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Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

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  • Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

    The majority of washing machines from the 1980s were controlled by a motor driven crouzet timer with a large rotary knob on the control panel. A few advanced machines were controlled by a microprocessor and were recognisable by a control panel consisting of an array of push-buttons and LED displays.

    Models included:

    Servis Quartz
    Creda Debonair Micron
    Hotpoint Microtronic

    Were there any others? I'm sure there must have been some from Bosch and Miele.

  • #2
    Re: Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

    Something you may be interested in was the Keymatic system, pioneered by Hoover back in 1963 but seems to have carried on into 1976 - Namely Hoover model A3008 from 1976. On a personal note, after the English Electric top loader with mangle packed up we were twintub people through 1972 to 1989.

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    • #3
      Re: Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

      The Hoover Keymatic are very rare and collectable machines. The concept of selecting a programme by inserting a plastic card was a very interesting one although it turned out to be a dead end in the evolution of washing machine technology. It was almost certainly inspired by computers of the era that were programmed using punch cards. In theory it would have been possible for owners of a Keymatic to create their own custom programmes by cutting slots in a piece of plastic.

      The Servis Selectronic appeared in the mid 1970s as the predecessor of the Quartz but I'm unsure if it contained a microprocessor.

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      • #4
        Re: Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

        Originally posted by Arran View Post
        The Hoover Keymatic are very rare and collectable machines. The concept of selecting a programme by inserting a plastic card was a very interesting one although it turned out to be a dead end in the evolution of washing machine technology. It was almost certainly inspired by computers of the era that were programmed using punch cards. In theory it would have been possible for owners of a Keymatic to create their own custom programmes by cutting slots in a piece of plastic.

        The Servis Selectronic appeared in the mid 1970s as the predecessor of the Quartz but I'm unsure if it contained a microprocessor.
        One of my Aunts had a Keymatic until the early 1980s.

        I've heard they could go out of control if the keys became damaged or small objects were put into the slot, making the machine try to perform a certain combination of operations that would damage it.
        The Trickster On The Roof

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        • #5
          Re: Microprocessor controlled washing machines from the 1980s

          Was there any truth to a rumour that microprocessor controlled washing machines failed to catch on in the 1980s because users could not advance a programme like they could do with a crouzet timer by turning the knob whilst the machine was running? A programme had to run from start to finish and it was impossible to shorten or skip a cycle.

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