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Getting A Bit More Technical

Tuesday February 17th, 2004, par Rich Hopkins


I have just completed explanation of how the computer and the caster work together. Now I will get a bit more technical. Monroe’s program instructs the Macintosh to send codes out through its serial port. Those codes would be very similar to the holes punched in a Monotype paper tape. By that I mean it would not send an "a" code, but instead, it would send code telling the caster position F-8 is needed. Monroe designed a very "for the purpose" microrocessor to go between the caster and the modified paper tower. This processor hangs on the wall behind my Monotype machine. The serial cable comes from the Macintosh to this processor. It is here that the codes are transformed into electrical pulses to open specific air valves on the machine. Of course, this processor receives the pulse from the casting machine every time it makes a revolution and that pulse tells the system to receive instructions from the computer for the next code for the casting machine. The modified paper tower is a standard Monotype paper tower cut in half to expose all the little brass air lines. On top of this Monroe has mounted a pair of boards mounted with solenoid-operated air valves. He has connected plastic tubing from the air valves down to the brass air lines from the old paper tower. This paper tower is screwed to the Monotype machine just as would any paper tower. The air line which originally went into the paper tower is connected via plastic tubing to the top (air supply end) of the two air valve assemblies. It also is important to note that each of the 31 air valves in this assembly has a red LED which lights up when that valve is activated by the system. Likewise, each valve has a manual on-off switch, making it possible to test the system (without using the computer). With the air turned on, one can flip each switch and make a visual inspection to assure the corresponding air pin has, indeed been pushed up by the air blast coming through the solenoid operated valve. This ability to check the machine is most important, for I have had difficulties in two directions. First, the Monotype machine’s air pins might have become blocked or gummed up and though the valve was operating properly, the pin still was not being pushed up. Second, vibration within the machine has broken solder joints on a couple of occasions. I have been able to pinpoint these breaks by using the little switches and watching the air pins. The 31 solenoids precisely match the 31 air lines in the casting machine. Monroe made note of the up-down motion of the paper tower operating lever on the casting machine and mounted a sensor on the casting machine’s frame which sends out a code each time the lever comes close to it (it’s light-activated, not touch-activated). This sensor does not connect to the paper tower. Instead, it is direct-wired to the special microprocessor and directly controls its operation.


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Dans la même rubrique :
Macro Substitutions
How MacMono Works
Physical Changes to the Caster
The MacMono Interface
Overview of How Files Are Prepared
Technical Computer Details
Overview of the Composition Caster
Text Formatting Macros



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