Mitchell Reel Museum - Mitchell Mates Discussion Group

A tale of tow reels
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Author:  Ferd72 [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  A tale of tow reels

A tale of two reels

No one can know and no one has heard the story I am about to tell you.
(standard opening for all Russian folktales)

I was assigned to an instructor team that taught the first Process Control Computer system course inside the USSR. Nixon and Breshnev signed the treaty, opening up the USSR to American products.

Everybody was trying to land the Whale (automate the entire Pulp and Paper Industry). A Russian delegation including the Pulp and Paper Institutes Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev) and the first installation site visited the U. S. A. I resolved to ask for the same privileges they were shown, during our trio to the USSR.

Thus, I found myself and Bill Leslie fishing on the White sea Canal. Where is that? you ask.
We were teaching class at the local technical school, In Segesha, Komi ASSR, of the USSR. That was my new definition for the middle of Nowhere.

The Russians were treated to a private charter fishing trip out of Mobile, Al, on the Gulf of Mexico.

I started talking about my love of fishing the moment we hit the town. I didn’t bring any fishing tackle. I figured it would be easy to get the stuff there. Wow, was I wrong!
I finally found a rod and reel combo at the biggest (only) sporting goods store in town.
Look at the pictures carefully:
One reel is a Soviet Lemz, made in the early 70s
The other is a Mitchell 324 (1978) replacing the one I gave away, in 1977.
The parts are identical and fully interchange.
The Bail release on the Lemz broke about 6 months after I got back home. No big deal!! Took the reel to Der Dutchman. They matched up the part and I got me a 324 to use as spares.

Yeah, I have a KGB file. The Chinese have one on me. Mosad knows I have been in an Arab country. A life time of teaching in industry tends to do that. Six continents, 35 countries and 14000 former students, during almost 40 years working in the paper industry.


Author:  cshannon772 [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Hi Fred,

Great story and it must have been an awesome experience! Would love to see more detail of that Soviet Lemz compared to the Mitchell. Fortunately I don't have a file with the KGB, Mosad or the Chinese (I don't think :hat ) after 30 years of operating U.S. Navy Submarines during the Cold War and the Gulf War :sFi_flamethrower:

Author:  Halcyon [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Hey Ferd72,

I was assigned to an instructor team that taught the first Process Control Computer system course inside the USSR.

Yet, you've had enormous difficulty posting images at MRM.

Could you help us understand this seeming contradiction in skill set?

BTW I understand process control and I've been in Russia.

Author:  Ted Lanham [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

I have no idea how Ferd72 may answer your question, but I worked with the early computers, starting back in the 70's, and unless one evolved with all the changes to computer since then, I could understand some difficulty posting pictures in todays world.

I have no idea where to start with todays iPhones, and unless I'm forced I will never give up my flip-phone. :sAng_banghead2:

Ted Lanham

Author:  Oscillator1 [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Hi Ted, Now your talking, I tried an I phone and couldn't make heads or tails out of it . Was able to send it back and went back to my flip phone, which as I'm sure you know is easy to answer when trout fishing on a stream . Just pull it out ,flip open and call is answered. Funny thing is now there touting foldable phones as something new. :sCo_huhsign: Regards, John in Pa.

Author:  Halcyon [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Ferd72 & Mates,

Please accept my apology about my question.

Rethinking, I see the era referenced is Nixon/Brezhnev, which is prior to the personal computer. I can understand not everyone is a hands-on tech person nor has the interest/generalizable skills to keep up with new developments.


Author:  Ferd72 [ Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:How did you get to Russia?

Well guys,

Its like this:

Well, You got to me!

The U. S. Army taught me never to volunteer for anything, but I am doing that!

I am 72

I have an Associate Degree in Electronics - 1966

I got punished for being smart, Taught my first training course in 1966, former USASCS Instructor, MOS34C20H

I have almost 40 years Teaching experience,
I have been to Six continents, 35 countries, for periods of one to six weeks, or just passing thru on the way to east wherever or west nowhere.
I am used to working with a translator
I speak Standard English when working with English As a Second language students
I have 14000 former students located in 65 countries around the world.

My Linked In Profile has the gory details.

I have a BS,ED, from The Ohio State University.
Major - Vocational Education
Miner in Adult education
Language -Russian

It took me ten years of night school, but I graduated with the Class of 1984, 20 years after my High School Graduation.

I am bored, looking for something to do,


Author:  Ferd72 [ Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When did I start working with computers

When did I start working with computers in 1966

MOS 34C20H - AUTODIN Auxilary Equipment Repair Tech
United States ARMY.
Second generation hardware, 1.5 million Discrete Transistors on the system floor.

Westinghouse Electric, Process Instrumentation and Control Div.
Instructor, Customer Training Dept.
P-50 PRODAC computer, 25 instructions, 16 K 4 wire core memory
I wrote and taught WETAC 251/501 Gas Turbine control
P-2000 still discrete with some early ICs 16 K 3wire core

Industrial Nucleonis, AccuRay, Combustion Engineering, ABB
1973 - 2004 Same location just 4 names after 3 take overs.
Utility Infielder Instructor, Course Developer. Pick a process Pulp and paper, rubber plastics, Rolling Mill, Fiberglass, Lumber.
7200 IC Analog, Honeywell 316, DEC PDP 11/05 to PDP 35/40

2006 after starving for two years, found work as Freddy Fixit working for a Computer Maintenance Service company, In a paper Mill. "Please, Please don't throw me in the brair patch." I taught people how to do this job for 30 years, big deal, except that it almost killed me. I reitred in 2011, health reasons.

Just don't give an Iphone to fiqure out!

This is getting long and my train layout is calling my name,


Author:  Ferd72 [ Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cell phones are like computers

Hey again guys,

I have had personal computers to lug around since 1981. That one was a Compaq lugable, green screen, 3.5 double sided floppy, 10 mg harddrive.

I am am IBM guy. I had a an IBM PC at home for training development from 1986 on. I have built my own PCs.

I just don't speak apple.
I had a cell in 2004, to try and start consulting.

Our daughter got us flip phones.

Now she moved the Wife and I to an Iphone 6.
Try going from a flip phone to a Samsung Galaxy to a Iphone in
4 days. she and our youngest son have Iphone 6s.

IBM system are very powerful.
Apples are visually oriented, but cumbersome to use for an IBM guy.


Author:  Halcyon [ Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Hey Ferd72,

Kudos to you and your remarkable career.

Is there something we can help with to get sharper/larger images of your 2 reels?

Your images are a little blurry/out-of-focus. Increasing ambient light might help by reducing the need for the shutter to stay open longer, thereby reducing the effect of hand motion. Alternatively, does your phone camera have a flash (granted some glare spots may come with that)? You mentioned your son's camera. Maybe when he visits?

Best regards,

Author:  don309 [ Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Phone on the stream :sCo_hmmthink: :sCo_hmmthink: never, I never take a phone fishing. However I do leave it in the car.

Author:  don309 [ Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

Okay I understand that! I live in a big city, and don't get into the wilderness. If I were in the wilderness yes I'd carry a phone. Point is fishing is my time, been fishing many many year and a phone is not on my check list.

Author:  don309 [ Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

I'm cool with it, everyone fishes differently. Although it is not Mitchell related. :sCo_uhm:

Author:  Ferd72 [ Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

I think I do pretty good for having been dead 6 times!
The list of health woes is extensive. But so what!I have learned the difference between single picture and burst mode. Burst works very well, then I can pick the best of the litter.

Getting old ain't for sissies. Yeah right, the golden years means my gold goes to the doctors.


Author:  Bonaventure [ Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of tow reels

One of the drawbacks of getting old, (I turned 70 a week ago today,) is that you can remember when Mitchell reels were readily available. Then you can regret that you didn't buy enough of them then!

If you are not a Baby Boomer, you probably haven't,t seen them in the store, no disparagement of younger generations intended.

I have owned Mitchell's since the late 1960s, one of my 300s and my 308 were purchased new at the Rod and Gun Club in Lahr Germany circa 1977 for a really good price, should have bought one every payday.

As for aging, I had to give up playing Mandolin because of arthritis but I am fishing more.

Growing old is indeed not for sissies!

Thank you

Glen Simpson



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