Only Losers Text Message On Cellphones – This Guy Carries His Own Teletype For That

Yes, that’s an SMS text messaging device. [Mdziewie] decided that texting on a regular cellphone was too boring and decided to build himself an old-school SMS gateway. Here’s a translated link but the formatting of the forum post gets screwed up with the machine translation.

The device he’s using is an ASR-33 Teletype machine, which was introduced to the market in 1963. It is connected to a GSM modem via an ARM microcontroller, the STM32F103. This chip, along with a few electronic components, let [Mdziewie] design an interface that doesn’t require alteration to the ancient hardware. The forum post linked above includes video of this sending and receiving texts. It’s awesomely loud as it hammers away at the paper, and seems to work as expected.

If you hunger for one of your own but don’t have half-century old equipment there’s still hope. Find yourself a typewriter and turn it into a teletype machine.

21 thoughts on “Only Losers Text Message On Cellphones – This Guy Carries His Own Teletype For That

  1. When I was a kid I actually used one of those as the user interface for the HP2100A minicomputer in my Dad’s lab. 110 baud with two stop bits and extra special time delay after a CR. Also, it didn’t do lowercase.

  2. I always wondered if there was a patent conflict between the idea of the type cylinder on the ASR 33 and the IBM ‘golfball’ in the Selectric typewriters – nowadays the patent lawyers would have a field day.

  3. This is the same stuff I do for a hobby. I love Hack-a-Day more for stuff this than all the other reasons. I’m going to have like a permanent smile on my face all day now

  4. The shear irony is this is probably easier to use then the iphone virtual keyboard.

    Jokes aside this hack just is pure awesome.

    I thought about doing the same thing using a Morrow terminal I had or a tandy model 102 but this is just much cooler.

    1. teletweety does text messaging with a GSM module as well, and also receives text-to-speech voicemail via google voice, regular email, and has its own twitter client which can tweet, read tweets, and send and receive direct messages. Since it uses the older 5 bit ITA-2 characters instead of ascii, it can’t render various characters like “@” so there are special escape sequences for entering those.

    1. It looks like he rigged it up to a GSM modem with a microcontroller doing the translation. I didn’t even know something like this was possible… Can you just buy GSM modules that can communicate on cell phone networks? How does this work with a cell phone plan?

      1. Yes you can buy GSM modems, they act like a simple cell phone you put in a sim card with whatever service you want (regular contract, pay as you go) and then send it commands over a serial interface.

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