This is one of several pages relating to the history of the automatic totalizator, its invention in 1913, the inventor George Julius and the Australian company he founded in 1917 which became a monopoly (later part of an oligopoly) in this field. This page contains a technical description of the historical Julius tote at the Eagle Farm Racetrack Museum. This is a history only non commercial page. If you wish to start from the beginning then go to the index .

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A description of the Julius totalisator in the Eagle Farm Racecourse Museum


In 2007 The Queensland Turf Club converted the old Julius Tote machine room into a museum, with the Julius Tote equipment as the centrepiece. I was asked by the CEO of the QTC to write some descriptions of the equipment for display in the museum. As I have never worked on these systems, I wrote the following six A4 pages and some shorter notes, based on information I acquired from three main sources during the decades since I first became aware of the Julius totalisators. The first source was information in old company documents. The second source was what I had been told about these systems by people who had worked on them, managers and engineers in head office and staff that I inherited when I became chief engineer of the computer totalisator systems, which superseded the Julius Totalisators in the Brisbane region. The third source resulted from examination of the equipment to determine function. Actually the "J8 assembly drawings" section is a seventh page, however the one in the museum differs from the one presented here for the Internet.

As I have not seen a technical description of a complete Julius Tote, let alone a functional specification anywhere, I have presented these descriptions here. Some of the introductory information here is provided elsewhere on this site however I have left these pages as they appear on the actual equipment. The images on this page except for the J8 ticket do not appear on the original pages as they are attached to the actual equipment. Seeing this system demonstrates that mechanical computing on an industrial scale did exist.

Image of the Eagle Farm Racing Museum

The Eagle Farm Racing Museum Julius Tote
Page 1 titled First and Last can be seen in the centre of the tote frame under the sign protruding above the top of the frame.
Page 2 titled An electromechanical shaft adder, can be seen on the third adder window in the frame from the right hand side.
The description of the public odds indicator drive can be seen in the tenth window from the right hand side.
The black RESET READY ON indicators above and to the sides of the middle of the frame are described in the "Place Pool Reset and Ready Switches" section below

Charles Barton, the last Chief Engineer of this system, whose picture I have placed on this frame, would have loved to see this!

The Oldest Automatic Totalizator in Australia

Page 1 First and Last

George Julius (later Sir George Julius) invented the world’s first automatic totalizator here in Australia in 1913. This original invention was installed in Ellerslie New Zealand. He founded the Australian company Automatic Totalisators in 1917 to develop and export these totalizators. This electromechanical Julius tote is a descendant of that original invention and was manufactured by Automatic Totalisators in the 1940s. By 1970 with few exceptions, every major racing centre in the world used totalizators manufactured by this Australian company, which were in service in 29 countries.

This is the machine room or in contemporary parlance the computer room. This is a large scale, multi user, real-time system. These systems existed long before the invention of the world’s first electronic computer. This one had 128 electromechanical Ticket Issuing Machines attached to it distributed in totes around the track.

A Julius tote was installed in Longchamps France in 1928 with 273 terminals and the one in White City London was upgraded to support 320 terminals. One of these systems was demonstrated in Sydney in 1920 capable of supporting 1000 terminals and a sell rate of 250,000 tickets per minute.

There is a school of thought that these early Australian totalizators were the first computers. The director of the London Science Museum wrote in his New Scientist article dated 29 October 1987 titled “A sure bet for understanding computers”; “The Julius tote with its automatic odds machine is the earliest on-line, real-time, data processing and computation system that the curators of the museum have identified so far”.

This frame houses a Win and Place totalizator. The front totalled the Win pool and the rear is duplicated for the Place pool. It supported a field of 24 runners. Inside the windows there are electromechanical shaft adders one for each runner plus one for the grand total. The adders have odds calculating devices attached to them which drive barometer indicators on the outside of the East and West walls of this building for public display. These indicators have two vertical channels for each runner one for the Win and one for the Place marked with imperial odds. Metal bands rise up from each runner’s odds calculator, win and place, through the roof of the frame and across the ceiling in both directions to the Eastern and Western indicators, then outside to move visible indicating strips in the channels mentioned above. A commission gearbox subtracted the commission from the pool for the displays.

This system was superseded in 1979 by a PDP11 based digital computer totalizator also manufactured by Automatic Totalisators. It was long thought that the last of these Julius electromechanical totalizators to cease operation was at Harringay London in 1987 until an email was received in 2005 from Caracas asking how to make adjustments to their Julius tote to bring it up to modern day standards. At the time of the email, that system had been in operation for 48 years. The lifespan of computing systems has certainly changed over the years!

These once common Australian totalizators have disappeared mainly under bulldozer tracks. We are fortunate that this example still remains, a reminder of an Australian achievement, courtesy of the Queensland Turf Club.

Page 2 The electromechanical shaft adder

The shaft adders, one in each of these windows, totalled the investments on each of the runners and one at the end of each row kept a grand total of all investments on the associated pool.

An electromechanical shaft adder Image of a shaft adder

Note: This shaft adder is of a similar vintage to the ones used in the Eagle Farm system the main difference is that this is a 3 shaft adder and the ones on display in the museum are 2 shaft adders.

The heart of the shaft adder is the epicyclic gear train. These adders have two horizontal shafts with epicyclic gears visible near the top of the adder. The adders were powered by a horizontal drive shaft running the length of this frame driven by DC motors at the northern end. The adding shafts in the adders were driven by a spring for each shaft, which was wound up by the drive shaft. When the adding shaft spring was fully tensioned a clutch disengaged the shaft from the main drive. As energy was removed from the spring by escapement wheel movement resulting from bet traffic, the clutch engaged again to wind the adding shaft’s spring back up. The adding shafts have escapement wheels on them, 6 on the front shaft and 2 on the rear. These wheels moved one tooth at a time when the associated solenoids visible underneath the adding shafts were activated by a ticket-issuing machine recording a transaction. The number of teeth on the escapement wheel determines the value of the bet. The more teeth the lower the value. This system supported £5 £1 10s 5s bets which was translated to $10 $2 $1 and 50c when decimal currency was introduced.

Proponents of the electromechanical systems would boast that this system could do something that the next generation computer tote could not. It could record multiple bets simultaneously whilst the new computer tote which existed prior to the days of multiprocessing had to record bets sequentially albeit at a rate that made it all look instantaneous. In other words any combination or all of the solenoids on a shaft adder could be activated at the same time. The epicyclic gear train took the different value bets resulting from the different escapement wheels rotating and activated the display counter to keep a running total of investment. In the event of a drive failure to an adder, all adders were fitted with automatic cut outs, activated by a mercury switch, to prevent loss of bet registrations and raise alarms, illuminating one of the lights above the adder window for attention. Automatic Totalisators even manufactured its own plastic plugs and sockets visible on the right hand side at the bottom rear of each adder.

Julius Tote Odds Calculators An image of Julius Tote odds calculators

Behind each runner's adder is an odds calculating device. Each odds calculator consists of a vertical and horizontal slider that moves on a transport mechanism consisting of two rods each. At the end of each row were the grand total shaft adders with the associated commission gearbox and winding gear for raising the vertical lift sliders on every runner’s adder to represent the net pool grand total. The horizontal component for each runner was produced via the associated adder's odds chain sprocket wheel, at the very top of the adder, which let the associated horizontal slider out in accordance with the investment on that runner. Hypotenuse arms formed right triangles for each runner by connecting the vertical and horizontal sliders. The angle at the top between the vertical slider and the hypotenuse arm represents the odd for its associated runner. Mathematically the trigonometric ratio Cotangent of this angle is the odd for the associated runner. In other words, what is being measured is the gradient of the hypotenuse arm ΔY / ΔX or Rise/Run. On this angle between the vertical slider and the hypotenuse arm, or in other words the adjacent and hypotenuse sides of the right triangle, is a pulley arrangement. This drove some cams via a wire, operating some switches, to drive a small motor, which in turn powered the large barometer style odds displays mentioned on page 1. The hypotenuse arms mentioned above can be easily seen behind the adders or by looking down the length of the frame at either end. They can then be used to identify the vertical and horizontal sliders.

For remote locations such as the centre of the racetrack or a loft, odds transmissions were achieved by the use of a variable resistance, mounted at the important angle mentioned and utilising the Wheatstone bridge principles. The remote receiver sensed any out of balance transmitted by the adder unit and drove itself and the odds display until the bridge centre leg potential was once again null and therefore equalling the transmitted odds.

Page 3 The Distributor Cubicle

These racks house the Distributors (Scanners), the overlap relays and ancillary control equipment.

The distributors are at the top of racks 2, 3 and 4. They are a circular piece of equipment with four concentric rings. Two studded metal contact rings surround two continuous ring contacts with a rotating arm spanning the diameter of the outer set of studs. This arm rotated when the equipment was in operation and electrically connected one of the continuous rings with the inner circle of studs one at a time and the other continuous ring connected with the outer set of studs in sequence. One set of studs serviced the Win pool and the other the Place pool. The function this performed was to allow multiple Ticket Issuing Machines (TIMs) to be attached to a single escapement wheel solenoid in the adders. This was achieved by sequencing the supply voltage in the continuous rings to each stud and consequently the stud’s attached TIM, which provided a circuit to the attached solenoid, in the runner handle selected adder, if the pool selection knob on the TIM was pushed down indicating a sale. In contemporary terminology the scanner provides an enabling pulse, which will allow a transaction cycle if the TIM has a sale pending. The Win/Place knob on the TIM selected the appropriate inner or outer set of studs in the distributor. In the event that multiple TIMs attached to the same adder solenoid, in every runner’s adder, selected the same runner, meaning the multiple TIMs were now attempting to trip the same physical solenoid, the scanner serialised access to the associated solenoid, into the appropriate number of activations, so every bet was registered. There are 16 studs on each of these scanners allowing 16 TIMs to be attached to one shaft adder solenoid. Each of the 8 scanners is associated with one of the 8 solenoids in all the shaft adders, the actual adder being selected by the TIM’s runner handle. This provided a capacity for this system of 16 X 8 giving 128 TIMs. Optimum scanner rotation was between 90 to 120 RPM.

Distributor Panels with museum adornmentsImage of scanner and control racks at Eagle Farm

Note: The scanner racks are not in their original location. They were located to the right of their current position and stood away from the wall creating a cubicle behind them for access to the rear of this equipment and the drive motors for it.

There are overlap relays beneath the scanners connected to the scanner studs. Once a sell transaction was initiated by the TIM and when the distributor selected that TIM, a set of contacts in the overlap relay connected the supply voltage to the transaction circuit and its own coil, keeping itself activated, which held the supply voltage, after the distributor arm had passed its stud, to the TIM and associated adder solenoid, until the machine cycle completed. Beneath the overlap relays are switch banks, which could isolate a TIM in the event that it had a fault and did not release the transaction circuit.

These old systems have analogies to modern computing systems and these scanners are a good example of this. They are Time Division Multiplexers that existed long before the electronic signalling methods that made this concept commonplace.The functionality of these devices was replaced in their successor by a polled protocol operating on tri-state lines, which curiously also supported 16 TIMs per line.

It is interesting to note that the Sales Bell relay in the right hand rack at the top, along with two other relays are implemented using Mercury switches. This bell marked the start and stop of betting. Mercury is a metallic element and consequently a good conductor. It is a liquid at room temperature. An arced tube of glass contains mercury and a central electrical contact and a contact at each end of the tube. If the tube is oriented past the horizontal in either direction the mercury pours to the low side and makes a circuit between the low-end contact and the centre contact. A restriction in the flow implemented a delay ensuring the bell always rang for the same length of time.

Page 4 The Ticket Issuing Machine J8

This was the working end of the system, also manufactured by the Australian company Automatic Totalisators.

This system had 128 of these Ticket Issuing Machines (TIMs) distributed in totes around this track as follows. Main house 48 Ledger Stand 6 Sub House12 Jackpot tote 8 Members 28 Lady Members 10 Front Public Stand 6 Top Public Stand 10. The Main house mentioned above is the downstairs of this building.
Note: The reference above to the downstairs of this building refers to the ground floor lever underneath the ex Julius Tote machine room which is now the museum.

It was at these windows where these TIMs were installed that the punters queued up to place their bets. The word queued, used above, is used rather liberally, photographs of Brisbane racetrack tote outlets in the era that these totes were in operation often had a standing room only crowd swamping the totes. There is half a century of totalizator history based on machines like this one before the inception of the TABs, which diminished the racetrack attendance in conjunction with the introduction of other forms of gambling.

A J8 Ticket Issuing Machine Animation of J8 Ticket Issuing Machine / terminal

The handle rotates in an arc and is positioned at the required runner number. The knob on the top of this handle moves backwards and forwards along the longitudinal axis of the handle. The forward position selected the Win pool and the backward position selected the Place pool. When the same knob is pushed down the transaction was recorded and a ticket printed which was ejected from the machine at the slot in the top. A J8 ticket is shown below.

Image of a ticket printed on a J8 terminal

A ticket printed on a J8 ( Animation above )

The value of the bet was fixed in this system, determined by which escapement wheel solenoid the TIM was attached to. Later Julius totes supported selectable value at the TIM. The HAGUT printed on the ticket shown, is a security code, which was different for every race and was automatically selected at race increment. Barrels with the code type were installed in the machines for the meeting. The L down the right hand side of the ticket is an added security feature and was different for each race as was the ticket colour. For this reason the printer paper in every TIM had to be changed every race. The code words and ticket paper security letters were kept secret until the race day manager instructed the tote house managers to open the race day code security envelope.

A trip relay in the TIM terminated the transaction cycle. Its coil and the transaction circuit are in series with a normally closed set of its own contacts so when these contacts open they cut the supply to its coil, resetting itself and the overlap relay heralding the end of the transaction cycle. The trip relay is adjusted to trip after the adder solenoid has tripped by adjusting the tension on the trip relay swing arm.

Page 5 The Ticket Issuing Machine J8 Part 2

The Win and Place counters visible at the bottom right corner of the TIM were recorded each race for every TIM. The Win and Place race investments for every TIM were then manually added to produce a grand total investment on the Win and Place pools and this was compared with the GT adder registrations providing a means of error detection.

Internally, the runner handle moved two contacts over two sets of studs arranged in the same arc with 24 studs in each set. Each outer arc stud is connected to the associated Win adder solenoid for this TIM bank, in the runner’s shaft adder with a number matching the number of the stud. Hence stud one attaches to runner one’s Win shaft adder and stud two attaches to runner two’s Win shaft adder etc. There is the same arrangement for the inner arc studs and the associated Place adders. If runner 15 was selected with the handle, the knob pushed forward for the Win pool and the knob pushed down to indicate a sale, the Win contact attached to the knob, contacted stud 15 on the Win arc completing a circuit enabling the scanner pulse to travel to the solenoid associated with this TIM bank in shaft adder 15. There is a lot more to this transaction circuit however that is well beyond the scope of this introduction.

The switch on the top of the TIM was used to turn it on and off. The last position on the runner handle arc was used to print a test ticket.

When a transaction was registered on the TIM by pushing the Win/Place selector knob down the runner selection handle and this knob were locked in place until the transaction cycle was complete. If there was a fault and the transaction cycle did not terminate correctly the handle release button on the top of the TIM was used to release this lock, after the problem had been investigated, so that the TIM could continue operation.

These machines had to be moved between the Eagle Farm and Doomben gallops, Albion Park trots, Gabba greyhounds and Ipswich gallops as there were insufficient machines to populate all the tracks. Today’s TIMs are still moved for the same reason. Sometimes during the Winter Carnival we feel exhausted moving the large number of PC based modular TIMs; after having to use a hydraulic wheelbarrow to move the J8 recently I will only consider ourselves fortunate in future.
Note: As you cannot see the actual J8 TIM in the museum, I will add that these electromechanical TIMs were significantly heavier than the PC based TIMs and earlier microprocessor based electronic TIMs of my era.

I lament that Charlie Barton, Chief Engineer of this and other Julius totalizator systems in Brisbane is no longer with us to see this system preserved. It was his dream to preserve and possibly restore one to an operational condition for public display. Alas, it was my fate to be Chief Engineer of the first on course digital computer based totalizator systems for the Brisbane metropolitan clubs, which brought an end to the operation of these magnificent machines. I find it ironic that someone who never worked on these electromechanical totalizators nor indeed saw one working is left to write about it. This would have been very different just 10 years ago. It is now 2007, 29 years since this system last operated.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Ron Findlay for assisting me with questions I had regarding the J8. Ron used to work on the J8s and continues to work on the current generation of TIMs.

Page 6 The Tote Control Console + The Human factor

The Tote Control Console was used to set and display variables such as race number, field size, scratchings and the number of place dividends. It also provides operational coordination between the machine room staff and the operations control staff.

A Julius Tote Control Console Image of a Tote control console

The console above is at Harold Park in 1958 however it is the same as the one at Eagle Farm.

When the large knob in the middle of the Tote Control Console control panel was rotated clockwise the race number was incremented. This caused a barrel with the race number type to be rotated to the next number in every TIM. All the TIMs clanked in unison as this selection was made. The scratching switches introduced an open circuit in the escapement coil circuits in the adder corresponding to the scratched runner.

There is an emblem on the large knob mentioned above with Premier on it. This was the product name that George Julius gave to his totalisator. This emblem is also visible on the J8 TIM. Automatic Totalisators is visible engraved below the Knob.

To give some idea what it was like in this room when the system operated the following paragraph is an extract from a company magazine called Tote Topics. This article was written in 1968 and compares electromechanical totes with the then new computer based ones.

In the machine room of an electromechanical totalisator there is motion, constant motion, and noise. With betting in progress, the constant chatter of the escapements blends with the purring of the counters and the low rumble of the drives to give a quite characteristic sound. This sound, both in intensity and pitch, indicates to the experienced totalisator operator, even more clearly than his eyes, the state of the queues outside and the conditions around the selling houses. He scarcely needs a clock, so accurately is he able to predict from the betting pattern the time to the start of the next race. The equipment consists of row upon row of shafts and gears and escapement wheels and mechanical counters. At first sight it seems entirely mechanical as the electrical portions are buried deep inside.

It is interesting to contemplate the human side of this system. The following is a transcription from an audiotape recorded by Neville Mitchell, a long serving Automatic Totalisators Manager and excellent source of information about these systems.

The mystique of the machines was something I experienced, particularly in Melbourne, not so much in Sydney. The men who operated the four major tracks there had been with these machines since 1936 and on the decommissioning day, I saw emotions that were quite unbelievable. They were seeing the last day of operations with this sort of gear. The strictness with which the engineers ran these systems was somewhat akin to a military operation; they really had a lot of power. They had a lot of routines set down and to be an apprentice in those days was a lot of sweeping the floors and making the tea for a long long time before you actually got your hands on any piece of equipment. And I believe in the early days in Melbourne, if an apprentice was seen with his hands out of his pockets in the machine room, he would get a swift slap around the ears. The same thing applied in New Zealand. I read some stories from there and I actually knew a couple of the engineers and they applied the same very very strict mode of operation on their set-ups. They were extremely proud of these machines and some of them spent all of their, what you would call, idle time in routine maintenance and polishing of brass and things like that, that made these machines absolute showrooms.

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Page 7 J8 assembly drawings

This set of drawings is an extract of some pages from a document detailing the assembly, wiring and test procedure for J8 Tims for Randall Park in Ohio. Essentially these are the same machines used on this totalisator except that they supported an additional pool called Show. As this historical documentation is now very scarce this is the closest fit that could be found and gives an insight into what was involved in manufacturing this type of equipment.

You will notice GAJ part numbers on these drawings. These are George Alfred Julius’ initials. Additionally the draughtsman’s name is Noble. This is Norm Noble, a long serving Automatic Totalisators employee. I remember him well. As the company supported operations, engineers in the field would often require urgent shipment of replacement parts out of the normal working hours of the Head Office and Factory. Long before the days of mobile phones there were times when it was not possible to contact the people responsible for providing support. As these parts requirements were usually urgent it is fortunate that there always seemed to be people willing to go the extra mile and help out in areas for which they were not responsible as they realized that operations was the coal face of the company and was the place our products were judged. Norm was one of these people. I could always rely on him to go to work in Sydney on weekends, public holidays, or otherwise out of hours to send me anything I needed. There is a photo of the ATL drawing office in the "Memories of the Factory" chapter that pre-dates my time which has Norm Noble in it, unfortunately he is facing away from the camera.

These drawings were made at a time long pre-dating computer drawing, CAD and CAM applications. I recall draftsmen in the 1960s in their drawing offices standing, or sitting on bar stools, in rows, at their large drawing stations with their angled drawing surfaces and spring loaded large setsquares that could sweep across the whole drawing area. Earlier photographs indicate that the drawing office draftsmen who made these older drawings sat at normal office desks. It is interesting to note, that documentation for these old systems, seems to always have been released to a particular person. The document from which these drawings are extracted has a title page indicating that it was released to S.Huss in the Assembly section on 12/9/1950. I have seen other manuals in the form of bound books with the name of the employee to whom it was released embossed on the cover.

Following is a transcription of a page from this document for clarity and to save download time. This and the images that follow, as with the Julius tote in the museum, are examples of mechanical computing on an industrial scale.

General Assembly of Randall Park issuer

Sequence of Operations & Parts Fitted

1 Type Wheel Peg & Frame23 Other Side of Issuer Wiring Former
2 Type Wheel & Win, Place, Show Arm Assembly24 Selector Quadrant & Wiring
3 Locking Rod Assembly & Ribbon Bracket25 Win, Place, Show Arm, Anchor & Spring. Show Switch Bumper Assembly. Pool Selection & Bracket.
4 Intermediate Gear Bracket & Gear26 Condenser & Clips
5 Handle Assembly. Handle Stop & Brush Holder27 Motor & Brushes, Chain & Split Link.
6 Taper Pinning Operation28 Ribbon Feeding Operation
7 Platen Assembly29 Issuer Box & Hinge &Wiring Clips
8 Win Place, Switch Assembly & Slide Rod30 Plastic Issuer Handle , Pin & Circlip
9 Paper Feeding Assembly31 Electrical Setting Details
10 Trip Coil Assembly32 First Test
11 Ribbon Rewind33 Taper Pinning Operation
12 Quadrant Supports, Issuer lifting Handle & Posts & Cover posts33A Ticket Issuer Chute
13 Handle Release, Double Pole Switch & posts, Test Switch, Handle Release Lever & Spring34 Covers & Horse Number Segments.
14 Test Coils, Wiring Brackets & Cover Catches35 Final Test
15 Latch switch & Show switch36 Spray Finish issuer Box.
16 Cam operated Counter switch37 Attach Nameplate
17 Guillotine Lever, Anchor & Spring Printing Lever, Anchor & Spring38 Clean & Inspect Box
18 Value Slide Lever & Spring
19 Rotary Switch, Retaining Posts & Value Leaf Switch Assembly
20 Value Release & Spring
21 Veeder Assembly
22 Issuer Wiring Former & Brushes

Following are image extracts from the document.

J8 Assembly circuit diagram
J8 Assembly drawing 7
J8 Assembly drawing 22A
J8 Assembly drawing 24
J8 Assembly drawing 27
J8 Assembly drawing 33A
J8 Assembly drawing 34

This appendage to the Randall Park project J8 drawings above, has nothing to do with the museum. I have added it just for interest regarding the Randall Park project. An ex Automatic Totalisators Limited engineer Rod Richards worked on this project. He made the following comment about the Randall Park project relating to his working on it in the Meadowbank factory:

This must have been 1950 as we worked on the Randall Park job in the factory as a matter of urgency, during the Xmas/New year period, to have the machine finished in time for the Randall Park Carnival racing period. From memory we worked a lot of overtime to get the job finished and I believe air freight was involved. I think Alan Lakeman and Jim Macintyre were just two of the Meadowbank engineers that worked on the installation at Randall Park.
Additionally Rod has a connection with the Brisbane region Julius totes. There were five Julius Totes in the Brisbane region when I started working for the company, which were at Albion Park Trots, Bundamba Gallops, Eagle Farm Gallops, Doomben Gallops and the Gabba Greyhounds. Rod installed the Julius Tote at Bundamba Gallops in 1950. I moved to Brisbane in 1978 with the computer based totalisator systems that replaced the Julius Totes at all five tracks including Rod's Julius Tote at Bundamba. Rod worked at Automatic Totalisators Limited in a different era to Neville Mitchell and I. Neville and Nancy Mitchell and Narelle and I met with Rod and Elizabeth Richards for the first time in a coffee shop in Parramatta in 2015, 65 years after Rod's working on the Randall Park project and installation of the Bundamba Julius Tote. we all had a wonderful time together reminiscing about Automatic Totalisators Limited.

Coincidentally, Rod Richards met Rex Turner at a Bowling Club which they were both members of. Rex was the installation engineer for the computer systems that replaced the Julius Totes at the five racetracks in the Brisbane region. They, without anyone informing them, discovered they had both worked for Automatic Totalisators Limited. I later informed them both of the irony that Rod had installed the 1950 Julius Tote and Rex had installed the computer replacement for Rod's system in 1978/79.

Description of one of the public odds indicator drives

Remember the following text is attached to the base of one of the indicator drive units in the museum. It can be seen as the short strip of paper in the upper half of the tenth window from the right hand side, in the mainframe in the image at the top of this page. One of these indicator drives is shown in the photo below. As the note is below the odds indicator drive in the museum the following text refers to the device being above whilst the image of it in this page is below. The odds indicator drives are located above their associated adders.

The device above this note is the barometer indicator drive for the runner associated with the adder below. The odds calculating mechanism has been described in the adder description attached to one of the windows in this row and the Place Commission Gearbox description at the right hand end of this frame. Behind this unit, the angle between the hypotenuse arm and the vertical is sensed by a pulley located on a projection of the hypotenuse arm past the pivot point. A light cable anchored to the frame behind the adder runs up from the anchor, through a guide pulley located on the vertical slider, around the sensing pulley back to a third pulley on the vertical slider above the first and then up near the roof of the frame. The action of the sensing pulley is to either release or pull the cable depending on the odds changes. The cable is then directed from its roof location to above the upper pulley in this device it descends under this pulley, up again over another pulley and ends dangling with a weight attached next to the odds scale on the right hand side of this note.

One of the Barometer Indicator Drive Units in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum Image of One of the indicator drive unit in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum

The scale and weight provide a local indication of the odds. The more the sensing pulley pulls the cable the more it lifts this weight and vice versa. There is a corresponding rotation of the pulley at the top of this device. This light cable mechanism is only capable of rotating this low resistance pulley. It is not capable of moving the heavy indicator band and weight, in the associated runner channel of the indicator on the outside wall, the distance required. This rotary motion of the top pulley on this device turns the cam wheel with the red line across it. When the odds on the outside indicator match the odds displayed by the cable weight here the line is horizontal. As the odds calculating mechanism changes the odds the micro-switches attached each side of the cam wheel are activated by cam movement sensing the required direction and amount of movement required causing the motor to drive accordingly. The motor which is capable of driving the external indicator ribbons and weights, drives a second pulley in this device, an arc of which is visible near the base. This pulley has two metal bands attached to it that run through the roof of this frame then split across the ceiling in both directions to other pulleys on top of the east and west walls. These pulleys in turn move wider, coloured metal bands with weights at the end which are moved up and down the respective runner channels. The coloured part of the band visible from the outside of the building, gives a barometer style indication of the odds. You may have noticed the circular variable resistances located near the top of the hypotenuse arms. These were used to drive an infield indicator.

These are notes not included in the text displayed in the museum, to provide additional information relating to the image above:

The two aluminium vertical bars visible behind the indicator drive unit are the transport mechanism for the vertical slider described in page 2 above. The small black pulley visible between the vertical slider transport bars is the third pulley attached to the vertical slider as described above the image. The pulley, half of which is visible below and behind the third pulley is the angle sensing pulley attached to the extension of the hypotenuse arm also mentioned above the image. This pulley is located immediately left of the left hand vertical slider transport bar where the silver bar meets the top of the green vertical slider.

For the particularly astute, the cable that should be running around these pulleys has been pulled out of the third pulley and should not be running directly to the ceiling from the sensing pulley on the extension of the hypotenuse arm. This is nigh impossible to see in this small image but is probably why the weight on this unit is dangling below the bottom of the scale.

Note the once famous PREMIER Automatic Totalisators Limited emblem at the bottom middle of the image on the bottom of the indicator drive unit base.

A note next to the Place Pool Reset and Ready Switches

The switches where this note is attached are on the Julius Tote frame out of sight off the far right hand side of the first image on this page and around the top left hand corner of the end of the frame in the image below. Del's mention of the "remote control console" refers to the "Tote Control Console" described in page 6 above.

Whilst researching the workings and operation of this machine, Del Linkhorn a long serving ATL Manager in New Zealand and later South Africa wrote the following paragraphs in answer to my questions. It relates to the switches next to this page, the indicators on top of this frame and embedded in both ends and the Win and Place Max/Min, the Place Two/Three, the Win Units On/Off and the Place Units On/Off switches and status displays on the Tote Control Console on display in this room. The gearbox settings mentioned refer to the Win and Place Commission Gearboxes visible inside the windows at each end of this frame. The Win Pool Reset and Ready Switches are on the diagonally opposite corner of this frame.

The indicator panels located on the centre of each side of the Win/Place machine frame were to indicate the status of each betting pool. The "Win" or "Place", "Reset", "Ready" and "On" lamps were operated from control switches located on each end of the machine frame and on the remote control console unit. When the engineers had reset the adder counters to zero for each race they would turn on the "Reset" switches. The senior engineer would then check the counters, gearboxes, indicators, etc to ensure that the machine was ready to open and, if satisfied, would turn on the "Ready" switches. The person allocated the responsibility to set the field, scratchings, gearbox settings, etc on the remote control console unit for each race, (sometimes the Tote Manager or the Secretary), after checking all status lamps were indicating the correct settings, would then open the betting by turning on the Win and the Place pool switches. The machine room staff would then know that the betting was "On" from the machine frame centre panels.

The two indicator lamp units, located on each side of and at the end of the machine frame, were to indicate the settings of the automatic display gearbox settings. On the Win gearbox end, "Minimum" or "Maximum" and on the Place end, "Minimum" or "Maximum" and "Two Dividends" or "Three Dividends". Some frames also indicated "Win" or "Place", "Reset", "Ready" and "On" as a second status display on each end of the machine frame. On some systems they had a "Mean" gearbox setting in addition to the normal "Maximum" and “Minimum" ratios.

The following are some notes on Del's last paragraph which relate to the image below, that do not appear in the Museum.

In the paragraph above, Del refers to "on the Place end, 'Minimum' or 'Maximum' and 'Two Dividends' or 'Three Dividends'". The "Place end" of the frame is visible in the image below.

The "Minimum" or "Maximum" indicators that Del mentions are the four black indicators visible on the top right of the frame indicating PLA MAX and PLA MAX on top and PLA MIN and PLA MIN on the bottom. The way these indicators work is that the left hand indicator shows what is being commanded from the Tote Control Console and the right hand indicator shows what the equipment has been set up for. Before the machine is set in operation, the left and right indicators should illuminate the same option. In other words PLA MAX PLA MIN or vice versa would be a no-go indication requiring correction to the set-up of the machine.

My understanding of the minimum and maximum gearbox settings mentioned by Del, is that they were selected based on the expected attendance and consequently bet traffic, which ensured the odds calculating units did not end up operating at either extremity of the horizontal of vertical sliders where they became less accurate.

The "Two Dividends" or "Three Dividends" that Del mentions are the four black indicators visible on the top left of the frame indicating TWO DIV TWO DIV on top and THREE DIV THREE DIV on the bottom which have to match as mentioned above.

Regarding the commanded settings for PLA MAX or PLA MIN and TWO DIV or THREE DIV indicators in the mainframe, from the Tote Control Console, there are switches for selecting these options that can be seen in the image above titled "A Julius Tote Control Console." On the right hand side of the switch panel in this image, underneath the long straight line of scratching switches at the top, there is a group of five switches, consisting of two switches with one below and two more below that. The top two switches have the word PLACE that applies to both switches and the two positions for the left hand switch is labelled TWO in the left position and THREE in the right position. This switch controls which of the left hand side TWO DIV or THREE DIV indicators will be illuminated on the top left of the frame in the image below. The two positions for the right hand switch are labelled MAX on the left and MIN on the right. This switch controls which of the left hand side PLA MAX or PLA MIN indicators will be illuminated on the top right of the frame in the image below.

The right hand lights in the PLA MAX or PLA MIN and TWO DIV or THREE DIV indicators in the mainframe are controlled by switches inside the mainframe which are close to the gears that need to be changed to comply with the requirement.

Another note that appears beneath one of the framed white panels

These framed white panels can be seen above each adder window, except the Grand Total adder, in the Julius tote shown in the first image on this page.

The panel above this description and above each adder in this frame contains two status indicators. The top indicator is an alarm which illuminated if the associated adder lost drive power. The mercury switch at the bottom right hand corner of the associated adder raised the alarm when it detected that either of the adding shaft springs in the adder was unwound indicating that it was no longer being wound up by the main drive shaft. The bottom indicator shows the runner number if the associated runner is not a scratching. These lights are illuminated if the runner is not selected as a scratching on the Tote Control Console scratching switches. There is a tote control console on display in this room

The Eagle Farm Racing Museum end view of the Julius Tote Image of the end of the Julius tote frame in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum

The Place Commission Gearbox description following can be seen in the window in the door of the frame in the image above.
The page titled "Page 7 The J8 assembly drawings" presented above, can be seen above the window in the frame, in the image above.
The J8 assembly drawing images presented above can be seen below the black indicators, which are top left and top right on the frame in the image above.

A note attached to the Place Commission Gearbox

This was driven by the Place grand total adder and the Place main drive shaft and drove the Place pool grand total shaft high up on the left hand side. This shaft transmitted the Place pool total minus the commission to each runner’s Place odds calculating mechanism. The silver-gray hypotenuse arms, seen projecting near each runner’s adder into the space between the 2 rows of adders ahead, at different angles, are each positioned by a vertical slider controlled by the grand total shaft and a horizontal slider driven by each runner’s adder. The resulting angles between the vertical and the hypotenuse arms represent the odds for their respective runners and this is sensed and transmitted to the indicators. The Win Pool Commission Gearbox is at the far end. Below this gearbox are the Place and Win rheostats used to start and control the speed of the Place and Win main drive shafts. Below these and to the sides are the Place and Win main drive shaft motors. These are 120V DC.

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