Escon Microcomputer/Selectric Interface System

Marvin Johnston marvin at
Tue Mar 28 00:25:14 CST 2006

Since I've had a number of requests for the picture, it is online at:

Included, but not shown, are two manuals. The first has the installation and
instruction manuals including schematics, while the second contains the
illustrations and diagrams for use with the Vol I instruction manual. There are
also a number of what look to be Selectric parts.

>From the information in the installtion manual:

"The ESCON equipment covered by these instructions fits all IBM office type
Selectrics. The length of the platen or if it is single or dual pitch, has no
affect on installation of this system. If your machine has a manual velocity
control, contact the factory for special instructions."

Another interesting quote from the instruction manual:

"the magnets used in the ESCON conversion kits have 55-ohm coils, except for the
shift magnet which has a 130-ohm coil."

There were no magnets in this package. I suspect if there was a Selectric
already prepared with the magnets, it got dumpstered before I got a chance to
check this stuff out.

> >I've got an Escon Microcomputer/Selectric Interface System that looks
> >like it was sold as a kit. It appears to be a unit to convert a
> >Selectric I or II typewriter so it can be used as a computer printer. Is
> >anyone familiar with this unit, and any ideas about what it is worth? It
> >belongs to the widow of my friend who died last month, and I am trying
> >to help separate the good stuff from everything else.
> Marv, does this thing work with a Selectric typewriter or a Selectric I/O
> writer?  There's a big difference--the typewriter has none of the
> electrical components (solenoids, etc.) that the I/O writer uses to
> activate the mechanism.  The golf-ball print mechanism is the same in both.
> Since Selectrics are still pretty easy to come by as typewriters, I suspect
> that this may have more interest if it were intended for typewriters (i.e.
> it included the actuators).  On the other hand, the I/O writers, while once
> more commonplace, are fairly rare today and the unit would have
> substantially less appeal.
> Cheers,
> Chuck

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