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IBM Model 29 Keypunch Station

NeXT

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Officially the craziest thing I've ever done. :D

This came out of the Houston sale. As it turns out there was three keypunches in all however the other two were incomplete Model B's while this one was a Model C that for some reason had the badge of a 129 and its keyboard. After some extra photos and a few phonecalls I was able to negotiate a price and pair the machine up with a Model 29 coverplate again and a slightly more matching keyboard. With some help of two other members we split freight for one skid three-ways and it landed in Canada two weeks later for pickup.

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There was speculation a lot of items at the sale would of had heavy weather/moisture damage but as it turns out we all received equipment that internally wasn't rusty or showed any signs of weather related damage but was really, really dirty. As you can tell the machine is missing the desk, which I don't mind as I can make another one but only after it was here did I realize the Model AB and the Model C have different name badge coverplates. The one I received doesn't fit as the cutout for the print interpreter interposer was missing. If anyone would like to trade panels or has the correct one I'd like to hear from you please.

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The lower cabinet, power supply and relay chassis are all in good condition and the chip bucket had all the various screws, fasteners and pieces that I didn't remove when separating the two halves. For something that supposedly weighs north of 200lbs it got quite easy to transport once it was dismantled into smaller and more easy to manage pieces.

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For where it was stored it's in very good condition. The grease has not completely dried out yet and nothing appears to be seized. I would not be at all surprised if it starts to really come back once cleaned and relubricated.

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This is as bad as it got. The pot metal that made up the programming drum and its assembly was starting to corrode up but the drum especially cleaned up with vinegar and water.

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Here is the keyboard I received. It is for a model 29 but not for a model C as the switch for PUNCH/INTERPRET is missing. The control wiring for it would be on the green wire harness pictured on the right. It is also quite clean with no rust and will come back fine with a cleaning.

From here I only have one other big issue and that is the wiring drawings for the Model C are not on bitsavers so I'm going to have issues fixing a few pulled wires on the relays. Likewise I have a few outstanding questions on a few other things such as contact cleaning (deoxit soaked strips of paper or 1200 grit buff cloth?) and dealing with the half dozen rubber rollers that are in the machine that are not melted and might come back with a reconditioning. Mr Verdiell's video when he cleaned up his machine is helpful here, as is Conmega's thread when he got his own 026 punch a few years ago. [link]

Scheduled completion of this project is next spring.
 

Chuck(G)

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Well, at least you'll have something to occupy your time and keep you off the streets...

Judging from the keyboard, the interposer mech seems to be gunked up...
 

Al Kossow

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From here I only have one other big issue and that is the wiring drawings for the Model C are not on bitsavers

Have you tried contacting anyone on the CHM 1401 restoration team? They have IBM drawings and may have the diagram for the Model C
 

NeXT

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Have you tried contacting anyone on the CHM 1401 restoration team? They have IBM drawings and may have the diagram for the Model C

Any recommendations where to be getting contact info other than ibm-1401.info? I didn't consider they might be able to help here.

I take it that a program drum wasn't part of the lot. Good luck scrounging one up.

Nope, I got it. Just didn't take a picture of it. :p

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Chuck(G)

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Good! Even when these things were current, swiping drums was a thing--basically you brought your drum with the program card already mounted and stuck it in the keypunch. Clearly, having the drum on hand was a thing...
 

NeXT

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So while I wait for replies to a number of emails (I wonder if I should pester cctalk as well...) I washed the enclosure and after two passes with the magic eraser it looks a lot better now.
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You can tell that welding is my passion. :B
The hinge for the piece covering the program drum has been repaired.
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It's gonna need at least one belt.
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Which means I'm starting to dig into the punch itself. For now going over pieces with a brush and compressed air to clean out the dirt and it's getting a lot of the yuck, dust and paper chips it's full of. I was able to get the punch interposer block off to inspect and clean but I have to research a bit more into how the printer comes off. The linkage is really weird and I need to read the manuals again.
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The card path is rough with surface corrosion however a bit of rubbing with some chrome polish returned a spot back to a usable surface so much of the card path that can be removed will be taken off and buffed while I'm going to try cleaning the rest with a buffing cone.
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This will be a problem. The four rollers that are part of the input hopper have been left to sit for so long the steel spring loaded rollers above have sunk into the rubber and the rubber has hardened. This is probably going to cause me feed issues later but for now I will continue to focus on mechanically getting it working again.
Initial lubrication started today as well. Mainly cam rollers or bearings that felt tight got one drop of oil and I'll investigate them again in a few days. So far I have managed to trip the bails for the feed and punch sections with no seize-ups so it will probably just need a heavy lubrication and it will be ready without having to be anything like the headache that was a fully mechanical cash register I rebuilt 2 years ago.
 

NeXT

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Power supply checkout finished today. They aren't rocket science. You got a switch, fuse, a transformer, two capacitors, a resistor and two diodes. Caps tested and reformed fine. All other components also tested fine. Powered up fine as well.

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NeXT

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Can anyone here vouch for him? His website is jank and his business email is useless.
I tried contacting him several years ago in regards to new rollers for my HP 9845B's tape drive and either my emails bounced back blank or would go through and bounce back verbatim. I've never been able to get in contact.
 

NeXT

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It's my day off and I really don't want to get too involved today but I wanted to analyze the relays and figure out how to deal with the fact they are all oxidized.

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I can pull each pair out without touching the tension adjustment and slide them back in easily enough but exactly how to reliably clean each wire and each contact is going to be a challenge. I'm kinda hoping there's an easier way to do each contact without having to dismantle and clean every relay.


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I got no options that I can tell. Relays 14 and 16 had been swapped around at one point but they are functionally identical. Diodes and resistors tested fine and the only physical damage was one broken wire in the back I was able to splice back together. I was able to track down the other ends of the two unplugged wires to relay 26 and block 32 (just runs through a diode) however I still only have the Model B wiring diagrams and for relay 26 at least it doesn't make sense as it lists it as the field-side encode relay, which I think was for the multi-size card option I don't have? Also I can't tell how pin numbering correlates to position on the relays. Left to right in an S-path? right to left? *shrug*

Edited: the answer to that last question is buried away in some 1401 documentation - http://ibm-1401.info/IBM-WireRelays-VG.pdf
The contacts are also silver alloy, so they are naturally tarnished and adjustment requires measurement of tension weight in grams, so it's a good thing I didn't try and remove the adjustment before pulling those wires.

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NeXT

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Whie I patiently wait for additional documentation I decided to focus on the printer.
At this point I've been warned by multiple people, other keypunch owners and retired IBM techs, that disassembly of the printer is absolutely not recommended even for cleaning unless absolutely necessary due to the extreme complexity of realigning the codeplate. Removal was relatively straightforward with one alignment noted and once removed I found it was relatively clean and the pins were all free moving. Here's the print head under a microscope.

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There are a few bent pins but I was unable to straighten them as none of my tools were small enough. To give you an idea about how small these pins are, a regular sewing needle is about twice the diameter. I'll just have to live with this.

The unit will be hand cleaned but lubrication of the print head will be interesting since disassembly cannot be performed. the idea is to leave the head soaking overnight in iso and then tomorrow use a syringe to carefully oil each wire and let a drop or two of oil soak into the head via capillary action.

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NeXT

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Nah they retract fine so unless the print quality seriously suffers I'm leaving them alone. I seriously do not want to dismantle it.
 

NeXT

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Print head cleaning and lubrication completed and it's been reinstalled in the punch.

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The rest of the day was spent cleaning and polishing the main card path. A lot of it comes apart without too much of a fuss and I was able to hand clean each part. I'm using Turtle Wax chrome polish. Does as good of a job on aluminum as it does on the Eagle lol. Everything is cleaning up amazing.

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With that looking good I decided it was time to see if the motor came up so out came the oiling syringes and grease. It took about an hour to nail down and get every cam lobe, bearing and joint I could find but once the motor was attached other than aformentioned bad belts it idled nice and quiet.

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I then began manually actuating bail trips and greasing more areas. By the end of the night I was able to feed a card down from the input hopper (albeit it kept jamming because of the bad rollers), register at the punch station, advance it through the punch and register it at the read station, advance through the read station and into and into the output hopper where I could then stack it. I was also able to trip the print bail as well as supress printing while tripping the print supress solenoid.

That gets the mechanical section taken care of for now. Just some more polishing and that's all ready to be reunited with the cabinet.
Electronically, CuriousMarc was able to get back to me with the wiring diagrams I needed (thank you Mr. Verdiell) and I was immediately able to identify the two disconnected wires in my relay frame. The weekend is over but I should be able to tackle that this week, then.....ugh...cleaning contacts.
 

pgru2

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Sep 14, 2017
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Very interesting, hopefully it will be in full working condition.
 
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