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Topic: 5 hole paper tape punch readers (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hello everyone.
I recently got hold of 3 paper tape punch/readers from the mid 1980s. They are Siemens T1560 models and use 5 hole paper tape punching and reading the Baudot code. I have got 2 of the machines working so far and can use a couple of the serial terminals out there (I am using a windows machine with the punch/reader connected to a Serial to USB converter) including Heavy Metal and RTTYArt. The machines punch and read on 300 baud 7N1 and its all baudot code.
Would anyone be able to help me work out how I could get the machines talking to Arduino?
I have tried connecting the serial connections to an Arduino UNO setting the serial port to 300 Baud 7N1 and I have a piece of tape with the alphabet and numbers punched onto it but all the Arduino serial port spews out is odd non standard letters and symbols.

I'd like to know if anyone else has managed to do this and if so, how.
Any help appreciated.
Steve.S (London UK)
Smooberry Dooberry.


What are the voltage levels of the output?
If it is standard RS232 (+/- 12 V)  you stand a good chance of destroying the Arduino.


That's an interesting sounding project, what are you going to do with it?

Have a look at a Max232 circuit, its a common way to interface RS232 equipment to micros.

Let us know how you get on.


Is it actually RS232 ?  It could well be 20mA current-loop which was very common in terminals until the mid 80s

The adapter is easy to implement - Wiki, Google an others will have resources.
Experienced responders have a nose for laziness, (they were beginners once)... Sure, there are trolls, chest-beaters, and pretenders - but the help you'll get here is about as good as it gets - if you try to help youself!.


Hi guys. Yep. Its definitely RS232. I had to do some repairs on them so I had to open them up. Firstly replace a burned out tantalum cap and an inductor, secondly I had to reverse engineer the Rs232 socket as the connectors are old military style Plessey connectors. The main PCB contains some microcontroller chips, some EPROMS, RAM and an INS8250 UART chip. You can read about it on the vintage computer forum:

Remington and Sparx you're right. Its RS232 +/- 12V levels so I'm lucky I didn't blow up my Arduino!! Thanks!
However, I've got it punching and reading BAUDOT code using an old windows terminal called RTTYART. Heavy metal works too. I can punch and read using Realterm but Realterm doesn't have a BAUDOT code setting so it punches ASCII code (or the first five bits of it as the puncher and reader are set for 5 hole. I think this can be changed though...
Smooberry Dooberry.

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