The FIU-004/005 interface and handhelds began production in 2003 with the circular optical connector. The 8 position program switch allowed for many program options on all three output connectors (Serial, USB, Parallel). It was a big improvement over the fragile small fiber optic bundle with hand-built optical d-connector. Handhelds could have up to 8 buttons and the joystick and trackball were developed for variable optical output.
We have no immediate plans to stop supporting the FIU-005 interface. However we strongly encourage existing customers to update their interfaces and handheld devices when purchasing new equipment.
For more technical information see the FIU-005 Manual.