IBM Type 31 Alphabetical Duplicating Keypunch available, Seattle area

Rick Bensene rickb at
Tue Feb 11 10:28:20 CST 2020

Sorry....this was meant to go to just Josh, but accidentally copied to the list.
My apologies.

Rick Bensene
The Old Calculator Museum

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Rick Bensene via cctalk
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 8:26 AM
To: Josh Dersch; General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: RE: IBM Type 31 Alphabetical Duplicating Keypunch available, Seattle area

Hi, Josh,

I can't possibly think about getting this wonderful old beast from you, but something about the photos captured my curiosity.

In the background of one of the photos (#1, IIRC) is the front panel of what appears to be a 12-bit computer (ala PDP 8), but the panel is most decidedly not DEC.  It has a label on it that says "BR 2412".    It appears that there is a second one of these located directly below this panel.  These are in a rack that appears to have a PDP 8/e mounted above them.
The question is...what is this "BR 2412" machine?

I have managed to get TSS-8 running on two terminals on my 8/e.   I configured a third serial card for current loop and 110 baud to try to get my Teletype running on it as a third terminal, but I can't get any response out of it.   I did reconfigure TSS-8 for the third terminal.   I think that the problem might be the serial board not generating interrupts, and I was just getting going on troubleshooting using my trusty Tektronix 2465 scope, when the scope died.   Something went amiss in the horizontal deflection such that the trace is pushed off the left-hand side of the tube.  Beam Finder does put the trace in the center of the screen, albeit all squished.   I opened the scope up and checked all the connectors and switches, and all else I could think of, but nothing made any difference.   Arrggh.   So, then I went to get my old backup, a 465, which last I used, worked.  But, something is not right with its high voltage supply...the trace slowly fades away over the course of about 5 minutes.  Turn it off and let it cool down, and the trace comes back, for a couple of minutes.   So, I have no oscilloscope.   I lost interest at that  point, but figure I can use the logic analyzer to figure out if the interrupt is being generated without too much trouble...just need to get the motivation to fiddle with it.

Complicating things is that about three weeks ago, I woke up in the morning, and as I went to get out of bed, I felt something in my lower back twinge, but didn't really pay attention to it.  As I went to put my weight on my feet, my left leg collapsed, and there was a sharp pain in my lower left back.   From that moment on, I've been in extreme pain in my lower back, extending to my groin, then down the front side of my left let to the knee.   I called my doctor, and went in.  He took XRays and the diagnosis was spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord canal) due to arthritis, as well as a bulging disc in the lumbar vertebrae.  All of this is causing a bundle of nerves that serve the upper left leg to be pinched, and thus...the pain.  My doctor said that in order to figure out treatment, an MRI would be needed.  The insurance company denied two requests he made to get the MRI.   I ended up calling the insurance company and letting them know that I was both in incredible pain, as well as pretty much made immobile by this, and without the MRI, I would not be able to be treated, which was unacceptable. The finally relented, and allowed the MRI, but this whole escapade took about a week.   Then, getting scheduled for the MRI took another five days, and another three days to get the MRI reviewed by a spinal specialist.   I was then referred to the spinal specialist, and it took four days to get that on the schedule.  I went to that appointment, and he said that there were two options, surgery or a combination of cortisone and platelet-rich plasma by injection into the affected area.   I opted for the injection, as the specialist said in cases like mine that the success rate (e.g., relief of the pain) was better than 85%.   Surgery will also fix it, but the recovery time is longer, and there are far more chances for complications.   I go in tomorrow for the CT-guided injections.   I should get relief within 3 to 7 days.  Fingers are crossed it works, and there are no complications.

I am still looking for a job.  I had a good prospect week before last, did well in a phone screening, and asked to come in for an in-person interview.  However, I was terribly sleep-deprived, as well as in terrible pain from my spine issue when I went in for the in-person interview, and though I had thought I did OK (I made no mention of my back issue/pain), apparently it wasn't good enough, even though I had tons of experience in the areas they were looking for and could prove it, they wrote me on Friday (the interview was last Thursday) saying they had picked someone else.   Nothing else on the horizon, and finances are not good.   I keep applying for jobs, but either get no response at all, or get messages saying "thanks, we'll keep your information on file...".    It's frustrating.

Anyway, I my curiosity got the best of me when I saw that odd front panel in the background and figured I'd drop a quick line your way.

Hope things are going well for you.


-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Josh Dersch via cctalk
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 3:35 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: IBM Type 31 Alphabetical Duplicating Keypunch available, Seattle area

(resending as this appears to have gotten eaten last time...)

Hi all --

As the subject line says I've got an IBM Type 31 Alphabetical Duplicating
Keypunch sitting in my basement, in the Seattle area.

It's in well-loved but decent physical condition and appears to be
completely original.  I have not powered it on (still has the original
selenium rectifiers in it, for one thing) but mechanically it seems fine.
No rust or obviously damaged parts, but it's clearly gotten a decent amount
of use since the 1930s.

It's really cool but it's not really something I'm interested in keeping --
if any of you are interested or know someone who is interested, please feel
free to make an offer.  Due to the size and fragility of the item I don't
want to ship this thing.

Pictures are available here:!Aqb36sqnCIfMo9BhHMhAok3F4cAInQ?e=EhXDPP

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