Data Terminal Systems: Info Needed.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REED SAXON/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6599574a) Kupferman Horowitz Lyn Kupferman, right, and her friend Shiela Horowitz wait as a Tower Records clerk rings up the purchase of over $200 in Beatles and John Lennon albums, in Los Angeles JOHN LENNON SHOT 1980, LOS ANGELES, USA

The cashier above is using a cash register made by Data Terminal Systems of Maynard, Massachusetts. The best I can tell, it’s either a Series 300 or Series 400 cash register. I am looking for any information I can get my hands on for these two series of registers by DTS. If you have any receipts, documentation, photos, anything, it would be most welcome.

There is very little information on the Internet about Data Terminal Systems, even though they were one of the first electronic cash register companies in the world and their technology was everywhere, especially in the 1970s and 1980s.

I’d like to get as much information about Data Terminal Systems online as possible, before it’s all lost to forgotten history.

Comments

  1. For about six months in 1982-83, I worked for DTS Australia as a support tech. Customer base was mainly: KFC, Red Rooster (scored lots of free chicken meals), some petrol (gas) stations and 2nd-tier supermarkets (eg Half Case Warehouse). Programming macros was one aspect of the software side. And I recall that setting the two keys into the X & P positions and simultaneously pressing CLEAR @ % LINE FEED would wipe the machine. In early ’83 there was a merger with National Semiconductor. I was a poor fit in the client-facing tech role; and the cross-training for the N.S. equipment was inadequate, so I left. Nevertheless, the (rare) photos make me very nostalgic. Trivia – In ~1986, a former DTS colleague was shot dead by a farmer while holidaying in France. RIP Gerry.

  2. What POS pre-1982 would have black keys, “ITEM” “PRICE” and “QTY” keys (also in black) and a 10 alphanumeric characters vfd display? I’m trying to identify a prop from a TV show.

    Thanks

    1. Hello Andrea, this could have been a myriad of machines, but we can rule out DTS, NCR, IBM, and Datachecker, as they had multicolored keys. The 10-character alphanumeric display is throwing me off; I’m wondering if it was a Sweda machine. Do you have a photo?

  3. Hello,

    My daughter sparked this in my head today asking about buying her a cash register so she could play with it. I haven’t thought about this in about 30 years, and I couldn’t remember the brand of register that my dad used to work on in the 80s and 90s, but after some research tonight, I re-stumbled on DTS.

    Dad, years ago, used to work for Harvey’s Supermarkets, a chain of regional grocery stores in North Florida and South Georgia. In the mid- to late-80s and early 90s, they ran DTS Model 400s. I would go with him to store openings to install or on weekends when he’d get a support call. We’d also have one or two at the house so that he could quickly drive and replace one when there was an urgent need.

    I always wanted one when I was a kid to learn how to program them. I spent so much time around them, played with them, and heard them running through their night close processes on many nights when we were at the stores that I can almost hear the sound of the receipt tape printing still in my head to this day. Dad also wrote programs for Back Office operations in Clipper that would interface with the registers to aggregate the data collected from the registers all day so the Store Managers could analyze sales and inventory.

    I found a few great pictures of one here on Pinterest:
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163325923974120010/
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163325923974119990/
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163325923974120004/

  4. Data Terminal Systems was from Maynard, Mass. The first registers produced was the DTS 100 (small, all in one style case/cash drawer assembly like the 200 Series) Their larger register was a clunky thing that had a separate power supply unit. It was called a “DaCap Model 44. It used the Seiko printer that used the 44mm register tape. If you purchased that tape back then, You asked for Dacap 44 tape! DTS was purchased buy National Semiconductor in the mid 80’s, and was called DataChecker/ DTS.
    the last system I sold was a Model 2100. I believe Texas Instruments purchased National Semi, and they got out of POS.

    1. Do you have pictures or the DTS or the futher future registers? Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada used the DataChecker models that had keys which were coloured. A rather redundant looking machine, but apparently they worked well

  5. I worked in the systems support group for Safeway grocery stores from the late 80s to mid 90s.. When I first started in my local store in ’85 we had old sweda registers, but we were upgrading to 3683 by that time. I would LOVE to know if there’s any good 3683 resource around – I haven’t found any code or emulators or places to find cheap surplus hardware to play with.. Anyone have any ideas? email is steve at cherokeesystems dot com

  6. Are you still hunting for DTS info?
    I worked with DTS eguipment for years.. starting with 42, 100,… 500 etc.
    The 400 series for retail grocery.. the picture is most likely a 400. A 441 was a Safeway model and 442 was Kmart.

  7. In reference to the Tower Record picture above, if you look at the last register on the counter, that is a slip printer sitting on top. A slip printer was never an option for the 300’s so I am thinking that says these are 400’s. I also seem to remember somewhere that Tower Records used 400’s. The 300’s were mainly a grocery store machine.

    1. Hello

      Good point about the slip printer. One other thing I recently discovered is the “Data Terminal Systems” logo is left justified on the 300s and more in the center on the 400s, which I see here.

    2. I did find a video of the register in use at a Tower Records and the keyboard is configured differently than most I’ve seen, with a bank of department numbers on the left side. I’ve seen photos of DTS 400s in Walmart configured with a bank of department keys on the left side before. On the Tower Records register the cash tend for the top drawer (they were in two drawer configurations) is a button above the “7” key.

  8. How fun to see this website. My name is Bill Tilson and I went to work for Fresno Cash Register in 1979 in the service department. In addition to running on-site service calls, I also fixed the circut boards in the DTS line using an oscilloscope and a set of schematics. Worked on the 150, 200, 300, 400, and 500. I liked it so much, I bought the company in 1992 and still own the company today. Still dont know what I want to do when I grow up… 🙂

  9. I used to be a field tech for a DTS dealership
    Tower Records used DTS 440 and the one with the slip printer attached was usually used for the Ticketron concert ticket sales counter
    Other record stores that used them were:
    Wherehouse
    Music+
    Delicious Records
    Fortune Records
    Kmart used the DTS 442 which had special characters on the printer drum just for Kmart

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I know the Kmart registers had a different configuration on the keyboard to accommodate their department/“key” numbers on the right side of the keyboard. Some Walmart locations also ran with DTS Series 400 registers, but I don’t know the model. They had a large matrix of department key numbers on the left side of the keyboard, which seems like it would have been slower than doing what I saw other stores do with two entries per item: ## (dept number) ## (price).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *