Field Hellschreiber (1929 portable teletype) rebuilt in Meccano

ZXGuesser has built a Meccano replica of this 1929 text-over-radio printing terminal!

For background see
Hellschreiber pages of Frank Dörenberg - the Hell Feldfernschreiber(Feld-Hell)

It’s a raster print system, printing two copies of each line with a helix, allowing for loose raster sync

The Siemens-Hell Feldfernschreiber (Feld-Hell for short) is a self-contained, portable teleprinter system that is based on the Hellschreiber system. The latter, in particular the printer part, was invented by Rudolf Hell in 1929

Here’s the Meccano system, in words pictures and video:

(video also here)


Wow Meccano. That seems more rare today than the teletype is.
A very good read.

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as a former Meccano nerd and a radio ham (VA3PID) who has made many international contacts using Hellschreiber, this is deeply impressive. It’s quite a feat of mechanical tolerances and clever timing even getting a messy smear of text out of this radio mode.

I’ve never used a mechanical sender/receiver, but fldigi works well on modern hardware to send and receive. I’ve never managed to get the Feld-Hell receivers for 8-bit machines to do anything useful, but I suspect I have the wrong interfaces.

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A century of spindle printing passed without me even knowing. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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