Splicers got here today. No manuals, so I'm either limping along without or raising the ante considerably (66% more) to get those. If anyone has them and a bit of sympathy for a low-budget school project, please feel free to contact me.
The 303 appears to be fully manual, and has this odd arrangement of pointing the fibers down (30 degrees or so) to the splice zone, then bending them as they enter it.
The 304A is much more similar to "modern" units, in that the fiber path is straight through, and there appear to be electric as well as manual positioners. That also has a T&B 92208 cleaver bolted to it.
I haven't turned either one on yet. They are filthy in a way that you never want to see fiber equipment be, but which is far from unusual in26/7 year old equipment that's knocked around a college, which is supposedly what it's been doing. Doesn't help that the 'Bay vendor didn't bother to zip the inside pouches closed before dropping them off at the UPS Store - who did a fine job packing them, but of course they would not have opened them up. So various things from the pouches were rattling around in the cases... I think I'll start with opening them up and removing the (likely very dead) internal batteries and whatever small junk (I see fiber scraps) has fallen down in the the lower case, as well as looking for signs of magic smoke escape before I apply power.
I might also see about fabricating some namby-pamby new-fangled stuff like an arc shield...I could even be cuter than most of the new machines and use a welding filter for that so you can see a little of what goes on (and still see afterwards) ;-)
They both appear to have spare electrodes, though one set looks like it's probably used "spare" and the other looks more like a new set. The303 has a large packet of power transistors and some other chips, which implies that it might be a little needy in that department.
I'm a long way from splicing yet, but looking pretty good for the amount invested so far.