HX 19.3.001 - AN/UGC-129(V)1 Restoration

AN/UGC-129(V)1 Restoration Project

At the end of August 2019 I purchased an AN/UGC-129(V)1, which is an old military teleprinter. It has some interesting capabilities. This project serves to detail what is needed to restore the unit to operation. As of 03 SEP 2019, the power connector finally arrived. Once power and data cables are built, the unit will be tested. With any luck, no additional work will be necessary.

This particular project is mostly closed as of 18-OCT-2019 as most tasks have been completed. As soon as I have the backshells / strain reliefs for the circular connectors as well as the proper dust caps for the two unused connectors this will be the end of the "restoration". There really was no need to restore anything. This 35-year-old device needed a fresh ribbon and that was it. Proper report on the various failures of building a level converter coming soon.


RAAUZHSW HX3837 0053 2900457-UUUU--HCC.
R 170457 OCT 2019
FM HAVARD
TO HCC/HAVCOM FLORENCE MS//DAILY

SUBJ: DAILY REPORT 16-OCT-2019

THIS IS THE DAILY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 17, 2019.

NO MAJOR WORK ON THE PROJECT.  THE DAY JOB TOOK 
CENTER STAGE IN THE DAYS ORDER.  ?? UPDATES AND ALL THAT JAZZ.  MADE IT HOME
AROUND A QUARTER TIL MIDNIGHT.

THIS MESSAGE IS ALSO A TEST TO ENSURE THE AN/UGC-129(V)1 IS CAPABLE
OF SENDING DATA AT 600 BPS USING THE CURRENT LOOP INTERFACE.
RECEIVING AT THAT SPEED WORKS WELL.  SHOULD BE FINE
BUT ONE NEVER KNOWS UNTIL PROVEN AS THE DOCUMENTATION 
STATES OTHERWISE.  CUTTING DOWN THE TRANSMIT TIME FOR WMO MESSAGES
WILL BE GREAT.  MAY NOT EVEN NEED TO DO THE PARSING AND SUMMARISING OF THE
WARNINGS AND WATCHES AND CAN SIMPLY PIL POP.

NNNN

Note: PIL POPPING is a simple transform of the AFOS/AWIPS Product Inventory List code on a National Weather Service text product where certain important products, such as a TORJAN tornado warning gets a 'Z ' prepended. This will cause the 129 to sound its high priority message alarm. In other words... we make the PIL pop.


RAAUZHSW HX3837 0048 2890305-UUUU--HCC.
ZNR UUUUU
R 160305 OCT 2019
FM HAVARD
TO HCC/HAVCOM FLORENCE MS//DAILY
                                                                                                                                                                       
SUBJ: DAILY REPORT 15-OCT-2019

This is the first message composed on the AN/UGC-129(V)1 intended to be
submitted through proper NIMS channels, which for now are manual.

Note, however, that we have two way operation at 300 bps using
just one single serial port on the host computer.  It all works
as it should other than the sticky "O" key.

                -- HAVARD

NNNN

␁
VZCZC SAA319KIR044
RAAUZHSW HX383748 0000 2482145-UUUU-AUTO.
ZNR UUUU
R 052145Z SEP 2019
FM HAVARD
TO HXTP//HX 19.3.001
BT
SUBJ: Update for 05 SEP 2019

On the 3rd, I assembled the power connector, plugged it into
the machine and then into the wall. Returned to the front of the
machine, flipped the power switch... and it worked! I spent the next
couple of hours running it through its paces. It needs a new ribbon,
obviously. Also, three of the lightbulbs are out, one of the caps
is out of round, and another of the bulbs is very dim... possibly
wrong voltage or the half-brightness version. No matter, it will
be replaced as the replacement bulbs arrived today. Also ordered a
replacement cap for the lens that is damaged. Its dome is actually
oddly shaped, so I think it may be from a different series of
lamp holders.

Ran into another quirk... the MIL-STD-188C low level interface
is the same as RS232 in every detail but one... the mark/space
voltage levels are reversed! As later versions of the 188 standard
specified equipment must be capable of mark-low levels, the
AN/UGC-129 devices support this by changing one of the soldered-on
straps. Unfortunately, this is not documented on the board. It is in
chapter 5 of the manual, which is truncated in the PDF copy floating
around the internet. The solution to this is actually quite easy. I
need to run it into a MAX232 to get it to TTL levels, run it through
a logic level inverter, then back out on a MAX232. As I need just
Rx and Tx... I may be able to use just a single MAX232. Went to my
storage unit to find all the parts I need. Didn't have a MAX232, but
did have a MAX239. Also didn't have a plain 04 inverter, but instead
a 14 Schmitt trigger inverter. The 74HCT14 shouldn't be a problem.

So, I have a device that works, ribbons on the way, replacement bulbs
on hand, replacement cap on the way, plenty of paper rolls, power
cable, and parts for the data cable and level adapter. Once the
adapter is complete, hopefully later today, then I will have a fully
functioning teleprinter connected to the internet.

Next up, get back to HX 19.2.001 so these messages will be routed
automatically, no human ineraction required.

NNNN
␃