The Jim Austin Computer Collection

Ferranti Argus 400 L

The Argus 400 computer system in the collection consists of a single unit, possibly the processor from a late version of the Argus computer. Its format in a 19 inch frame suggests its the unit that is pin compatible with the Argus 500 machine. Its likely to have come from Jodrell Bank radio telescope, used to control the dish. It was probably installed in 1971 (Jodrell bank history). wikpeada says :

"The Argus 500, designed about 3 years later, used parallel arithmetic and was much faster. It was designed to be plugged into a larger 19 inch rack mounted frame, together with up to four core store (memory) units. The Argus 400 was repackaged to be the same as the Argus 500 and the two machines were plug compatible. The Argus 400 used 18 small PCBs for its CPU each of which was wire-wrapped to the backplane using 70 miniature wire wraps. Removing a card was tedious. The Argus 500 initially used the same packages, and also wire-wrap, on larger boards, but later versions employed dual-in-line ICs which were soldered flat onto the PCB and were much easier to remove."

The machine is s/n 125.

The list of all Argus machines can be found here.It lists 59 Argus 400. IT gives the Jodrell bank machine as a 400L delivered in 1969, only 10 were made - the L version is probably the large 19 inch rack type.

it arrived in the collection Dec 2013 from a local collector.