DIY Paper Tape Punch - Mechanism diagram?

ED SHARPE couryhouse at
Fri May 1 04:00:45 CDT 2020

Back in  the  HP 2000 days  we  used  to  blow  holes  in  miles  of  Mylar  tape with BURPE teletype  brand  punchers  and  also  a large  TALLY  punch...   even  if  you  find  one of  either missing  the  electronics  the  punch mech and pins  are HARD  and  will  cut though  anything!
if  you  find  one  with  real  good  electronics  they are usually a   parallel    type  of  interface... 

my  experience  with  Facit  stuff it   wore  out   easily compared  to those other two  units.  Although   The  Facit  units  were  used  as  were  the others  we  liked  so  we had  no  real  history on  previous  use  so  just my 2 cents  worth  based on  personal  experience  in th e days of  old.
In a message dated 5/1/2020 12:17:22 AM US Mountain Standard Time, cctalk at writes:

On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 5:02 AM Anders Nelson via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've had a paper tape reader for a while but never had a punch to make new
> tapes, and the ones i've found are not only very large but also very
> expensive. So I'm toying with the idea of making an open-source punch, but
> I can't find any detailed diagrams of how the mechanism works.
> I'm assuming (without any data to back it up) that there is a cam, an array
> of spring-levered pins, and horizontal spacers controlled by solenoids that
> bridge the gap between the cam and each punch pin when called for.
> Does anyone have insight into how reliable/fast paper tape punches work?

There are 2 basic designs....

The mechanically simpler one has a solenoid that directly operates
each punch pin. The well-known Facit 4070 is of this design, using
rotary solenoids and drive levers (I am sure the service manual and
parts list (which contains the exploded diagrams) are on-line. Another
example of this type is the Heathkit H10 which uses normal linear

More common is to have a motor driven crankshaft moving a little frame
up and down. This goes over the ends of the punch pins and has a
bracket to pull them down at the end of the punch cycle. Solenodis
(quite small solenoids, almost like relay coils) move spring metal
strips (normally called 'interposers' in the manual) into said frame
under the punch pin so that the pin is then forced up and through the
tape as the frame rises. The Teletype BRPE, GNT34, many Data Dynamics
punchs, etc are of this design (to name the ones I can see without
getting up).

Be warned that making any paper tape punch is going to be non-trivial.
Grinding and hardening the punch pins and making the die block for
them to run in is quite a difficult machining task. And that's needed
what ever drives them.


More information about the cctalk mailing list