Podcasting since 2005! Listen to Latest SolderSmoke

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Sunburst and Luminary: Apollo "Rope" Memory, and other items of interest


Wow.  That is the method that they stored computer memory for the moon missions.  When they were satisfied with a program they would say it was time to "put it on the rope."  

Here's an article on the women who built the rope memory (and the integrated circuits used in Apollo). This reminded me of the women's collective in Hyderabad that "wove" the ferrite core transformers for Farhan's BITX rigs: 


Here is a Wikipedia article on core rope ROM memory with some great illustrations: 


The Rope

Other stuff of interest that I have spotted so far in the book Sunburst and Luminary -- An Apollo Memoir by Don Eyles:  

-- Not long before the fatal Apollo 1 fire, an MIT colleague of Don Eyles had a drink with Astronaut Gus Grissom.  Grissom unloaded about the poor state of the spacecraft, saying that, "What we have here is a Heathkit."  Grissom died in the fire. 

-- Eyles mentions the use of 6L6 tubes in analog audio amplifiers. 

-- MIT's Doc Draper used a Minox camera.  

-- When the Apollo 11 astronauts came back and were living for two weeks in an isolation chamber, NASA had bulldozers on standby to bury the whole thing ("astronauts, staff and all") in case some dangerous moon bug was detected.  (Is that true?) 

-- At one point soon before an important missile test, engineers realized that they needed an isolation transformer.  They did not have enough time to order one.  So they took an isolation transformer out of one of their soldering stations and used it in the missile.  It worked. Sometimes you just use what you have on hand. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column