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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 22nd Jul 2017, 9:33 pm   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Worthing, Sussex, UK.
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Default Teletype question

When I was at University the teletype I used had some push buttons on the RHS. I have found a youtube video with a data dynamics version with the same buttons.

Does anyone remember teletypes with these buttons and what was the function of the buttons?
JohnBHanson is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2017, 9:49 pm   #2
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Location: Oxford, UK
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Default Re: Teletype question

I don't remember the buttons you mention, but they could have been to select the word length and parity, and maybe the speed too on the more advanced models.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 6:48 am   #3
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Location: Biggin Hill, London, UK.
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Default Re: Teletype question

I don't think any mechanical Teletype had controls to set any of the serial parameters. Word length would be set by the design of the distributor disk (in a Model 33) or transmitter cams (in some earlier models) and the no-parity and even-parity keyboards are quite different inside on a Model 33. On the Model 33 (where the keyboard actually produces parallel data) it would be possible to turn parity on and off electrically, but I have never seen it done.

Some Teletype machines had a manual or automatic dialer on the right side of the cover with buttons to connect to the line, etc. Those are very uncommon in the UK for obvious reasons.

Data Dynamics made a series of machines that used Teletype (Model 33) mechanisms with their own electronics. Some of them had a row of illuminated buttons on the right as you describe, the one I have had 4 such buttons to :

Start/Stop the motor

Select half duplex (local echo)

Select full duplex

Single step the tape reader.
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Old 23rd Jul 2017, 8:21 am   #4
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Location: Shropshire, UK.
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Default Re: Teletype question

The rightmost button on the machine in the video is clearly motor start.
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