Name that Ware, November 2020

The ware for November 2020 is shown below.

I’m not even sure if these boards are all from the same chassis, but they are definitely all from the same manufacturer. However, I suspect these will be stumpers, to the point where I’ve left the model number on the boards and I’ve only very lightly obscured a couple of logos/names. I have an inkling of who they are made by and what they are for; it’ll be interesting to find out if anybody knows more about the history behind these boards!

23 Responses to “Name that Ware, November 2020”

  1. Hummingbird says:

    Judging by the era of these would have been made which I’d say it’s solidly 1970s, how packed they are, the amount of IO, what I expect were pretty expensive connectors on top, relatively few bodge wires, and of course the fact that these are chassis mounted… I would say my guess is that they’re related to one of the two industries of the time where I imagine price was no object – telecommunications, or a mainframe.

    • Hummingbird says:

      Darn, zooming in I see I was wrong about the bodge wires and date. I should have known from the PCB colour.

    • J. Peterson says:

      The date codes on the chips are coming up mostly ’86, so the board is at least mid-80s or later. PCBs couldn’t pack DIPs shoulder to shoulder until around then anyway (requires higher printing tolerances than were commonly available in the ’70s).

      Also, PGA packages weren’t a thing until the 1980s.

  2. wrm says:

    Multibus (one), looks like electrically as well as form-factor. But extended towards the top. Queer mix of chips, lots of different types of fast RAM and ROM. Motorola M68k processors (68000 marked on the board and I guess a 68020 in the 114 pin package next to the 68881. Lots and lots of bitslice.

    Yea, I have no idea what that would be good for doing.

    But it looks a lot like the Westinghouse WDPF boards that PowerGenics have for sale ( maybe just one generation newer?

    I would say they had a rack and provided backward compatibility, because the chips are from a newer era than the Multibus 1 form-factor.

  3. rasz_pl says:

    First board – Teledyne engine history recorder? Is that Air Force Gas Turbine control unit? :o Did you go to one of those F-15 / F-16 pull-a-part yards?

  4. willmore says:

    That 072 board has empty sockets at the top. A little observation says the little one on the right is for an MC68881 and the pin pattern for the larger socket on the left tells me that’s an MC68020. The 35 ns SRAMs on there are pretty impressive as well.

  5. willmore says:

    The 052 board has a socket for an MC68000.

    The top board has a converter socket for a 48 pin chip. Wonder what strange thing plugged in there.

  6. Adrian says:

    3 DACs make me think RGB. Makes me wonder if these out of one of these massive 3 lens projectors from the 80s.

  7. Ryan says:

    Based on my best guess, this is something that handles analog RGB video. It looks to me to be late 80’s if I had to guess, and *very* expensive. My best guess is that this is a daughterboard for a Professional Video Monitor (PVM) or Broadcast Video Monitor (BVM).

    • yaleman says:

      Not to mention the PAL references silkscreened on the boards :)

      • willmore says:

        I hope you’re being sarcastic. PAL stands for Programmable Array Logic. Note that each of those chips have a version number on them–because they’re programmable, they can have different versions of the logic design.

  8. wam says:

    First board mentions rgb at the top, and has three DACs as already observed.
    The multibus format and the complexity for a product from around 83-85 means money.
    The second board has a crystal for 19.6608Mhz, which points towards UART or CDMA.

    I’d say it’s possibly part of a professional editing hardware, used for broadcasting. Yet the UART part is puzzling, and makes me think that thus could be part of hardware for a ground station for satellite communications, mixing stuff that have to do with video broadcasting, and CDMA for telephony.

    Or the cdma is all part of some pabx/exchange system, but that wouldn’t explain the rgb part.

  9. Two miserably uninformed guesses:

    1) DOS compatibility cards? Did AMD ever make those?
    2) NeXT Cube… I don’t know what they were called, actually… “blades?”

  10. Allen Smith says:

    In the late 90s, I took apart a mainframe CAD terminal that a company had thrown in a dumpster. I remember it had bit-slice and D-A all over like these boards.

    Based on the date codes I am going to guess an IBM 5080 CAD workstation

  11. J. Peterson says:

    Interesting how anything in a socket that wasn’t customized (like a PAL or a PROM) has been pulled. Some enterprising scrapper got to it first.

    • bunnie says:

      Yah…if my recollection is correct, I got these boards out of a scrap heap when I was an undergrad at MIT. I’m guessing the previous owner of the boards gave it a once-over to keep anything of value, before scrapping them.

  12. Jason says:

    This looks like Arcade boards made by people with no budgetary restrictions, so I’m going to guess some sort of military or aerospace simulator?

  13. scatterbrained2 says:

    Somewhere in the mid-late 1980’s at UIUC for a graphics class I used an IBM box that was 68K based, had 8″ floppies, ran UNIX and had 2D graphics hardware. I remember running graphics software called PHIGS. I don’t know the model number or much about the box, but as I recall from the size it could have been a multibus crate.

  14. gpshead says:

    This thing must’ve cost a fortune in it’s day!

  15. KE5FX says:

    Looks like some type of video titler/compositor or other equipment that needs a frame buffer and (probably) genlock capability, although not for composite video. Something from Canopus or Grass Valley Group, maybe.

    Whatever it was, it wasn’t cheap.

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