I have here a Perkin-Elmer “Bantam” 550 serial terminal. This terminal has a flap above the keyboard below which you can find a Baud rate selection slider, a switch for “transparent mode” (whatever that is) as well as DIP switches with unknown purpose.

What do these DIP switches do? An explanation on the “transparent mode” is appreciated as well.

  • Transparent mode causes control characters to be visible on the screen. The DIP switches would be for such things as parity, number of bits per character, and full/half duplex. If no one can find a manual for you, you'll have to experiment with them to see what effect they have. Dec 28, 2019 at 14:57
  • @RayButterworth The part about transparent mode makes sense (I thought it was about overstriking). I know that the DIP switches do something to that effect, but I'm unsure on the details.
    – fuz
    Dec 28, 2019 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


There is some documentation online. Transparent mode displays control characters, rather than obeying them, and is presumably intended for configuring terminal drivers. There's also a switch for white-on-black or black-on-white display, and presumably switch settings for full/half duplex operation, and odd/even and mark/space parity.

If the OP would care to list the labels on the switches, we might be able to guess at which switch controls what.

  • 1
    I am aware of that document. The DIP switches are labelled 1–9 as seen on this picture.
    – fuz
    Dec 28, 2019 at 15:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .