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An analogue method of function generation using a magnetic drum Boulding, John David Richardson

Abstract

This thesis discusses an analogue method of function generation using a magnetic drum. The function generator is suitable for use in a pulse- position-modulation analogue computer which operates on a time-sequential principle and in real time. The functions are approximated by linear and parabolic arcs, and the break points are represented by pulse posit ions. These pulse positions are stored on a magnetic drum. The function generator converts these pulse positions into the original function by using precise sweep amplifiers and gating circuits. The number of functions that are available is limited only by the size of the drum. The method of function generation proposed here allows for very simple programming of the computer. Accuracies approaching one per cent were obtained in tests using very inadequate sweep amplifiers. Accuracies of the order of one-tenth of one per cent are believed to be possible by using the proposed function generator that is described at the end of this thesis. This thesis also describes the synchronization and counting circuits that are required to control the operation of the computer. Also the circuits required to write the information pulses on the drum are described.

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