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HP-IL ATC-00010 Relay Actuator revisted
11-26-2015, 10:31 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP-IL ATC-00010 Relay Actuator revisted

Mine came in the mail. Haven't powered it up yet, but popped the top half off (it wasn't on correctly in the first place) and inside is clean and nice. The relays are different, NEC units, but presumably very similar in ratings.

My first impressions are:

The build of the thing is a little quirky. The PCB extends out past the back insert to support the connector blocks. Also, the connector blocks are under the overhang of the top half of the case, so a direct shot at tightening the terminals with a screwdriver isn't really possible with the geometry. Easy enough to take the lid off though to put the wires in (2 screws). But there is an ergonomic problem with the back of the device with that connection/housing combo.

Mine also has a green on/off switch (not black) and it has a brown power cord (not white) with a separately attached 2 prong (nonpolarized) plug in (not molded on).

My impression is (drawing on my years working in various factories in production, product development and admin) that someone at Air Therm was a pretty serious HP41 user (probably an engineer in designing their products) and he probably bread boarded a prototype of the ATC-0010 (around an 82166?) for use testing items Air Therm was making at the time. He garnered some management attention, and they were impressed with his gadget, and realized just how useful a 'friendly-ized' version of the 82166 could be, and not seeing a similar device in the HP catalog, or any other 3rd party making something similar, they gave the go ahead to produce a commercial version of his prototype.

Kinda looks like they muffed the marketing campaign, if I am sniffing out where they were going with it, however. Doesn't look like anyone here has seen an EduCALC advert for one, and there seems to be very little familiarity of this device extant, even now. If the HP41 community didn't know about it, they weren't going to buy it.

Having the pictures Sylvain posted was neat to compare to mine. The little differences (switch, cord, relays) suggest a story. This gadget was not produced in large numbers, I haven't found a serial # tag on mine either. I'd say Air Therm used 'in house' resources to make the device, if they had sourced it to a third party for a production run of 10,000, I think we would be looking at a different gadget.

It's also BIG. I'm used to the compact nature of the HP products, the amount of empty space inside the housing was quite a surprise. The device was sized to housing that was easily available.

It sure would be fun to track down the Air Therm engineer behind this and see how close I got here.


2speed HP41CX,int2XMEM+ZEN, HPIL+DEVEL, HPIL+X/IO, I/R, 82143, 82163, 82162 -25,35,45,55,65,67,70,80
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RE: HP-IL ATC-00010 Relay Actuator revisted - TASP - 11-26-2015 10:31 PM

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