A little side project.....

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M1ECY
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A little side project.....

#1

Beitrag von M1ECY »

Morning all,

For many years I have had interest in "Cold War Bunkers", or in the case of the site I will discuss here, one of our Regional Government Headquarters.

When the Cold War "ended", the UK had a number of these facilities, nearly all built on farmland that was purchased under government order.

So, in the mid 1990s, these facilities were decommissioned, all the easily removable items were taken out and disposed of as scrap.

The original land owners were offered first refusal on buying back their land, and anything that was built on it.

Over the years, some of these facilities have been converted to Museums, this one, I think was the first.

I had initially spoken with the owners regarding the teleprinters, and perhaps getting something going to allow a functional demonstration of machines, this is still very much an aim, and perhaps one day get one or two onto the I-Telex network.

However, there is so much equipment in this bunker, that isn't working, the owner asked if I could perhaps also help with the bunker internal phone system - this is taken care of by an early 80s electronic PBX.

Sat next to this PBX is something that will be much more of a challenge - See a couple of pictures below :) I think I have some years of work ahead of me.....
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Folgende Benutzer bedankten sich beim Autor M1ECY für den Beitrag (Insgesamt 2):
duddsigwtrenkle
459724 SEAN G - Te Ka De FS200 - Working 24/7
666507 JONAB G - BT Cheetah 85 - Working sometimes
350470 Ersatz G - J-Term - Not Used
BT Cheetah 87 RIP.
Siemens T68d - Working - Not connected yet
778672 WSWHQ G - BT Super Cheetah - on 312526

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wtrenkle
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Re: A little side project.....

#2

Beitrag von wtrenkle »

Cool photographs, M1ECY (your given name isn't known to me right now),
just for the purpose of running the infrastructure of a bunker the PBX, in fact, looks huge. I guess that it is entirely built atop of electronic and MC platform(s), rather than true mechanical(?) ones - perhaps already ISDN-capable, when built in the 80s of the last century. I wonder, if it wasn't sufficient to show it just as is as a block model, rather than demonstrate the (less or more) full functionality (without or with a restricted external connectivity, which doesn't exist, anymore) after having sacrificed that much time that could have been invested into "REAL Teletyping" - am kidding, of course.
To convert these premises into museums is probably a cool idea in general, whereas the non-technical, historic aspects might be of an higher importance than the technical functionality, because for most people technical demonstrations don't demo well - like IT demonstrations don't do it very well, either.

Wish you all the best and have a lot of fun!
Wolfgang, DL7WT
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Wolfgang
960051 rscom d (TeKaDe FS200/FS220)
73 de DL7WT

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Re: A little side project.....

#3

Beitrag von M1ECY »

Hi Wolfgang,

It is true, this PABX is not correct for the bunker, and has far more capacity than the bunker ever had.

This particular exchange was recovered by some enthusiasts from a Police Headquarters during the mid 1990s, and was a very large system, covering many departments.

I have to have a serious discussion with the owner of the museum, to see if I can actually reduce the exchange in physical size - this will actually help the project greatly, for several reasons - it will increase the spare space within the "PABX room", which will allow for a better lay out of power supply and support equipment, it will also simplify the reconnection of each rack - all interconnections were cut when the exchange was removed, at present there are around 5-7000 connections to be remade. The other bonus will be the redundant equipment can then form a good source of spare parts to allow the exchange to be maintained a long time into the future.

I do not think the exchange is at all ISDN compatible - there are no electronics at all in this system. There is another old exchange that has been installed for the internal phone system, that is perhaps 30 years younger than the mechanical system, this is what I am currently engaged in repairing - 20+ years with zero maintenance has taken it's toll.

As a museum, this is not a technically correct historical representation of how the bunker would have been at any point during it's life, more of a visitor attraction, that will please most of the public - there are very few enthusiasts of this sort of technology, so working or not, it will mean very little to them.


There's a lot to do, but it is a good technical challenge, something I find more enjoyable than perhaps I should :)


Very frustrating that because of the restriction within the UK I cannot be there working on it now - the situation is ideal - Museum closed to the public, so no need to put everything out of the way, and of course very few interruptions.

Cheers
Sean
M1ECY
459724 SEAN G - Te Ka De FS200 - Working 24/7
666507 JONAB G - BT Cheetah 85 - Working sometimes
350470 Ersatz G - J-Term - Not Used
BT Cheetah 87 RIP.
Siemens T68d - Working - Not connected yet
778672 WSWHQ G - BT Super Cheetah - on 312526

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wtrenkle
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Re: A little side project.....

#4

Beitrag von wtrenkle »

Hi Sean,
haven't imagined that in the UK the measures are that strict (for not infected people) that you can't go onsite as an individual (hile meeting noone else) ;-). It wasn't my aim to stop you doing good things (as a former boyscout: at least one good deed a day) - more of an idea to make things easier to handle.
Actually I would do exactly the same you intend to do: restrict the functionality and thus the number of componets to a minimum to demonstrate, how things like these used to work in the past. It's, indeed, a pity that you can't make a good use of your time ... however, it's subject to change, hopefully soon (be nice to your PM).

Nonetheless, I wish you the very best with your project!

Keep working on it, and all the best!
Wolfgang
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Wolfgang
960051 rscom d (TeKaDe FS200/FS220)
73 de DL7WT

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Re: A little side project.....

#5

Beitrag von M1ECY »

Hi Wolfgang,

Sadly the rules in the UK are very strict - Unless the travel is essential - (for employment, or to get food, or to help the vulnerable) then the police are at liberty to issue fines for breaking the terms of the "lockdown" I think doing charitable work at a museum would be frowned upon.

The bunker ran on 3 digit Telefone numbers internally, so I think there could actually be one complete bay of redundant equipment - I will find out more once I have cleared my way around it so that I can make a full list of the various selectors - this will allow me to decide what sort of numbering system was in place.

I think that maybe only having 20 extensions as a maximum will make life a lot easier, though, having just a few to start with would make for an interesting demonstration. The museum is quite eager for a number of phones to be working on the exchange to perhaps allow the local scouts and other younger visitors to actually have something hands on that can be used.

It's good fun - though, it would be handy if it was a bit closer to me :)

Cheers
Sean
Folgende Benutzer bedankten sich beim Autor M1ECY für den Beitrag:
wtrenkle
459724 SEAN G - Te Ka De FS200 - Working 24/7
666507 JONAB G - BT Cheetah 85 - Working sometimes
350470 Ersatz G - J-Term - Not Used
BT Cheetah 87 RIP.
Siemens T68d - Working - Not connected yet
778672 WSWHQ G - BT Super Cheetah - on 312526

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wtrenkle
Rank 5
Rank 5
Beiträge: 49
Registriert: Fr 16. Aug 2019, 15:38
Wohnort: 64569 Nauheim
Hauptanschluß: 960051 rscom d
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Re: A little side project.....

#6

Beitrag von wtrenkle »

Extremely cool stuff, anyway.

Even downsizing of the PABX is a project of its own! I wonder, if a (fake) mini-switchboard wouldn't make the show, too, and have the big one presented to the visitors for some WOW effect - just as an idea for the time being, and since the existing PABX is that oversized.

All the best
Wolfgang
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Wolfgang
960051 rscom d (TeKaDe FS200/FS220)
73 de DL7WT

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Topic author
M1ECY
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Beiträge: 275
Registriert: Fr 11. Aug 2017, 13:13
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Re: A little side project.....

#7

Beitrag von M1ECY »

Oh, there are also three manual switchboards in another room that are supposed to be connected as well....

As I say, lots to keep me busy :)
Folgende Benutzer bedankten sich beim Autor M1ECY für den Beitrag:
wtrenkle
459724 SEAN G - Te Ka De FS200 - Working 24/7
666507 JONAB G - BT Cheetah 85 - Working sometimes
350470 Ersatz G - J-Term - Not Used
BT Cheetah 87 RIP.
Siemens T68d - Working - Not connected yet
778672 WSWHQ G - BT Super Cheetah - on 312526

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