Digital TS-140

VY2AC on Prince Edward Island - AN/UGC-504 terminal/printer

The following photos show one of two AN/UGC-504V military teletype/printers which arrived on June 25, 2010. These machines are very similar or identical to the US AN/UGC-136AX - note it used the same keyboard as these US machines - the only difference appears to be the designation plate on the back of the unit. Both versions were made by Rayethon E-Systems ECI Division in Florida. As a result, notes here will apply to both units. It is an ascii and baudot selectable high speed dot matrix teletype with selectable baud rates made to run off 110 volts AC. This is a bit of a journey into the unknown, as there are no easily obtainable manuals. I am looking for a manual for it through some military contacts. It is often like this when a new item has recently been de-classified - it takes a while for manuals and other information to surface. If anyone can help me obtain a manual or a photocopy thereof, I would be forever grateful. There was also a very similar unit also made by E-Systems ECI division, called the T-1148 Teleprinter. A manual for it would be of help!

I used to buy and use surplus equipment when I was young (Naval Aircraft ARB, ARC-5's, etc.). I had forgotten how much fun it was to work on.

Jack Rubin also bought a couple of the same machines from the same vendor and all information received on this unit will be shared with him to help him get his going. Scotia Surplus Limited - has more of these units. These units are currently priced at $50 USD plus shipping, and weigh 65 lbs each plus the weight of packaging. They are available from Gary Hamilton, of Scotia Surplus in the Halifax/Dartmouth area at 1 (902) 456-4919. Gary is an extremely helpful seller, and will go out of his way to please his customers. Despite the cost for shipping these due to their weight, they are going fast! Though Gary may not have any more now

July 8, 2010. Gary has only a few complete units left, but also has some parts units (minus print head) which he is willing to part out (if necessary). Order just the parts you need and save on shipping! As with all equipment manufactured for the military, these units are practically indestructable, but are very heavy. Don't drop one on your foot if you ever want to walk again!

June 02, 2011 - Though Gary may not have any more now John Bartholemew, surplus1@prodigy.net has 4 or 5 of the 136ax's and 129's in stock if any one is looking for one.

If you do buy one of these, inspect it carefully when it arrives - each of mine had the two mounting bolts that held it to the operator's position simply thrown into the bottom of the printer. If not removed, these could short out the machine. Fortunately, these were noticed on my initial inspection on each unit. It looks as though they were decomissioned in a hurry! As a result of finding these, I would advise always check for foreign objects when working with surplus equipment.

Front View

External Controls (Copy Illum pot varies brightness of copy lights DS1 and DS2.)

Internal Controls - Note the 2/5 ITA code switch second from left. This machine is switchable to receive both Baudot and Ascii transmissions, as ITA2 is Baudot, while ITA5 is international ASCII. The machine's being controlled by microprocessor may make this possible. Note also the Remote Baud Rate switch position, which allows external timing to be applied to allow it to run at speeds non-standard to the machine, e.g. 45.5 baud (60 wpm).

Switches (left to right)*
a) Selects 1 or 2 spaces between printed lines.
b) Selects ITA2 (Baudot) or ITA5 (Ascii) encoding
c) Turns Local Echo on transmit On./Off
d) Selects Print on transmit ON/Off
e) Selects Single or Multi Stop Bits
f) Inverts data on transmit
g) Inverts data on Receive
h) Selects Odd, Even, or None Parity
i) Baud rate Select 50-2400 baud plus remote baud.
j) Unclear at this point.
* Suspected functions, not confirmed from a manual
Internal View. Note all sub-assemblies remove from chassis giving easy access for servicing. If anyone needs GE-313 bulbs for the copy lamps, I have a supply ot them - $0.35 each plus shipping. (lamps inside while casng at each side under ribbon and at right).


MS3116F145SW - mating plug

First challenge, plug wiring. I doped that out July second, by using an ohmmeter from J1 tracing back through to the outputs of the Captor Corp. line filter in the unit. Each side of the AC line passes through the unit. The socket for the power is incorporated in the filter, and the filter is well buried in the unit, so this was the easiest way. It took a while, as with the filter buried, it was almost impossible to get a lead on one of the outputs of the filter to check from it back to the power connector pins. The wiring on the Amphenol MS3113H14C5PW is as follows:

Pins A, B - AC line
Pin C - Ground.

So far, due to the inaccessability of the back of the connector, it is not known what, if anything D and E are used for. It is possible that they might be used in conjunction with the ground pin as loop I/0's.

I tried the wiring out first on one of my units, by using miniature octal tube socket pins wired onto an AC cord with heat shrink tubing applied to prevent short circuits. Turned it on, and away it went, but defaulted in an error state, meaning it didn't pass its microprocessor test. (July 9th. I worked on, and repaired that problem the lazy way - moving its good print head over into one of my newly received head-less parts units. It was a lazy way to do it, but much faster than switching the microprocessor, controller and memory boards back and forth to find the guilty one).Now, both units work as they should.

Before repairing the other unit, I then tried power on my second unit, and voila, it came to life. This unit had several smaller problems solved through swapping from another unit. When it boots up, it will print out C/F 1999A, and on the next line, CC E4 0E C8, the results of the power on test (as does the other too, now). Following this, it will echo any text printed to the keyboard, or print out contents saved to its memories..

The ribbon, of course was dried out, as expected. The copy light bulbs (313 subminiature 28 volt bulbs - Supplier) were burned out on this unit and were swapped out. The print enable switch on the keyboard was broken (but repairable), so I simply swapped out the keyboard from another unit for now. I will repair the other keyboard some day I am looking for something to do. The fan is lethargic and slow to start, but I do have another to put in it, or may simply lubricate it. I turned on the print switch on the keyboard, then held down the message key, and inputted a short message. Voila, it printed out as hoped for.

Needless to say, the temporary AC connection will be replaced ASAP with the proper mating connector MS3116F145SW as verified by Jack Rubin (shown above right). . A source for these has been found - Newark Electronics p/n 31R5706, Souriau MS3116F14-5SW, and one is finally on the way.

Anyone recognize this ribbon cartridge? One of my original ones bears the number 6017138, but so far no matches. The military must have a ton of spares somewhere! Pull up on tab above grill to remove, press down tab to lock cartridge back in position. I have just been informed these cartridges may have been made by Wordex in San Leandro, Cal. With some difficulty I finally found an email address with the help of Kevin Greene, and I have contacted them to see if I can verify this, and find out if they have any current stock. It is only a chance, but worthwhile following up on.

To the left, the print head, made by Saphintec SA. Numbers on the print head are 1720.3489 and PSM 1002. Thankfully, the heads are both in good condition - I am only posting its photo in the hope it might help in identifying a ribbon cartridge for it (though I could in reality use another, as I do have two machines which don't have heads, one of which is a good candidate for rebuilding, and if I can fix it, I have someone in mind who I am going to give it to). The cartridge has a shield to prevent the operator from burning himself on the print head cooling fins. These could get quite hot. A replacement cartridge doesn't necessarily need to have this. I would love to get a couple more ribbon cartridges, even if dried or worn out and only a candidate for re-inking.

July 08 2010 - I am making a dedicated re-inker specifically for these machines - I will soon be in the position of being able to re-ink your cartridge. This will work for either AN/UGC-504 and AN/UGC-136 cartridges as they are identical. All you will need to do is send me your cartridge, I will re-ink it using proper ink and return it. As I have no spare cartridges, I will be unable to send you an inked one until I receive yours. I will announce here when I have the inker built and tested. If and when your ribbon wears too thin for re-inking, you can buy a cartridge for another dot matrix printer with the same width ribbon and transfer that ribbon into your cartridge - messy, but it works!.

July 09 2010 - I have received two more of these units (both without print head) for spare parts use. These, like the first two, were brought over from Halifax by a trucker friend who does a daily run to Halifax. I picked them up from him when he arrived back in Charlottetown at 4:00 a.m. It makes for a long day when I work until Midnight, head home for a couple of hours, then back into town to meet the truck, but does save on shipping costs..

There are a couple of others who have bought this same teletype. If you have any information on it that would be of help to us, please send me the information, and I will share it with them. Any assistance would be appreciated!

Telephone Museum of P.E.I. - https://www.islandregister.com/phones/museum.html

Digital TS-140

Contact me: Dave Hunter -
Last Updated: 10/23/2010 10:43:48 PM
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