Keyboard Builders' Digest
Save 5% at Ashkeebs! Code: KBDNEWS
Keyboard Builders' Digest / Keyboard Spotting

Don Lancaster's TV Typewriter project

Found in a customer's garage by 209Diamondhander, this might be a build of Don Lancaster's TV Typewriter.
Published October 8, 2021
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 100K readers.

Found this gem in a customer's garage. Any thoughts on what it could be? […] Late husband's build from about 40 years ago – 209Diamondhander.

As DZP points out, the owner may have built one of Don Lancaster's TV Typewriters from the 1973 Radio-Electronics magazine plans.

The project documentation is available in this PDF.

This is not a computer, not really a terminal either. Rather a simple character generator ("Build this TV Typewriter and display messages on your set's screen").

This construction project started out as a very low-cost computer terminal for home use, but as it went together, we became aware of the many possible noncomputer uses for such a device, particularly since it is priced right – Don Lancaster (1973).

A machine that puts letters and numbers on an ordinary unmodified TV set.

What can you do with such a thing?

According to the designer: "Obviously, it's a computer terminal for timesharing services, schools, and experimental use. It's a ham radio teletype terminal. Coupled to the right services, it can also display news, stock quotations, time, and weather. It's a communication aide for the deaf. It's a teaching machine, particularly good for helping preschoolers learn the alphabet and words. It also keeps them busy for hours as an educational toy."

Do you like this post? Share, donate, subscribe, tip me off!

Published on Fri 8th Oct 2021. Featured in KBD #47 (source).


KME keyboard with trackball

KME keyboard with trackball, spotted by daurnimator (deskthority topic).

Hatsuko Electronics HEKB01

The Hatsuko Electronics HEKB01 aka Data Entry Machine EM986 is a Topre board with an early-mid '80s layout but actually released in 1995.

Monterey MK-9500

This Monterey MK-9500 posted by purpsoli is a double purpose keyboard (piano keyboard on the back) with white Alps.

Sony KI-107

Sony KI-107 posted by Str0hkopf (more pics).

Abekas A72

An Abekas A72 digital character generator spotted by u/drake9800.

Focus FK-5001

Focus FK-5001 with built-in calculator and other curiosities acquired by DrHERO1.