"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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A Little Late But Intros

Started by segaloco, October 20, 2023, 07:19:29 PM

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Totally missed this forum section, I even went looking for a place for intros when I signed up, so a little tardy.  I'm Matt, I'm a software engineer by day but tinker on all sorts of different things in my hobby time.  A brief flyover of my routine interests aside from the forum subject matter:

- Music: I've been playing guitar since I was like 12 or 13 (30 now) and have picked up several other instruments along the way, including bass, keys, sax, and violin.  Bass is my favorite of the lot though.  That said, since starting to tinker with telephones, I've been also using them as "instruments" at noise music get-togethers and random open-mics in town.  I used to be in a band but the coordination involved in that sort of thing is just not in my wheel-house these days, so I stick to one-off jams and just sitting on the beach with an instrument when the weather is nice.

- Computers: This is broad, as I work with a lot of variety. Got my start with M68k assembly programming in the context of the Sega Mega Drive, and it just grew from there.  Got tipped off to Linux and such pretty early in my computer studies, which has lead to much study on the history of UNIX and how the systems we use today got to be what they are.  This in turn has resulted in plenty of Bell System-adjacent study what with UNIX coming out of Bell Labs.  Heck, that's all to blame for my current phone hobbies, it was kinda hard to not get sucked into phones what with how much telecom comes up in my UNIX study.  I'm also pretty regularly engaged in reverse engineering research, studying how old software and games worked, disassembling them back into code, etc.  I post any projects I'm working on here:  My current software projects include: disassembling Doki Doki Panic for the Famicom Disk System, disassembling a set of UNIX Version 2 binaries available on The UNIX Heritage Society, and performing a diff analysis of incremental versions of the UNIX Programmer's Manual to document flow of ideas between different Bell System branches (as well as UCB's BSD UNIX.)  The UNIX stuff has had a particular 3B20-flavored undercurrent lately, trying to run down details on both 5ESS and the standalone 3B20S computers.  I have actually managed to locate and preserve a few documents containing some 3B20 stuff.  Anything I scan and archive can be found here:  I also come across regular old telecom stuff here and there, such documents will also pop up there as I scan them.  Right now I'm sitting on a 3B-1A interfacing pamphlet and 1ESS plant operator's training thingy I need to scan, those are on the list once I get settled from a move I'm working on currently.  There are lots of other odds and ends, stuff I have started but not touched in a while including: microkernel study re: RISC-V and ARM64 USB-stick-sized SBCs, resurrection of an AT&T UNIX PC, adapter design for VT-100 keyboards to modern computers, and what with an oscilloscope I picked up a few months ago, hopefully some study and practice with CVBS and other analog TV signalling stuff.

- Skating: There are times I spend more time with my skateboard than I do humans, it's not only my favorite means of exercise but I'm quite keen on using it as my "car" as long as I reasonably can in life.  I've only just started foraying into actual tricky stuff, for the longest time it was just a means of commute and exercise, but the past few months I've finally gotten off my butt and started practicing ollies.  My knees aren't the happiest about the time I'm putting in on that, but it's been working, I've actually gotten my board off the ground a few times.  I've put myself on the ground more times than that...but at least years of riding the commuter board has taught me how to fall with grace.  Unfortunately the Big Dark is returning to the PNW as it does this time every year, so I may be getting less quality time on my wheels the next few months...always a bummer, but better than it being hot year-round like where I grew up.  Plus, I've got enough stuff to keep me busy on rainy days!

As for some specifics relating to telephones, my collection is pretty modest right now, almost all Bell (noted if otherwise):

- Black 302 (can't be more specific right now, already moved my phone stuff to my new place)
- Ivory 500DM
- Black 2500DM
- Black 554BMP
- Ivory 702BM Princess
- 1013A Butt Set
- 139C Tester Set
- 551B KSU (recent purchase as of today, so I don't have it all detailed out yet)
- 118A Ringer Generator (bought independently, but it's getting mounted in the 551B since it doesn't have one)
- KS-14510-L11 Multimeter (With KS-14510-L102 case, poor thing is starting to crumble at the seams)
- 1982 Copies of Key System Services Vol 1-3 and Station Service Vol 1-2.
- Several loose BSPs on dials, handsets
- A number of Bell-adjacent publications like Engineering Economy, Transmission Systems Engineering, Statistical Quality Control, Engineering and Operations in the Bell System, Electricity for the Telephone Man, and some oddball stuff like a USOC manual and some Bell stuff on oscilloscopes and TV signal analysis.
- 1001-E handset
- Some Kellogg ringer box with a WECo 22A magneto Frankensteined into it. Additionally has a 1/4" jack to which the above 1001-E was connected when I got it.

I don't necessarily intend to become a collector, rather, I've tried to get my hands on a nice spread of example hardware and quality literature as I learn more about phones (and as a result, EE) in general.  I think the only other phone I really want just for the heck of having one is some sort of candlestick, doesn't need to be anything particularly rare or even in great shape, just a nice model candlestick phone for my experiments.

That all said, I am probably going to be picking up some 1A2 stuff in the coming years now that I've finally landed a KSU I want, so I might be looking to unload some of my current stock to folks who would appreciate it once I get there.  I like keeping things local but I also like getting things into the hands of people who will actually derive value from them, meaning for me someone who wants to study a phone over some who wants a decoration.  I live in a college town and have already seen enough 500s just sitting unplugged on coffee-tables at house shows, that consumer pool doesn't need me :P

Anywho if the verbosity doesn't already imply it, I could go on, I have way too many hobbies, but figured this was as good as any attempt at some sort of intro, glad to be here!