Important thing: Repurposing obsolete hardware is really a popular pastime on the list of tech community, and the most recent project from the YouTube channel Artillect is really a fine exemplory case of what’s possible when thinking outside the box. Could it be practical? No, not necessarily. Could it be neat? Absolutely.
Riley took a Brother AX-25 electronic typewriter from the late 1980s that utilizes a daisy wheel to print text and spruced it up with some modern hardware. The AX-25 includes a 16-character LCD with the capacity of editing documents stored on its 8kb of memory but needless to say, we are able to do better today.
It’s still a work happening but at this time, the typewriter is linked to a breadboard circuit with two multiplexers which are controlled by an Arduino Uno.
The Arduino is linked to a Raspberry Pi over serial with a voltage divider in the centre to convert the Arduino’s 5v output to 3.3v, thus avoiding the Raspberry Pi from getting damaged. Additionally it is linked to a laptop via USB. The hyperlink allows Riley to utilize the typewriter as a Linux terminal although admittedly, functionality is somewhat limited.
The contraption is fairly handy for creating ASCII art, however, as Riley demonstrated. He didn’t desire to develop a piece that has been too detailed until he gets an upgraded ribbon for the typewriter, however the small example looks great.
Riley uploaded the code he wrote for the machine to GitHub for all those thinking about tinkering around making use of their own project. You can find even a few examples of the typewriter on the market on eBay if you are searching for this exact model.
The YouTuber eventually really wants to turn the device right into a fully functioning computer, and the next phase is to attach a keyboard to the Arduino so he does not have to utilize another computer to regulate it. We shall monitor this project to observe how it evolves on the coming weeks and months.
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