Panasonic KX-E508

The Panasonic KX-E508 compact electronic typewriter is strictly business, lacking any of the frills and idiosyncrasies of, say, the Olivetti ET Compact 70.

The spartan styling and faux metallic silver-grey finish of the KX-E508 is the same styling and finish that Matsushita applied to its Panasonic KX-R series portables; portables like the KX-R250:

Viewed individually, the difference in size between typewriters of the KX-E and KX-R series might not be appreciated.

Seen together, the difference is pronounced:

The difference in size between the KX-Es and the KX-Rs means there’s a difference in the size of the consumables they use.

Panasonic D-Type print wheels (Number 3 below) are especially hard to find (and when you do find them they’re exorbitantly priced and/or prohibitively expensive to have posted):

  1. Olivetti ET-121, 221, 321 (KX-E series) compatible high-yield cassette ribbon.
  2. Brother AX series (KX-R series) compatible cassette ribbon.
  3. Proprietary D-Type (KX-E series compatible) 100 character print wheel.
  4. Proprietary KX-R series compatible 96 character cassette wheel.

For KX-R compatible print wheels, there are four standard typefaces:

  • KX-R10 Courier 10
  • KX-R11 Prestige Pica 10
  • KX-R12 Prestige Elite 12
  • KX-R13 Script 10/12

Others wheels I’ve come across online:

  • KX-R14U Mini Bloc
  • KX-R16 Berlin Italic 10/12.

There are probably more. I don’t have a definitive list for these or for the D1-Type and D2-Type wheels used in Panasonic KX-E models.

A “D1-Type” 100 character cassette wheel came with the KX-E508:

  • D1-CR10 Courier 10

Others wheels I’ve come across online:

  • D1-EL12 100-Elite-12
  • D1-GT15 100-Gothic 15
  • D2-ST12 200-Script 12
  • D2-TIPS Title-PS

What’s the difference between D1-Type and D2-Type?

The answer is revealed in the instruction guide for the KX-E508. It turns out that D2-Type wheels have special symbols (scientific or statistical?) in place of language symbols. Page 9 of the instruction guide: “Keyboard I/II Selector”) says:

KB I allows printing of normal U.S. characters. KB II allows the printing of 12 additional characters not normally associated with the U.S. keyboard (foreign language symbols (G)).

The following symbols or characters are accessible in KB II when a “200 series” daisy wheel is being used, instead of extra symbols:

An instruction guide for the Panasonic KX-E508 is available at Manualslib.

Typing error: the KX-R250 has a 37 character LCD screen (compared to 40 on the KX-E508).