Juki New Year
Posted on January 1, 2017
Having stumbled across the name JUKI in my search for T-A compatible electronic daisywheels, I was wrong in thinking the JUKI 2100/2200 daisywheel electronic typewriter was of a similar size and weight to my IBM 6715 …
You don’t get a true sense of scale unless you have one or two different-sized models to compare and contrast …
Typewriter-in-foreground versus typewriter-in-background doesn’t really show the size difference …
JUKI 2200 (portable), IBM 6715 (compact), Adler SE 1011 (standard)
The JUKI 2200 “smart typewriter” with Centronics port
A see-through plastic lid, that doesn’t snap into place but rests gently yet securely on top (unless you try to carry the typewriter by its handle) is a nice touch that other electronic typewriter manufacturers have also copied. Silver Reed EX42/44 electronic typewriters also have one, as does the Olivetti Praxis 20.
Sad to say, the JUKI 2200 is another daisywheel donor machine that did not turn out well …
Hark the (broken) Herald Pica wheel.
I should have checked the printwheel was properly engaged before I powered on the typewriter, because a horrible electronic crunching ensued. End result: a daisywheel with more than a few broken stems and petals.
(Note the daisywheel that came with this machine (above) is not a T-A daisywheel with yellow border – “double-moulded for extra durability”.)
Fortunately, the T-A daisywheels I already own did prove to be compatible …
Well that seemed to work, except that the wheel occasionally jams and there’s more electronic crunching. The thought occurred to me that T-A daisywheels weren’t as compatible as they should be.
According to one eBay supplier, these JUKI machines take Nakajima printwheels:
But that seller’s list is unreliable: The same JUKI models are also listed as compatible under “IBM Wheelwriter” which is wrong, because the Wheelwriter has a completely different (enclosed) printwheel. JUKI should be listed under the “IBM Actionwriter”.
In fact, the JUKI 2200 will take a Nakajima printwheel and won’t complain at all. It just won’t print the right characters (I can’t remember what I typed but it wasn’t this):
Nakajima print wheel (Left) T-A printwheel (Right)
I get the feeling the 2100/2200 is a disposable gadget that JUKI gave out to their clients like other companies gave out ball-point pens.
It’s not so much a typewriter as it is a printer with a keyboard added as an afterthought.
The time lag between key press and impact on paper is woefully long, which is something you can expect from most portable daisywheel machines. It’s a shame because the keyboard is reasonably tactile.
Also, whereas the hum of my IBM 6715 is barely discernable, this “typewriter” has the loudest hum I’ve ever experienced on an electric or electronic typewriter. It’s so loud, when you switch the typewriter off, the hum resonates in your ear drums for a good while afterwards.
I can’t believe it was that loud when new, possibly the motor’s on its last legs.
There’s also some squeakiness of the ribbon carrier as it moves back and forth like a jittery mouse. It’s actually quite endearing, but the hum spoils everything.
JUKI 2100 (without Centronics port?)
You won’t find many of these typewriters online. A search on JUKI will yield, instead, several thousand sewing machines …
… and about a dozen computer magazine advertisements for early-to-mid 1980s daisywheel printers …
First established as a cooperative of machinery manufacturers in Tokyo in 1938, the TOKYO JUKI INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION began trading under that name in 1943.
The first household and industrial sewing machines were produced in 1947 and 1953 respectively. In 1988 the Corporation was renamed simply as JUKI CORPORATION (this typewriter has the old company name on the back of the machine, so we can deduce it’s not later than 1988).
Today, the company is known primarily for its production of industrial sewing machines; and secondly for the production of automated industrial systems, electronic assemblies, PCBs, etc.
A third segment of the business, and most relevant to this post, the JUKI HIROSHIMA CORPORATION (home of the JUKI Office Machine Corporation) was established in July 1963.
And there I was (before I got my hands on a JUKI typewriter or did any research) thinking that the JUKI 2100/2200 was, like the IBM 6715, a Triumph-Adler electronic typewriter.
True, a “Japanese” electronic typewriter made in Germany doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially when you consider the technological know-how and resources that an organisation like JUKI had (and still have) at their disposal.
But while the JUKI 2100/2200 isn’t a Triumph-Adler “clone”, other than the fact that it uses a T-A compatible daisywheel, no point re-inventing the wheel (JUKI also used 96 character Diablo daisywheels on some of their printers), there was plenty of “cloning” going on.
How else to explain the JUKI Sierra 3300 (electronic rather than electro-mechanical) IBM Selectric clone?
Made in Japan by the JUKI Hiroshima Corporation …
There is evidence to suggest that IBM “dropped the ball” (figuratively and literally):
“I’m predicting there will be 24 brands available by the end of 1982,” said Clifford M. Lindsey, an analyst at Dataquest, a market research firm in Cupertino, California. “And without an exciting technological development, I.B.M. could experience an erosion down to about 40 percent of the electronic market.
[…] Mr. Lindsey of Dataquest noted that Tokyo Juki Industries had recently introduced a $495 electronic typewriter that uses an I.B.M. ball and has 1,000 fewer parts than a $775 I.B.M. model that I.B.M. had withdrawn from the market earlier.
‘There will be a huge price war and quite a scramble for market share before we settle down to a few suppliers,’ Mr. Lindsey said. He said that ‘the Japanese will be extra aggressive.’ ”
JUKI also used original IBM ribbons in some, but not all, of their daisywheel printers. A re-branded JUKI 6100 daisywheel printer, for example, was bundled with the American Kaypro home/personal computer …..
To make life even more interesting (if not confusing), the JUKI Sierra 3200 looks nothing like its Sierra 3300 namesake, but is instead a daisywheel typewriter identical to the JUKI 2200 …
Does this mean JUKI had something to do with the production of Olivetti’s Made-in-Japan electronic typewriters, or were Olivetti just supplying the ribbon cassettes? I don’t know.
I spent $20 on this noisy, quacking, ugly ducking of a machine because I wanted to write about it. I certainly wouldn’t want to write on it.
Anyway, I can’t because I took it apart (key-chopper!)
Almost everything points to 1984 ..
Underside of lid
Underside of keyboard (note solitary TA chip)
However the inside of the base points to 1985 , and that’s backed up (I think) by an NEC chip on the circuit board …
So 1985 it is. Unless JUKI TD MAIN CONTROL E8607012000 is trying to tell me something ….!