Brother JP-12x

I’m still no nearer to discovering that damned elusive Brother JP-13 wedge (according to Ted Munk: “[…] there remain only three missing JP models: JP-6, 9, and 13.”).

If I find one I may need to edit this post, however this 1986 Brother AX-30 (JP-12x) is probably as close as I’ll come to a JP-13 …

(Above) A Brother AX-30


It is, as far as I know, part of a series that comprises the AX-10, the AX-12 (AKA Student-Riter II), the AX-20, and the AX-30.

To my mind, the “plain vanilla” AX-10 is the best of the bunch, due of its unadorned simplicity…

(Above) My Brother 1985 AX-10 with a Brother CE-30 in the background

(Above) My Brother AX-10.

(Above) A Brother AX-12.


Without seeing an AX-12 in the flesh, and without instruction guides for any of these four machines, I’m not sure what the differences are.

I do know that the AX-20, like the AX-30, supports 15 pitch in addition to 10 and 12 pitch …

(Above) A Brother AX-20.

(Above) my AX-10 alongside the AX-30


Until now I hadn’t seen any Brother AX-30 wedges in the wild, nor do I remember seeing many online, so when this one came up locally for $10 AUD I snapped it up, even though the keyboard cover is missing and one corner of the ribbon cover was snapped off (since replaced).

What makes this typewriter even less endearing, apart from the screen, the cracked ribbon cover, and a slight yellowing to the plastic, is its missing keyboard cover—however since it’s the same size as the AX-10 (albeit slightly chubbier due to the LCD screen), the keyboard cover of the latter fits just fine …

Given that the AX-30 has extra function keys and features, it would be nice to have the instruction guide that goes with it.

Interesting extras …

(Above) A serial connector (DIN 45326?) allows you (in theory) to use the AX-30 as an input/output device for your computer—should you happen to have the right interface cable and a compatible computer to connect to.

(Above) What I assume is an impression control switch, located underneath the right-hand side of the platen.

It was set to “I”, setting it to “II” showed no discernible difference, setting it to “III” put the printwheel into a bit of a tizz.

(Above) As mentioned previously, 15 pitch selection is offered in addition to 12 pitch and 10 pitch.

This AZERTY AX-30 was listed for sale in France and has the keyboard cover I’m missing …

Great little typewriters: Robust (provided you’re careful with the flip-up plastic lids) and portable (having said that, they’re not all that lightweight and you do have to plug them in). Ribbons and print wheels are still fairly easy to come by (although you may have to pay through the nose for the latter).

4 thoughts on “Brother JP-12x

  1. That’s interesting, Ted 😉 I have an idea they may have outsourced certain models. I’m sure they did, but I can’t tie that to the missing JP numbers. It’s certainly fun to speculate.


  2. Full-size office machines are better in general. I especially like the Canon AP series. I’ve yet to come across a full-size Brother machine. 😉


  3. Ooh, it’s got the data port! I do have the Brother IF-50 conversion box, but without instructions, I’ve never got it to work with my Pro-90 wedge. It has DIP switches that need to be set a certain way for various configurations (guessing), and random flips haven’t resulted in properly formatted output yet…

    Regarding the missing JP numbers, I do know that in Japan the word for nine ku (九/く) sounds similar to the word for pain and suffering ku (苦/く), so I occasionally wonder if Brother skipped certain numbers out of superstition, although that doesn’t account for the existing JP-4 (the word sounds the same as “death” in Japanese) and the JP-6 (no superstition I can come up with accounts for skipping 6).. still a mystery (:


  4. I enjoyed this review. I’m a fan of Canon thermal wedges but am curious to try a daisy wheel. The Brothers intrigue me – our local typer shop is still an official Brother dealer among other things.


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