Valve Tester - CSIRAC Computer, 1954-1964 Object Reg. No: ST 044226

Valve tester purpose built for valves used in the CSIRAC Computer, There were sockets for specific valve types. This tester was used to check the characteristics (properties) of the valves used in CSIRAC. Valves deteriorate over time and the tester was used to check that they were still suitable for use. CSIRAC (previously CSIR Mk 1) used about 2000 valves.

This tester was designed specifically to test the valves used in CSIRAC. General purpose valve testers had to 'programmed to test the characrteristics of a particular valve before it could be tested - a lengthy business that was required for each valve type. This tester made testing much easier and quicker.

The date range was selected because it is believed that the valve tester was introduced at the same time as the memory redsign project started in Sydney. The valve types (specific to this tester) were introduced then.
Grey metal box, rectangular but with sloping front panel. Sloping panel contains three large white-faced circular dials, five rotary switches and four indicator lights. Flat top panel contains ten valve sockets and two screw terminals, plus a diode socket. The unit has a carrying handle at each end.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 1965
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 265 mm (Height), 550 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: computers, computing, csirac computer, making history - csirac
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection, CSIRAC Collection
Primary Classification: COMPUTING & CALCULATING
Secondary Classification: Digital Computing
Tertiary Classification: testing equipment
Inscriptions: Labels identifying the various dials, sockets and switches.
User: University of Melbourne (The), 1954-1964
  1. [Book], Mr Peter Thorne, Dr Doug McCann, The Last of the First CSIRAC: Australia's First Computer, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering- The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2000, 2000, 8 Pages
  2. [Book], Mr Paul Doornbusch - University of Melbourne (The) Computer Science Department, the music of csirac, Common Ground Publishing, Australia, Melbourne, 2005, 2005

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