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Thread: Bunker-Ramo Telequote III

  1. #11
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    Looking at the thing, this is probably no more or less than an electrostatic-deflection CRT with a few bits of interface to the pushbutton. I don't even think that the CRT is raster-scanned--it's probably just buffers the deflection circuitry and brings the result out to X and Y input lines.

    As I recall these things, the display was very crude--perhaps 4 lines of no more than about 10 characters each, if that. Very blocky-looking stuff.

  2. #12

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    Wow, just saw that the auction ended for over 600 Dollar! Definitely neat collectible, but for being merely more than a decoration piece for stock brokers also quite expensive...

  3. #13

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    Found this text in the August 1968 issue of Electronics World:

    Bunker- Ramo's Telequote® III units were first installed in
    1964; over 13,000 are now in use. Using a 3 -inch cathode -
    ray tube, this device can display up to 700 characters per
    second. Each displayed character is composed from a 7 X 5
    dot pattern. If a price is superseded during viewing, the
    new price is posted as you watch. In addition to displaying
    specific information that has been requested, Telequote ill
    can display "Mini-Trends ", a continuously changing display
    of key market indices. (Telequote Ill is also available with a
    printed tape output.)

  4. #14

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    Here's a shot of the April 1969 Bunker-Ramo Directory of Symbol Codes, yours for a buck, back in the day. You can see a drawing of what the CRTs display would have looked liked.

    IMG_3209.jpgIMG_3213.jpg

  5. #15

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    And here are a few more similar shots from the paperback directory to get a better idea on the display's capabilities (or lack thereof).

    IMG_3214.jpgIMG_3215.jpgIMG_3210.jpgIMG_3211.jpgIMG_3212.jpg

  6. #16
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    Yup, that display is what I remember. Very sparse, with roughly-formed characters.

    B-R Telequote, however, was not the first into the business of delivering stock market data electronically via a terminal. That distinction goes to Quotron (started in 1960). An early Quotron terminal would probably fetch a pretty penny today.

    B-R Telequote is most notable for being involved in squabbles with the FCC, SEC and various taxing entities. A lot of caselaw was determined back then.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Yup, that display is what I remember. Very sparse, with roughly-formed characters.

    B-R Telequote, however, was not the first into the business of delivering stock market data electronically via a terminal. That distinction goes to Quotron (started in 1960). An early Quotron terminal would probably fetch a pretty penny today.

    B-R Telequote is most notable for being involved in squabbles with the FCC, SEC and various taxing entities. A lot of caselaw was determined back then.
    There was another dispute between Western Union and B-R over the Telequote IV which was going to allow messaging between terminals. That turned into the NASDAQ, but not before WU refused to lease lines to B-R claiming that such a switching service was in direct violation of their service agreement and was not permitted.

    B-R complained to the FCC, which decided in favor of B-R, and that decision was used (in part) to justify the FCC's recent net neutrality policies.

    Also, you are correct about Scantlin being first in 1962 to get quotes from the NYSE to brokers via a centralized CDC 160A. However those machines used paper tape, and maybe some nixie tubes. B-R was the first with a CRT.
    Last edited by simkiss; October 1st, 2015 at 12:24 PM.

  8. #18

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    I actually worked on the telequote 1,2 and 3 in the 70's. The terminal is not going to do much other than display a green or orange (depends on the model) roster unless you get your hands on the controler.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by simkiss View Post
    You are correct that its a dumb terminal that used to connect back to the Trumbull, CT data center via leased Western Union lines. I do have the schematics/manual, but they are under some heavy books for a few weeks to de-curl them. I guess, first I need to recap the thing. The 3" green phosphorus CRT doesn't work - hopefully recapping it will fix that. Then I want to figure out the messaging format and attempt to hook up the AM/P connector to a Raspberry Pi and then the Pi to Bloomberg in order to pull in live quotes. I will need help identifying parts suitable for replacement, tips on getting the ancient CRT back on if recapping doesn't work, and thoughts on how to decrypt the ancient messaging format and pinouts to bring her back to life with live quotes.
    The whole system was propriatary and will be all but impossible to hookup to Bloomberg or any other system. The terminal you have is nothing but a CRT without any control logic, and a keyboard. It attaches to a office controller called an RQT, which supported 3 to 29 terminals depending on the model. In turn, the RQT attached to a multi-drop 1200BPS line that was shared with as many as 10 RQT. This 1200BPS line was attached to a hardwired computer system which had as many as 28 lines. This computer, of which there were 13 scattered around the USA were updated by a central site system which was at first located in NYC and later in Trumbull CT

    But back to the terminal. The CRT had a unique saw tooth raster In the standard mode there were 4 lines of 6 characters. In the Trends mode there were 11 lines of 24 characters. The saw tooth raster had 6 lines and supported a 5 x 7 matrix plus a single space. Characters were formed from the lower left to the upper right plus a single line which spaced characters.

    The keyboard was scanned by the RQT roughly every 20ms. If a key was depressed it placed a 6 bit code on the keyboard bus. Although I designed 2 of the 4 versions of the RQT I don't recall the timing or the format of the signal that controlled the CRT. Nor do I recall the CRT drive circuitry.

    Good luck if you really try to get this working. The terminal is but a small part of the overall system.

  10. #20

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    The office controller which supported the terminal was solid state, not vacuum tube. Three models of the office controller, known as RQT, were discrete transistor, the last version was TTL. I designed 2 of the 4 models.

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