Created 26 November 2016
Updated 28 February 2017
I am a member of the so called ‘iTelex’ network that originated out of Niedersachsen, Germany over ten years ago. What’s telex? Check out the Wikipedia article.
Check out me sending a telex, using the system described below, on the post ‘Sending a telex‘.
(German language only, an English translation is on my to do list)
The i-Telex is a network of telex machines around the world that are interconnected over the internet. You may be surprised to hear that the true international telex network does still exist. The i-Telex network basically runs parallel to the ‘real’ telex network which itself is largely interconnected over the internet these days too. The current i-Telex system is the second generation of a System originally developed for use over analogue telephone lines.
The i-Telex network operates using the German ‘TW39’ protocol, but basically any 50 baud, 5-bit, ITA-2 character-set teleprinter from around the world can be operated on the network. This includes 45.45 baud machines from the United States. The system is entirely automatic. To connect a teleprinter requires an i-Telex interface unit which connects via Ethernet connection to your router or modem. These interfaces are produced at the circuit board level in Germany to a professional quality. They use Eurocard PCBs with standard backplane connectors so the unit can be built into a standard Eurocard compatible housing. I did this myself recently which you can see from the pictures below. I still need to produce a front panel. The system is open source and expandable. Configure is done through a web interface just like setting up a network router. It’s a lot less complicated than it may sound to some, and there is plenty of technical support to get you set up.
There are quite a few members from around the world. The language is by no means exclusively German. Looking through the subscriber list you can see there are users in Germany, Finland, Australia, Canada, the United States, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland. The number of subscribers is increasing. We have presented the network at exhibitor stands at some Make Fair’s around Germany and have had a lot of interest and some new younger members (I’m in my early 30s). Sadly there are no female members, but with more and more women getting involved in electronics as a hobby and for work, that will hopefully change.
If you are interested in learning more, you can contact me through the Contact page here or go to the i-Telex website above and make contact there.
Here are some pictures and videos of some of my machines as well as the Eurocard box containing my iTelex interface: