This page contains a photograph which is one of several belonging to the photo gallery pages which are part of several history pages relating to the invention of the world's first automatic totalizator in 1913 and Automatic Totalisators Limited, the company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

Counter Tote Brochure Courtesy Chris Robertson

These images show the front and back of a Counter based Totalisator, ATL Product brochure in the form of an A4 size card. This and other cards like it on this website were provided by Chris Robertson, an ex customer of the company and an expert on its products and installations around the world. This brochure was probably produced in the 1960s. More after the images...


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This is the front of an Automatic Totalisators product promotion card


Click here to go Back
Click on the image to go back to the photo gallery

This is the back of an Automatic Totalisators product promotion card


The Counter Totes are an example of the company keeping abreast with new technologies. The Julius Totes quickly went from being purely mechanical to electromechanical. Here we see a much later adoption of relay logic which was made popular by the telephone exchange industry. We are seeing the beginning of a transition of increasing levels of electronics which finally led to the adoption of digital computers as the basis of totalisator design.

Don McKenzie wrote the following about the ATL counter totes on his website relating to Automatic Totalisators Limited in Victoria:

We had two portable Counter Totes. Basically one for the city interstate tracks, and one for the country. These were very slow systems, possibly 250ms a bet, or four bets a second. Each bet represented a 50 cent transaction. Relay logic was used to allow each TIM access to the counters for the time required to place each bet. Say we had a $10 TIM (20 counts on the counter), 2 by $2 Tims, and 8 by 50 cent TIMs. A total of thirty six 50-cent bets. During heavy betting periods, this would represent a 9 second delay, before the next machine could issue a ticket.

I had a reasonable amount of relay logic experience from my days in P.M.G telephone exchanges, and I came up with a new relay access box, and two additional counter boxes, that allowed the $10 bets to go through as a single bet. It meant that instead of a single pair of counters, one for win, and one for place, we had two sets. One set that counted $10 bets, and the other set counted 50-cent bets. The dividend and odds calculator staff then had to adjust their figures correctly to suit. Made this baby counter tote really scream along. The $10 TIM could now bet at $40 a second, instead of $10 every 9 seconds. That is close to 40 times the speed of the original $10 TIM. Never missed a beat.

A Counter Tote at The Gabba Greyhounds Brisbane An image of counter totes at The Gabba

These are counter totes at the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club at Woolloongabba Brisbane when the Cricket Ground shared the facility with the Greyhound Club. This system was in operation prior to 1979 when it was replaced with a computer totalisator system. The boxes inside the frames are relay logic counter boxes and relay access boxes. There are two frames, presumably one for the Win Pool and the other for the Place Pool. These are portable units and as can be seen from the near end with the carry handle, they have done a lot of miles. Apart from the scratches, the left hand unit was probably dropped as it has sustained a dent in the casing at the bottom. The display panel for this counter tote is to the right of this equipment on top of the bench. An image of a much larger Doubles Counter Tote display panel can be seen in the image at the bottom of the page.

A Brand New Counter Tote An image of a brand new counter tote

In contrast to the image of The Gabba Counter Totes which are well worn, this is a brand new one. It also seems to be a more modern design as the ones at the Gabba seem to handle a single pool each and the new one seems to handle both Win and Place pools. This image has only three relay logic units plugged into its module bay and the three available slots can be seen to the right of the populated ones giving a good view of the connectors into which the modules are plugged. The writing on the three modules present is from left CONTROLS W1790, CONTROLS W1792 and R.C. W1795. The W numbers are probably drawing numbers of drawings that define the contents of each module.

Part of Control Panel An image of a brand new counter tote

To save you from squinting at the top of the previous image, the above image is a close-up of part of the control panel of the Brand New Counter Tote. The only parts that are missing are the STARTERS switches for runners 1 to 5 and 22 23 24.

I did not understand why all twelve race numbers are illuminated at once as I was certain that this equipment would only operate on one race at a time in sequence. Additionally, it seemed odd that all the ISSUERS, alternatively known as TIMs (Ticket Issuing Machines), which seem to be grouped into banks A through H are all in the ready state, as the module bay at the bottom of the rack is not fully populated. I rightly or wrongly concluded that all TIM groups would not be fully supported in this configuration due to the missing modules as it was not required to support that amount of TIMs. Neville Mitchell wrote about this: The Race Number lamps that seem to be on were white frosted glass lenses thus the on appearance. In other words the unit is probably not powered up.

Counter Tote for Daily Double An image of a Double Counter Panel

Neville Mitchell wrote about the above photo: This photo is of Don Hardy and the RHJC Daily Double Counter Tote. The system used J10 issuers and typical counter tote relay control units i.e., Access, Multi impulse Routiner. Other counter totes were made for RHJC as the demand for "exotic" betting grew. In 1969 I installed a ex RHJC counter tote in Sabah. RHJC mentioned by Neville is the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club as it was known when Hong Kong was a British Colony. The issuer Neville Refers to is a TIM (Ticket Issuing Machine)

The writing on the top of this rack clearly reads DAILY DOUBLE. The writing on the bottom of the rack reads AUTOMATIC TOTALISATORS IUSA LTD. Neville Mitchell wrote about the text on the bottom: The Automatic Totalisator IUSA name plate is a bit of a mystery. I can only suggest that at that time, late 1950's, AUTUSA was being established, and it could mean INCORPORATED? There was a lot of legal problems with setting up in USA due to what was called the "Sherman Act" which prevented monopolies existing or being formed. Neville mentions ATUSA which is the original name of Automatic Totalisators' subsidiary company in the United States and was an acronym for Automatic Totalisators United States of America. The company had a later name change to Autotote.

Don McKenzie wrote the following about the above image: It certainly looks like a counter tote recording system, meaning a system of small electronic counters as opposed to mechanical counters, but the only counter tote I worked on was a Win/Place system, one which I redesigned to speed it up by a factor of nearly 40. Don's modification of a counter tote is recorded above.