K9WK Amateur Radio Web Pages

K9WK Alex Radar Setup

I graduated from Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York in 1975. Sewanhaka was a very progressive school at the time. I was part of the I&A (Instrumentation and Automation) program which was for advanced students with a keen interest in science and technology such as physics, computers, electronics and different types of control systems.

Here, I built a working RADAR system that used a car windshield wiper motor to drive the horn antenna of a 10Ghz receiver back and forth to detect the reflected signal from the transmitting horn antenna. You can see the klystron on the transmitting horn antenna.

The received signal was shown on the Tektronix oscilloscope. The receiver horn antenna was moved left and right by an experimenters kit with relays by using the RC time constant of a resistor and capacitor. This created a flip-flop.

It is in the case that has a carrying handle and latches on it behind the shoulder of my left arm that is turning the knob on the power supply. I think that I was 16 years old when I built this.

I had already received my Amateur Extra class license by this time.

K9WK Alex Working on Something

Here I am grinding something down with a pad sander in a drill. Primitive Pete would be proud of the way that drill is clamped into that vise!

I have no idea what I was working on. The name of the student that was working with me was Gary Maresca. Note the old equipment on the panels behind me, chart recorders, pressure gauges and other metering devices.

   

K9WK Alex Working on Something

This program was fantastic for a kid interested in the sciences. The teacher who taught this course was Richard (Dick) Gaudino. He was by far the best teacher that I ever had in my life.

He always made sure that the students understood the concepts and theory, not just how to use a formula to get the answer to a problem. They don't make teachers like him anymore.

You could always go him and he would go out of his way in order to provide an explanation so that you would understand. We learned about physics, electronics and different types of electrical and pressure operated control systems.

Dick is working with two students in this picture. Scott Stein and JudyAnn (Judy) Pazienza. Judy went on to become a very accomplished teacher of engineering and physics for the Huntington school district and retired in 2020. She was also lucky enough to be only young lady in the I&A program at the time!

  

Special thanks go to James (Jim) Quaderer for obtaining these pictures. Jim was an engineer for Trimble Corporation in Sunnyvale, California. Jim was also a graduate of the Sewanhaka class of 1975 and has recently retired.

Trimble delivers products and services that connect the physical and digital worlds.

   

Honeywell 1646 Computer

K9WK Honeywell 316 K9WK Honeywell 316 Front Panel

K9WK Honeywell 1646 Computer

This is a picture of a Honeywell 1640 series Time-Sharing Computer that is very similar to the Honeywell 1646 computer that my high school acquired from Airborne Instrument Laboratories that was located on Long Island, New York.

Each 1640 series machine was composed of two 316 modules.

I learned how to program this computer using FORTRAN IV, XBASIC (eXtended BASIC) and DAP Mod 16 Assembly Language. By the time I graduated high school, I think that I was a pretty darn good programmer.

Soon after I graduated, I got a call from the chairman of the mathematics department Albert (Al) Cavallaro and I was offered a job as the computer operator for this machine. Later on, I became the director of computers for the entire school district.

These computers (Honeywell 316 and 516 modules in particular) were used as IMP's (Interface Message Processors) for ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) which was created by the Department of Defense. ARPANET became the basis for the internet as we know it today.

They were way ahead of their time. This machine could handle 32 users concurrently in only 32 KB of memory. It used magnetic core memory, 16 KB of which was available for user memory and it ran at a clock speed of 2.5 MHz.

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) was composed of individual circuit boards with discrete integrated circuits and support components. These circuit boards were called uPACs (Micro Pacs) that were plugged into individual slots.

The connections on the back of the slots were wire-wrapped to a backplane. This  computer was built in 1969 which was well before the day of microprocessors -  where a single chip operated as an ALCU (Arithmetic Logic/Control Unit).

 
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