Documentation for the AT&T Sceptre Videotex terminal

C. Sullivan feedle at feedle.net
Tue Nov 20 20:31:10 CST 2007


On Nov 20, 2007, at 1:36 PM, Mark Meiss wrote:

> It consists of a base unit that's somewhere around 13" x 11" x 4",
> connected to a (fairly wretched) chicklet keyboard with a standard
> 4-conductor telephone handset cord.  The keyboard is powered by a
> 9-volt battery.  On the back of the main unit are connectors for
> power, the keyboard, RS-232C (DB-25 female), composite video out, and
> audio out.

I had an AT&T SCEPTER terminal that was used with the Gateway service  
offered in Southern California from Times-Mirror/Pacific Telephone.    
It had a 1200 baud Bell 212-style modem built in.  Also, the keyboard  
was infrared on the model I had.

Here is a modern picture of it sitting on my TV, where it worked as a  
terminal to my Linux box.  http://pics.feedle.net/v/Things/ATT_Sceptre01.jpg.html 
  .  The person who mentioned 1200/7E1 is dead on: the serial port on  
the machine (for whatever reason) requires 7 bits, even parity, one  
stop.  It can't handle baud rates much over 1200 baud: at 9600, for  
example, it loses characters.

Somewhere, I even had the original instruction/setup guide, but that  
may have been lost to the sands of time.

NAPLS is a pain-in-the-ass protocol to deal with, BTW.


Gateway was a killer service back in 1983.  It was expensive, but it  
was a lot of fun.  And I remember dialing up BBSes with the SCEPTER  
terminal when my C-64's power supply crapped out...



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