[time-nuts] looking for data on time code display

Steve Byan stevebyan at verizon.net
Sun Dec 11 19:14:18 EST 2011

On Dec 11, 2011, at 4:12 PM, Bill Hawkins wrote:

> Fascinating. I also have one of these with slight differences, but it
> does have a Fort Meade tag. Bought it from a guy on the BoatAnchors
> list in Atlanta in the dim past.
> The HTID number is H9823180065821, NSN 664500DISPLAY, User ID STWA104
> The rotary switch adds a 160 KHz position. The two switches are marked
> CODE POLARITY and POWER ON. The rear panel has a 4 pin circular jack
> labeled AUX and a 24 pin rectangular connector marked PARALLEL.

Yeah, mine has those connectors also. Fair also had some with LED displays.

> A partly torn tag taped to the top says Made by TRAK, Model ?? 2234/U,
> SN 517. A plastic envelope contained a DD Form 1348-1A release/receipt
> document from the Defense Reutilization Marketing Office at Meade. It
> released 5 of these units worth $1500 each, dated 1-29-98, ship from
> H98231 (in HTID number above) to SX1213 (marketing office?).
> Somewhere I'd heard that these units were for locating times on tape
> recordings of intercepts. The different filter frequencies are for
> different tape speeds, from high speed search to fine positioning.
> The code might be IRIG but it could just as easily be something the
> NSA invented for the purpose.

Maybe part of Project Boresight? 

> I bought it because I'd visited the NSA museum at Fort Meade and seen
> the code breaking machines. I didn't find them intimidating at all.
> The gift shop would sell me a jacket with NSA logos, but I didn't
> know where I would wear it. There is a certain cachet to having a
> box that was used by top secret agents to decode radio intercepts.
> Bill Hawkins
> P.S. I'd recommend doing some signal tracing from the Input connector.
> We have no idea what signal levels were used, if it wasn't IRIG. I
> never found time to do that.

Yeah, that'll be on my to-do list. I had hoped the frequencies listed on the controls might trigger some association in someone who's knowledgable about time-codes. 250 Hz doesn't seem to be a legal IRIG time-code frequency, although 1 kHz is.

Best regards,

Steve Byan <stevebyan at me.com>
Littleton, MA 01460

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