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Block Transfer Computation Keyboard

Started by warmcanofcoke, Mar 09, 2016, 02:52 pm

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Quote from: timewomble on Mar 12, 2016, 11:47 pm

The unit bears a strong family resemblance to this Honeywell data conversion keyboard:
[- Peter.

Are their any other images of this keyboard. I can read the closer labels but I can't see the labels to the left of the keyboard.

This is definitely the keyboard use in the episode, just modified here & their to fit on the console, or in the console.



This has a similar close-ish match?

Elvis Gump

Mar 19, 2019, 09:41 pm #18 Last Edit: Mar 19, 2019, 09:42 pm by Elvis Gump
Two things leapt to my mind since running across this thread having watched LOGOPOLIS last week being too far from a Fathom theater screening.
One, someplace I ran across the speculation the mount for this keyboard was likely made from an old mechanical floor or carpet sweeper.
The other suspicion that hasn't panned out is leaping sideways as to what the source of the keyboard could be. I suspect since it shows up in a HULK tv movie, and they can't possibly be the same prop, then trying to think what other thing may have been rescued from a rubbish bin as obsolete in both Hollywood and the BBC. Things like a Chryon system keyboard for on-screen graphics or a teletype keyboard would be examples of something pretty rare. They wouldn't have been turned out in the 10s of thousands because they'd be for a special, one per studio kind of machine in a master edit control room and when they were upgraded, or broke, likely they were end of life, no further use, straight to the rubbish tip. They like a lot of pre-home computer keyboards were spaghetti inside, mechanical switches, plugs that would work with nothing else electronic that weren't their parent machine.
I'm still searching for examples of things like a teleprompter input keyboard, but no joy so far.
Still it's a design to file away for anyone's future custom TARDIS console, sans the carpet sweeper gizmo. Just embedded in a console it would still look great repurposing some old keyboard by painting some beige keys with some spray paint and cutting a new top out of black plexiglass to just feature that layout close as possible. Add a flatscreen above it to mimic the TARDIS INFORMATION SYSTEM that was in the next episode Castrovalva and it's a nice call back to the classic series on a custom console.


You are correct about the carpet sweeper head :)

Elvis Gump

Mar 19, 2019, 10:46 pm #20 Last Edit: Mar 19, 2019, 11:10 pm by Elvis Gump
I should clarify and give credit where I ran across that carpet sweeper bit.

The reason I offer things like a teletype, character generator or teleprompter keyboard is these are the sorts of things that most vintage keyboard and hardware collectors probably wouldn't ever run across anymore. If they were anyplace today they'd be in a museum of broadcast gear or in forgotten basement attic.
In the early 80s, right around the time I was discovering Doctor Who in college we had such a storeroom of cast of "donations" of 70s & earlier equipment from tv stations and our PBS broadcaster that had been piling up like a reverse value hord. We cannibalized multiple U-Matic 3/4" tape decks to make edit suites, had two Chryon like character generators that had keyboards like this designed by people who didn't type for a living & so on. There were boxes & boxes of orphans - cables and bits the seemed to go to nothing else. Bins & crates of stuff like that keyboard. I feel sure 35+ years ago I could have very well held a keyboard like that in my hand as late many a night we tinkered with stuff to see if it worked. I know by 1985 a lot of it went into the dumpster to make room in the studio.  If only I had the malice of forethought to bury it all in a time capsule for today it would be valuable.

So anyone that knows some old irascible cranks who used to work in tv back in the 70s might hit paydirt asking them instead of vintage computer collectors. At 56 I'm too young to go back the crucial decade as I was a babe from the sticks blinded by the newfangled Betacam & that modern marvel Macintosh that was sucking the oxygen from my brain cells.


Has anyone found out where this keyboard orginated from please?
I've got one here just like the picture in post 12 and can confirm the back of it looks like the picture in post 18.
Unfortunately someone has modded it and fitted some extra leds...
Gavin :)