Geek fun - printing select Ignition alarms on a Teletype model 33

Now for something completely different…I want to come up with a way to print Ignition alarms to a 50 year old Teletype model 33.

There is no reason or need to do so…I just think it would be neat! I first programmed a DEC PDP many years ago which controlled an automated warehouse using a TTY-33 and I finally found one to play with. This could be a fun play project getting a very modern Scada system working with a very old terminal printer.

Nutty, I know…but I’m gonna do it! I have built a current loop to RS-232 interface which works at the TTY’s blazing 110 baud. This works with an older windows machine on a real serial DB9.

So now the challenge is to get a Raspberry Pi or something which could sit on a Ethernet connection and send the serial data across to the TTY. I’m assuming some Python would allow me to print out alarm lines as they occur.

I could also use a cheap commercial Ethernet-serial converter but I’m not sure any would work at the low baud rate.

Anyhow, I’d welcome any suggestions or help. When I’m done I’ll post a video of the old teletype printing Ignition alarms for your viewing pleasure (-;.

Yes, it’s a silly project with no real payback…but sometimes that’s the case in my real job as well!

Let me know if anyone has thoughts or ideas.



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Ignition has a serial support module. It works. You can also open raw TCP ports to ethernet-serial converters (like the ones from Moxa). If you have the hardware, it should take an hour or so to configure everything with an alarm pipeline.

You could bring it to the workshops at the ICC next week for help… (:

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