Anyone got info on: Telex 1220?

Hmmmm, I just got this little boxy computer for free, can’t find any info on it. Manufactured in 1987, so it predates the internet, but strange that nothing shows up in a search. I took some low quality pics, it seems quite interesting (to me at least)

The HD controller is connected to the hard drive directly (no cables) and they take up an ISA slot from front to back. Whopping 20MB of storage space!

It appears to have BNC connector (network, video?), 2 serials (one is labelled M), and a DB15 (vga?), as well as a port that looks very much like RJ45 labelled “light pen”, which I believe was something for touchscreens…

A damn shame you didn’t post some clearer images with all the serial numers and text readable. There is no point in Googling for “Telex” , since most hits will only refer to the journalistic telex of that time.

We need FCC Id’s , any kind of serial or typenumber , brand names , the whole bunch. Especially motherboard codes (eg. ZXCCMGFDJKL4389043 or something) should work if the company still faintly exists in someone’s memory :slight_smile:

However , it seems that it is some kind of Telex Systems III machine , some still used in Germany.

A lightpen was NOT for a touchscreen , but a matter of transforming any CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) device (monitor or tv) in an interactive device.

The lightpen sends a negative edge pulse to “button 4” when it senses a certain intensity of light. The software on the program cartridges places a “crosshair” on the screen or monitors predetermined text menu selections. By aiming the lightpen at this crosshair it draws a shape similar to a bullseye. As the pen is moved, it crosses the rings of the bullseye and this new position is detected and made to be the new center. In this manner the bullseye crosshair may be dragged across the screen. If it is lost by the lightpen, it must be “picked up” again.

Hmmm maybe you should take a look at the CPU inside the box…?

Is there a OS on that system? Or did it boot from LAN?

Sorry, my camera really sucks.

Here’s some numbers

On the back:
Model - 1220
Serial - 2540D
Date of MFG - 11-87

Power-One 53W, 65W peak

Copyright 1987 Telex Computer Products Inc.
Assy P/N 211326-001
REV B 1220 Motherboard

2.12 8/25/87 U78
207463-003 6E8C

2.12 8/25/87 U77
207464-003 0874

As for CPU, I cannot discern any…

Most of the components on the board are from CHIPS, there are a few Intel parts but they looks more like flash memory or something:

Intel '82

Haven’t tried booting yet

With more than 29 years of Information Systems product development experience, Visara has established an installed base of over 1.5 million fixed function desktop devices making them a leading designer and manufacturer of inter-network solutions. Visara products are produced under the Visara, MTX and Memorex Telex brand names.


Memorex Telex Japan Limited was established in 1968 as a joint venture set up by Memorex Telex (US) and Kanematsu Corp., a trading company, and became publicly held in 1990 by listing in the OTC. The company is engaged in the manufacture, sale, rental/leasing and maintenance of computer supplies (tape cartriges, toner cartridges, magnetic tapes, floppy disks, magnetic disks, printer ribbons, OA supplies) and computer peripherals (magnetic disk equipment, semiconductor disk equipment, magnetic tape equipment, PCs, laser printers, graphic work stations, software). Computer peripherals accounted for 77% of fiscal 2000 revenes and computer supplies, 23%. The company has two consolidated subsidiaries, both based in Japan. Kanematsu Corp. is the major shareholder with 31.46% of issued stock.


The P8742AH is a microcontroller

Perhaps you can mail Mr Sullivan :

Trevor Sullivan
Trevor Sullivan has been involved in the computer industry since the early sixties when he joined IBM. After almost ten years with IBM, he set up the European operations of Telex Computer Products, which was later absorbed into the Memorex Corporation. Mr. Sullivan then became the Memorex Director of Engineering for Europe, Middle East and Africa and eventually moved back to Dublin to set up Memorex Ireland in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he grew the Irish company, profitably, from £3m to £9.6m turnover and from 25 to 55 people.

Mr Sullivan has experienced most of the disciplines of a multi-national, including manufacturing, international distribution, engineering, maintenance, planning, sales, product marketing and strategic marketing. Since 1990, he has been working with small companies in Ireland, helping in the management of change and growth. As such, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, which will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to ChangingWorlds going forward.


I found your post - I hope that this will help a little bit.

Telex 1220 was among the first efforts by Telex to move into the IBM PC Market. Telex had several that they manufactured 1120/1180, 1220, & 1280. The 1180 had an 80186 Processor, The 1220 may have had a 286 Processor and the 1280 was a 386. Memory was via individual Memory IC Chips on board for a total of 64Kb to 1Mb. You could at the time get an add-on Memory PCB to add more memory, but not practical at the time cause everything was written to use the 64-128Kb Memory scheme. Networking was via a PCB from either IRMA, or some IBM 3270 compatible PCB. The Maximum HD at the time was 40Mb, but most came with 20Mb. Usually they had a 360Kb 5.25" FDD and a 720Kb/1.44Mb 3.25" FDD. Video was VGA, with some SVGA. If I remember correctly the Keyboard either used a DIN Plug or an RJ45. You could use the RJ45 also for a Light Pen.

Telex had a lot of things going for them with a lot of innovations planned. Telex at one time was very healthy and well respected in the 3270 market place as well as in the Mainframe Peripherial markets. They bought Raytheon Data Systems, and integrated their products into the Telex Family. About the time this came out, McMurdock was making noise about making a hostile takeover of Telex, so they began actively trying to court other computer manufactures to buy them - even went so far as to kick in a ton of money to Memorex (from Germany) which eventually completed the transactions.

I was laid off from MTC (Memorex-Telex Computer Products) in July of 1991 after a 10-yr stint. I started working on their Mainframe Peripherial (6420/8020 Tape Drives, Disk Drives, Printers and General Computer Systems) moved on to their REACT Product Lines (3270 without a Monitor) and the 3270 Products (IBM Compatible" Dumb/Mainframe Termials) and eventually Western Region Support for the PC Product lines. Wild times.

Hope you found something to use in this short history lesson - Might just consider donating it to some Tech School as a Museum piece or something.

Power-One 53W, 65W peak

Woohoo, cool.
I’ve worked on similar puters that time… oh well.