In October 1964, Dr. Jim Marsters of Pasadena purchased a new 32ASR from Teletype. As he was going to be away from Pasadena when it arrived, he asked that it be shipped to my home.

Some information on the Model 32 has been printed in prior issues of RTTY, and several amateurs have purchased used 32KSR, from various sources and are now operating them on the air. Of all the various models of teletypes and other teleprinters in use on amateur frequencies, no one unit offers all the features found in the 32ASR.

The dimensions and weight is as follows: width 22 inches, depth l8 1/2 inches, height 8 3/8 inches and weight approximately 44 lbs. The stand adds an additional 24 1/2 inches in height and 12 lbs. the 32ASR is an attractive unit, modern in design, and finished to match most of the current amateur radio equipment.

The 32ASR was shipped in a strong cardboard carton, well packed to assure safe arrival. A very clear set of instructions as to how to unpack and assemble was found on the top-side of the carton.

The 32A5R (Automatic Send-Receive set) provides facilities for transmission, or for the reading of perforated tape. It also provides facilities for page copy, either from the local loop or from your TU. To state it another way, the 32ASR may be used in the following manner:

  1. Transmit from the keyboard while making printed page copy and either perforating tape or not perforating tape.
  2. Receive page copy, and also either perforating tape or not perforating tape.
  3. Perforate tape from the keyboard while making page copy.
  4. Transmit from tape reader while obtaining page copy. Use the "here is" key for automatic RTTY identification. 22 characters are available for coding, by breaking off the plastic tines on the code drum.

The 32 printer is quite different from earlier teletype printers. The basic printer consists of the following major components: (A) keyboard, (B) printer assembly, (C) motor, (D) sub-base, (E) cover. For TWX and other commercial services an additional unit is offered, a call control assembly. This latter unit is not necessary for amateur RTTY operations. The keyboard and printer assembly are mounted on the sub-base. The motor is a two pole single phase sync motor operating at 3600 RPM. It has two internal fans and one external fan, to provide cooling. Nylon gears and a flexible belt provide very quiet operations.

The keyboard layout is similar to the 14, 15, 19, and 26. No blank key is provided. The keyboard code bars operate a set of wire contacts which are connected to a printed circuit distributor, which is mounted on the printer assembly. This same P C distributor also generates the start stop code from the tape reader and the "here is" key. Low values of distortion were observed when tested with a DTX "test set." Two additional keys are to the right of the usual keys, one a break key which opens the keyboard circuit, and the other is a repeat key, which will allow any normal key to be repeated when it is operated prior to the normal key.

One of the features which seems to make for the quieter operation is the small type wheel and ribbon assembly. The type-wheel is rotationally and vertically positioned to select the proper character, and a small hammer drives the type-wheel and the ribbon against the paper to effect printing. Automatic carriage return and line feed occur after the 72nd character. Un-shift on space is also built in. The selector magnet takes 500 mills at 20 volts, which is provided by a printed circuit card called a selector magnet driver. Its input can be wired for either 20 or 60 mils (normal TU outputs) by changing a strap on the rear terminal strip. A power supply for the P C card is mounted to the right side of the printer assembly, under the cover. Another DC supply is provided which mounts under the printer inside of the base stand.

The type reader (TD) is operated electrically, rather than mechanically as are the 14 TDs and the FRXD and MDX units. It utilizes the P C distributor (which is also used for the keyboard) to generate the five unit start stop code from the perforations in the tape. A tight tape and tape out switch are included in its design. Also the switch to start the reader has a "stop-free" position, and a center position which holds the tape fixed without advancing it. And a start position. It is a very quiet operating unit.

The tape punch (Reperforator) is mounted to the left of the printer assembly on the sub-base. The printer selector and code bars also operate the perf/punch unit. A chad box is slid under 'the left hand side of the printer next to the mounting stand. The tape perforation is chad. In other words a completely perforated hole for a mark inpulse.

On the 32ASR tested, no call controller was included, hut the space which would normally be used for this function, mounted the power supply unit and the various connectors to connect the various units of the 32 electrically together. Access to the "here is" code drum is from the rear next to the power unit. Coding is done by breaking small plastic ridges off for each marking code. Small wire contact springs are used to read the marking or spacing code on this drum. A clear simple unit and should be service free.

During the week which I have operated this 32ASR (along with my own 28ASR), I have found the 32ASR to he an excellent teletype unit, for amateur RTTY operation. The space required to place it in a crowded den, made a good impression on my wife. The keyboard has somewhat the feel of an electric typewriter rather than the 15 or 19 keyboard, and is easy to use. The "here is" key was coded for "DE W6AEE CW K" and is of real use on the air. The paper holding feature is simple and very effective. The tape for the perforator also is simple and easy to use. There are four keys on the punch unit, on and off, a hack space to permit corrections to tape as you punch it, and a tape tension release when starting new tape in the punch. Loading paper is easy, drop the small center plastic rod through the center and bring the paper up from under the roll, over the spring loaded paper straightener, under a new style paper guide and you are ready to print.

Teletype Corporation cautions in its 32/33 manual, "They are designed for light duty service in applications where operations are not expected to exceed two hours per day." Several of the well known RTTY operators are now using 32KSR which they purchased used and have had little or no service problems.

For those amateurs desiring a single unit offering all of the modes of operations in a single unit, should seriously consider the 32ASR. Price wise, it is in the same range as a good modern receiver or a 100 watt CW/SSB transmitter.

Copyright George Hutchison, W7TTY & Bill Bytheway, K7TTY -- November 2011