What is this apparatus ?

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Fred Cailloux
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by Fred Cailloux » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:09 pm

5 more photos to go
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Fred Cailloux
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by Fred Cailloux » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:10 pm

The two last photos. Were done!
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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:57 pm

50 Views so far but no replies as of yet, wonder what the etiquette is for posting a link to this post in the other forum. The pics are much better viewing them from this forum.
Always treat every repair as if it was your own.

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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:00 pm

I think we may need to resort to offering a cash prize for the identification of this device haha. Putting in 5 clams thru paypal. I had the 5 dollars earmarked for some solder but this is more important :grin:
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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:15 am

Always treat every repair as if it was your own.

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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:19 am

Lol, I am so going to get booted for posting all the images to that forum. Taking one for the team lol.
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dacflyer
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by dacflyer » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:53 am

the more i look at it, it seems to be some sort of programmer, being it has the ZIF socket, perhaps the insertable boards are the program to be dumped on the chip ?

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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:36 pm

We might have to ask the devil's mother what this is, as it seems the other forum is stumped as well.
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CeaSaR
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by CeaSaR » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:13 pm

Whatever this thing is, it has to be a well made, custom, one-off unit. There aren't any markings like one would find on a normal piece of consumer gear - FCC id, model number, stock number, etc. Only clue to its age is that the "em" boards were made in 1989.

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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:00 pm

So I am looking at this thing from this perspective and scratching a hole in the head: 1989 very well constructed boards, z80 based, rs232 interface. Integrated keyboards were well established during that time frame. I don't see a way to enter data other than rs232, but using that port for input data, leaves out a way to view the data (ie a monitor) . why all the empty thru holes on this photo? Found a few companies named pilot, Pilot Radio Corporation, Pilot Radio LTD (England) pilot Communications. But nothing is matching. The first two seems to have been liquidated by Emerson in 1963.

Fred, Where did this thing come from by chance? I understand if you don't want to answer that question if it dropped from the Alien Mother ship. I ran across this thing fermilab did in house in which they build a prototype for monitoring power supply and temps in the main ring, they built 7 and then expanded it to 35 devices.
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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:23 pm

Submitted this to the edaboard.com as well.
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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:01 pm

Pretty trippy place that edaboard, admins have to approve your post before it goes on the forum. But it got approved. They always seem to have the admins on and it was pretty fast.
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gunter
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by gunter » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:56 am

This chap from the edaboards, says this:

I have no idea what it is but it dates from the late 1980s and almost certainly isn't an EPROM programmer. The cable and socket are probably to link it to other equipment in a rack so it is only part of a larger system.

I'm in the UK but have never heard the name PILOT in connection with industrial equipment and I don't recognize the logo. Judging by the power stages and what looks like a dual rail power supply, I would guess it is part of a machine controller, possibly driving motors.

Your best chance at identifyng it would be by unplugging the EPROM (the one with the paper label on it) and reading it's contents. There is a reasonably good chance it contains a copyright message and possibly text relating to what it does.

Brian.

Link to discussion: http://www.edaboard.com/thread358270.html
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Fred Cailloux
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by Fred Cailloux » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:57 pm

Hey Gunter and whoever else got involved in the search for this unknown apparatus, thanks to all for your efforts. We didn't find it but at least we tried.
It's now going to stage two, dismantling and reuse of some sections, ie: power supply. I am going to transform this thing into an experimental power supply and Breadboard unit for circuit testing purposes. I always wanted a complete Breadboard with embedded power supply. So, the thing is not completely going to garbage, it's going to have a second life. :cool:
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Lenp
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Re: What is this apparatus ?

Post by Lenp » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:34 pm

Before giving up, I'll just add a vew comments.

Whatever it is, or was, it was expensive construction with the thick enclosure plates and what appears to be a top quality two sided stenciled PCB. (Does it have a conformal coating?) and not likely a one off gizmo. There also seems to be an inordinate interest in grounding! Several grounding, chassis and the RS232 pin 1(PE), appear on the chassis views.

I know this has been kicked all around but maybe it was a test jig for some production prototype boards, as the ZIF socket was for the board conection. One front panel view shows two unused holes. If you ever find what went there, maybe the quandry will be resolved. Possibly it was a data plate, or portals for the aliens!

Realize that after you completely disassemble, and then rebuild it,.....You will find what it is, by acccident! Such is luck.

Footnote..It's a MacGuffin
That is a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train.
One man says, "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?" And the other answers, "Oh, that's a MacGuffin". The first one asks, "What's a MacGuffin?" "Well," the other man says, "it's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." The first man says, "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands," and the other one answers, "Well then, that's no MacGuffin!"
So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all. (Alfred Hitchcock)
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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