POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Meet Up

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Which dates could you make for Bletchley ABUG South meet?

Poll ended at Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:48 pm

July 18th/19th 2015
5
12%
August 1st/2nd 2015
9
21%
September 12th/13th 2015
11
26%
September 19th/20th 2015
11
26%
December 5th/6th 2015
6
14%
 
Total votes: 42

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jbnbeeb
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POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Meet Up

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:48 pm

Inspired by this this thread: http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9761

...The National Museum of Computing (Bletchley Park, nr Milton Keynes) have put the word out that they would like some volunteers to help repair their BBC micro equipment. They use this kit for a hands on "classroom of the 80s" experience, including simple programming tasks for over 4,500 schoolchildren per year.

I have spoken to Chris Monk, who runs the educational support function at the museum. He is keen to host specific days for the likes of us ( :lol: ) to meet, help repair/test BBC micro kit (including monitors if possible).

In turn, we would be able to get access to their extensive collection of Acorn kit (and software), as well as a tour of all the other exhibits at the site (I've been 3 times - it's very good). There are some very knowledgeable types there that look after the Colossus and later mainframe equipment (including an Elliot IIRC).

Chris has asked me for preferred dates for such a meet. I suggest we have this meet under the "ABUG" banner (if that's OK Simon and DaveM?)

I've selected these dates in a bid not to clash with other events we have in the Stardot calendar this year.

Please vote for ALL dates which you could attend. e.g. if you are available on all 5 weekends, select them all.. or if you can only make one weekend, just select one..
Please vote before 6th July 2015


To be clear, I'm only proposing ONE ABUG south meet up at Bletchley park presently..and I'd like to gauge which weekend would be most preferred amongst us all.

TNMOC website :http://www.tnmoc.org/visit

Thanks all. Hope we can make this happen :D
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Arcadian » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:26 pm

Only date I can make there is the December weekend.

However, date-wise I wonder if this would impinge on the numbers for the November ABug meetup (which we hope will be a big one). So maybe the second dates in September would be a better option (in terms of taking into account the overall calendar).

Though I'm not really much use fixing up beebs anyway (which is why I've got so many duffers lying around myself!!).

I am however rather handy with canisters of foam cleaner for grotty beebs!

I would be interested in dumping some of their Acorn software though - I volunteered there back in 2010 and know they have a lot of software, particularly disc-based, that could do with archiving.

[Edit: no problem with using the ABug name as far as I'm concerned. And I'm sure Simon wouldn't have a problem either, as he's been very keen to arrange a meet at or around Bletchley too - though we were originally thinking Spring 2016].
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:35 pm

By the sounds of it I think Chris would be up for more than one visit and am pretty sure spring 2016 could be a goer but I wondered whether it best to strike whilst the (soldering?) iron is hot and see if we can do one this year. I really have tried to avoid date clashes, but with so many events on, any dates this year are bound to be close to something.

Let's see what the outcome of this poll is and take it from there. Cast your votes everyone :)

[Edit: I did mention software archiving and Chris seemed to like the idea though we didn't discuss it further..will be sure to follow up on this as I know the likes of flaxcottage are interested in this area too]
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Elminster » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:54 pm

Spooky. On a train back from MK now. But not Bletchley. I have done computer museum this year and it is good.

I can do cap, replacing IC and keys etc. but diagnostic is still something I am learning. Is it a case they can diag stuff and just need people to then go fix. Or do a good number of people from here need to help with diagnostics. Would there be the opportunity to learn more so as to help more?

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:07 pm

Elminster wrote:Is it a case they can diag stuff and just need people to then go fix. Or do a good number of people from here need to help with diagnostics. Would there be the opportunity to learn more so as to help more?



Apparently they have a stock of 80 Beebs, and a further 12 that they have for use in the classroom of the 80s. Presently they tend to cannibalise parts from this stock for repairs I believe. It sounded to me like he could do with a number of people testing/categorising faults (besides repairs) and either cleaning cases, or removing the innards for spares and ditching damaged/beyond repair cases. He was also wondering if people could diagnose/fix Microvitec monitors.

As regards learning fault finding etc, I'm sure other Stardot members attending [should the event go ahead] would be happy to show you tips/tricks etc...
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Elminster » Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:13 pm

General Tips and tricks I know (having 8 Acorns myself). It is the breaking out scopes that I have yet to get to grips with.

CRT monitors are a bit more tricky from what I understand as with enormous capacitors in them you are much more likely to electrocute yourself.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:19 pm

Elminster wrote:General Tips and tricks I know (having 8 Acorns myself). It is the breaking out scopes that I have yet to get to grips with.


I know some chaps have brought scopes to ABUG meets in the past. I can't guarantee whether anyone will for this one, though hopefully they will.
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Elminster » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:00 pm

jbnbeeb wrote:
Elminster wrote:General Tips and tricks I know (having 8 Acorns myself). It is the breaking out scopes that I have yet to get to grips with.


I know some chaps have brought scopes to ABUG meets in the past. I can't guarantee whether anyone will for this one, though hopefully they will.


I have a rigol scope but don't want to bring it if just cleaning a few beebs and replacing a few keys presses. I guess this will fall out of the final list of who is going. Although I am going to ABug meet in Novso will be other opportunities.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby dp11 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:27 pm

Might be worth collecting a list of skills .

I can repair most thing including monitors ( but I don't want to be stuck with monitors all day long). Parts are likely to be an issue. So a more than one weekend might be sensible when spares from the garage can be source.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Elminster » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:31 pm

dp11 wrote:Might be worth collecting a list of skills .

I can repair most thing including monitors ( but I don't want to be stuck with monitors all day long). Parts are likely to be an issue. So a more than one weekend might be sensible when spares from the garage can be source.


Good idea. Also what kit people can bring with them.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:44 pm

Hi, presently I don't know type of, nor number of faults.. I suspect there needs to be quite a bit of testing/diagnosis which I dare say could be shared amongst a number of people of varying skills?

Initially, I'm trying to gauge interest, and the most preferred weekend amongst Stardotters.. A reasonably detailed list of proposed activities could then follow (not least from Chris Monk at TNMOC) .

Cheers,
jbnbeeb
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Elminster » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:13 pm

Another thought. Would the computer Musuem be open to the public at the time?

Might be easier sell if people can bring families. Also not to forget that the separate Bletchley park tickets for next door last a year. So I might bring the family and leave them next door at Bletchley park (as we have already been this year so it is free). But of course that ticket doesn't cover computer centre. Would we need to pay full price to get in to computer centre still?

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby leenew » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:13 pm

Hi,
I am happy re-capping power supplies and changing duff keyboard keys, but I am also ok with general beeb fault diagnosis.
I can desolder chips fairly well and fit sockets for replacement chips etc.
I could test and make a list of faults with each machine, then pass it down the production line so to speak.
My true forte is scrubbing :lol:

I also do not touch monitors :D

It may be a good idea to get some idea of the problems that need to be fixed beforehand, so spare parts can be better organized.

Lee.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:20 pm

Hi,
- I'll find out if they already know of the faults they have...though as I say, I suspect a fair bit of testing/categorising will be needed.
- I will find out more details on what would be on offer in exchange for our efforts as it were!
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby Prime » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:31 am

Whilst I'm sure that the NMOC will have this covered, it might be worth checking before committing to anything, but how would the repairs be covered insurance wise ?

What I mean is that these machines, and even more so Monitors contain potentially lethal voltages. How would we be covered if one of the pieces of equipment we repaired subsequently injured a member of the public ?

Not saying it would be a problem but with things like this it doesn't hurt to be paranoid.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:53 am

Hi,
I've collated the questions people have posted here and emailed Chris at TNMOC. I'll update once I get a reply..

Meanwhile, if you're interested in going, but haven't yet voted in poll, please do .. I've got the poll open til end of the week. Ta. :)
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby tricky » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:37 pm

I nearly missed this as it doesn't show on recent activity link.

EDIT: Sorry, seems it does and I just don't look hard enough!

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:53 pm

I've not heard back from Chris @ TNMOC yet re collated questions. Will give him a chase on Monday if needs be.

Thanks to those that have voted on weekend availability thus far.

More votes from other peeps welcome ! :wink:

I promise I'll update with more details as soon as I get them from TNMOC.
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby 1024MAK » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:18 pm

Okay, having cross checked three calenders, I have voted for these dates:-
  • August 1st/2nd 2015
  • September 12th/13th 2015
  • September 19th/20th 2015
However, there is another retro computer event that is very likely to take place in September that I wish to attend, and as it only takes place once a year, if there is a clash of dates, that would take priority.

So the best dates for me currently are in order:
  1. August 1st/2nd 2015
  2. September 12th/13th 2015
  3. September 19th/20th 2015

Also, all dates are subject to change if my roster at work should change (not likely but possible).

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:00 pm

Hi there..

Thanks to everyone that voted in the poll.


Not much of an update yet - I've spoken to Chris M at TNMOC today ; he's chasing up answers to all the questions in this thread that I've relayed to him - and expects to respond by middle of this week.

As soon as I've heard back I'll update on this thread..

Thanks,
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:00 pm

Is there any update on this?

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:01 pm

Sadly no news yet :(

I've contacted TNMOC a couple of times since my last post on this thread, but haven't yet heard back. I've chased up again just now but Chris wasn't around. I've left a message with one of his colleagues requesting to be contacted back. I'll give it a day or two and if no more joy after that, I'll assume they're not interested . Either way, I will update this post accordingly this week.
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:31 pm

Hi,
I've finally had a response to questions I sent to TNMOC. It seems (I'm inferring) that their current thinking is to hold a "repair day", and one which has a wider invite than Stardot..

I think we'd need to work out a few more details than we have currently.

That said, I'd like to gather people's thoughts re TNMOC responses and whether there is still interest in attending TNMOC - seemingly on a September weekend, and only for one day.

Here is the TNMOC response :
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have taken over running this event from Chris Monk and I’m playing catchup, so please bare with me.

To answer some of your questions :

1.a) Do you already have a reasonably accurate audit of which kit has faults, and the type of fault/s said kit has?
b) If you don't have said audit done, would you like us to do an audit?

1) On the day we plan to have two piles of Beebs. One pile will be all the Beebs we want repairing, and the other will be a pile to scrap for parts. None of the machines will have a fault report on them.

2. How would repairs be covered insurance wise? To quote from the guy that asked ""What I mean is that these machines, and even more so Monitors contain potentially lethal voltages. How would we be covered if one of the pieces of equipment we repaired subsequently injured a member of the public ?”

2) We have checked with our insurers and you will be fully covered for the work you do; however, we will need to sign you up as volunteers for that cover to take effect.

3. Would the computer museum be open to the public at the time? [we'd most likely visit on a weekend]

3) Yes, the museum will be open and we hope to have the public viewing the repair process which will require that the work area be kept organised and presentable.

4. Would we need to pay full price to enter all of TNMOC?

4) Not at all. As you will be volunteers your entry to the museum will be free.

Our aim is to hold the event one weekend in September for a single day. Would this be okay for you?

I hope to get things finalised in the next week or so, so I will get in contact with you then with more details. If you have anymore questions, do not hesitate to get in contact with me.
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby BigEd » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:40 pm

If you need to be signed up as volunteers, you might be subject to a CRB check. Not sure how long that takes, or what it involves. Might be worth finding out.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:50 pm

OK. Thanks BigEd.

Keen to gather more thoughts re TNMOC feedback above..

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby flaxcottage » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:35 pm

TNMOC response seems most reasonable and expected.

I am happy to give my services such as they are. I can repair PSUs, remove and replace ICs, solder, etc. I can also learn from those with more knowledge. :lol:

I can bring tools, soldering/desoldering gear and an oscilloscope. :D
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:13 pm

Thanks flaxcottage.
Any more comments or questions from people?
TNMOC have said that they'll come back to me with more details soon, and that they're happy to answer any more questions.

I think the most pertinent thing to do will be to agree a date with them; thus far I only know that they want to do this on a weekend in September.

Once I've got a date, I think I'll start a new thread to gather list of who's going, alongside other info that people have suggested on this thread such as equipment you're going to bring, skills you have etc.
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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jgharston » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:57 pm

BigEd wrote:If you need to be signed up as volunteers, you might be subject to a CRB check. Not sure how long that takes, or what it involves. Might be worth finding out.
I've got a current Disclosure Scotland certificate, would that be ok? It seems good enough to let me into Sellafield.

Code: Select all

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby BigEd » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:27 pm

jgharston wrote:
BigEd wrote:If you need to be signed up as volunteers, you might be subject to a CRB check. Not sure how long that takes, or what it involves. Might be worth finding out.
I've got a current Disclosure Scotland certificate, would that be ok?

Sorry, I have no idea - was only guessing about the CRB check, but it came up when I was thinking of doing something in the Elliott 803 direction.

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Re: POLL:Pick dates for Bletchley Computer Museum ABUG Mee

Postby jbnbeeb » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:41 pm

JGH /Big Ed - I don't know answer to CRB (or your similar cert JGH) - but I'll forward this and any other new questions gathered in this thread in next couple of days to TNMOC.


Anyone else any more questions following TNMOC response upthread?

Thanks,
jbnbeeb
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