Its data processing operations were modeled on those of the highly successful Nordwestlotto, based in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Although I was never directly involved with the German equipment, they also used Nixdorf 620’s (and later 8870/6’s) for reject coupon correction / verification.

At around the same time, the Massachusetts State Lottery introduced similar machine-readable coupons and high speed reader / sorters. They would also have had a need for reject coupon processing. Maybe they used the Entrex system???

The below images provide some visual reference to the above text.  

Click each to enlarge, or click the "see maximum size" hyperlink below each image

620 installation at French lottery – 2 of the 3 main system racks and printers

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Vintage Rare Entrex DG 8K Core Stack Memory Wincor Nixdorf Siemens Computer

This is probably and "archive of an archive".  An eBay auction from years gone by, archived by "Worthpoint".

Based on context, I suspect that this was from one and the same seller who currently has a very similar board on eBay, and has for the past year or so:  NRS1 (Richard DuBois).

I archive this here to keep this rare stuff documented somewhere, before it all disappears into obscurity:



Entrex 8K Core Memory Board from: 1971
8K Core Stack on 16 bit Memory Board

Nice Piece of Vintage Computer History!

This board measures 15" X 15" 
A copy of the NOVA 16K Memory made by Data General

Pulled from a Entrex/Nixdorf 480 Computer Mini Computer 
Entrex was bought out by Nixdorf Computer and Nixdorf was 
merged to Siemens Nixdorf Informations systems than later split off to 
Fujitsu Siemens Computers and later known as 
Wincor Nixdorf . 
44 YEAR OLD CORE MEMORY !!! 
Collectors or Teaching Item

Sold As Is * No Returns * Not for use

You'll receive the item pictured - only have one! 


Monday, January 7, 2019

Entrex Data/Scope Keystation Connector: Winchester Electronics MRE14S and MRS14P

Well, we finally figured out what this bizarre connector was, and to my astonishment, 
they aren't quite as rare as I thought!

Thank you to Dominique, for sharing this picture of the connector to your 

Entrex Data/Scope Keystation "Terminal",  from your private collection...

What a bizarre plug!

Here's where the cord comes out of the back of the Keystation.  (I believe that this id-tag is for the Keystation's power supply, instead of for the terminal itself.)

Here's the back of the machine, where it plugs into:

And the backside of the boards that hold those female "sockets":


And how it connects on the inside of the "keystation" terminal

Monday, August 20, 2018

Vintage Computer ENTREX NIXDORF SIEMENS Very Rare Collectible Advertising Sign

I've asked the seller about where, when, and how he/she acquired this fantastic item.  I received this reply:  

New message from: nrs1 Top Rated Seller(3,434Red Star)

When I worked as a tech in the final test area there in Burlington, I put it on my office wall and it was quite a surprise to all who visited. One of a kind - I think ! 

I wonder if this was a proof for a 2-page ad published in industry magazines, such as the ones we see in ComputerWorld in the early 70s, as I show in "Entrex Ads"





Very Rare Vintage Collectible Computer Advertising Sign

ENTREX / NIXDORF / SIEMENS

ENTREX 480

Sign was distributed back in 1975 as a promotion
of a small computer business Entrex in Burlington
Massachusetts that was later purchased by Nixdorf
and then finally by Siemens.
Entrex advertised that it was the best system for the cost
back in the day ... building 20 systems per month.
This is a very rare sign and sold as-is with no returns.
The sign measures 17" X 11"
A real nice piece of vintage computer history.

 
 
 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Vintage Large Hard Disk Head Assembly Siemens Nixdorf Mainframe NEW OLD STOCK

I am wondering if this hard disk drive head assembly could possibly be for the Entrex 480 system...or is it "too new", with the date of April 12, 1982?



Up for sale is a Vintage Large Hard Disk Head Assembly Siemens Nixdorf Mainframe NEW OLD STOCK.  This appears to be NEW OLD STOCK. look at the pics. Seems like it was headed back to Siemens Nixdorf as that was where it is addressed on the box. If you know who makes this let me know. Look at all pics and offer accordingly.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018

ENTREX / NIXDORF COMPUTER 8K core memory board & stack 480 16 bit 15" (PL-62-45-01391-000)

From: https://www.ebay.com/itm/382419626645

eBay Auction Archived   Bidding History   Bidding Details

ENTREX INC. / NIXDORF COMPUTER (Burlington Massachusetts)
8K core memory board & stack
Pulled from a retired Entrex / Nixdorf Model 480 System
15" X 15" 16 bit Data General Nova Base Board from the mid 1970's
Date codes on most of the IC's are 1974.
The sticker on the back indicates it was inspected by quality assurance in 1975.
Memory Board is 15" X 15"
Chances are the stack was made by EMM but didn't want to remove the cover.
It probably still works but there is no way to test.
32 Data Terminals were connected to the 480 system running with 4 of these boards.
The hardware & software was incredible to maintain data transfer
of 32 keypunch operators typing all at once on just 32K of memory.
A very rare find & real nice piece of vintage & early computer history.
Being sold as is with no returns due to the age.