Newsletters 1-4

Newsletter #1

To everyone with interest and especially the Patrons of the Museum…

Things are progressing! The museum is out of storage and is now in a 20′ by 24′ space adjacent to my home. The weather has been hot, and my budget small, so it is not progressing quite as fast as I would like.. but I thought you might like a report, so here goes….

My sincere and life-long appreciation goes to my friends and patrons who have supported my idea. Several folks think I am crazy to do this, but most are supportive. The move, from the storage area in McHenry, to the storage area in Fallbrook was discouraging – to say the least.

First of all the move was expensive – costing about $4,000 – and secondly, the movers treated the collection as if they were moving junk! The two 33ASR teletypes have cracked covers and most of the other machines have broken glass and dents. Thank goodness Teletype Corporation built them strong, as most of the equipment was shipped without any padding. The 108 dataset for the 35ASR teletype was dropped over and over, and still seems to operate.

Most of the test equipment arrived in good condition. Thanks to my friends at Bellcore TEC the DDS office equipment, plug-ins and test equipment is all in fine condition except for a few terminal strips and switches that need repair. The parts cabinet, parts drawers, card catalog, parts, typing units and portable D-4 channel bank all arrived safely. I spent many hours going over all of the parts and card catalog. Talk about memories! Some of the parts have been carefully filed as long ago as 1960, maybe longer.

Donations of items are still coming in, but slowly. I just received a 1942 TELETYPE maintenance manual from Milt Norstrom. Many thanks Milt! A recent goodies box from Bob Liddy included roll paper, a valuable commodity, amid other items to warm the heart of an old telephone man! If you find some of these old items, please do NOT throw it out! If you find any sources, please let me know who I can contact.

Soon the museum will be remodeled, it was originally part of the driveway, then a dual carport, then a garage, and now a museum. The walls will be insulated and covered with 5/8 inch drywall. two of the three garage doors will become semi-permanent walls. A regular 36 inch door will be mounted in the third garage door. Six relay racks will be bolted to the floor after the concrete is covered in plain grey tile. The ceiling will be covered with 1/2 inch drywall and additional florescent light fixtures will be added.

To everyone with interest and especially the Patrons and Benefactors of the Museum.

Newsletter #2

I am happy to report more progress…

The museum is set up and ready to begin provisioning and testing of the equipment. My sincere appreciation goes to the benefactors and patrons who have supported me with this project.

All of the test equipment is safely stored on sturdy 1500 lb. shelving. The Dataphone Digital Service (DDS) office equipment; plug-ins and test equipment is all in the relay racks. Power, connections and repairs need to be made. The parts cabinet, parts drawers, card catalog, parts, typing units and portable D-4 channel bank all are set up and bolted in position. The D-4 is now operational, but I need some later common units due to the false yellow alarm condition!

Donations of items are still coming in. On its way here from Pennsylvania is a 25 amp 48 volt DC power supply! If you find some of these old items, please do NOT throw them out! If you find any sources for supplies, please let me know who I can contact.

Soon the museum will be further remodeled, it was originally part of the driveway, then a dual carport, then a garage, and now a museum. 5 florescent light fixtures have been added. The walls will soon be insulated and covered with 5/8 inch drywall. One of the three garage doors will become a semi-permanent wall. the floor will be painted with grey porch and deck paint.

Any and all donations are appreciated. Thank you for your interest and support of the museum.

Don House

Newsletter #3

NADCOMM Staff, Family, Friends, Associates, and Greenkeyers:

Personal challanges have prevented me from spending as much time as I would like putting our museum in more working order.  I lost my job and my father, plus made some bad decisions all in the same two week period.  My loving wife gives me tremendous support for which I am eternally grateful. They say that “a sailor’s luck is never the same”, so I am due for some good things!  I am now doing some consulting based on my 33 years in telecommunications. I also have revised the arrangements regarding my individual retirement accounts (Uncle Sam will make out on this deal).  I am working also (without pay) with four others to startup a new telecommunications manufacturing company.  Please have some good thoughts for us will you?!

It has been a long time since I gave you a report on our data communications museum.  Things are definitely progressing.  Frinds from all over the country are contributing items and supplies so that we can preserve the history and development of data communications from Morse through ASCII, and Facsimile through Video. Analog through Digital. Telegraph to Lightwave. Unless it talks, it is data!

The list of items continues to grow.  Thankfully many folks have also found the appropriate documentation for these rare items so that we can display them in proper working order.  We now have a supplier for all the paper tape, roll paper, and teletype ribbons that we need. Even paper tape splicing patches: The need of grease and oil keeps me looking for the best sources.  So far the best found is “One Lube” for oil. But we have not found a source for “One Grease” unless we purchase several gallons!

My former garage now has one of the four walls insulated and covered with 5/8″ drywall (fire code).  I need to do the same to the other three, only the drywall will be only 1/2″ thick.  I have 90% of the power wiring finished. I brought 240vac into a branch panel and have 6 breakers feeding the museum equipment.  The most interesting(?) is the 240vac feed to the AT&T Lineage (Lucent) -48vdc 25 amp power supply that will power up the DDS Hub and End Office equipment.

I have installed 1700 pound shelving that is storing the 100+ telegraph and transmission test sets recovered from the Chicago dump.  The portable Western ELectric D4 Carrier System is up and running with 24 channels of Dataport DDS provisioned.  We even have an analog off-net extension set up with a 209A Dataset and a 9600 integrated DSU.  All we need is a second 209 for the other end.

The collection of Teletypes® and teletypewriters is growing monthly.  The good news is that the machines are being preserved, the bad news is that I have not been able to either pick up or afford to ship all of the heavy items from their present locations.  I am in debt to my fellow NADCOMM directors for helping to hold on to these old and rare beasties.  Special praise goes to Tom Kleinschmidt, the great grandson of E. E. Klienschmidt (one of the inventors of the teletypewriter).  Tom has gone out of his way to help preserve this equipment and support our overall efforts.  I am also grateful for all of the others who have supported the museum.  At the top of the list of contributors is Bob Cnota, my old teletype repair buddy and fellow ex-test center foreman. Thanks to Bob’s efforts, many items have been saved that would have wound up in the smelter or buried in aland-fill.

Our website is steadily improving due to the tireless efforts of my long time friend, Roger Bindl of Hadron Electronic Media.  Roger is a genious when it comes to websites, internet computing and especially the transfer of documentation to CD-ROM.  Should you have a need in these areas contact Roger through our website or at

Don House

Newsletter # 4

Three years have past and our museum has gone through two moves. In 2001 through 2002 the whole collection was moved to the Computer Museum of America at 640 “C” Street in San Diego. I worked with the curator, David Weil; the preparitor, Rush Glick; and the technician, Adrian Jimenez. I also worked with Sgt. Warren Brader, the curator of the secure communicaitons and survellience museum. Together we have accomplished much.

We assisted in the production of two motion pictures. One was “Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies” a production for the NOVA series on PBS. The second movie was produced by the famous Errol Morris and was initially titled “Wilson’s Ghost” which is the title of one of Robert S. McNamara’s books. After 20 hours of interviewing Mr. McNamara the title was changed to “The Fog of War – 11 lessons from the life of Robert McNamara” We provided all of the teletypewriter machines and the IBM card sorter that are featured in the documentary. This film distributed by SONY pictures Classics is a magnificent piece of work, that becomes breath-taking to the viewers. The musical score is also an excellent work by Philip Glass. The film won the academy award for the best documentary.

In 2004 we again moved NADCOMM and our host museum The Computer Museum of America back to the Coleman College in La Mesa, California. This time the museum takes up what used to be a bowling alley. The NADCOMM collection has its own room. The exhibit on the history of cryptology is still running. We have obtained additional matierials and equipment that is on display for the first time to the public, including a beautiful and complete Model 28 R/T cabinet donated by Thomas Kleinschmidt.

Please try to make time to visit the combined museums at the Computer Museum of America, 7380 Parkway Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942. (619) 464-8220 The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and national holidays.

Yours for the preservation and operation of vintage data communications equipment.

Don Robert House
Founder and Curator
23 May 2004

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