Manual for Documation TM200 punched card reader

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Mon Sep 24 17:58:45 CDT 2018

FYI, I have a design for a RS-232 interface to the Documation M series
interface, based on a PIC 16F877.  The design is in turn based on one
that does not use a PIC, that Al Kossow shared with me some time back -
and is designed to work with the same software on the PC side (at least
if I recall correctly - I did this back in 2013).  [I seem to recall
that when I was testing it, I just used a terminal emulator of some
sort, so PC side software would be easy.]

The board design is in KiCAD.    The "firmware" for the PIC is in C,
developed using MPLABX (freely available).

So, if anyone wants the materials, say so, and I will share a link, and
scan in my interface connector pinouts, etc., and put up a folder on my
Google Drive.

I also still have *ONE* *UNPOPULATED* board (approx. 4.25" x 2.5") that
I would be willing to part with for $10 US + S&H.  As I recall, there is
one missing pull-up resistor that is wrong on the schematic (and thus
missing on the board, too), from pin 1 of the PIC to VCC, and is easy to
deal with, and that the LED labels on the silk screen are flipped around
on the board vs. the schematic [which can be dealt with easily in
software, so that the LEDs match the silk screen.]  The design includes
an in-circuit  programming header.

Unfortunately, the pinouts I used for the 40 pin connector on the PC
board to the card reader are NOT the same as what the Computer History
Museum has, and it makes wiring the cable a bit of a pain, because the
signal and signal return lines are not next to each other on the
connector, but should be so using a twisted pair cable.


On 9/22/2018 10:53 PM, Ethan Dicks via cctech wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 22, 2018 at 10:34 AM, Guy Dunphy via cctalk
> <cctalk at> wrote:
>> By coincidence, today I started evaluation of a punched/optical card reader.
>> Model TM200, made by Documation Inc.
>> Pics here:
>> The immediately obvious problems:
>> * Mains input connector is one of those old round locking type. Not sure if I have any of these.
> I have an M200 and I just had to look up in the docs (on bitsavers)
> that my unit requires a Hubbel
> 7484 for the power cable.  Yours is different but it's likely to be
> some sort of Hubbel product.
>> * Hose from vacuum pump to pickup heel is hardened. Needs replacement.
>> * Plastic elbow fitting for vacuum to pickup heel is broken in half. Make new one.
>> * Plastic mount for status display lights is cracking around brass nut inserts.
>> * Four rubber transport rollers have de-vulcanised, melted, and flowed gunk. Urrgh, what a mess.
> Hmm... I probably need to look into mine for similar things.
>> * Ouch, that interface connector.
> Fortunately, my M200 came with a factory add-on board that's an RS-232
> interface to the upstream host.
>> I wonder where I'm going to find some card stacks for testing it? If I get that far.
> An old co-worker buddy of mine gave me a box of his punchcards when he
> was in school in 1970.  He's really on me to read them.  I don't want
> to put his in first and have roller goo or something else ruin them so
> I have a bit of exploration to do.
> I'll be interested to hear how your saga unfolds because I'm expecting
> all of that and more on mine.
> -ethan

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