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Heathkit OC-1401
05-26-2017, 05:08 AM
Post: #1
Heathkit OC-1401
I wanted to mention this due to its interesting story:

This flight computer was on my wishlist. For some reason last week I happened to search the local craigslist for 'heathkit' thinking ham radio stuff but turns out an OC-1401 is for sale for a very good price (single digit dollars to be specific). I emailed and behold got a reply back it is available.

It turns out the retired gentlemen was a pilot who built it waaay long ago and now they are moving out of state. They were cleaning the house. The calculator was on craigslist for about month. We started chatting and I told him that I'm taking flight lessons and also collecting old calculators + 8bit computers as hobby, so I will take good care of his calculator.

Once heard that, he was very happy. He said he was worried the calculator was going to go to the trash and now instead it will be taken care of. We chatted some more about his story. As I was leaving his son told me this made his day. I think this calculator is his living story now.

He told me he built it from kit. I opened it up to remove the dead battery; luckily no corrosion. good solder work too. It will be getting a new nicd set soon. Calculator is clean and it works. It even came with the original book, box, power supply and cigarette light adapter.

In a way this made my day too. I was happy to take over something precious Smile When the time comes, hope my toys go to someone who will appreciate them too.

We should enjoy your toys while we can Smile

PS:
1) I wonder if there is a way to dump the code in this calculator, without damaging it.
2) Geoff, I started my ppl training and now doing cross-countries. Hope to get my license by the end of the summer.
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05-26-2017, 10:27 AM
Post: #2
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
Hello!

Congratulations for this wonderful find. I guess you didn't even have to pay a fortune for it. It took me ages to find a working one which I could afford with my aviator's wages (Geoff is not the only one who flies for his living :-) ). I must confess though that I have not taken mine up in the air yet, too precious and rare.
I would not donate mine for trying to extract the code... It has three mask-programmed Mostek microprocessors containing the software (see here: http://www.datamath.org/Related/Heathkit/OCW-1401.htm ). I havn't been able to even find a data sheet for those on the web.

All the best with getting your license!
Regards
Max
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05-26-2017, 10:54 AM
Post: #3
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
(05-26-2017 05:08 AM)atilla457 Wrote:  In a way this made my day too. I was happy to take over something precious Smile When the time comes, hope my toys go to someone who will appreciate them too.
I agree. :-) Thanks for sharing this nice story.

BTW. The OC-1401/OCW-1401 is notable enough to deserve a Wikipedia article, however, at present all we have is a photo: Heathkit OC-1401...

Greetings,

Matthias


--
"Programs are poems for computers."
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05-26-2017, 12:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
(05-26-2017 10:54 AM)matthiaspaul Wrote:  
(05-26-2017 05:08 AM)atilla457 Wrote:  In a way this made my day too. I was happy to take over something precious Smile When the time comes, hope my toys go to someone who will appreciate them too.
I agree. :-) Thanks for sharing this nice story.

I could not agree more! Thanks very much for sharing this great story.

smp
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05-27-2017, 04:55 AM
Post: #5
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
Excellent story and wonderful machine. I have one, case and all with manuals. It was Bob Pattons and I purchased it from him having met him at an HHC conference.

I take it to work just for show and tell :-)

Have fun flying, take lots of pictures as you fly and put them in your log book.

Geoff
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05-27-2017, 01:43 PM
Post: #6
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
(05-26-2017 05:08 AM)atilla457 Wrote:  2) Geoff, I started my ppl training and now doing cross-countries. Hope to get my license by the end of the summer.

Good luck with your training. I was a grade 1 flight instructor not long ago and it is always a joy to see someone new take to the skies. I remember doing my own cross country training with an instructor and being white knuckled on the controls when I look across and see him asleep Smile

cheers

Tony
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05-27-2017, 02:56 PM
Post: #7
RE: Heathkit OC-1401
Great RPN calculator with five (!) line stack, good keys, and a stout body & charging system. The forensics result is better than HPs of it's time. You've got a jewel there.
Have fun finding the hidden functions.
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