The Daisy Shopper

I’ve mentioned this before, but if you want to buy a daisywheel for your obsolete ’80s wedge, it’s generally cheapest and easiest to buy another (compatible) obsolete ’80s wedge …


IBM 6715 alongside an Adler SE 1011 (daisywheel donor machine)


There was a time when I thought the ‘6715 was a big typewriter. That was before I got a Sharp ZX-500 (you’d think I would have learnt my lesson, but no) and now this Triumph-Adler SE 1011 …


At the very least, for $20 AUD, I got myself a new daisywheel for my IBM 6715.

A “new daisywheel” as in a (Madeleine) typeface I didn’t already have; the other daisywheels that came with this machine being duplicates of ones I already own (Prestige Cubic, Prestige Elite, Elite Modern, Helen 12, Primus 10).


T-A compatible daisywheels


As for the non working typewriter, if I can’t get it to work soon, it’s going in the recycling bin.


The problem? Well I don’t know what the problem is, but when I power on, all the LEDs to the left of the keyboard light up amber. …


The old lady I bought the typewriter from had no idea what the problem was either, but I took it off her hands anyway, thinking I’d possibly figure it out — and if I didn’t, well at least I had a few more daisywheels, some interesting sales literature about the Triumph-Adler SE 10XX series of electronic typewriters (more about that in a follow-up post) plus a list of Adler daisywheel typefaces courtesy of Imperial Typewriter Sales (WA) Pty Ltd circa 1983/84 (see update at end of post).

Click here for the PDF (1 MB): adler-daisywheel-typefaces


So back to the problem:

  • If I press the impression control (top) button, I get a continuous beep that won’t stop until I power off again.
  • If I press the pitch selection button (middle), the other LEDs go off, however pressing any key either results in a beep (most keys) or the key does absolutely nothing.
  • If I press the line-space selection button (bottom) the typewriter goes into print test mode (so I at least know the type wheel and the ribbon are engaged correctly).

Madeleine type wheel


The lid is properly closed as far as I can tell, and I don’t see any evidence of a missing or bent lever under the hood that might trick the typewriter into thinking the lid is open.

Since I don’t have the all-important instruction guide, which is critical for a function-key-rich machine like the SE 1011, I’m clueless as to what trouble-shooting measures might help remedy the problem.


Disappointingly, this typewriter is also afflicted with the same disintegrating foam that plagues many an IBM machine  …


As I sit and contemplate this beautifully styled yet non-functioning German electronic machine, it occurs to me that ignorance can be bliss.

As Gary Numan once said:

“[…] Now I can think for myself, about little deals and issues, and things that I just don’t understand. […] You know I hate to ask, but are ‘friends’ electric? Only mine’s broke down …”


4 thoughts on “The Daisy Shopper

  1. I know it’s a few years later. But if you still have this machine, I think it’s very easy to fix. This has always been a common problem whit this machine’s. What happens is that the machine is in test mode. You normaly can enter this mode by pulling the left lever (or the one next to it, I forgot) towards you when powering on the machine. The problem is that the switch is stuck, so now the test mode is entered every time you start the machine. I quick, probably tempory fix is to put the lever in the forward position without pulling it agains the spring, and then put a pencil straight in the gap behand te lever. Just wiggle it a few times, about 5cm (2 inches) in to puch the switch back from it’s upward stuck position.


  2. man, what a desk-dominator! Love the atomic Adler logo. Hey, if you do end up binning it, pull it apart first and look for a datestamp in the case molding, on the motor, and on the backside of the keyboard assembly. (:


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