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Is this of any use to anyone?

TomFCS

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
214
Location
Highlandville, MO
The school I work at is in the process of filling in our ancient swimming pool and I pulled out this KyroScope Mark II time computer before it hit the dumpster.

Probably purchased in the mid to late 80's. It was used in swimming meets to keep time scores for up to 10 lanes of swimmers. It also has a small built in printer, similar to what you might see in an hourly time clock.

I grabbed it thinking it may have some components inside that would perhaps be of interest to some forum member. I just took a few pictures now, but would be willing to break it down further for examination if anyone thinks it might be worth something.

If by some off chance there is something worthwhile inside, I'm not looking to sell anything here, just what it would cost to ship things.

Tom
 

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mark66j

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
192
Location
Arlington, MA, USA
I found an ad in a swimming magazine toward the end of those links, from 1972. It shows an earlier version (I think) of the device that has Nixie tubes and no printer.

So I can see the newer one being 1980s vintage.

Seems like this thing might be useful as a timer for lots of things assuming the interface to the touch pads is not too obscure.
 

TomFCS

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
214
Location
Highlandville, MO
Well, according to my el cheapo digital bathroom scale this thing is clockin' in at 34.8 lbs.

As far as it's age, I started working here in 1983 and I'm sure purchased after that. I just don't know exactly when. I did work on it occasionally over the years though. Sometime around 90-91 I ran some additional wiring for it and installed 6 siren type horns on the wall behind the starting blocks, a few years after that, the pool was closed down.

What I do remember is that it ran off an external 12 VDC power supply/charger and had a marine battery backup. There was also a microphone that iirc had a timer reset switch built into it. Additionally, there was a dummy starter pistol that plugged into the unit, that when fired, would start the clock.

As far as the touchpads go, I don't think they were anything more complex than simple spring loaded momentary switches. They all plugged into an overhead cable which "I think" plugged directly into the unit, but I could be wrong about that. They were big, heavy and really well made. I don't recall ever having to do any work on them.

There was also a strobe light and an external time display. The display used small low wattage incandescent bulbs. (i.e. similar to old school Christmas lights). I don't have a clue what the strobe light was for.

Lastly, no, the main cover is missing. I did find a small piece though, which I believe is the access plate for changing the printer ribbon.

Tom
 

TomFCS

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
214
Location
Highlandville, MO
I'd love to see some views of the boards--you never know, there might be something interesting on them.

No problem, pictures here. 10 cards total. Component and back views.

The oscillator on the component side of card #02, which cannot be readily identified in the pictures, has VF 200, 2.0000, 8008, stamped on it..

Tom
 

Chuck(G)

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Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
40,269
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Interesting, thanks, Tom!

All SSI 4000-series CMOS logic, nothing much more complicated than some counters and multiplexors. IC dates between 77 and 80, so that puts the manufacturing date around 1980-81. I wonder if it isn't simply a CMOS re-cast of an earlier design done in discretes or another logic familiy.
 

mark66j

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
192
Location
Arlington, MA, USA
Thanks for the pics. You can tell that the traces on these boards were drawn by someone by hand, with all of the curves and odd angles, as opposed to today's boards that come out of a program. And the boards were probably assembled and soldered by hand as well. I am old enough to remember when boards like this looked so "modern".
 

TomFCS

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
214
Location
Highlandville, MO
Thanks for the pics. You can tell that the traces on these boards were drawn by someone by hand, with all of the curves and odd angles, as opposed to today's boards that come out of a program. And the boards were probably assembled and soldered by hand as well. I am old enough to remember when boards like this looked so "modern".

Interesting observation. I really hadn't thought about that. Guess I'll just hang on to it for a couple of weeks, maybe even keep a couple of the cards, just for the heck of it, before I pitch it. The 7 segment led's might be useful for a homebrew/DIY something or another too.

Tom
 
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