I bought 1970s Data General Mini Computers!Jun 11, 2021
that's a big computer hi, I'm Shelby, this is my YouTube channel, tech tangents and I have a
generaldrop, now actually two
generals. I recently purchased them after discovering they were available for sale locally and did everything I could. To get them, I had to drive them about a hundred miles to get them back home, which really isn't that bad as it was pretty close for something of this dark nature, so I'm pretty happy with that, but boy, am I excited because these are definitely not your average computer collectibles and they are super cool, so today we're going to take a look at what I'm going to do with them and, yes, some general information, but before we get too far into this.
In fact, now I'm going to go back in time before I fixed all of this because it took a lot of work to transport them here. Now these
computerswere originally located in Tucson, which is very close to me because I'm in Phoenix, but it still meant that they had to be transported about 100 miles and I wanted to be as cautious as possible to make sure they didn't suffer any damage during that time. , so I tried to do as much research as possible before going. there about how I was supposed to protect these things and I felt pretty confident that I could do it when I finally got there.
I couldn't really film anything because it was only one other person who could go and pick it up, so standing around with a camera didn't really make much sense because there was a lot of work to do. I took a lot of pictures, although mainly for reference, I had to take the
computersapart to put them in my truck, partly due to the weight. the large enclosure probably weighs about 500 pounds when full and since I wanted to make sure the hard drives were in the correct orientation when they were transported, I didn't want to turn them on their side or face up or anything just in case the gravity change could cause something bad to them, luckily the original owner was very helpful and gave us all the time we needed to pack up the computer and I'm very grateful for that because it made life a lot less stressful than knowing we had some kind of difficult time limit on the that we needed to get out, ultimately I'm pretty happy with how everything was packed for the trip and I don't think anything suffered any additional damage in the move.
I'm pretty sure all of my research paid off except for one possible thing we'll look at later, so since this is currently open let's go ahead and take a look at some of the specific things we're going on here because there are a lot of things that We can get a better look at some of the hardware that's here and that will make identifying things a little bit easier. Now I have all the plates, as you saw, on top of this shelf and I'll put them back in a moment. So the next step I need to do now is to reconnect everything so that it is in the condition it should be in when used.
Now I'm not going to turn it on and there are many reasons why not. I'm not going to turn it on. I'm not going to turn it on in this video. I will eventually, but not in this video. If there is a problem with any of these parts they are here and could damage others. parts that I could never forgive myself because this has the ability to still work and I need to preserve that as much as possible and I just need to make sure I don't make any mistakes. Now let's talk about some of the other parts here, so obviously the 8 inch floppy drives are all metal, I mean I don't know if theirs would be picked up by the microphones, but get this, it's a floppy drive with metal door which is crazy, also the 8 inch floppy drives I have a box of 8 inch floppy disks that I got in there somewhere, there are probably some documents that came with this and included in there is an 8 inch boot disk for this.
I haven't really talked about this yet, it's hard to define. what is and what is not a computer, but this rack here is a micro Nova which is a computer and this rack here is another computer, a nova 4x. Now I am very happy that this is a nova 4x. This is the highest configurable memory. version of the Nova and could potentially max it out to 256K. I'm not one hundred percent sure how much it has at the moment. I think it might be 32 or 64 K or whatever they would have called it, so 32 killer words. Words are a very silly unit of measurement for memory, but I think it has 32 killer words anyway.
You can see here that there are cards, so let me take out the card. This is the CPU for Nova 4x and Wow! Seriously, this is just a CPU, there is no single chip here, technically it is a CPU, it is these four chips that are the CPUs that work for four-bit CPUs in parallel to work as a single 16-bit CPU, which which is crazy, one of the best. However, a few things about all of this, and especially long-term repairability and continuous use, is that there is no chip here that I have been able to identify that is totally unique between two general
data, except this chip. here, which I think is an EEPROM of some kind that contains microcode for the CPU, so outside of that chip, if any of these others are defective, say this, but what I think is the memory, most likely It's just that if any of them are defective you should be able to replace them, so that's pretty cool and I'm a little worried about all the hand-wired Bob cables in here.
Take a look a little later. I have a folder with service and repair notes that are actually from this machine's overall dad, so it may have been things that were done during its service contract, but yeah, it's still worrying to see this is a hard drive this is a hard drive and this is a hard drive this is going to sound crazy but and I need to verify this with the model numbers on the back. I haven't recorded exactly everything I have here yet, but I think this will have five megabyte drives, it will also have five megabyte drives and this could be ten megabytes, so there's 20 megabytes total there and then these two drives actually they have removable platters, so that's what it is, if I open this up, we can see the platter inside the cartridge here and you go ahead and insert that in there and then you can read the data.
With it, we'll get into the details of why this isn't there right now, but an interesting side effect of these having removable platters is that I can see the heads right here and the heads are retracted, which is how I was able to get this out, this was installed on one of these and with the heads retracted I know they are not damaged there is actually a small piece of rubber here even that separates the heads so they don't bounce off each other and what happens with these is so I mentioned that these they have removable drives or removable platters, they have two sets of platters, there is a platter under this part and you can also see those heads, so yeah, this is a very complicated computer, oh yeah, it's the Nova micro, it works on a lot of things . in the same way we have cards here and each of these has a different function so the Nova micro seems to be a little better equipped than the Nova four and they told me that they use the Nova micro more so that could explain why but yeah, I I need to test all of this as if there are a lot of complicated things going on here.
I will say that there is a plate on the Nova 4x that is not here and it would have been nice to have it, but it is not the biggest problem. Dedicated hardware math board for multiplication and division that was available for this and I wasn't equipped, so at some point I'd like to try to track down one of those, but none of this is common or affordable, so I don't know how likely that would be. It is, but yeah, that's something I would like to do. Well, now let's look at something else before we continue.
Well, I should talk a little more about the terminal. This terminal is like the most beautiful piece of computer hardware I've ever seen. seen in my entire life, this is just ridiculous, I mean, the CRT spins in that hand, wow, that's so pretty. I know a lot of people like the keyboard and frankly I think it's a waste of time and effort to try. get one of these keyboards working, it's just a foam in foil keyboard. I don't think the keyboards are the attractive part. I think the keyboard works fine with the CRT, but without the CRT it's just a big ugly keyboard.
Now there's an interesting bit of history unique to this particular computer, well, this particular terminal and this is a keyboard cover for the Dasher terminal here and the cool thing about that is that there's one and I mean there's one of these in everyone because the company that previously owned these was in the textile business and made them for their own computer terminal, so it's really cool to have this data general brand keyboard cover for the Dasher terminal and it's the only one, I mean, no. I've never been a fan of things that are exclusive and impossible to get, but it's cool that they made it their home, so I really enjoy that it's a fantastic piece of history to accompany this computer that really sums up who it was used for.
Okay, I think so. I covered almost everything I could from the front, so we should probably move on to the back now, where there are a number of other things to talk about. I already had an idea of when the artificial floor was put in and laid a bit. It's a piece of 3/4 inch plywood with a piece of carpet on top so they can actually move around. I'll have to do a little more than just lean on my chair to do this so I can pull these forward and then I can pull them out. behind them, unfortunately, I have to indignantly crawl under my desk to get to the back and then vary.
They both have a door that opens to protect the back and I'm going to have to take them out about 18 19 inches and then remove the doors and put them somewhere so I can get to the back because the doors open this way of course, If they open that way it wouldn't be a problem, but no, they opened on the other side. I'm going to have to do it. do it, but it will be worth it, so from now on, oh I didn't really cover that when I transported them, I removed all the hard drives, now I not only locked them, I read to delete them because this was going to happen. in a passenger van, a large consumer van, not like a rental van or anything, and in order to load them on the shelves it had to be placed on its back, well this one didn't end up having to be on its back, I certainly did and I also thought it was important not to change the orientation of the hard drives, but turning them sideways or something could cause problems, so I didn't want to do that.
I locked this disk, took it out and put it in. there and I kept it flat the whole time, so I actually removed this hard drive from that hard drive, this hard drive and the floppy drives. I left the computers inside because they don't have too many parts that could be damaged. movements so I left it there and I also left this one there just in case the extra structural rigidity in the middle of the bed was useful because it had to lean back and then slide into the truck so I felt it was important to do that but Yes, everything had to be removed, which means I had to undo all the cables and connections on the machine for the peripherals and now I'm going to go through them and reconnect them.
I documented everything as best I could. There were some things that I had to take out in the heat of the moment because these platters are incredibly heavy, seriously I think they weigh between 160 and 180 pounds each without the platter and this thing is heavy in its own way too, well let's hope Stanton Diner Phase 60, it weighed about 5 pounds so even that would have contributed significantly and really the only thing in there that has weight is the plate, so each of these has a plate and it was very heavy, so I ended up with this . I had a little problem because I didn't know how to remove them so it turns out none of these are very high up, this one is locked because you can screw it in the front, there's no reason to take them out unlike these.
They have the removable one, but this one sees the rail down here anyway, so they actually rest on the rails and then screw on. The screws almost only act as a way to keep the rails aligned with the machine as you physically remove it. They sit on the rails as you position them. I didn't know that I'm used to my modern servers where you can undo the latches and thread the rails and when that didn't work I had the dumb idea to try it. Removing the rack rails while the unit was still installed because I thought I could get through them or fix them in a way that would get through was ultimately foolish and led to no permanent problems.
I don't think anything fell. or it was damaged or something, unfortunately the top of the floppy drive got a little scratched, but if I can match the color of this paint, I can go through it and correct it and I won't really be able to see it anyway when it's closed, but the rails that I kept them they weren't damaged in any way but it just made my life horrible and I had to disconnect some cables which I didn't notice in the end, I actually think no I wasn't in this but I don't know it's just that I need to brush up whileI have everything in my head about where the cables were connected and documented and the documentation means something to me because right now I can look at the pictures I took, oh, that's here and I know that's where that cable should go.
Back, I think that the orientation of a connector may not have been documented so I'll have to look at that but for now yeah it's time to get behind these and start looking at the cables okay this will be something like this. rough because the best I have is an 18 millimeter lens and I have no space between the wall and this I mean, here's this light and my side of the hand so you have an idea of what's going on here, so the disk hard drive is the base hard drive. Here you have this flat cable that is very, very long, it goes all the way to the edge of Picard and it starts wrapping around this piece of plastic.
Up here, I can't move forward, but then it connects to this bit here, which gives it enough slack. the hard drive can advance during service when needed down here we have the Nova 4x and if I hold the power supply to the side here it's caught on something, what's got the whole zipper tied up here? Great, gotta cut that out there. come on, that was one of the things that was made for trains, it's protected because it's meant to use some, come on, come on, so I was intending to use these weird screw retaining things and they don't work very well anyway .
Here again, I take that line. I showed before, you can see there is the backplane. I have a manually focused camera again and the connectors are sometimes literally plugged in there by hand. In fact, this one looks pretty good. The micro nova has some that are hand connected, but yeah, those big wide ones. The connectors on the back are how the cards interconnect now to the hard drive card and I think both hard drives have these cards here on the side and these big wide connectors have to connect to the ones that are the internal interconnect so that can remove them. the hard drives with cables if necessary, so I have to reconnect them.
There's the serial terminal interface board and then down here is the other hard drive. Now hard drives are a little weird because the hard drive itself is there. on that, but then you have this interface board here that the hard drive plugs into. I think this converts it to a more standard type, so this is the hard drive interface connector down here to bring that light down again so you can see it over to the On the left, I assume it's the standard hard drive interface and then This is an adapter board to work with the general data drive controller, so it's all on the Nova micro.
Now you can see some manually wired interconnects here. the floppy cables in the way, now there are some that are somewhat visible, that's how the Nova micro works. I think the power supply is there, so I'm going to look at both in depth. the terminal supply seems to be what was connected or connected to this, it seems that because I think the wire goes to the terminals connector, the terminal is a medical. I'm not sure if it's a detune or not, I actually think it might just be a Dasher but it uses this as an interface, it's the EIA connector I was using and that's the keyboard connector.
I love the controls for setting connection information, that's really nice, now this can be pushed forward, that's the hard drive, expand this. Again, this one also has the interface board, but this time it's on the back of the unit, so you can undo this and I think it could potentially rock, but anyway, yeah, that's it, yeah, and here it is The floppy drive and the floppy drive have two individual drives. The connectors here are one for each unit and I will have to reconnect them. Alright? Is there anything else? Oh yeah, these, oh, they're weird, so they both have non-standard power connectors on the base and there's an internal power distribution system.
This one, I believe, takes 110 and outputs 110 or 120, whichever power supply is listed here as 120 volts, so it's the standard US power spec, although the connector is very strange. I think it's most likely due to the Well, the way the infrastructure would have been built in the building when they were launched, that typical US outlets weren't capable of carrying that much power, meaning there could have been Had aluminum wires and tried to pass as much current through there. It would have been a bad idea so this could have been designed for free to use higher current wiring which was known to be better and that's why they made the other one, although oh the Nova 4x case uses a connector totally different and this one I think is 240 so that sucks so I can't use this it has an internal power distribution it's downstairs take that light again you can see the standard US plugs and again everything what's here is only 120 here. let's go to the no before oh that's an interesting one well the hard drive here we go 120 so I'm probably going to skip the internal power supply on this one but you might try to get it working on this one now interesting if Take the back panel of the micro nova here, we can see a circuit diagram of how the internal power supply or power distribution network is connected, so it should be entirely possible to determine what the pin of that port is and get or make a working cable. with that, that's really nice, oh look, a wandering screw in there, hug, find out what he means, so I think that's dark and pretty much all there is to talk about in the back here, so I need check and reconnect everything like the hard drive connection and figure out what's going on now, give you a rough idea of why it's going to take me so long to get this up and running, let's take a closer look, you see inside that, those are some ridiculously cool capacitors so huge that I'm going to have to take them out and try to manually reshape them to make sure they don't explode or anything crazy.
I want to try turning this on for the first time, so that's one of the reasons I'm not going to turn this on at any point. As soon as there are a lot of those in there, I mean the hard drive, you can't see it from this angle as anything else like that, another giant capacitor that's just terrifying, so I'm going to have to go very slow and test everything. one at a time here, now I'm going to start reconnecting all the cables, all connected well and I'm very happy with the result, so this was a bracket, as I mentioned, that is used to hold this cable in place. and originally it was a zip tie that goes through these holes, but I wasn't that big a fan of that, so I used this cable tie from the LTT store calmly and a small zip tie on the side of the loop that goes through it. way it can't go anywhere and I'm not using the zip tie to hold the cable.
I don't really have any objection to that, but when I made the video for my video server, a lot of people bothered me about it. There's a second one down here and all of this gives the hard drive enough slack to exit the system here, as you can see, it moves, so that's pretty good. I need to add a little more slack to the power cable layout though one more thing I found out was kind of interesting, so there was a bunch of cables at the bottom, mostly these brown cables that are just a total nightmare really poorly made wiring, it's not that it was assembled badly, it's just all piled up inside here. for storage and it has made my life a little more difficult, but I separated this particular cable because it turns out that it is not part of this Bummel cable, so one interesting thing here is that both hard drive connectors are trapped in this and the connectors serials here, which are What I think they are are trapped in this, so these cards must be the interconnect cards for the hard drive controllers and the asynchronous card.
All the cables for this go to this package and then to the top and then to this one. that's the top card, which I think is the asynchronous card, so it makes a lot of sense, but this cable here is separate and it goes to I think the CPU card down here. I almost accidentally took this out, which would have been really bad, but at least iPhoto documented everything. and now I'm documenting everything on video, but anyway I'm going to guess it's the parallel port, even though there are only three pins, what the heck could it be with three pins?
Now that I realize that's very, very strange, okay, I'll have it. to look into that later, I guess I didn't realize that's weird, well anyway let's look at it from above here, you can see the giant capacitor there better, yeah, that's pretty cool. I have the Nova microphone configured correctly. hard drives bent back, you got it, close it here and push it forward. Now this is something I'm really not sure about. Let me grab that light. He brought it here. Now the owner said when we were taking this apart he had to turn it on to get it out now I guess this is triggered by something inside the computer or inside the hard drive to lift it up because this thing comes back and gets stuck here you can see the marks there so I assume this lifts up after the axle stops rotating so you can remove the platter from the inside and this is used to make sure you don't or don't let go, it came off at the wrong time.
Similarly, here we have a sensor. Alright, it makes a lot of noise there which is used to detect when the hard drive is closed and goes against this. I guess they put this tape in there to make it a little smoother, so that's part of that whole system, so I bet. that this is meant to be turned on to be a version, but it would have to be part of a program for a similar disk park, but for general data, it is interesting that here, if we look at this hard drive, we have the same version there, although These are different hard drive models.
Turns out this one is 60 95 and this one is either 60 45 or 60 50 because it's labeled with two different things and we're pretty sure which one I'm leaning toward 60 45. Because it was probably put in by a general data clerk, I still haven't I know the difference so I'll have to look it up, but anyway someone connected the closed sensor with this piece of cardboard. I don't know if it's just because I'm missing the bracket that goes on the rail down here or what but this one will always think it's running ooh that needs to be fixed I don't know if that would have happened because of me or because of them mmm that's to get it in sometime but anyway, other than that, everything else is working pretty well.
I'm really curious about this, so this is the backyard for the 60/40 550 and here, since I didn't mention this, it's on the back of the drive and this is the cable that goes to it now strangely this cable actually goes down first to the floppy drive and then back to the hard drive apparently the floppy drive goes in the middle I haven't actually connected the floppy drive yet. I'm going to have to take it off the front and do it from the other side, we'll do that in a moment, but yeah, that's a different thing, so apparently they're daisy chained.
I didn't notice that the first time because I unplugged it. the hard drive from here and then disconnect the floppy drives and it turns out that this cable just goes between both of them directly, which is very, very strange, but yeah, everything else is completely reconnected, the power supply for the back of the four you installed and you turn the screws and then it locks into place so it's nice and workable but I think that's it for now time to go back to the front and make it pretty and reconnect the floppy drive before that we can say that this is complete.
I've removed the side panels from the Nova micro here and we're going to take out the floppy drive. Hopefully the cables here on the back, I can actually hold them while I pull this out. I need to reconnect the cables inside the unit here at this point. okay, unplug it, hopefully it will just pop out with these four screws. I don't remember, but I need to internally reconnect the data lines for this. You have to do this from the front, unlike all the other units you can access in the back. annoying but whatever and we'll see that step I forgot about it I didn't realize when I was doing this the first time I think they're all yeah that's moving completely bingo that's a serious circuit board right there that's Very very large, these would be the connectors or to drive them pulling on the circuit board a little more than I would like, but hey, I can't do much about it and you can see I've labeled it that way. which I can't screw it up by reinstalling them now I can put this back in and then there's one more thing I need to do before I close this all up right now from here unfortunately the hard drives are slightly misaligned it's a little bit higher on this side than on de this side because I took out the rail screws, but that's something I'll have to look at to fix later.
Is it leaning out? It's strange. It's on the front plate. Should not. Oh, it's fine. I can do that anyway. I would put this back piece on it. It was removed because the floppy drive is rubbing and that's bad. Oh, I wanted to make sureso it wouldn't break while moving it, so I had to take it off. Now I'll put it back in and then. We can now place all the remaining trim pieces almost finished, now there are only six more pieces that need to be put back, they are all cut out, so let's start with one of the most important ones: Nova for the front panel, now all of them.
These front panels fit perfectly into place, there are little metal latches that keep them on and then you have to pull them up and the right way which I haven't figured out yet to take them off, there are these little metal things that stick out. but I'm not 100% sure if that's exactly how you should do it but it works so yeah let me go ahead and put this one in there come on so that's the four Nova faceplate power switch lock and then reboot and whatever PR load it is, I'm not too sure, but yeah, we definitely live it, leave it off even though it's not plugged in and then we have the fixed drive now, unfortunately, the fixed drive has a little problem, the label is peeling off, which which has led to this strange corner and it happened on the inside, so you can see when I put the plate on it, everything is inside and then it's very very strange, but there are those two, the labels are peeling off, this one expanded, it became wider and protrudes in the middle.
It's very strange, but then we have the two metal blind panels, one goes up here and the other goes down down and there. We have it all assembled, oh wait, two more pieces at the bottom of the case as part of the power distribution system. We have these two air intake grilles down here and there are dust covers that cover them. This one is supposed to be slightly broken. These will be two small metal tabs that snap into place. This one is broken. If only I knew a way to easily repair plastic. Hmm. I think I'll do some research on YouTube to see if I can find a way, but that will be fixed anyway. later, but for both of us I found something quite funny in the documentation when I was originally reviewing it, so I mentioned that I have service records for these computers that actually, according to your data, general service contracts are really impressive, but one thing in particular that Here we will get a close up of this.
Now this is a note saying that the general installation site of your computer has been inspected by Data General Service Inc and it is considered that, for the reasons stated below, the performance of your system may be affected unless measures are implemented corrective measures, we cannot be responsible for the reliability or serviceability of your equipment and the reason is excessive dust and dirt in the environment. I actually don't think I've seen another set of cases like these that have these built-in air filters and if we pull one out you can see that it's actually very very clogged yeah we got a lot dirty so clearly it was a big problem for this system.
I'll take them out and clean them before I put them on, but but. Yeah, it's funny that it's not just dirty. I have a letter from Data General saying it was dirty. Oh okay, here we go, the Nova 4x RAC setup and the Nova RAC micro. Now, two things I want to address here very quickly. Again I'm not going to turn any of these on in this video or on our terminal, these have been off for so long and are so hard to replace that if I turned one on and something went wrong I might never be able to fix it so I would really have to be slow and meticulous in how you do this, just be very careful now, another thing, why am I shooting at this really unpleasant angle for these?
Well this room is not big enough for I have the camera in front of it, in fact if I move my hand off the camera, imagine my arm well with the arm extended, it's much more up to the hifi wall and then the depth off the shelf, so that's it, there's not much space in this room and this orientation, I could have tried putting it that way, but this cabinet is 32 inches deep, so it only takes up floor space for breakfast, It's crazy, this thing is huge, but that's a rack, that's how it works, honestly. I'm a little impressed that it was only 32.
I think my other rack, the shark rack, which I made a video about a long time ago, is actually 40, so yeah, it's 70 inches tall. These are not measurements I made before purchasing this. I asked for it. some measurements, so these are the measurements I would give it. They gave me 70 inches tall just for the record. I'm six-two, so there you go, it looks good on the camera monitor, but yeah, that's it, so now. that everything is assembled. I can't actually take out the removable drives unless I pull them forward and close the back. This drive is not really removable if I remove the front panel and unscrew the screws.
There are some. Interesting things to see on these, but I don't think this is the video to make, this is just meant to be a general introduction on how to take a Nova and give you an idea of what I did to transport this. I actually need to get this out because they need to unlock the spindle and the heads so let's go ahead and take a look at that because it's really important that I remembered to do that and then this drive is locked with two screws this is actually the drive lightest of the three drives, it has two platters inside, you can see them from the side, which is really cool because inside here the hard drives are sealed in a piece of acrylic or something.
So if you look in these vents, you can see the hard drive there. I don't know what it would take. Oh yes, some unusual bras. I may have them in my eye repair kit, but yeah, I don't know, below it is. what we really need to look at right now, I actually forgot, I needed a socket set to get in here, so you just loosen these screws, the bolts really push this whole thing back and then it's going to explode and while it's there, you have to pay attention to it. but from here we can see some ridiculous capacitors there, wow, and the locking things, so the first thing here is the spindle lock, so this won't spin right now because it was on and now the platters are actually spinning, we can see the belt here.
Fortunately, a cloth belt won't be ruined, but now we have to unlock the heads, so let's take a look. Well, like I said before, I definitely don't feel like I've blocked the heads properly and it's really hard to tell what it is. is happening here, so let me cut because that's what I put there and now we can start to get an idea of what's going on, so this is the lock, you're supposed to pull this and put it in this. pig here at least it's us, that's what it looks like, but when I try to place this piece all the way over the plastic curves, like I was mentioning, it doesn't actually continue to move, so I was worried that if I placed it there, this would happen. snap it into the transport to open this or unlock the heads, push it over here, release it and push it, there we go, now the heads should be free, so here we go, that's how I transported the unit.
I'm not an expert on that. be wrong, but as far as I know that was correct, I guess it would be helpful to know what model number this is, this is a 6103, if you have to carry one of these yourself, now it turned out that the bit to remove the bottom screws It's exactly the same. Same thing is removing the top so we can see what's going on here and oh man this is really awesome so this should stay there and actually stay there. It's very alarming that they moved, but you know who knows when it was.
It was last opened in 1982, I guess that's when this unit was made and it was tested with no bad cylinders, that's pretty good, but right now I'll be in my head or on the discs so I'm very curious, unfortunately half with that panel again on the bottom I'm going to try to remove that and then move that lever again to see if the heads move because they are there, they are very clearly on the disk my tripods at their maximum height but let me try to move the camera towards up so you can see that a little better.
I guess you could clean up a little there too. Oh yes, that is very, very nice. Well, I'll leave the camera rolling and take it off. bottom panel and move the latch and see what happens okay here we go grab and move i mean get down real good that sucks eh that's really annoying okay so this was on a hundred mile road trip with the heads over the drive plates, that's great, spinning well. I don't see any damage to the area where they are, so maybe everything survived just fine. Don't know. It's incredibly difficult to position the camera and I here, but if I move that bar, you can see the bottom.
There is a piece of plastic. I'm moving the hold bar below and that moves with it now. I'm not sure what this does, but when I move it all the way, it goes under the label where you can't see it. but it bumps into something and if I pull the tag down as if to lock it on that part, it doesn't continue moving and gets stuck on top. Now I've also noticed that I can do it in a scary way, but possibly. Move the stepper that controls the heads now. I don't want to move it too much like move it out of the way because I don't intend to move while she's driving again, but maybe if it went up here like the heads had been parked and last time and this was on, maybe then the mechanism retainer down here would have worked, so I guess it's because the heads weren't fully retracted, it was the reason my head couldn't lock into place. so yeah, I'm going to have to, it's really hard to do this blindly.
I'll do it when it's underneath, but maybe that's what it would take to get the heads properly locked in place, you'd pull it all the way out. away from the disks, so do it right, moving away from the fixed disk drive now it turns out that I didn't completely block this removable cartridge drive, let's go ahead and take this out okay, I remove the dust cover down here we can see. the heads, most importantly, we can see that there are two heads here, but there's also a second set down there that you can barely see and that's how we know there's another plate under here, oh god, I can't touch it, okay, uh Wow, that's surprising. open, okay, you know I didn't touch a surface just the edge for reference, so okay, now let's go ahead and check the full cartridge, loading this procedure so here you can see the disc inside the cartridge.
Align it so that all the faces match. the heads push it down to lock it in place and then turn it in and the alignment on this isn't tremendous, it rubs here, but that's how you would load a cartridge and unloading is obviously the opposite of pulling the bolt and it releases now I think this may be magnetic and we can see there are magnets on the bottom of this when you put the dust cover on it it just snaps on and it stays in place with the magnets and you can push this out and pull this . up and then it doesn't release the magnets so you can carry it and there's supposed to be a dust cover that covers the plate when you have it there so we'll leave it there and with that Let's say we're almost done, the obvious question is to make this works, so this is what it really is.
I don't want to say they were super complicated, but there's a lot going on here, as you saw, there's a bunch of giant circuit boards on this thing, there's a bunch of not super giant circuit boards, but they're pretty big, and they have a lot of chips. dedicated data generals and I don't know if they will all work, hopefully, but this is not just your average computer to flip the switch and see what happens, even the power supplies are going to be complicated because those monstrously large kicks should have been Sean, the one down here because that's your only big man, so I'm I'm going to have to go real slow, take my time.
My plan is that I will try to get the terminal working first because it will be fun to have it in a video that really sums this up, it will be the most relatable. thing for people, then I can start working on these one at a time, so I'd say my first plan of attack here will be to get the Micra Nova CPU board working, so all I'll have to do to get it out really is Actually, just unplug it and then move it back and forth and twist it a couple of times. There we go, so getting, for example, this board to boot is the kind of goal I'm looking for here to get this whole thing started. just to this board so for this board to work I'm going to have to go through and look at the power supply which is where the real work is on most of these things because they probably won't have any problems except the power supplies I mean they all you must be familiar with bad capacitors, imagine capacitors from the 70's, yes so I really have to check and make sure there is nothing catastrophically wrong with these and I just have to take my time to make it It will be a long time before let's seelet some of the really interesting parts of this outside the terminal come to life and I'll make videos about the whole process.
This won't be one. I have it working. It will probably be a big series of videos focusing on each individual part, such as the entire hard drive on its own or just the CPU card in the Nova 4x or how to get floppy drives working in the Micro Nova. It's best to compartmentalize each individual project like this because that's how I'm going to try to make them work, so I hope you found it interesting. This is a very different computer purchase for a private collector. I think I'm up to the challenge and I'm really looking forward to it if you want to support the channel.
I'm on Patreon, but that's it for now, there will be a lot of videos about this later. See you next time.
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