[SATLUG] Looking for an OLD computer

Geoff Edmonson w5omr at att.net
Thu Jan 20 19:06:34 CST 2011


Howdy, Fellow OSS'ers...

Those ham radio operators among us know, we have a penchant for hanging 
onto, or glomming onto older, discarded (read: obsolete) radios.  In my 
27 years as a licensed ham I have, myself, collected parts and pieces 
dating back some 70 years.  I still operate a home-brewed (made by hand) 
AM transmitter that uses BIG transmitting tubes, whenever I'm in San 
Antonio!

Apparently I don't hold onto somethings long enough.  (~sigh~)

My current project is a -bit- more current, and thus the request here.  
I have a Motorola R-100 UHF 2-way repeater that needs to be programmed 
for the ham bands.  (Quickly, for those that don't know, a 'repeater' is 
a device that receives and re-transmits what it hears simultaneously to 
increase range of communication.)

Coming by the Programming Software isn't a problem.  It's been 
acquired.   Nor is the cable to program with (it's been built).
Finding a machine slow enough to write to the radio with the -only- 
Motorola software that WILL write to the radio
... well-sir, boys and girls; that, as they say, is a Horse of a 
different Corral.

The geniuses at Motorola (said with a sarcastic wit) decided to not only 
write their software in Fortran, (insert Bill Clintonesq joke here) but 
they also wrote it so that it was cpu-clock specific.  Pretty much 
anything faster than a 286-12 is going to be too fast.  In fact, the 
instructions state;  "if you have a hard-drive..."  Along the same 
lines, M$-DOS dropped FORTRAN support in their OS at about 4 point 
something late, or 5.oh, oh oh, it's early!

Oh, geeze...  Even in 1986, my original XT not only had the FULL 
compliment of 640k of RAM, but was a full-out blazing 8MHz of speed, 
when you slipped it into Turbo!  With a (then new) half-height Teac 
20Megabyte harddrive, and Hercules CGA Monochrome adapter card and an 
amber monitor (no more 'green' screens).  Tall cotton, brother.. I tell 
ya, I was sittin' in TALL Cotton!

Soooo... fast forward to 2011 and as I type this out on a dual-core 
2.8GHz CPU with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB harddrive, I find it ironic that 
I'm asking if someone has an old 8088 or 80286 machine that they don't 
want anymore to donate to this worthy cause?  A Laptop (luggable?) from 
that era with working Com Ports would be acceptable.

I'll be in Schertz on Saturday at the Ham Radio Fiesta (Ham Radio 
SwapFest) at the Schertz Civic Center at 1400 Schertz Parkway if you're 
close to the neighborhood.   I could also go pretty much anywhere in San 
Antonio and meet up to receive the dinosa., err... 'FINELY Crafted, 
ahead-of-it's time at the time, computing device, should such a critter 
still exist.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

73 = Best Regards,
-Geoff/W5OMR


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