VCF East 2023 (New Jersey) photos and summary

Here are some of my photos and notes (a kind of “scrapbook”) on my experience at VCF East 2023 last weekend. I had a good time, glad I went.

VCF EAST 2023 — voidstar


Thank you for the report, I really enjoyed reading it!

I have a question though. In the VCF EAST 2023 – PART 3, the CATEGORY 1a section there are some photos. What is it on the very down-left one? Next to the plotter.

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Looks like it might be a Televideo 910 terminal or similar.

I concur, it’s a Televideo 910! It might even be the same one that ActionRetro bought:

I have one, it’s a very neat terminal. It looks like an ADM-3A, but is much more capable; it’s not as capable as a VT-100, but it will run 19200 baud (versus the VT-100’s 9600). Internally it has a 6502, and it has a firmware that can emulate several different terminals (the ADM-3A, a Hazeltine, its own protocol, and I think one other). Unlike DEC terminals, it is capable of hardware flow control.

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ou, thanks, now I have to read the manuals, that thing look interesting!

Confirmed, a TV910.

And if anyone curious, the plotter is an HP 7225A.

The HP9825A in the other room also had a plotter (it was under a cover at the opposite end of the table – partially seen in one of the photos, and was priced separately), but the owner said it wasn’t working (and mentioned something about electrostatic paper? is that a process to just hold the paper to the board, or is some special plotter paper needed?)

EDIT: There was also some Ohio Scientific disk drives there, and early 1980s camcorders.

Also, I noticed the complex is titled “learning center” - it doesn’t really ever use the word museum. Maybe there are tax-code reasons for that?

As far as I remember - and I’d forgotten this about HP flatbeds - it’s just ordinary paper, but it’s held down very effectively. Somehow high voltages must be in use, but very safely. Perhaps see this DIY version.

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While many flatbed plotters used electrostatic paper hold-down circuits, there were also electrostatic plotters made by Versatec and Matsushita (who made HP’s large format electrostatic plotters). I am unclear on the technology, but I know that large-format inkjets destroyed the electrostatic plotter market overnight.

My Roland plotter has electrostatic hold-down, but the ancient capacitors that effect it squeak and grumble whenever I expect them to do their job. It still works, but it takes quite a while for the paper to stick to the surface. If you accidentally leave the plotter on in paper hold mode, it’s a very effective way of drawing dust out the air