Are Printed Circuit Boards still analog?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by highwaycruiser, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    The world's first programmable computer, Colossus, was built at Bletchley Park in the UK during WW2 to break German codes created by the Lorenz cipher machine. It was designed by a Post Office engineer called Tommy Flowers and it used literally hundreds of valves (tubes). They built a Mk2 that used even more valves.

    Several more Colossus machines were built before the end of the war. Then Churchill ordered that they and all the plans should be destroyed for security reasons. Fortunately engineers have a habit of hanging onto bits and pieces so you can visit Bletchley Park today and see a recreated Colossus in full working order. It gets damn hot in that room with all those valves!

    Sorry for the diversion -- back to the amp debate.
     
  2. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

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    So it's an analog computer operating a digital program? Or was the program it ran not digital?

    edit. Wiki states it was: A special-purpose electronic digital programmable computer.

    So the fact it ran on Vacuum tubes is not important, as they were being used to manipulate 'bits' of data.
     
  3. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. Vacuum tubes were used in digital and analog computers in WWII. Another example would be artillery guidance computers in battleships, which were electromechanical, and later, even the radio systems in large guided air to air missiles contained miniature peanut tubes.

    If you want to see the power of a tube synthesizer, all analog of course, look up "Cordovox electric accordion and tone generator". I almost bought one once... They have something like 50+ tubes inside, each one generating a separate note or operating a specific filter I believe.
     
  4. nattaruk

    nattaruk Tele-Meister

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    Off topic but absolutely fascinating

    Colossus & Bletchley Park - Computerphile

     
  5. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Or the old Hammond type organs. I recently passed up an old Wurlitzer tube organ that someone inherited and didn't have room for. It'd make a great project, but I don't have the room for that behemoth either. They contain no less than 28 tubes just for the tone generator section, plus a nice complement of standard preamp and power tubes.
     
  6. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    Being an American, I heard more about the ENIAC than British efforts when I got into early computing history. Over 17,000 octal tubes (largely 6SN7s), and that meant a tube burned out nearly every day. I would love to see the power supply for that thing. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Johnny Cache

    Johnny Cache Former Member

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    \

    You know as a kid on a school field trip I saw one of those boxcar size computers full of tubes. It was at a company working on the space program in the early 60's. It used lights in a binary system to give numeric answers for engineering problems. No TV screens on computers in those days just lights.
     
  8. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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