Another ~1960 computer kit

From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Wed Dec 16 16:22:06 1998

On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Tony Duell wrote:

> The first was made/cloned/sold by many companies, including radio shack.
> It consists of a number (8 or 10?) of multi-pole changeover slide
> swtichs, which are the 'input'. The output is a row of torch (flashlight)
> bulbs. You 'program' it by patching wires between the switch contacts,
> thus making up logic gates (2 contacts in series = AND, 2 in parallel =
> OR, etc). I seem to remember that the manual for the one I had (and
> probably still have) included wiring for NIM, etc.
> My main critism was that the various patch diagrams were never
> explained. OK, so it was fun to make a binary adder or whatever, but to
> me it would have been even more fun to understand why.

Agreed, I find that this is one of the least interesting early toy
"computers" for that reason. BTW, in the US it was marketed as the
Science Fair Digital Computer Kit.

> The other is, I think, considerably rarer. It was made by Philips, and
> called the CL1600 series. It consists of a number of logic blocks that
> can be wired (using patch leads) as a general 3-input logic gate. There
> are 3 input sockets (A,B,C), one output socket (F) with a lamp next to
> it, and 8 sockets to program the logic function, Another module, the same
> size contained a battery-operated PSU and 6 input switches

That's one I haven't encountered. If you get a chance to photocopy the
manual for it, I'll see if I can dig up a service manual of some sort you
don't have yet :-)

-- Doug
Received on Wed Dec 16 1998 - 16:22:06 GMT

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