Name that Ware, November 2019

The Ware for November 2019 is shown below.

This is one half of the ware, and the more “generic” half. I left some pretty important hints during the cropping of this ware, though — if it’s too hard, I’ll add an image of the other half.

I also found the memory daughter card to be amusing, here’s a detail shot of it, removed:

19 Responses to “Name that Ware, November 2019”

  1. Carl Smith says:

    First thing I googled was “Genrad ST” but the only thing of interest was the company “General Radio,” which appears to make test equipment, not radios. Despite that, with radio in mind, I notice there is an audio driver chip under the memory board and something that looks like a microphone at top center. The T6A40 is a dot matrix LCD column driver and the T6A39 is a row driver. So whatever it is has a large dot matrix LCD. And the 14.74 MHz crystal suggests that serial communication is involved since that frequency is commonly picked because it is a multiple of the common serial speeds like 115200 bps.

  2. jackw01 says:

    Definitely early 90s. The front of the device seems to be at the bottom of the photo, as there’s a large graphical LCD module there and a connector on the right that looks typical for a membrane keypad from that era. It’s interesting to see that all the flat flexible cables used are from Axon’, a French manufacturer that seems to specialize in high-end parts for aerospace/defense/medical applications. Looking closely at the front there appears to be a clear window taking up most of the front face. There’s a relatively empty space inside the enclosure behind the window where there’s some mounting bosses with nothing screwed into them. The silver can at what would be the bottom looks like some kind of audio transducer. I would guess it’s some kind of large handheld device but I’m not sure for what. Given the window at the front, maybe some kind of optical sensing or scanning?

    The “GENRAD” label under the memory module is interesting, I would assume it refers to GenRad Diagnostic Systems, which developed the Worldwide Diagnostic System (WDS), an early proprietary computer diagnostic system used on Ford and Jaguar vehicles starting in the early 1990s. Some of the scan tools for this system that I could find pictures of (Ford NGS and GenRad GDS 510) have similar form factors and displays to this device but don’t seem to exactly match these pictures.

    • Thomas says:

      Top right there is a sticker with “TEST BON”. I immediately thought: it is made in France, this one.

      • Thomas says:

        Detail: at the top right just above the top edge, and under the main board, there is a Philips logo (shield mark) and the letters TCA which is a common chip marking for them.
        Did these TCA series chips show up a lot worldwide?

        • jackw01 says:

          The second picture shows it’s a TDA7050 low voltage audio amplifier. Philips (now NXP) and ST produce a lot of audio chips under this series.

  3. spongle says:

    A very similar LCD board is available on aliexpress:

  4. Nah says:

    Is it an ADC audio player thing? They seem to love separating all of the boards and bulky form factors. The OKI chip is also Interesting.

    • Nah says:

      it seems to have a microphone as well though. So possibly a ADC as well.

    • willmore says:

      The Oki chip is labeled 80C88A-2, so it’s the processor.

      What has me curious is the memory upgrade. That’s kind of an odd thing in a piece of test equipment. That’s more of a consumer equipment type of thing.

      There are some interesting looking chips on the folded out board if you can make them out.

  5. Carl Smith says:

    So still thinking that “Genrad” could mean General Radio, I thought maybe I could spot something similar on eBay. Paged through somewhere around 1000 search results and saw nothing similar. All the General Radio stuff on eBay is so old it’s from before LCD displays were even in use.

    Another observation – the bright blue-green flex circuit that comes up around the circuit board just below the memory board suggests to me that there is a keypad on the front side.

  6. Hales says:

    The most curious bit of this device is the IO: what would you need four LEDs and a Mic on the same side for? They’re R & G leds in a symmetric pattern around the mic. It looks like something you would setup (eg on a tripod) and then view from a distance to see if you are triggering something.

    No transducer or other obvious outputs, so it’s not a range finder. Too many parts (inc AMD memory) for audio level meter or instrument tuner. Those LEDs are not aimed or setup well enough for data comms, however the mic could be an ultrasonic data receiver.

    • jackw01 says:

      The metal can thing looks slightly too big to be an electret mic (the largest ones are around 10mm diameter), so I would assume it’s either a speaker or an ultrasonic transducer which makes more sense given the audio amplifier. I know ultrasonic transducers exist in that “stepped can” package, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a speaker or piezo in one. The tripod mounting idea seems very plausible, as there is what appears to be some kind of connector feeding through the left half of the case near the bump on the right half. There seems to be a bunch of stuff missing from the left half of the case that would normally sit behind the clear window on the front (see the two mounting bosses with missing screws).

  7. middlet says:

    Looks to be a Telxon PTC-960 barcode scanner:

    Has the same shape, LEDs and little nub on the side

  8. SAM says:

    My guess would be a TELXON PTC-960DS Data Terminal.
    According to this site the display is used in a TELXON 960DS.

    I would guess the front window is for barcode scanning and the thing on the side is for the antenna.

  9. John Schmitz says:

    From the looks of the LCD membrane, could be some sort of scanner, maybe something for medical devices. I tried to look into the numbers presented in the pictures but could not avail much information. The comments above look to be accurate for data terminals or bar code scanner. Would love to know what this actually goes to.

  10. VerySlowData says:

    Just a guess; I think that it might be an early portable blood testing kit for diabetics. On the left of the main photo there appear to be some clear plastic and tubing..

  11. Chris says:

    Is that an earth lead screwed into the protrusion on the left side of the case?

    If so, that leads me to think this thing has a cast metal case. That would make for an awfully heavy hand scanner

  12. Facebook says:

    The pic depicts some old generation audio amplifier, will stay tuned for the update on the answer. I would request to keep us posted and will look forward to more such mind twisters in the future.