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Comments, Queries, and Debate: A Mechanical Delay Line? Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129701D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Charles Hall: AUTHOR [+2]


210 Pace Street Raleigh, NC 27604 USA

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Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Comments, Queries, and Debate: A Mechanical Delay Line?

Charles Hall

210 Pace Street Raleigh, NC 27604 USA

A friend recently pulled an interesting item out of his junk box. The device was salvaged from an old Singer/Frieden calculator. His guess is that it is some form of mechanical delay line for use as memory.

Mechanically, it is an aluminum box, 8" x 8W, about 3 thick. When opened, there is a single wire in a spiral shape. There are 10 loops in the spiral in each of two layers, the wire winding in and then back out, so each end of the wire is on one of the two outer loops. The outermost loops are 7~4" in diameter and the innermost loops 6 1/4.

At either end of the wire there is what appears to be a small electromechanical unit for twisting and/or sensing the twist of the wire. Both units appear identical, but one is near a terminal labeled READ AMP, and the other is near a terminal labeled WRITE AMP.

My friend's theory is that the wire was "torqued" slightly by the WRITE unit. The speed at which the twist passed from one end of the wire to the other and the wire length would dictate how many twists could be on the wire at one time.

The READ unit would somehow sense the twist and convert it back into electrical pulses.

Has anyone ever heard of a device such as this? I thought I had seen ever...