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Volume 28 : Issue 44 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?  
  Re: 911 service not prepared for new generation of pranksters        
  Re: Surge Protection 
  Re: More articles on illicit cell phone picture transmission      
  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?  
  Pat Townson has a new mailing address 

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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against crime.   Geoffrey Welsh


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and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 13:42:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition? 
Message-ID: <>

On Feb 11, 3:51 pm, wrote:

> ***** Moderator's Note *****
> Many schools _DID_ use the Model 33 as a terminal during the start of
> the computer revolution, and that gave the 33 an undeserved reputation
> for unreliability.

The 33s used in my high school and the central computer center had
continuous use during school hours but as I recall very reliable.  I
also recall that they had an excellent reputation.  By the 1970s mini-
computer makers sold the 33 as an I/O interface and I think they were
extremely common in that service.

Originally they rented the machine from the phone company (about $100/
month), that machine had the built-in dial, speaker, and modem and
push button control panel on the right side.  (We had to get used to
an all-number dial, in those days all our phone numbers were still
2L-5N).  The phoneco provided service.

Later, they purchased a fleet of machines and hired a technician to
service them.  Instead of the built-in modem these had either an
acoustical coupler or interface to a separate modem.  Instead of
paying $$$ to a commercial time sharing service they bought their own
computer (HP-2000)

>Computer users, especially children in computer labs,
> placed much higher demands on the machines than they were designed to
> serve.

But the machines seemed to work well.

Except in the case of one kid, who had a habit of eating raisins while
he was on the machine.  Service was needed and the repairman (from
Bell at that time), came out and dug out a large pile of raisins from
the inside.  A large component required replacement.  He told the
teacher that the company would cover the repair cost this time but not
in the future.

As an aside, one rich kid rented his own Teletype for a month or so.
A $100 back then would be about $500-$600 today.  That kid turned into
an early hacker, and today is a big shot security consultant.

The Western Union Technical Journal archives of this newsgroup,
contains an article on the introduction of ASCII and the new model
33.  (The model 32 was designed for Baudot use).  See:

Clearly the 33 was designed for computer use as well as telegraphy and
I suggest the designers did an excellent job  especially given the
very limited computer time sharing capability when they began their
task.  The amazing thing here we all are, 45 years later, using pretty
much the protocols developed way back then.  Newspaper articles in
that time frame envisioned all this; that some day homes would have a
terminal and connecting to supermainframes.  see:


Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 22:53:48 -0500
From: "Dr. Barry L. Ornitz" <>
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?  
Message-ID: <d3Nkl.21215$Tt1.2761@newsfe07.iad>

<> wrote in message
> How does one differentiate between actual Bakelite and plain plastic?

Bakelite is phenol-formaldehyde and it is a thermosetting plastic, i.e. it 
does not melt.  Another test is to touch a hot soldering iron to an 
unobtrusive area on the inside of the part.  Bakelite will not melt but it 
will char releasing a very distinctive phenol odor like a burned out 
resistor.  :-(

> ***** Moderator's Note *****
> The Model 33 case was plastic, not Bakelite, which was too prone to
> chipping and cracking to be used in a high-vibration environment
> such as a Teletype machine. Earlier machines, such as the venerable
> Model 15, had metal cabinets.
> Bill Horne
> Temporary Moderator

Ham radio operators who first used radio teletype systems usually used 
military surplus Model 15 and Model 19 machines from WWII.  Later, Model 28 
machines were used too.  These were all Baudot 5-bit machines.  All capital 
letters were used, and to get more than the 32 possible characters, two 
keys were dedicated to FIGS and LTRS.  To type a number for example, you 
first pressed the FIGS key and then the key with the number on it.  Then 
you pressed the LTRS key to go back to typing letters.  Often operators 
would forget and garbage was printed leading to modifications like "unshift 
on space."  At the end of a line, you pressed the return key, then usually 
a few LTRS keys to allow for the physical time for the print mechanism to 
return to the beginning of a line.  Then you pressed a key for a new line 
(LINE FEED) unless you wanted to print over the line you just printed. 
Again this was often forgotten.  The Model 33 was an eight bit ASCII 
machine.  The old Baudot machines were asynchronous machines with a start 
and stop bit; sometimes the stop bit was one and a half times the length of 
the other bits.  Different speeds were used, but amateur radio operators 
settled on the 60 speed (45.5 baud with a 22 millisecond bit).

Bill is quite correct about the weight of these old behemoths.  The 
military Model 15 came on a HEAVYweight stand with cast iron legs.  The 
Model 19 came with a table that seemed to weigh a ton!  While in graduate 
school at Clemson back in the early 1970's, a math professor friend was 
donated a Model 19 and table.  The only problem was getting it from Ft. 
Jackson in Columbia, SC, back to the professor's home in Clemson.  The 
three of us had an old beat-up pickup, so off we went to Columbia.  We 
found it easy enough.  It was waiting on a loading dock - covered in 
Cosmoline and dirt.  Some kind Sergeant was nearby and he got several 
recruits to load it on our truck.  We tied it down to keep it from moving, 
a real waste of effort as that beast was so heavy it couldn't move.  The 
truck was so weighted down that its suspension nearly bottomed out and we 
felt every pothole.  We got back to Clemson, and tried to get it out of the 
truck.  After much effort, the three of us and the professor got it off the 
truck and to his back door.  THEN HE TOLD US IT NEEDED TO BE CARRIED UP THE 
STAIRS TO WHERE HIS HAM SHACK WAS LOCATED!  So we called in more help and 
three more club members arrived.  It took the seven of us about five hours 
to remove the Teletype from the table, dismantle the table, clean off the 
grease, lug it up the stairs piece by piece, and reassemble everything. 
This "junque" used metal so thick that it could take a direct hit with an 
M-1 and still keep clanking away.  Hams refer to old vacuum tube radios and 
other military surplus as "Boatanchors," and believe me, the Model 19 was 

The Wiki page on teleprinters has a partial history and some good technical 
information at  A booklet, "The 
Teletype Story," with lots of pictures may be found at

Now, nearly forty years later, I can remember the fun we had with these 
military surplus machines, but I can also remember the pain and soreness 
that resulted from our crew of seven stooges trying to carry a Model 19 up 
those stairs!  By the way, I had a Kleinschmidt  teleprinter, the 
lightweight unit.

73 (Morse code abbreviation for Best Regards),  
Dr. Barry L. Ornitz  WA4VZQ  [transpose digits to reply]


Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 20:00:41 -0500
From: T <>
Subject: Re: 911 service not prepared for new generation of pranksters        
Message-ID: <>

In article <IOmkl.20113$>, says...

> Not saying the police were right or wrong in this case, middle of the 
> night raids are needed for the safety of the police and for protection 
> of others.  When a person who is wanted and considered dangerous the 
> arrest is made no matter what time it is.

Say what? SWAT teams are armed to the teeth. They can go in any damn 
time they please, their whole thing is element of surprise. 

***** Moderator's Note *****

This has veered away from E911 and VoIP, so I'm closing the thread.

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator


Date: 11 Feb 2009 21:26:37 -0500
From: (Scott Dorsey)
Subject: Re: Surge Protection 
Message-ID: <gn01ct$3km$>

In article <>,
 <> wrote:
>I have a need to add some surge protect a telephone system.
>I need the surge protection on the incoming circuits, right at the
>demark point. I have several lines including POTS voice lines, POTS
>dial in modem lines, VDSL, ADSL, and T1 circuits. Is there a surge
>protector that will protect all of the above lines without degrading

Yes.  The telco should provide it already.  If they do not, Citel will
sell you a number of gas tube/MOV systems.  As always, the quality of
the system depends entirely on the quality of your ground.
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 09:57:20 -0500
From: "MC" <>
Subject: Re: More articles on illicit cell phone picture transmission      
Message-ID: <iJWkl.2947$>

<> wrote in message

> "No doubt there's truth in that. But to me, the more urgent problem is
> that kids and even twenty-somethings don't realize how this could
> impact their lives years down the road.  Well, kids better start
> thinking - whether they're shooting a video, posing for a picture, or
> sending an e-mail. Sure, too many young people are making stupid,
> shortsighted decisions. But that's nothing new.  What's new are the
> places they'll go and the people they'll see once they hit the "send"
> key...

Bingo!  That is far more important than the immediate legal issues.

We seem to have a new generation of people who have completely fallen
into the "small circle of friends illusion" ("everything I send out
will only be seen by a small circle of friends").  This was a common
problem in the early days of Usenet (remember postings like "don't
tell my boss about my cocaine habit?") but I thought people had grown
up a bit.

***** Moderator's Note *****

Felix Dzerzinski, the founder of the KGB, was reported to have 
said "Never reveal to a friend anything you would conceal from
an enemy". 

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator


Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 10:02:33 -0500
From: "MC" <>
Subject: Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?  
Message-ID: <aOWkl.2950$>

<> wrote in message

> How does one differentiate between actual Bakelite and plain plastic?

Bakelite is hard, dense, and brittle, smooth on the surface but (as I
recall) somewhat crumbly inside if broken.  I have never seen any that
wasn't dark colored.  The plastic covers of the Model 33 Teletypes
that I remember are uniformly gray and smooth-textured and would
probably snap rather than crumble if broken.

On eBay, the antique dealers tend to say "Bakelite" for any plastic
object more than five years old.  Or so it seems!  They don't know
what they're talking about.  They also say "Cold War Era" for any
artifact from 1930 to 1995.  And then there are people who think "the
fifties" spans the whole twentieth century :)


Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 13:32:13 -0500
From: Telecom digest moderator <>
Subject: Pat Townson has a new mailing address 
Message-ID: <>

I spoke with Pat Townson today: he says they're feeding him well, but
he misses his old cell phone.

The staff at his nursing home gave me a new address for snail mail:
they said they've been having problems with things sent to Mulberry

Regal Estate Nursing Home
P.O. Box 627
Independence, KS 67301

(620) 331-8789

Pat has a phone in his room now: you can call him directly at

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator


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