IBM 5110 find

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

13 Sep 2020, 22:58

Hi,

Yesterday I was able to get this IBM 5110 System. The system was owned by a single person who used it for accounting. It has not been powered on in 20 years he said.

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It came with the original floppy drive unit which is store in my parents garage for now on some wood. The floppy drive was about 1.5 x 2.5 x 3 feet in size and was extremely heavy.

The printer also is there and itself was also surprisingly heavy.
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The garage is dry so they are okay in there, its just a cluttered garage.

Has beamspring switches.
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It came with a bunch of the 8 inch floppies.
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One was for a wang system, but he had already sold this last week.
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Here are some of the small manual pages.
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Here is a closeup of the keyboard part as well as the screen.
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Not sure what I will do with it. I might attempt to restore the computer but I have no idea if I will be able to restore the drive unit.

Regardless super neat find and am very pleased. It also has one of the strangest arrow nav systems ever.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

13 Sep 2020, 23:21

Super cool find indeed. I'd try and restore everything(since it is so rare) but then again storing such things probably isn't the most convenient of endeavors.
That massive red power switch is something that would be satisfying to flip for sure :D
Pics of internals when? :P

User avatar
sharktastica

13 Sep 2020, 23:50

Damn, that's sexy.

M9HM

14 Sep 2020, 00:03

Beautiful thing!

User avatar
inmbolmie

14 Sep 2020, 00:08

Congrats! Super nice find. One more of that beauties saved from the scrapyard :D .

Hope you can put that disk drive to work, if not it will be very difficult to load anything in the 5110. That computer is heavy but the disk drive is just insane, it's like 60Kg if I'm not wrong, it is like your fridge is your disk drive...

If you haven't tried to turn it on, first thing I did with my 5100 is checking the power supply output disconnected from the computer. Inside the machine you have a tag attached to the power supply with the allowed ranges for all available voltages. Needless to say, that SLT cards are nearly impossible to fix today and the few replacement parts that pop up from time to time on Ebay are never guaranteed to work. But you unit seem to be externally in pretty good condition, so no reason to believe it won't work outright.

Be careful also with the weird power distribution, if it is like the 5100 you have live mains voltage in the power switch, even when it is turned off :?, and also in other components in the front section, so you have to be extremely careful when opening the machine and identify the areas where live mains voltage is present.

User avatar
JP!

14 Sep 2020, 00:40

Good stuff. Also that floppy drive :shock:

User avatar
DMA

15 Sep 2020, 01:44

Looks like that drive is IBM 5114: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/5110/S ... an1979.pdf

I second inmbolmie's note on PSU check - for all PSUs in the system separately.

Another thing is checking the belts - but there's really nothing you can do about those, they either snap when you first turn the system on, or not. Even if they snap - they won't break much.

User avatar
DMA

15 Sep 2020, 01:45

PS: check dust levels inside the cases - might require some vacuuming :)

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

15 Sep 2020, 04:53

DMA wrote:
15 Sep 2020, 01:44
Looks like that drive is IBM 5114: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/5110/S ... an1979.pdf
Did this thing really have to be so massive? I feel like they could have shrunken it significantly without too much effort design wise. Unless I'm missing something:
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User avatar
inmbolmie

15 Sep 2020, 22:31

Redmaus wrote:
15 Sep 2020, 04:53
Did this thing really have to be so massive? I feel like they could have shrunken it significantly without too much effort design wise. Unless I'm missing something:
Yes, it makes little sense for a system you market as "portable" to do such a thing. Some possibilities that occur to me:
  • Maybe they had that chassis as an off-the-shelf part, just available from other systems and simply took it and put the disks inside without thinking too much about that.
  • Maybe someone at IBM management didn't want the 5110/5114 to canibalize sales of other more profitable systems, so they "sabotaged" their own product to make it less attractive. That kind of paranoia is typical from IBM over its history.
  • Also it could be a very clever trick to sell more disk drives, as if you want to move the computer around, say to your home or to another office branch, you will need to buy more units to have one wherever you could need it.

User avatar
DMA

15 Sep 2020, 23:19

It had an integrated QIC tape drive. Diskettes were high-capacity storage at that time.

User avatar
inmbolmie

16 Sep 2020, 01:11

DMA wrote:
15 Sep 2020, 23:19
It had an integrated QIC tape drive. Diskettes were high-capacity storage at that time.
Yes, there was a model with the QIC tape like the 5100. This one doesn't have it, so it seems you are stuck to the disk drive. Maybe an external QIC unit was available, but doesn't make much sense to get that if you are into a diskette based workflow.

Later they tried to solve the dilemma with the 5120 that has the disk drives integrated into the computer case, but doing so they created another 45Kg monster, as portable as a giant granite slab.

zzxx53

16 Sep 2020, 16:33

Very nice machine. Can't wait to see pics with it powered on.

User avatar
DMA

17 Sep 2020, 03:49

inmbolmie wrote:
16 Sep 2020, 01:11
Yes, there was a model with the QIC tape like the 5100. This one doesn't have it, so it seems you are stuck to the disk drive. Maybe an external QIC unit was available, but doesn't make much sense to get that if you are into a diskette based workflow.
So, I _think_ the reason for laying it out like this is that you don't need a separate table for the computer itself. Disk enclosure serves as a printer stand, too.
inmbolmie wrote:
16 Sep 2020, 01:11
Later they tried to solve the dilemma with the 5120 that has the disk drives integrated into the computer case, but doing so they created another 45Kg monster, as portable as a giant granite slab.
See. They were onto something there :)

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

18 Sep 2020, 02:47

Hi,

Will update tomorrow.

Here are some interior pics. Has a big block of nasty foam that is top tier nasty.

Robb
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User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

18 Sep 2020, 07:24

Wow, what a beast. I love the wire-wrap, I bet if you snip all those wires it will work perfectly

Sturmtiger001

18 Sep 2020, 16:27

The inside aren't nearly as bad as I expected, looking forward to see how this goes.

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

18 Sep 2020, 23:34

Redmaus wrote:
18 Sep 2020, 07:24
Wow, what a beast. I love the wire-wrap, I bet if you snip all those wires it will work perfectly
That's the plan. Okay.
inmbolmie wrote:
14 Sep 2020, 00:08
Congrats! Super nice find. One more of that beauties saved from the scrapyard :D .

Hope you can put that disk drive to work, if not it will be very difficult to load anything in the 5110. That computer is heavy but the disk drive is just insane, it's like 60Kg if I'm not wrong, it is like your fridge is your disk drive...

If you haven't tried to turn it on, first thing I did with my 5100 is checking the power supply output disconnected from the computer. Inside the machine you have a tag attached to the power supply with the allowed ranges for all available voltages. Needless to say, that SLT cards are nearly impossible to fix today and the few replacement parts that pop up from time to time on Ebay are never guaranteed to work. But you unit seem to be externally in pretty good condition, so no reason to believe it won't work outright.

Be careful also with the weird power distribution, if it is like the 5100 you have live mains voltage in the power switch, even when it is turned off :?, and also in other components in the front section, so you have to be extremely careful when opening the machine and identify the areas where live mains voltage is present.
This is good advice. Redmaus also told me some tips for safe turn on. It may be months before I attempt.
DMA wrote:
15 Sep 2020, 01:44
Looks like that drive is IBM 5114: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/5110/S ... an1979.pdf

I second inmbolmie's note on PSU check - for all PSUs in the system separately.

Another thing is checking the belts - but there's really nothing you can do about those, they either snap when you first turn the system on, or not. Even if they snap - they won't break much.

The floppy will come later. I will focus efforts on the main computer for now.


Overall dust levels are low. The wire rap looks great and tbh the system is in top-notch condition. It will take some weeks to check capacitors. Remove dust etc so it doesn't catch fire but.... it looks good. Really good. I think the chances of reviving it are very good.

User avatar
DMA

20 Sep 2020, 20:47

Looks good - 1977 manufacture date means it all likely still OK. Smell the caps, if there's no rotten fish / old barn smell and no mechanical damage, should be good to go.
The Manual has this interesting picture:

5110-system-overview.png
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This kind of explains bulky devices. Depending on your needs you'll have a semi-portable, two-suitcases semi-portable, and full capacity system with diskettes and printer, disk enclosure possibly serving as a printer stand.

Upd: Page 2-46 of the manual contains a table of voltages coming from power supply with load removed. This means the PSU _can_ run with load removed. SO. Pull out Y1 cable from the socket, power on, measure output voltages, run for 2-3 minutes (paying close attention to any smoke or heat coming from PSU while wearing protective glasses), power off, try to spot hot parts without touching them (filter caps will hold a lot of charge at this point - harmless to you but you don't want to accidentally short things together). If everything is OK - wait for 10 minutes, put Y1 back, power on.

PS: pay VERY close attention to not shorting anything while measuring voltages. Shorting, for example, -12 to +8.5 can kill _both_ outputs.

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