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 ␃