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Sixties timing device / Le Mans - help wanted


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#1 Pedro 917

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 15:17

I received a personal message from Robert Ash with a request for help concerning an IBM (?) timing device that was used in the mid-sixties at Le Mans and probably other places :

Presently I have (4) GT40's in the shop. I'm searching for someone who can help me with a detail (this detail may also be common to a few Ferrari's and Porsche's of the era): TIMING DEVICE.

An item this esoteric may not be something many other people are familiar with, but hopefully you may know a mechanic from the 1966/67
era who could help? I've attached a couple photos that show the timing device in place on a car. Rumor is, it's an IBM unit, but that's all I've been able to dig up.

It would be great to find an original timing unit... or possibly find the specifications so I could re-construct one for these GT's.

Thank you for your help.

RA

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I thought that this forum was the best place to ask.
Thanks in advance for your help,

Luc

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#2 Stephen W

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 15:58

It looks like a transmitter of some sort. maybe not a Timing Device as such but the unit may just that send out a continuous pulse which would be picked up by a base unit in say the pit/paddock area.

:wave:

#3 paulhooft

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 17:03

If it was IBM, the Mainframe, the Central Computer, must have been an IBM 360 series computer.
I started to work with them, still very young, back in 1974, as an operator.
for someone in his twenties, a simply fantastic job.
it was like commanding a supertanker in mid ocean, all alone, in the middle of the night...
The greatest, most romantic... job I ever had..
PcH


It looks like a transmitter of some sort. maybe not a Timing Device as such but the unit may just that send out a continuous pulse which would be picked up by a base unit in say the pit/paddock area.

:wave:


Edited by paulhooft, 23 September 2009 - 17:04.


#4 D-Type

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 17:08

I remember seeing an IBM advert featuring Le Mans circa 1965 which confirms that IBM equipment of some kind was used there..

Details are hazy, but I think the advert focussed on IBM 40-column (not 80-column) punched card equipment being used to keep track of the race. Given that in those days the only ways you could input to a computer, tabulator, or other electonic device were by direct keying in, paper tape (ticker tape) and punched cards it could well have been linked to a timing system.

#5 HistoricMustang

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:13

TNF has produced a thread or two on timing.

A search might give information that could answer some of the questions.

Henry :wave:

#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:53

Here are some of the earlier threads:

A brief history of timekeeping

Timekeeping

The importance of timing to racing history

but I don't think they contain any specific answers to Luc's question.

#7 CoulthardD

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:14

This may give a hint at the answer:

http://ftvdb.bfi.org...ift/title/81619

DC