IBM 5394

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pentium
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IBM 5394

Unread postby pentium » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:53 pm

I've had this thing kicking around for a while. Over time I gathered up some twinax terminals here and a few lengths of twinax cable there and now again I'm curious what exactly can be done here. Kjaer's being tight lipped on me. It's either because I'm insane to fiddle with twainx while lacking ANY AS/400 gear...or I'm plain insane to begin with. :mrgreen:

That however is my question. While this is just a multistation twinax terminal controller the main system interface is from what I read an RS-232 (x.21 and x.25 compatible) port that talks in EBCDIC.
Is this REALLY only compatible with OS/400 and I series? Nothing from AIX? Not even from Linux?
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby SAQ » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:32 am

All the IBM docs have the 5394 firmly in the "I" camp (AS/400). It's very likely to only work with AS/400s (and you don't want to go there unless you get an absolutely complete AS/400 including software or have good friends at IBM).
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby pentium » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:14 am

Lovely. :|
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:27 am

I've wanted to play with an AS/400 or System i machine for awhile, and my POWER6 could run System i, I guess, but it's going to wind up being an expensive, heavy doorstop since my workflow is heavily Unix centric. So the POWER6 runs AIX.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby pentium » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:20 pm

I simply can't see myself doing ANYTHING with an AS/400.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:07 pm

Neither can I. And it's sad, because those systems do some heavy lifting.
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probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby SAQ » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:03 am

AS/400 had some neat ideas, but they're so difficult to lay hands on (complete with OS/400) used at hobbyist prices that nobody's really had the opportunity to figure out what can be done with them (beyond DB stuff). My suspicion is that OpenVMS would be in the same boat (MPE certainly is), but for two things: it's more accessible and OVMS's former penetration of academia exposed more people to it than AS/400's "backroom commercial" market.

The system seems to work for IBM, though. They don't "look the other way" for OS/400 the same way they do for AIX.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby kjaer » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Tight lipped? I told you that this was absolutely, utterly useless without an AS/400 host. You chose not to believe me. There wasn't much else to say.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby pentium » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:19 pm

It just seems so absurd, that's all.
A serial communications device that only works with one lump of software. No alternatives and no open-source projects.


....But okay, I'll take your word.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:15 pm

pentium wrote:It just seems so absurd, that's all.
A serial communications device that only works with one lump of software. No alternatives and no open-source projects.


Welcome to the World of IBM. Yep, it only works with one machine - but you can bet that it works very well with that machine.

The lack of open-source alternatives is a result of IBM's "two minds" - some things they're very open about, other things Klaus Fuchs probably couldn't get his hands on if he tried. Most of the second category is the mini-and-mainframe stuff.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby Ryan Fox » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:49 am

pentium wrote:I've had this thing kicking around for a while. Over time I gathered up some twinax terminals here and a few lengths of twinax cable ...


I should throw rocks at you.. I had the misfortune being exposed to one of these many years ago
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:37 am

Ryan Fox wrote:
pentium wrote:I've had this thing kicking around for a while. Over time I gathered up some twinax terminals here and a few lengths of twinax cable ...


I should throw rocks at you.. I had the misfortune being exposed to one of these many years ago


Let him who is without 5394s (or other specialized IBM hardware) throw the first stone.

There are those who would say that being stuck with one of these type of things that they need to get working and absent the budget to get IBM support is sufficient punishment.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby Winnili » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:24 pm

pentium wrote:I simply can't see myself doing ANYTHING with an AS/400.

What, does ERP-at-home not appeal to you?
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby robespierre » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:49 am

thread hijack...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NuBus-Twin-Axce ... 0962679781

Clearly not a video card, this is a biphase communications processor for use with 3270s and 5250s. I don't know the pinout of the DA-15 connector but maybe it can talk to a 5394.
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Re: IBM 5394

Unread postby robespierre » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:15 am

The wiring is different, but the modulation is very similar (although the protocol is different). The DP8344B datasheet shows the connections: 3270 cables are transformer-coupled, 5250 cables are driven from balanced current-mode amplifiers. The card requires adapter cables.
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