IBM 3741 Data Station / System 3 Barn Find

Wow a complete System 3 with data station

http://www.corestore.org/3.htm
JP!
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 04:44

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"Two things in this world can make life meaningful: having the strength to forge your own destiny, to live by your own rules, and not be swayed by the whims and wishes of others; and really sticking it to some stranger on the internet."
Yes, good idea to outsource the metal work. I wonder if that heavily corroded bottom can be fixed or possibly new sheet metal soldered on?

Beamspring inside of the switches will need to be de-rusted and cleaned.
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 17:12

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---
Currently Owned Keyboards:
IBM 3277 (66 KEY - MINI) - IBM 3278 (75 KEY) - IBM 6580 Displaywriter (White Whale)
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IBM Model F Unsaver (Space Saver)
IBM M15
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Chicony KB-5160 ALPS SKCM Blue
Realforce 87U Tenkeyless 55g
IBM Model F XT Keyboard
IBM Model F - AT Keyboard
Vintage Japanese Fujitsu FM Towns FMT-KB107 Mechanical Keyboard Leaf Spring JIS
Dell Quiet Key
Microsoft Arc Wireless Keyboard

---
JP! wrote:Wow a complete System 3 with data station

http://www.corestore.org/3.htm

At the bottom of the page:
"Any other System/3 owners (or anyone who thinks they might remember where they saw one sitting in a barn someplace...) please get in touch!"

That's YOU :)
Slom

Unread post05 Jun 2017, 17:57

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:shock:
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 18:16

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What a terrific find but boy, do you have a lot of work ahead. Just an FYI, but the pic you posted of the bundle of metal tubes with 'General Electric' printed on them looks like oil filled capacitors that may very well have toxic PCBs inside. Given the vintage carbon comp resistors and other components, it is quite possible. Be very careful if anything is leaking. Best of luck getting this phoenix to rise from the ashes!
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 19:36

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Yikes, thanks for that heads up. I've never seen anything electronic like this stuff before.
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 21:03

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"Two things in this world can make life meaningful: having the strength to forge your own destiny, to live by your own rules, and not be swayed by the whims and wishes of others; and really sticking it to some stranger on the internet."
Slom wrote:
JP! wrote:Wow a complete System 3 with data station

http://www.corestore.org/3.htm

At the bottom of the page:
"Any other System/3 owners (or anyone who thinks they might remember where they saw one sitting in a barn someplace...) please get in touch!"

That's YOU :)

I also seen that contact info so I sent an email. I did ask about the whereabouts of the actual computer but no luck. The person I acquired this from suffered from two strokes and details from so long ago are a bit murky. Let's call this person Burt for the sake of my story and for anonymity. Burt was quite the interesting character who had a lot of great stories to share. I even received a book that Burt wrote and published which I look forward to reading more of. Burt was an engineer for a local company in Spring Arbor Michigan which is no longer in business that produced specialty tooling for the automotive industry. The story goes that when the System 3 was decommissioned, the owner of the company or someone in charge took all of the circuit boards as they heard they contained gold, but it is possible that there are still parts sitting in someones garage or barn. Burt was able to take all of the cabinets to be used as furniture.
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 21:22

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If it is restored to fully functionnal, that'll be one of the best restoration I have ever seen...
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 14:04

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Myoth wrote:If it is restored to fully functionnal, that'll be one of the best restoration I have ever seen...

One of the most comprehensive restoration jobs for sure.
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 14:26

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Myoth wrote:If it is restored to fully functionnal, that'll be one of the best restoration I have ever seen...

Absolutely. It would be an amazing restoration project. It could be donated to the Computer History Museum when completed.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 15:08

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I feel I am in over my head now. Museum quality restoration :o
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 15:59

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So I decided to tear this thing apart. I often tear things apart as soon as I get them but lately I had too many projects and not enough time. Here are a few pictures I took of the disassembly. I still have a lot of work left to get these beamsprings apart. Some of which appear to be stuck and I am still learning how this type of switch works. Overall, the process was not that bad but everything was really greasy and oily inside, which was unpleasant. I swear this keyboard was used in a machine shop in a previous life. Maybe someone was using a cutting torch, which could explain the various burn marks. Anyways, any advice or guidance on any phase of this project is appreciated. I have seen some of the beamspring switch restoration guides on DT. Those will definitely be useful.

IMG_1407.JPG


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Unread post16 Jun 2017, 15:48

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The keyboard itself shouldn't be hard to restore, it's just everything else :)

Basically, in this order, pull keycaps, remove contamination shield, use a pliers or vicegrip to pull the metal stems out of each switch (switches will just fall out and come apart after that), remove old underside foam, remove plastic wire stabilizer pieces, ultrasonic clean everything, may use a weak acid like acetic or oxalic on springs and stems if needed (yours probably will), apply rust protectant to springs and stems. Sand/sandblast/wire brush/paint barrel plate and backplate, install new underside foam after punching out holes (can use the barrel plate as a template, re-assemble switches optionally putting lubricant on the sliders (ohaimark recommends this in his displaywriter restoration guide) put switches back in from the underside, re-assemble frame/backplate, reinstall keycaps.

For any defects in that case, you'll probably need Bondo and or fiberglass (car body repair materials) and sand back down to Original shape. Could use epoxy on anything structural that is internal that's broken, clean up, then paint.

Technically, you could repair the rest of the desk with bondo and fiberglass followed by sanding flat yourself too. Kind of depends on what you want out of the restoration. Would probably look the same using other materials once you paint it.
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Unread post16 Jun 2017, 21:08

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Jeez that's some filth on there.
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Unread post16 Jun 2017, 21:11

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Thanks a bunch for the for that advice. I plan to focus on the internals of the keyboard first and foremost. I fully intend to get this working on a modern system if at all possible. If everything works out to plan I would then focus on the case, desk, and any finishing touches to make this a solid restoration. As far as the desk, I will not be doing the metalwork or paint myself besides basic prep work. My endgame as I see it now is to have a functional, restored beam desk with a matching red Selectric typewriter to complement the desk and keyboard. I have this project now as well as like 10 others :lol:

Any suggestions on cleaning the pcb? I am thinking of using distilled water, soap, and simple green to clean the dirt, oil, and grease. I have a pretty powerful electric blower which could then remove any water in hard to reach places. I use this all the time for drying key caps after washing them but am not sure about the potential ESD hazards using something like this or canned air. Afterwards I would use some CRC industrial contact cleaner as a final stage of cleaning as this product claims to evaporate and not harm plastics.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 01:49

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I don't think it's worth the trouble even though it's a beam spring...
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 07:49

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Mr.Nobody wrote:I don't think it's worth the trouble even though it's a beam spring...

I strongly disagree! That keyboard look to be in quite good shape, considering the way it was found.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 09:15

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Slom wrote:
Mr.Nobody wrote:I don't think it's worth the trouble even though it's a beam spring...

I strongly disagree! That keyboard look to be in quite good shape, considering the way it was found.

Right. Also the fact that this is a first here. Looking forward to your updates JP!.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 09:17

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This thread is awesome. Good luck restoring this pretty beamspring desk, it really deserves it!
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 13:32

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JP! wrote:Any suggestions on cleaning the pcb?


As long as the PCB is bare and any remove able ICa are removed, put it in the dishwasher... seriously. It does a really good job of cleaning and the only worries is having a wet PCB and applying power. I use an old hair dryer to remove any moisture from hard to reach areas. In the winter, I just put PCBs over furnace grills and that works well too.

I've done dozens like this. If I think a board may be too sensitive, I'll soak it in soapy water a
Nd use a paintbrush to clean the board then rinse off thoroughly.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 14:10

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Do you want the keyboard to be usable/USB in the end? If so you'll need to make a new PCB so worrying about cleaning the original is kind of a moot point. Would make a nice display piece though.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 17:14

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Does he need a new PCB, though? Couldn't an Xwhatsit or some existing controller be adapted to that? (Like your Displaywriter.)

Edit: I ask that because there appear to be a large number of trace test points that could accept a soldered wire.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 17:46

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Restoration of this board requires veterans' wisdom, fortunately, we have many veterans on DT.
Will a hand-wired matrix work on beam-spring?
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 23:01

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Mr.Nobody wrote:Restoration of this board requires veterans' wisdom, fortunately, we have many veterans on DT.
Will a hand-wired matrix work on beam-spring?

Probably not, since it is capacitive. Size, spacing, and thickness of the traces is very important. You may be able to restore some traces but hand wired is a no go.

I would not try to do anything to the plastic other then cleaning it. You could always consult an expert when you have the time or money for restoring (or replacing) the plastic.
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 00:04

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I think you could hand wire a matrix to the original PCB, but it would require taking all of the original components off and a lot of physically tracing where each capsense trace goes. Unfortunately these non-removable controller types, I don't think there's a matrix that is easily identifiable to tap into. Usually would be more trouble than it's worth, but since you aren't going to find 10 people to do a group buy who have these to make new PCBs, I'd still give it a go myself in this situation.

The consensus is that capsense is pretty picky as far as grounding and trace length goes, but I've been able to get away with a lot in my own little experiments, but nothing really scientific. It's on my to do list to make a small matrix that is 4x4 and see how long I can run 24 gauge wire before it becomes nonfunctional.
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 00:49

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orihalcon wrote:Do you want the keyboard to be usable/USB in the end? If so you'll need to make a new PCB so worrying about cleaning the original is kind of a moot point. Would make a nice display piece though.

No doubt that it would make for a nice display piece as a worst case scenario. So you think a custom pcb would needed to make this desk functional? Theoretically, what about some sort of custom controller and firmware to interface with the existing cable pin-out that would directly plug into the keyboard like the original cable? I realize this means navigating some uncharted waters. It sure would be nice to have access to a working System 3.

Also if anyone is in for a bit of light reading, I have found the manual for the 3741 Data Station! According to the manual I have the standard numeric layout while there is a a secondary proof numeric layout variant.
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/90633...ation.html
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 00:58

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I was also able to find the complete parts list for this data station. This shows what was inside the desk as well as the parts that make up the keyboard. IBM's documentation certainly was top notch in this era.

https://ia601901.us.archive.org/21/item..._Apr75.pdf
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 02:59

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"Two things in this world can make life meaningful: having the strength to forge your own destiny, to live by your own rules, and not be swayed by the whims and wishes of others; and really sticking it to some stranger on the internet."
I was able to successfully disassemble the keyboard this weekend.

Tools used: Key cap puller, heavy duty pliers, and needle-nose pliers. At first I used the smaller pliers, but this tool did not work out well for pulling the stems. After a few stems I located my large pliers. The large pliers worked great as the large jaws provided the greatest purchase on the stems.

IMG_1464.JPG


IMG_1461.JPG


All done. Now everything will need a good cleaning. As far as I can tell, all of the beams look good. I lost a capacitive plate for one of the switches so I will source a replacement.
IMG_1462.JPG


Overall the stems looked pretty good with only minor corrosion on a few. The springs have a lot of corrosion and some rust. I will need to de-rust and perform a sonic cleaning.

IMG_1463.JPG
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 13:12

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This is looking really good :)
JP! wrote:All done. Now everything will need a good cleaning. As far as I can tell, all of the beams look good. I lost a capacitive plate for one of the switches so I will source a replacement.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-BEAMSPRING-...SwJ4hY9t4M
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 13:32

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https://www.leboncoin.fr/informatique/1...htm?ca=1_s

pls guys help me deal with this ....

I know this might not be the right thread but I also found one of these and I only saw this thread going about these :/
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Unread post24 Jul 2017, 20:12

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