View Full Version : Teletype Model 33 (ASR33, KSR33) Keyboard Varieties

December 24th, 2013, 08:18 AM
I'd like to learn more details about the keyboard variations on Model 33 Teletype units. In particular, I'd like to learn whether there are any keyboard varieties that I would want to favor or avoid for vintage computer applications.

I'm aware that both parity and non-parity keyboards were made. Does it matter much to have one type or the other if I plan to interface the machine to, say, a PDP-8 or PDP-11 series computer?

I've also seen some variation in key arrangements that I haven't found to be explained in detail in the manuals I've looked at so far. For example, above "CTRL" and to the left of "Q" I have seen "ALT MODE" or "ESC". At the upper right corner I have seen "HERE IS" or "BACK SP". There's a spot between "HERE IS" and "BREAK" that has mold markings that suggest another key might go there, but I don't know what that key might be. I've seen keyboards with the alternate key functions marked in either white or red, but I assume that's just a cosmetic difference. I'm not sure how much good a "BACK SP" key would do on a machine that's physically incapable of moving the carriage back a single space, but I guess a computer program might be smart enough to spit out a carriage return followed by enough spaces to place the carriage at the desired column.

On a related note, I do not recall whether there are different variations of the punch and reader that might be relevant for computer use, i.e. with respect to handling of the eighth bit.