Fwd: Western Union TWX V Diagnostic Control Panel

From: Christian Fandt <cfandt_at_netsync.net>
Date: Wed Oct 6 15:31:29 2004

I forwarded Joe's request for info on the TWX Diag Control Panel from the
ClassicCmp (cctech) list to the Greenkeys email list. Both Joe and I got a
private reply but I feel some others on both lists will be interested in
Russ' reply. To wit:

>From: Russmill47_at_aol.com
>Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 12:37:40 EDT
>Subject: Western Union TWX V Diagnostic Control Panel
>To: cfandt_at_netsync.net
>Cc: rigdonj_at_cfl.rr.com
>When Western Union acquired the TWX network from AT&T, there was a need to
>build a new network that would allow Western Union to integrate the
>existing Telex network with the TWX network.
>Western Union designed and built the Digital Exchange Network (DES) for
>this purpose. DES was not the huge success that everyone hoped as there
>were many software problems that caused reliability and availability problems.
>The TWX V Concentrator was located at the edge of the WU Central Office
>network, usually within a couple of thousand cable feet from the serving
>Local Exchange (Bell) Central Office.
>Typically, these concentrators would handle up to fifty (50) TWX
>customers, handling all the edge interaction with the customer TWX machine
>on one side of the box with the rest of the box providing TDM services
>that consolidated the 50 customer signals into a single digital data
>stream. In small locations, which could be rental space in a telephone
>answering service location, there would be a single box. Medium size
>locations would have multiple boxes that would feed their digital signals
>to an intermediate box that would further Mux these separate digital data
>streams to a high speed (9600 bps) Paradyne Modem.
>The Diagnostic Control Panel was mounted at the top of the concentrator
>and was used to monitor the internal health of the box as well as provide
>information as to the status of the individual subscriber links and the
>high speed digital data link. The technology is state-of-the art early
>1970s so you can look to processor speeds of 1-2MBps. A lot of this
>technology was designed and manufactured in Mahwah, NJ. This was the R&D
>headquarters for WU and just up the road from WU galactic headquarters in
>Upper Saddle River, NJ.
>Russ Miller

So it appears the DES was one of the early implementations of commercial
digital communication.

Thanks for the enlightenment Russ!

Regards, Chris F.


Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA cfandt_at_netsync.net
         Member of Antique Wireless Association
         URL: http://www.antiquewireless.org/
Received on Wed Oct 06 2004 - 15:31:29 BST

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