Decoding a 65 IBM Card

Restoration

  1. mopar_4life

    mopar_4life Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Hello,

    I recently inquired about trying to get the IBM card from FCA Historical. They gladly sent me the card but due to staffing issues they no longer decode them. The copy of the Microfilm that they sent me is quite blurry as far as the printed text. Is there any sources to help decode this. I see the 0-9 But what is right of the 0..... Even just a good clear image of one from 65.

    Thanks


    Build Sheets 1.jpeg
     
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  2. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    If you can find a readable copy of the 65 card you can decode this.
    The punch marks represent a single digit.
    Card read wit the car horizontal.
    So a 23 would be a 2 and the next column a 3

    punchcard.jpg
    Understanding the codes is step 2, need to know the codes first.

    Alan
     
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  3. mopar_4life

    mopar_4life Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Thanks, I hope someone here might have a readable copy of the card.
     
  4. 69CoronetRT

    69CoronetRT Senior Member

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    To the right of the "0" are two more punch positions expanding the potential to use positions 1-0 as additional characters. By adding the additional punches, you now have a way to code numbers as well as letters.

    I've changed the perspective of the picture so I'll use the terms rows and columns for my picture.

    The theory behind the IBM card is as follows: the card allows for numbers and letters as a way to indicate all the pertinent info for a specific car. The columns, or groups of columns, show the options, production date, dealer info and other specific info for that car. If the number is punched out, the car came with that option. If the column has a combination of the number and one of the two additional punches, then that indicates a letter.

    Think of the column as a potential group of up to 10 items in that group. Item 0 - 9. Not all numbers were used in each column. If the option required two numbers, like tires, then two columns would be grouped together to come up with one two digit number.

    This concept is then applied to the three digit option numbers used on ordering forms, broadcast sheets and window stickers. Column 40 on the 1965 card is used to indicated heating and cooling options. The same group 40* is found on the broadcast sheet. If the number 1 is punched out on the IBM card, you would find a 1 in the box below 40 on the broadcast sheet and option 401 on the Window sticker.

    When you use the additional punch options above the 1-9, you convert the number position to a letter. On your card in column 1, the top punch and the position in row 3 are punched out. That indicates the letter C. If you look at the first letter your Scheduled Production Date, the very last code on the top row of your card, you'll see it starts with a C. For column 2, you'll see the 1 position is punched out indicating a 1 and the second character of your SPD is a 1. In column 3 the 5 is punched out and the third number of your SPD is a 5. So in three columns, we've indicated the month, and day of your SPD.

    Columns 4-8 indicated the sequence number.

    Columns 26 and 27 are used for paint. Notice how two columns are used to indicated the exterior paint as well as the columns use the top punch to help indicate a letter. The combination of the top punch and the 4 position give us the letter D. Using this concept of combining the 0-9 position and an additional punch lets us use up to 20 letters. Not all 26 letters of the alphabet are used, for example 1 and Zero, so only having 20 letters is OK for our purpose.

    Once you understand the thinking behind the rows and columns, you can read from left to right to decode the various columns and punches. The hard part is reading the text in the columns but, frankly, the text isn't that important. If you know you are working on column 50 and punch 9 is missing, you know you are looking at option number 509. You just need to find another source as to what code 509 is for 1965.

    The layout on the card varies by year but the thinking is the same. Here's a 67 card I drew up:

    67_IBM_edited_2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  5. mopar_4life

    mopar_4life Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Ok, Cool, I'll run with that and dig in.
     
  6. 69CoronetRT

    69CoronetRT Senior Member

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    Just draw up your own grid and count the columns.
    Make up a decoder key for the letters. You’ll match them up pretty quickly using the letters on top and associating them with the respective punch combinations by column.

    Once you know the theory behind the card, they aren’t that difficult to decode.
     
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  7. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Anyone have the region codes, or dealer codes? One of my cars came back without the name of the dealer, and it's not in their (FCA) files. I'd like to know, since I know where all my other cars cane from. Not the end of the world, but would be nice to know.
     
  8. rexus31

    rexus31 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    What’s your code?
     
  9. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Region 12, Dealer 17000.
     
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