Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

HP/DEC/Compaq workstations/servers and operating systems (HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, NonStop, etc.)
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bifo
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Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:34 pm

Hi all, I scored a nice deal on a DEC 3000/400 on ebay this week and I'm pretty excited for my first alpha. There's plenty of manuals for it out there, so if it arrives in working order it should be a doddle to get vms up and running. The only problem I'm having is that while I intend to set it up over the mmj serial from an xterm, and probably remote in to it with xming and xdmcp over ethernet as I have done with my vaxstation, I'd like to try setting it up as full workstation. The 3000/400 doesnt have keyboard/mouse ports, only a 15-pin DIN male port which requires a converter cable to use the normal LK and mouse connections. I think other models also had the ports and the 15-pin cable was only used as an extender, but not this one. Does anyone have that cable or know the part number for it? The service manual lists part numbers for virtually everything else but not that particular cable, and I've come up blank when searching for it.

robespierre
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:37 pm

I believe there was more than one model of cord (they came in different lengths). There was also a model with video pass-through for VAXstations that also used the DA-15 for graphics. One of them is the BC13M-10, p/n 17-02640-01
Another is the BC19S-10, p/n 17-01480-01 (this one also has RGB 3xBNCs)
See the 'OpenVMS cable guide' at HPE, for as long as it lasts: http://h41379.www4.hpe.com/wizard/cable-guide.html

You can also DIY it by connecting the 4P4C and VS-XXX cables to a DA-15F connector:
https://web-docs.gsi.de/~kraemer/COLLEC ... e_Info.txt

As far as the models of workstations and the ports they carry, it's complicated because there are three different ranges that all used this connector. First were the VAXstations, in the early '80s through the mid-'90s. Then the DECstation MIPS computers, from the late '80s through the early '90s. And finally the DEC 3000 AXP, from the early to mid '90s. Of those computers, only certain VAXstations, and the DECstation 2100 and 3100 had separate keyboard and mouse ports. The Personal DECstation 20, 25, 33, 50 use the ACCESS.bus. The rest all required the DA-15.
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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:42 am

I'm not too dexterous with a soldering iron so DIYing it is a bit tough since the port is male and the cable is female, and it definitely isnt the one that carries the video as well (seen those before, the HP wizard actually incorrectly advised someone to get a video cable to someone with the same question in 2000 which came up in my searching). The cable guide is sort of helpful, but unfortunately the only cable I can find on there that seems relevant is the BC13M which is a 36-pin centronics thing that worked with some 4000 vaxstations and 5000 mips decstations, which is definitely not what i'm looking for.

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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:44 am

If anyone needs to see the system itself, this is the ebay auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-DEC-300 ... ?#shpCntId

still cant believe my luck on that one.

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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:46 pm

A shame it doesn't say how much RAM the system has, but it looks like it could have been a base configuration and not upgraded (which could mean 64MB!)
The 3000/400 is also unusual in being the only TurboChannel machine with a 22.5 MHz TC bus speed.

The BC13M-10 is the correct cable.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DEC-DIGITAL-BC1 ... 1988864784
The junction box has a plastic tab to hold it underneath a foot of your CRT monitor so it doesn't slip away. The keyboard and mouse cables plug into it.
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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:21 pm

Thanks, that looks like the right cable. Shame nobody else on ebay seems to be selling one at the moment. The nice thing with the DEC 3000 series is that it takes 32mb parity simms so i should be able to cram in up to 512 mb if it hasn't already been maxed out. The auction makes it look like a production control machine which has no indications of having had the drive removed or wiped, so if it arrives as i'm hoping, i will have basically paid shipping cost for a bootable machine.

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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:59 pm

bifo wrote:The nice thing with the DEC 3000 series is that it takes 32mb parity simms so i should be able to cram in up to 512 mb if it hasn't already been maxed out.

Where are you getting your information? The DEC 3000 400 to 900 use 100-pin ECC RAM SIMMs. The capacity of each SIMM varies from 2 to 32 MB, but they must be installed in sets of eight. The 400 has 16 slots, so it can use either one or two sets of SIMMs.
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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:00 pm

robespierre wrote:
bifo wrote:The nice thing with the DEC 3000 series is that it takes 32mb parity simms so i should be able to cram in up to 512 mb if it hasn't already been maxed out.

Where are you getting your information? The DEC 3000 400 to 900 use 100-pin ECC RAM SIMMs. The capacity of each SIMM varies from 2 to 32 MB, but they must be installed in sets of eight. The 400 has 16 slots, so it can use either one or two sets of SIMMs.

virtually every non-DEC source I've found has said that the 3000 series takes 72 pin FCM Parity SIMMs. Its not a huge concern though, since I'm not buying anything until it actually gets here and I can check for myself. I don't even know if I'll need to expand it at all. Counting my chickens, etc.

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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:40 pm

Your sources are clueless. Only the economy 3000/300 models {,L,LX,X} use 72-pin SIMMs.
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby smj » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:02 am

robespierre wrote:Your sources are clueless. Only the economy 3000/300 models {,L,LX,X} use 72-pin SIMMs.

+1. I spent 1995 building firewalls out of 3000/300LXes. As robespierre says, none of the other 3000 models use 72 pin SIMMs.
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:04 pm

Well, that's a shame, but overall not a big deal. Just hoping it has enough RAM already installed to run CDE, some of the old newsgroup posts say 64mb is about the bare minimum because apparently Alphas require more than VAXen did. 16mb in my old 3100/m38 was barely enough.

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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:06 pm

3k/400 arrived today, undamaged in shipping thankfully. Heaviest system for the size I've ever gotten, guy must've taken a huge loss just shipping it. 2 RZ26's plus the rrd40, fully populated with ram but unfortunately the labels dont include a part number I can find, but once I can get into it I can just query it. It was definitely a production floor machine, hit it with a small vacuum for a while clearing out the vents of black gritty dust. Ah, ebay.

First problem: diagnostic leds showed it wouldn't boot to alternate console until I removed the graphics option, then it seems to boot up fine. The problem is that at best I get some garbled output from the MMJ output using an adapter setup that worked 100% with my vaxen, and it doesn't respond to any input or show any readable output. I'm using the expected 9600 8N1 settings, tried it in both microcom and putty and directly to a serial port on one laptop, and to a known working usb-serial on a different laptop. Anything I'm missing here? I'm going to tackle it again tomorrow and see if there's not some dust or corrosion on the contacts in the MMJ port.

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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:10 am

I think you need to flip the S3 switch on the back panel for the alternate console. This forces it not to care whether graphics are present. The machine has two serial/printer ports, a MMJ and a DB-25, I wasn't able to find which it prefers. Edit: it seems that the "printer" port is the alt console. This is the MMJ.

And yes, these machines are built like a Sherman tank. The covers are almost impossible to remove, and the metalwork is sharp enough to draw blood. Another warning that seems appropriate is to be watchful for the rubber feet. DEC used a kind of rubber that can turn to sticky goo, which you really don't want to get on your carpet or upholstery. And under the feet are metal bolts pressed out of the same sharp steel as the case, which can scratch.
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bifo
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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby bifo » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:21 am

Rubber feet are long gone, and the S3 switch has been set to down as the manual states it should be. Didnt seem to force it while the graphics were present since the diag leds never settled down and seemed to get stuck in a loop trying to display the console over video rather even with S3 in the correct position. It definitely settles onto the prompt and doesn't auto-boot since the hard drives never spin up, which is how I'd expect it to act, waiting for me to tell it which drive to boot from (if they haven't been wiped).

When it spits out the garbled characters it does appear to be running down diagnostic messages, given how fast it scrolls through. Then it stops, the diag leds show the prompt code, and it appears to be awaiting input that it doesnt understand because I assume it sees my terminal input in just as garbled a form.

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Re: Part number for DEC 3000 keyboard cable

Unread postby robespierre » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:31 pm

So did you try setting your terminal to 19200? I think that's the highest the serial ports will go. Maybe 4800?
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