I-Telex USB / RS232 Terminal Program Version 4.0.2 08/01/2018
i-Telex call numbers for johannes ( 380170JFK ) 380170 main rack online 24 / 7 / 365
331343 wefa d main rack RFT F2000 970012 varint i mini rack Olivetti TE550e
529671 heiss d test rack Siemens T1000 371665 ekovk d micro rack RFT F20000
Terminal Program Index
I-Telex USB / RS232 Terminal Software Overview
i-Telex is a hobby telex network via the Internet. Launched in 2000 by Philipp Hachtmann and Henning Treumann to awaken old teleprinters back to life. However, as appropriate modems for the system were increasingly difficult to obtain and also some additional functions, such as Keyboard dialing were required, it was decided to develop a completely redesigned version by Fred Sonnenrein called i-Telex to allow connections over the Internet instead of plain telephone network. Just take care to use a correct router like Fritz!Box or similar with port forwarding. The Speedport Modell 723/724 A/B dont work properly.
As time passed by, the available boards to connect teleprinters was increased with a PC interface board using a RS232 or a USB connection. Now there was a possibility to use a PC as a simulated teleprinter. However the software like Hyperterminal or PuTTY or others are working fine but they are a little bit dull, so I decided to write a small Visual Basic 6.0 program for personal use only.
Asking the i-Telex community if there was some request for a dedicated Terminal Program the answer was YES, so I started to overlook the initial program to render the use somewhat easier to others. The purpose of the program was to easy connect the PC to the i-Telex system and implement some utility features in the program itself as a Phonebook, Preset messages , Favortite Telex Numbers and an Phonebook update utility to update directly from the i-Telex servers to obtain a real time up to date list of i-Telex members, and so on for example.
As the quantity of i-Telex members are increasing, one could not "remember" so many telex numbers anymore. Altough there is a list you can print to your teleprinter calling Hennings Siemens 1200SD teleprinter on 92612 and typing KLKL. Some earlier version were released and they worked fine but there was a difficulty to keep the so called Phonebook up to date.
In the earlier versions the update was done with a simple Excel table in .csv format that could be downloaded from my website, but that implemented that I should update this list in regular intervals and make the updated list available on the website. This is still functioning for the earlier releases, but it is not the ultimate method to update a phonebook.
Fred Sonnenrein send me some VB Code snippets that he used for the Server Communication. I wanted to read the memberslist directly from one of the i-Telex servers. I was able to implement this function to my terminal program so now updates are available in "real time" because they are downloaded from one of the servers which are synchronised automaticly every time a new member is added or some entry was changed. For the terminal program, only the telex NUMBER and NAME are important. Now this function can update the phonebook within a minute.To prevent abuse of the i-Telex servers the update can be executed only once a day.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Software
The free Terminal Software (actual 4.0.2 Release) can be downloaded HERE. The software comes into a ZIP file and may be extracted allmost anywhere. Before installing, read carefully the Installation procedure to prevent mal functioning.
- Human Readables
- Phonebook update from server
- Customise Font in text window (Cursive and Bold are not supported yet)
Work in progress:
- Implement Telnet connection
- Changing platform from VB6.0 to VB.net
I-Telex USB / RS232 Installation
The software comes into a ZIP file and may be extracted allmost anywhere. There may be some files in use when you run the setup.exe and these cannot be overwritten, you may close any other application before proceeding the setup.If you had already installed the 3.0.3 version, please make a backup of the user changed files as Preset / Config ecc. Then just run SETUP.EXE.
- You may change the default directory or just leave it to: c:\i-telex-usb
- Setup may ask you to keep or overwrite some files like fonts and / or libraries, it will be safer to keep those files.
- The software comes with a really nice Siemens T100 type of font stg 100 f.e.tiff , this will be the default font at program startup.
- If there occurs an error like: cannot write ieframe.dll just select "ignore the error" and skip to the next point.
- The setup will create a program entry but no desktop shortcut, if the program is installed here: c:\i-telex-usb you may make a shortcut for yourselve by draging the i-telex-usb.exe and click "create shortcut here". The same procedure can be used to add the program to the taskbar.
If all the operations proceed correctly, setup will end and you may proceed to the first use of the program as you may / must set some features for the program to operate correctly.
I-Telex USB / RS232 First Use of the program
As you may use the Terminal Software for the first time, you may / must set some features for the program to operate correctly.
The program at startup reads a configuration file with some important infromation. If you have installed the ethernet board you had to enter a dial out number to connect the i-Telex board.
The program's default is number 9. You may have changed this number in 0 or some other one digit number according to the above picture, then you can tell the program to use this by editing the configuration file using the build-in editor by clicking on the "Edit Config" button.
At this point you may change only the not commented lines, those without ///. Do NOT alter the other ones!
- In the example the dial out number is 9, you change this as you have set it in the i-Telex board a single digit number from 0 to 9
- then save these settings and proceed to "customising". or close the window.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Customising the program
As you may use the Terminal Software for the first time, you can set the program to display your name at startup.
you can tell the program to use this by editing the configuration file using the build-in editor by clicking on the "Edit Config" button.
At this point you may change only the not commented lines, those without ///. Do NOT alter the /// ones!
- In the example the username is set to Johannes .... just type whatever you want to display at startup not exceeding 30 characters
- You can set how after many characters the Character Counter ruler turns from green into yellow (default = 55)
- You can set how after many characters the Character Counter ruler turns from green into Red + Bell (default = 65)
- You can set how after many characters the Character Counter ruler will automaticly insert CR+LF (default = 70)
Then save the settings and close the window. You must restart the program to activate the changes.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Communication Settings
The Terminal Software cannot be connected to the USB or RS232 board if the Communications Settings are not set to proper values. At startup the program scans all the available COM ports. All ports from 1 to 16 are allowed. To set these properties, just click on the "Com Settings" button. Now a dialog window opens and you may choose the Com Port Dropdown list.
In this example the com port is number 8 yours may be different, just click on the 8 to set the correct port.
- To start set the flowcontrol (Handshake) property to to NONE
- To start set the ECHO property to OFF
- Then save the settinge by clicking the OK button
- If you want to exit without any change just press EXIT
- Keep in mind that the Canc & Save buttons will have no effect on the settings and the settings will NOT be saved or cancelled
I-Telex USB / RS232 Utility Keys
The programm has two differrent pannels with active keys, the left pannel ist used during a i-telex connection. The right pannel contains the utility buttons as shown in the picture below.
On this pannel are the utility keys for the program to operate. Here below a short list from left to right and from top to bottom of the buttons with a sintetic description. Every button has a tooltip text, just hover over the button to display the tooltip.
- Open Port this button opens a predefined communication port and connects to the TW39/USB or TW39 RS232 board.
- Clear Text this button clears the entire text window
- Edit Presets this button opens the build-in editor and the preset file, you may define your mostly used phrases
- ComSettings this button opens the Communications Setting window to choose the proper com port and other properties.
- Send File this button opens a dialog window where you can select a text file to transmit to your i-Telex partner. Only if connected
- Edit Config this button opens the build-in editor and the preset file, you may change some of the settings. Use carefully.
- Update this button invokes the phonebook update utility, it will download the up to date phonebook directly from the i-Telex server. Please do not abuse the use of it.
- Punch Tape this button opens an input box where you can insert a text string to be punched as human readables on the punch tape.
- Font this button opens a dialog window where you can change the font type size and collor of the text window. It will propose the standard stg 100 f.e.tiff font, just click OK and to restore Default. Customer made changes will be saved, at program start up the font will be set to the customised font. Using an other font as the default you may see some strange behaviour of the Character count device, it is only estetical and does not compromise the functionality.
- Configuration this button will work only if the comm port is open and there is no connection established. It invokes the TW39 Configuration utility so you can change the settings of the USb / RS232 board. Please read the TW39 manual first.
- Refresh This button is used to update the Favortites list after editing the phonebook.
- Homepage This button invokes your standard browser and displays the i-Telex USB / RS232 Terminal page..
On top of this pannel you will see three text labels, displaying the folowing information after beeing connected to the USB / RS232 board.
1) type of connection
2) Com Port in use
3) elapsed time after connection
I-Telex USB / RS232 i-Telex Keys
The programm has two differrent pannels with active keys, the right pannel contains the utility buttons .
The left pannel ist used during a i-telex connection as shown in the picture below.
The i-Telex buttons have for the most parts the usual teleprinter icons, and the others are pretty self explainatory in the list below a short description for each key and the normal use of it. Every button has a tooltip text, just hover over the button to display the tooltip.
At the top row, the first 4 buttons are to establish a i-Telex connection to an existing i-Telex partner p.e. 380170 , to do so proceed as follws:
Connect invokes the Manual Dial Mode , the text window will display. "Wählen" (Dial) now you must dial the Outgoing number followed by the number of your desired i-Telex partner. in ths case 938017.
WRU who are you triggers the i-Telex partner Answerback device responding in this case to: 380170 johannes I.
Here Is send your own aswerback device ID p.e 123456 telex nl.
Disconnect wil close the existing i-Telex connection with your partner and the terminal program is in stand-by.
Bell this key will ring the Bell (%) on your partners teleprinter.
Local Mode this will set the terminal to local mode, you can write delete ecc, but nothing will be send. This option is only active at terminal stand-by. To end the Local Mode just press Disconnect.
Time & Date this will print the local time and date to your i-Telex partner.
Status this key will display the actual hardware status to the text window.
Figures send the 1... command to your i-Telex partner to set his teleprinter to receive figures correctly.
Letters send the A... command to your i-Telex partner to set his teleprinter to receive letters correctly.
RY send a row of RY 's to your i-Telex partner, usefull for testing teleprinter equipment.
FOX send the usual test sequence " the quick brown fox jumps over.... " to your i-Telex partner.
CR Cariage Return (WR) send CR command only to your i-Telex partner. (Esc+M)
LF LineFeed (ZL) send LF command only to your i-Telex partner. (Esc+J)
Read Messages will display any messages present in the Memory. Dialog based, it will ask you if the message shall be deleted or to display next message. For the next message, just press Read Message again. To delete the displayed message just press the Delete Message button.
Delete Message this key will delete the present displayed message. To see the next message just press the Read Messages button again.
Sound On This key turns on system sound from the program.
Sound Off This key turns off system sound from the program.
Phonebook This key invokes the i-Telex Phonebook window. To use the phonebook properly see the Phonebook section.
Settings This key is to set future programm settings. No function in the 4.0.0 release (yet).
Print This key will invoke the print dialog window for printing the text from the text window to the standard printer No function in the 4.0.0 release (yet).
I-Telex USB / RS232 Phonebook
The programm has a build-in phonebook that can be displayed using the Phonebook button, then a window opens, like the picture below showing an allready updated and edited phonebook.
To use this phonebook, you can choose from several options:
- Direct Call: just click on the desired number or name and press call, the program will call automaticly the number with the dial out prefix (9)
- Set Favorite: You can define up to 22 favorite i-Telex numbers that consequently will be displayed on the Favorites Window. Just click on the left hand checkbox and the entry turns green as proof you set this number as favorite, to undo this just click the left hand checkbox again.
- Preview: this button restores the default display order if you may have changed the sorting in Name or Number.
Before you close the window, be sure to save the changed phonebook. After closing the phonebook press REFRESH to update the Favorite list.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Phonebook update utility
An other feature is the phonebook update utility. Just press the UPDATE button which invokes the phonebook update utility, it will download the up to date phonebook directly from the i-Telex server. ATTENTION Please wait until the entire memberslist is downloaded before closing the window. You can update only once a day, to prevent abuse of the i-Telex Servers
I-Telex USB / RS232 Preset common Phrases
An other feature is the use of very common phrases as "Hello I am Johannes from Italy .... " or "My e-Mail address is johannes.kok@ ..."In the middle of a i-Telex chat, some times you need to state you e-Mail address and you will be typing it over and over. The Preset Utility let you edit and save up to 10 common used phrases, so you can use them into a conversation with just one mouseclick. Press the "Edit Presets" button to open the buid-in editor to create or edit your own phrases.
In this editor you can create or edit your mostly used phrases to use within a i-Telex chat, just by one click. After editing be sure to save the changes and then close te window. On the main form you can activate these presets just by clicking on them during a chat.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Favorite i-Telex numbers
Once you opened the communications port and you are connected to the USB / RS232 board, just click on the disired number on the list, the program will call the i-telex member automaticly.
Just be aware that the program will use the pre-configured dial out number whitch may vary from one to another. The default number (Amtswahl) is 9.
Any other number can be used, just edit the programs configuration file with the buid-in editor. "Edit Config" Pay attention, any change will activated ONLY by restarting the program.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Text Window
The programs text window displays all the information, receive and sendet text and system related messages. During an active i-Telex connection, as you write, a character counter and a colored ruler traces how many keystrokes are put in. To prevent overshooting the page at your partners teleprinter this counter and ruler advise you over the actual state.
- Character count from 1 to 55 (default) will color the ruler green.
- Character count over 55 (default) will turn the ruler yellow.
- Character count over 65 (default) will ring the bell once and color the ruler red.
- Character count at 70 (default) will insert automaticly CR + LF and reset the ruler and counter.
you may change these settings using the Config Editor You can clear the text window at any time using the Clear Text button.
You can also change the font of the text window by pressing the Font button. Changes will last only for the current session, at startup the program returns to its default font stg 100 f.e. the Siemens T100 font emulation.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Human Readable Punch Tape
There is an option to make your own human readable punch tapes as shown in the example here below:
This piece of tape was made on a RFT F2000 teleprinter and this one makes the correct spaces. If a Siemens T1000z does not make the spaces at all, you can change the settings on the Variant Board at Position 32, this will set the machine to make the code 32 correctly. So the final result is depending on the type and settings of the teleprinter used. To start, make a call to the desired teleprinter, switch on the puncher and than press the Punch Tape button and type your text into the input box.
Don't use "fancy" characters because they will not be printed or printed wrongly. All ITA2 characters can be used. Then press OK, the text will be transformed to human readables and punched on tape. Remember that sending the text to a "real" teleprinter, the lack or abuse of CR and LF characters can compromise the print results. On some machines you can switch on the puncher remotely by sending CCCC and turn it off with FFFF.
I-Telex USB / RS232 Feedback
As an developer, Feedback is very welcome. Bugs, improvements, ideas on this page/website, the software or other will be appreciated. Thanks for passing by.