Huge IBM 1800 find (and need some help)

Rod Smallwood rodsmallwood52 at
Sat Mar 21 06:00:53 CDT 2015

Where would you put someting that big?

Document docunment document! draw plans of how it is now and photograph 
every thing in situ.

On 21/03/2015 09:08, Dave G4UGM wrote:
> 1) As its in-place might have been easier to negotiate rent on location, but
> probably too much money for one person.
> 2) I wonder if it went in through a window. It was common practice to take a
> window out and crane the pallets in.
> 3) If it's a "museum" does any of the documentation remain. There would
> usually have been a set of Customer Engineer hardware manuals in a wheeled
> trolley. I used to have a photo of these but I can't find it now..
> Dave
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Johannes
>> Thelen
>> Sent: 21 March 2015 08:17
>> To: cctalk at
>> Subject: Huge IBM 1800 find (and need some help)
>> I hope this is not too long story, but I'd like to start from beginning...
>> I was selling and donating my 80's computer collection away, because I
> really
>> couldn't get anymore kicks of home computers (gateaway theory is right,
>> Commodores are step to mainframes ...)
>> Anyways, I asked every buyer have they seen any thing big, old computers
>> anywhere here in Finland. One guy gave hint of some truck sized IBM, which
>> he had seen at his old job. He told it is probably going to scrap yard and
> he
>> sent photo of it. I was stunned, FULL 1800 SYSTEM.
>> Next step was find boss who decide what is going to happen that IBM. I
>> called him and asked how's IBM. Firstly he thought I'm gold digger. After
>> some talk, he became convinced I'm real deal. Sadly, he told me that IBM
> is in
>> their private museum, and not for sale or not planned to donate anywhere.
>> But he invited me to see that IBM. I was little dissapointed, but better
> than
>> nothing I thought.
>> After couple months, I went to there to see IBM.  Boss had changed at that
>> time, there was new guy. He also understand historical value of that big
> iron,
>> no doubt it.  We drove plant where that IBM was. When I see it, I was
>> stunned. It was absolute spectacular! It was stood 30 years after service
> in
>> dry and warm warehouse, same place where it installed early 70's. It have
>> stood still almost long as I have wander this world! Time was stopped that
>> room, it looks like we have got back to 80's on time machine. 2311 disk
> packs
>> was left probably just where they are 30 years ago.
>> Here's pic:
>> NnRINlhESk5aNUk&authuser=0
>> System contains 1801 CPU, 1803 additional core storage unit, 2841 drive
>> adapter, couple 2311 hard drives, 1826 data adapter, 1443 printer,
> terminals,
>> card readers/punches, etc... It is giant system!
>> Now comes twist to plot, this new boss suddenly asked: "When you could
>> make pickup for this IBM?". I'm not that type guy, who can get be quiet
> that
>> easy, but I could just stutter something like "I can pickup every you
> want". :D
>> So, I was so excited, own IBM 1800, that is just what I have always
> wanted,
>> own mainframe :D (...360 would be even better but this would do the trick
> as
>> well ;) We have not that much computers back 60's or 70's. like below 200
> at
>> 1970. So you can imagine how rare big iron is here and it is totally
> unlikely you
>> could find anything this good at Finland these days.
>> **************
>> But now comes the problem. This IBM is in second floor. There is only
> (wide)
>> staircase down to street level. So cabinets have to partly disassemble to
> light
>> those "little" bit.
>> I would need some kind of document of wireharness and schematics, so I get
>> it back together. Also good pictures inside of cabinets would help, so I
> know
>> what is waiting me there. And by the way, what weights so much these
>> units? CPU weights 907kg, why? Is power supplies so heavy or is there lead
>> poured to structure ;) ?
>> I'm picking this up next week, at least small items, so I would need some
>> good advices also. Rolling cabinets via stair case is not option ;)
>> Also any help to bring this back to life is welcome! Thaaaaaanks!
>> - Johannes ThelenFinland
>> Before microcomputers blog (Finnish)

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