Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Successful trip to RTTY Electronics for teletype parts


On Monday five of us journeyed to visit Paul Cemburas, Mr. RTTY, of RTTY Electronics, who maintains an enormous stock of teletype parts, machines and related goods. We had previously sent him a list of parts that Marc wanted, a list that Bob wanted and a list that I wanted.

My parts included missing items from my model 15, a spare part I wanted for my model ASR 33, and new gears for my model 14 TD to convert it to 60 wpm operation. Marc had a similar list including thumbscrews, the glass panel for the cover and the hand crank to advance the paper manually on the model 15. Bob Rosenbloom has a longer list because of the large number of machines he has to restore.

In spite of an enormous collection of parts, each of us had requests which could not be fulfilled. For example, both Marc and I were interested in buying the crank that is used to manually space paper up out of the machine, but they are very rare. We saw one in person and admired it, but none was for sale.

Converting my model 14 TD requires a matched pair of gears, one on the main shaft and a smaller pinion gear on the motor shaft. Paul had a partially machined gear for the main shaft but no pinion gear. Once I drill mounting holes in the gear I could install it, but not until I find a pinion to match.

Marc did have a pleasant surprise, finding that he could add the motor stop optional feature to his model 19 system. The model 15 he owns has this feature, allowing a user to start up the motors of the teletype, send a message and then power down the motor by sending the Figures-H character.

It consists of many dozen brackets, levers, screws, spring and other parts, installed on both the baseplate and the printer modules. Marc decided to check availability of the parts, using the parts catalog to generate a long list of part numbers. Amazingly, Paul had every single one of the parts in stock.

I was unable to pick up the stock line feed upstop for my ASR 33, nor the model 15 parts I was seeking. None of them were critical - two rubber guides that position the cover over the baseplate, a new drawstrap for carrier return, and the unobtainium hand crank.

Bob did pick up quite a few parts that he requested, although some parts such as the cover plates for the front of the model 33 teletypes were unavailable. Overall, we were all satisfied with our trip. Plus we saw many rare and unusual teletype machines.

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