Huge IBM 1800 find (and need some help)

Johannes Thelen johannesthelen at
Sat Mar 21 12:02:20 CDT 2015

I answer to all in this post, because there came so much replies! Thanks for all!By the way, this IBM is very important to Finnish computer culture, because this is one of the firsts what here is used process control. Guys who program this back then, are still here. I'll contact original programmers soon as I get this back to power, lets see how they react when they hear this :DTrucks, forklifts, etc. is not problem, I have lot of friends who have with that kind of equipment. Problem is they can't allow to remove windows or dig hole on the wall, also I have very limited time to do the job andndistance between my place and IBM is several hundreds of kilometers. That staircase have another problem, it makes turn another way in half way, so there is hard to use winch at last part of stairs. I could rent stair crawler, but those not can't carry more than normal hand truck.At (metal) machine builder view, hollow rhs beams and some transformers can't weight ton. Also if look gate array hinges, they are not for hundred kilos weights. At parts list can't be seen any part number for weights, maybe weights at OEM manual are absolute maximum weights. Center of gravity is quite high, so there could some weights at bottom of rack, but why those are not listed parts manual? Can someone who have 1800 check what there is bottom of rack?And yes, this is for 50Hz grid (luckily, otherwise I should have to make frequency converter...), I supposed there is some big 380/220VAC transformer somewhere.So, my only plan is now to get small items first, make better plan how to disassemble cabinets. Of course I have to label everything and take photos, but I'm sure something could (and surely) forgot... Disassembly is not that bad, power sources out, gate arrays can be removed releasing connectors and hinges. Quick assembly before loading goods to truck (when you remember still where parts were).I have plenty of room for machines and I'm making new warehouse where I sacralize part of it for old computers. I can reveal little bit my plans for this IBM, it probably get original simulation of its purpose, plant management,  but before that I have real unusual project: to get this to Assembly computer fair's demo competition at Helsinki, so energy drink addicted CS player's some real iron running realtime vector graphics :D ( should be possible what I have calculated, at least streaming points from hard drive).Of course I need some kind of vector display (there is probably Tektronics vector terminals, but those are not suitable for realtime graphics), so if anyone spare 2250, please info (I'm sure there is no one ;) otherwise I have to make one... I hope this kind of project not sound totally sacrilege :D ...but I promise there is not going to be harmed any old computer at that performance ;)

- Johannes ThelenFinland
Before microcomputers blog (Finnish)

> Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:38:51 -0500
> From: elson at
> To: General at; and Off-Topic Posts cctalk at
> Subject: Re: Huge IBM 1800 find (and need some help)
> On 03/21/2015 09:23 AM, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> >      > From: Roe Peterson
> >
> >      > There are very likely lead bars in the bottom rear of the rack
> >
> > I recall finding one in some machine (don't remember what, now); they are
> > so the thing won't fall over when something is extended/swung out.
> >
> > 	Noel
> >
> Yes, machines that had tape drives that swung out on hinges 
> or big removable pack hard drives on chassis slides might 
> have this.  The PDP-11/45 had outriggers that were attached 
> to the front of the rack before you could roll the CPU out 
> for maintenance.  (Generally left permanently in place, but 
> removed when shipping the unit.)
> Jon

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