[ih] Arpanet physical connectors

Steve Crocker steve at shinkuro.com
Thu Jul 23 10:15:28 PDT 2020

Equal pain on the long distance lines.  They had to be ordered through AT&T
Long Lines.  Standard delivery time was nine months.  In one case we
ordered lines into and out of Boulder, CO.  And then the intended site
balked and said they didn't want to be connected.  We wound up putting a
TIP into a Dept of Commerce office building in Boulder.

On Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM Jack Haverty via Internet-history <
internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:

> On 7/23/20 8:53 AM, Noel Chiappa via Internet-history wrote:
> > To start with DH (by far and away the most common), IMPs had a specified
> round
> > 'female' plug (a mil-spec connecter, available from AMP - like the one
> in the
> > URL Carsten provided - I think the axact part number is in the
> documemtation),
> > mounted on the back of the IMP somewhere.
> I remember these connectors well, because of a strange experience I had
> involving them.
> They were big, sturdy, heavy, expensive military-grade connectors.   I
> don't remember the part number though.   Computer interconnecting cables
> in that era were often large and unwieldy.  E.g., the PDP-10 bus cables
> to interconnect processor, memories, storage cabinets et al were huge,
> and quite expensive.
> At one point in the 80s, I was in charge of a contract to build and
> deliver some equipment using the same connectors, in order to be
> compatible with the IMPs.   We had a tight schedule, with the contract
> requiring delivery of the first units 12 months after signing the
> contract.
> Not expected to be a problem.    Except..... we quickly discovered that
> those particular connectors were readily available through the usual
> channels --- with a lead time of 60 weeks to delivery!   Apparently such
> military-grade connectors are only built when needed, and unless we
> ordered 10,000 or so they wouldn't schedule a special manufacturing
> run.   We should have ordered them before we submitted the proposal I
> guess.
> So much easier these days.  After all there's not all that many
> different flavors of USB physical connectors!  All available with one or
> two day delivery too.
> /Jack
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