[TUHS] Teletype

John Foust jfoust at threedee.com
Tue Sep 16 01:13:46 AEST 2014

At 01:04 PM 8/15/2014, Brian Zick wrote:
>Would it still be possible today for someone like me to go out, and find an old teletype terminal (an old ASR or DECwriter or something), set up a phone line and modem and get a roll of paper, and then actually use it to connect to other computers?

Yes, lots of people do it.  There is a "Greenkeys" mailing list 


populated by mostly ham radio RTTY types, but it's also a great archive
of posts about hook-ups and repairs.  Yes, there are current-loop
adapters and RS-232 to USB adapters that can be used to connect
to contemporary machines.  There are also streaming audio web sites
that send RTTY-style signals if you'd like to emulate your old radio
over the Internet but still use your RTTY audio decoding hardware.

There's also a fellow http://aetherltd.com/ who connects even older teletype 
hardware to cell-phone texting.

The Teletype Model 33 was very popular among early computer users
because it was relatively low-priced compared to heavier-duty 
teletypes.  The old RTTY folks tend to look down their nose at it
because it wasn't as robust as other models.  

They routinely huff and puff at recent auction prices for the Model 33, 
though, as old computer collectors routinely pay $1,000 for them, while 
it's tough to give away the better-built (and heavier!) teletypes.

Last summer I picked up a Western Union-branded Teletype Model 28 KSR
(circa mid-1950s) in near-pristine condition for $50.  Almost twenty 
years ago I found a Model 33 in a university dumpster.

- John

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