Universal Technology, Inc. is or was a New Jersey company formed on the 2nd of April 1970. New Jersey corporate records do not allow business details to be retrieved online in the manner of other states, but it would seem fairly likely that they are no longer trading. The business filed the “UTEC” trademark in March 1977, indicating that they were not as short-lived as some of the other obscure keyboard and switch manufacturers.
Universal Technology filed a handful of patents, most of which relate to keyboard and keypad input. The data input patents are listed below:
|US 3731015||Control keyboard switch with cantilevered contact and diode matrix array||1971-05-18||1973-05-01||Encoding switches with one diode per output bit|
|US 3746816||Pushbutton cantilevered leaf spring contact switch assembly for keyboard type switch arrays||1971-05-18||1973-07-17||Variation or continuation of the above|
|US 3731014||Keyboard switch and unitized multiple switch configuration||1971-08-02||1973-05-01||Keypad switches|
MOD 220 was a low-profile keyswitch advertised in the Electronic Engineer magazine in November 1971. Both audible and tactile feedback were provided by the design. Output encoding is achieved using up to ten diodes within each switch, the same principle as Mechanical Enterprises Mecutronic coding switches. There is no photograph in the advertisement, but the brief description given is a match for the switch type disclosed in Universal Technology’s earliest two switch patents from earlier in 1971. The design also bears a superficial resemblance to Synergistics’ coding switches, but those did not knowingly involve diodes.
Average bounce time for the switch contacts was said to be 25 µs.
Thus far, no keyboard is known to have been discovered that uses these switches.
The following material was scanned by Bitsavers unless otherwise noted:
- MOD 220 low profile keyswitch advertisement, The Electronic Engineer, Vol. 30 No. 11, November 1971