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Mechanical computer

Interesting project to do computations (add, multiply, square-root, etc.) in hardware. (He should add a LabVIEW interface to enter input values via relays, select operation mode, and read out the result in decimal based on the toggle positions. :D)

 


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
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Many years ago ( 1993)  I saw the Z1 in Berlin working... a little bit 😉  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z1_(computer)

 

Konrad Zuse, the inventor, provided support for that rebuild of the first computer until he died  in 1995.

Quotation:

Konrad Zuse: "There is a replica of this Model in the Museum of Traffic and Technology in Berlin. Back then it didn't function well, and in that regard the replica is very reliable -- it also doesn't work well."[12]
Greetings from Germany
Henrik

LV since v3.1

“ground” is a convenient fantasy

'˙˙˙˙uıɐƃɐ lɐıp puɐ °06 ǝuoɥd ɹnoʎ uɹnʇ ǝsɐǝld 'ʎɹɐuıƃɐɯı sı pǝlɐıp ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ɹǝqɯnu ǝɥʇ'


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Actually Michelson designed a mechanical Fourier synthesizer. In short, the synthesizer had 80 springs which represented the amplitudes of the Fourier Coefficients. 

 

When used to reproduce a square wave, it showed Gibbs Phenomenon. Michelson assumed mechanical shortcomings, later Gibbs gave the true cause in a letter to Nature. (59, 606,1899).

 

(Not sure if that is mentioned in the video you linked, can't watch videos at work.)

 

mcduff

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Michelson's analyzer is not mentioned in the video (the video is about using mechanical flip-flops to build logic gates and combining them to perform a few types of computations), but it is explained quite nicely in this series of videos:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAsM30MAHLg&list=PL0INsTTU1k2UYO9Mck-i5HNqGNW5AeEwq


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Try to take over the world!
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I was once employed by th Chicago and Northwestern  Rail road.

 

Union Station in downtown Chicago still runs off one of the earliest mechanical computers.  T. A. Edison was the inventor.   The relays are 6x9x5 inches and the room they are installed in is 3 stories by huge.  The control switches are over 6 feet and the cam weighs about as much as my next ex.

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@mcduff wrote:

Actually Michelson designed a mechanical Fourier synthesizer. In short, the synthesizer had 80 springs which represented the amplitudes of the Fourier Coefficients. 

 

When used to reproduce a square wave, it showed Gibbs Phenomenon. Michelson assumed mechanical shortcomings, later Gibbs gave the true cause in a letter to Nature. (59, 606,1899).

 

(Not sure if that is mentioned in the video you linked, can't watch videos at work.)

 

mcduff


Some years ago I dumpster dived this  RPM meter (and two more with different ranges)  :

20190814_FreqZungen

 

I always argue that's an FFT analysator even mechanics can understand 😄

Greetings from Germany
Henrik

LV since v3.1

“ground” is a convenient fantasy

'˙˙˙˙uıɐƃɐ lɐıp puɐ °06 ǝuoɥd ɹnoʎ uɹnʇ ǝsɐǝld 'ʎɹɐuıƃɐɯı sı pǝlɐıp ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ɹǝqɯnu ǝɥʇ'


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@Henrik_Volkers wrote:

Some years ago I dumpster dived this  RPM meter (and two more with different ranges)  :


Love to see that one in action!

 

I only have this mechanical DA converter, that serves as door\window stop...

Spoiler
Decade bank.jpg

 If you switch fast enough, you get audio!

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@Henrik_Volkers wrote:

Some years ago I dumpster dived this  RPM meter (and two more with different ranges)  :

I always argue that's an FFT analysator even mechanics can understand 😄


There were very similar devices to display the AC frequency. (random picture from the internet)

 

altenbach_0-1575651734442.jpeg

 

Then of course we also have the mechanical FFT occurring inside the human cochlea.


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
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I used to have a battery room for the back-up batteries for a computer system I took care of back in the early 80's.

 

It had a Gould Static Frequency Inverter that used the same "tuned tines" to indicate the frequency it was producing.

 

Dumb Ben Story!

 

 

Spoiler

One cold winter day, I walked in to the battery room and was disturbed by the sound the Inverter was making. Looking at the indicators I realized it was running at very high current. Much higher than normal.

 

I went into troubleshooting mode and could not explain why it was be heavily loaded. Hours of investigation and phone calls to support I finally realized...

 

The operators had plugged in a space heater into one of the backed-up outlet and I had been warming my feet on same the entire day!

 

 

 

Ben

 

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Here's a neat early mechanical computer that used punch cards for weaving patterns.

 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/this-essential-piece-of-computing-history-just-sold-for-4375...

 

mcduff

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