Octane won't init video...

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vegac
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Octane won't init video...

Unread postby vegac » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:37 pm

Ok, so, as some of you know, I recently picked up an Octane for rediculously cheap off of eBay ($75 to be exact)

As with all things in life - it seems as though it was too good to be true.

I had it set up, power cord, video adapter (13w3->vga) plugged in to my monitor, keyboard and mouse, and tried turning it on...

It has no harddrive, but I don't think that would be the problem.

It would look like it was "trying" to find the video, but failing...or something like that

The monitor would show it's "no signal" screen, which would then go black as if it had a signal, then back to the no signal screen again a few times, and the light bar would go red...

Is there a list of things that cause the bar to go red, or is it just ANY error on bootup - also any ideas about the video?

My first guess is the whole sync-on-green issue and the 13w3->vga adapter, but from what I've read the O2 requires sync-on-green also, and my monitor runs with that just fune.

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nicolas
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Unread postby nicolas » Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:38 pm

Your Octane will stay on red without HD but the startup screen is supposed to show up. I have seen problem like your with 13w3->vga cable or maybe
your monitor dont support octane default resolution. Worst case, the display adaptor is dead.

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Unread postby vegac » Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:55 pm

Well...
I borrowed the HD from my O2, just to have a drive attached...
The light came up red, but then after the drive would spin up would turn back to the normal light color...

Video still isn't initializing, though it seems like it's trying to
I'm just unsure at this point if it's the SI card, or the 13w3->vga adapter, or my monitor not liking it...

If it was the SI card, I wouldn't think that it would atleast TRY initializing it (I can see the monitor try to init, go black, then fail and go back to the "no signal" screen)

If it was the 13w3->vga adapter, well, I don't know maybe that's what it is, but it specifically said it was for SGI's on the packaging...though that probably doesn't mean much.

For my monitor, it'll handle any res I've EVER thrown at it, upwards of 1920x1440 (at 72hz) - it's a KDS Avitron (basically a re-branded Sony Trinitron). So I don't *think* that's what it is...but again I'm not really sure.

At this point I'm just hoping for any bits of info because I don't want to be throwing money on things that aren't needed...and more importantly, I've had it for a while now - I just want to see it boot :)

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Shtoink
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Unread postby Shtoink » Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:13 pm

I know that a lot of machines don't like to travel. I have seen many times where a machine would fail to boot, but after pulling most, if not all, of the things that can be unseated and reseating them it can help. But that won't fix a dead part. Hpoefully it is something that jsut needs to be reseated.

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dexter1
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Unread postby dexter1 » Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:14 am

Vegac,

In these times a serial connection to your Octane could he very helpful as well :)

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nekonoko
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Unread postby nekonoko » Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:39 am

vegac wrote:Well...
I borrowed the HD from my O2, just to have a drive attached...
The light came up red, but then after the drive would spin up would turn back to the normal light color...

Video still isn't initializing, though it seems like it's trying to
I'm just unsure at this point if it's the SI card, or the 13w3->vga adapter, or my monitor not liking it...


Hmm, if the stop light is turning white then the self test is passing so the Octane seems to think the video is okay. I'd do what Dexter recommends and check the serial console, it could be that nogfxkbd is set to 1 or something simple like that.
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vegac
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Unread postby vegac » Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:19 am

Further investigations...

If I hit escape while the Octane is booting and then 5 (for the mini-shell whatever it's called) and type in commands, it seems to be doing something...

such as typing in init and hitting enter, seems to have it re-initialize the hardware (it tries to re-init the video apparently), but then maybe that's just something else, not really sure...it could just be a sort of placebo effect, I'm hoping it'll do something so I perceive it as doing something...

I guess in a few hours I'll go *all* the way across the street to Best Buy and grab a serial cable...

I'd really love to have this thing up and running today :)
And hey, turns out I DO have a sled, it was in the box under some more packaging, so I'm just going to keep the drive from the O2 for now I guess :)

---

As for the serial cable, I need a null modem cable like the old PC days of hooking up a PC to another, or a straight-thru? I'm guessing a null modem but I'd like to be sure if possible :)

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Unread postby nekonoko » Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:41 am

vegac wrote:As for the serial cable, I need a null modem cable like the old PC days of hooking up a PC to another, or a straight-thru? I'm guessing a null modem but I'd like to be sure if possible :)


Probably more info than you need, but here you go:

General procedure
-----------------
To use a terminal on a SGI machine dumb/diagnostic serial port #1,
first disconnect the SGI keyboard from the machine.

Then connect a vt100 terminal, PC/Notebook terminal emulation, Hyper-
terminal or similar to serial port #1 using a null modem cable.

Configure the serial connection for 9600 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1
stop bit.

With the terminal connected, reboot the machine and check for any
power-on diagnostic messages.

To stop at the maintenance screen, hit ESC when the "Press ESC to
enter ... " message comes up. Some terminals/emulators use a key
combination to generate ESC (for instance, CTRL-ESC).


Caveats
-------
Make sure that your connection from the terminal to the SGI acts as
a null-modem so that not both ends of the cable transmit or receive
on the same wires but that the respective wires are crossed.


Null-modem cable
----------------
It is usually no problem to get a null-modem cable. It can be obtained
from most PC stores for a few dollars. The problem is that the null-
modem cable sometimes has not the appropriate plug to connect it to
the SGI machine.

For instance, you can get a null-modem cable with two female DB9
connectors to connect your PC with a terminal emulation program to an
SGI O2. However, this won't work with a SGI Indy.


Pinouts
-------
To modify an existing null-modem cable or to build a null-modem cable
yourself one needs to know the pinouts. See 'man 7 serial'.

Some pinout examples:

The DB-9 male serial port connectors on O2 (R5k, R10k),
OCTANE, Onyx2, Origin2000 and Origin200 systems have the
following IBM(R) PC/AT(tm)-like pin assignments:

-------------------
\ 1 2 3 4 5 /
\ 6 7 8 9 /
---------------

Pin | Name | Description
____|______|____________________
1 | DCD | Data Carrier Detect
2 | RD | Receive Data
3 | TD | Transmit Data
4 | DTR | Data Terminal Ready
5 | GND | Signal Ground
6 | DSR | Data Set Ready (not used on Indy)
7 | RTS | Request To Send
8 | CTS | Clear To Send
9 | RI | Ring Indicator (not used on Indy)

The DIN-8 serial port connectors on the Indigo, Indy, Indigo2,
Challenge S, Challenge M, Power Challenge M, and the MENET 4-Enet,
6-serial board (XT-FE-4TX-6A) have the following pin assignments.

---------
/ 8 7 6 \
( 5 4 3 )
\ 2 1 /
---------

_4D Compatible Pin Assignments (RS-232)
Pin | Name | Description
_______|_________|_______________________
1 | DTR | Data Terminal Ready
2 | CTS | Clear To Send
3 | TD | Transmit Data
4 | SG | Signal Ground
5 | RD | Receive Data
6 | RTS | Request To Send
7 | DCD | Data Carrier Detect
8 | SG | Signal Ground


Building a null-modem cable yourself
------------------------------------
Normally it is sufficient to buy a null-modem cable for your terminal
or PC running a terminal program and to prepare the other end to
connect to the SGI machine serial port if it doesn't fit already.

The SGI side of the cable can be prepared

- by applying an appropriate adapter between the null-modem
cable and the SGI machine

- by cutting the existing connector off the null-modem cable
and applying the right connector using the appropriate
pinout scheme.

To build the cable from scratch, you need the cable and the appropriate
connectors (see 'man 7 serial'). At minimum you need to build a three-
wire cable to go from the SGI machine serial port #1 (/dev/ttyd1) to
COM1 of your PC.

The minimum connections required are Receive (RX), Transmit (TX), and
Signal Ground (SG). RX on one end goes to TX on the other end, TX on
one end goes to RX on the other end, and SG goes to SG.


Composing a null-modem cable from ready-made parts
--------------------------------------------------
A null-modem cable with the appropriate connectors may be composed by
means of available cables and adaptors.

For instance, to connect a SGI Indy to a PC one would need:

1. a MiniDIN8/DB25, M/M, 8C, 6FT adaptor to connect to
the Indy.

2. a DB25/DB25, M/F, 8C, 6FT null-modem cable to connect
with its female (F) DB25 connector to the male (M) DB25
connector of item 1.

3. a DB9/DB25, F/F, 8C, 6FT cable to connect with
its female (F) DB25 connector to the male (M) DB25
connector of item 2.

The female (F) DB9 connector is then connected to your
PC.

Where to get the required parts?

Greg Douglas of Reputable Systems (mailto:gdouglas@reputable.com)
once said:

In the US, CompUSA or similar type computer stores carry Mac
H/S modem cables, which work just fine for that purpose. You
may also need a null modem adapter and/or DB-9 gender bender.

I sell these as complete kits (with Mini-DIN 8 to DB25, DB
25 gender bender, DB25 null modem adapter, and DB-25 - DB9
adapter for US$50. Unfortunately, I have a US$90 minimum order
for international shipments (because of the amount of
paperwork involved).

An even less expensive source would be National-Tech in the US

http://www.national-tech.com

where you can buy the necessary adaptors and cables ready to plug
into each other to build the required cable for about 20 US$.


Terminals
---------
The 'terminal' connected to a serial port of an SGI machine may be one
of

- a hardware terminal that emulates DEC VT100 characteristics
- a PC running the terminal program under Windows 3.11
- a PC running the HyperTerminal program under Windows
- a PC running the TeraTerm program under Windows. The software is
free and can be obtained from
http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA002416/teraterm.html
- a palm pilot using PalmTelnet that can be obtained from
http://netpage.em.com.br/mmand/ptelnet.htm>
use 'pilot-xfer -s' with the pilot cradle on ttyf2 for backups,
and move it to ttyf1 when you need to access the SGI dumb/
diagnostic serial port #1.


Connecting to the SGI machine
-----------------------------
Connect the SGI machine to your terminal or PC running a terminal
program. Configure the terminal or terminal program with

- 9600 baud
- no parity
- 8 bits
- 1 stop bit
- flow control off or on (one or the other may work)

Power-on the SGI machine. If you can see the "Press ESC to enter... "
message on your terminal, then the protocol is correct. Some terminal
emulators handle ESC in an odd way and require to press a key combina-
tion to send an ESC character. CTRL-ESC is an example.


Testing the null-modem cable connection with a running SGI machine
------------------------------------------------------------------
There is no need for special drivers. As super-user try to write/read
to/from the SGI serial port #2 for a test by 'echo file > /dev/ttyd2'
and 'echo /dev/ttyd2' if this port is set-up appropriately in /etc/
inittab.
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Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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RageX
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Re: Octane won't init video...

Unread postby RageX » Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:57 am

I'd remove all the boards and inspect the CPOP connectors. Lots of these guys on eBay seem to like to pull everything ouf the chassis and it makes you wonder if they take the proper care or if they are even aware of the fragility of these connectors.

Anyway, a good reseating after travel can't hurt.

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wolflord
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Unread postby wolflord » Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:34 am

I had a similar problem with an Indy I was rebuilding for a friend a while ago. The monitor would come on like there was a signal and just stay black, or go into suspend mode and then act like it had a signal and then go back to suspend. The problem turned out to be that the monitor just didn't support the combination of refresh and resolution, which is sad since the monitor was a brand new Sun one. After switching to an Ibm P202 it was fine. So it sounds like it just might be the monitor or the adapter.
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vegac
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Unread postby vegac » Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:53 am

Well, it seems I was mistaken and my monitor does NOT in fact support sync-on-green, and the O2 doesn't always use it by default which is why that worked but not the Octane...

Looking over some lists I found my monitor is listed as specifically NOT supporting sync-on-green, which would explain it.

I finally got in to the Octane with my iPaq (compaq handheld)
running linux instead of pocket PC...it's about time I found a use for that thing; serial connections to systems :)

Just want to thank you all for your help, and well, pray that my fiance doesn't kill me when I walk in with a new monitor one of these days :)

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nicolas
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Unread postby nicolas » Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:23 pm

Maybe a sync on green adaptor can do the trick.
But I never had succes using 13w3->vga adaptor with S.O.G adaptor.

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0ctane
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Unread postby 0ctane » Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:56 pm

I have been having a similar problem hooking my Indigo2 up to a 17" dell monitor. I get sleep light on the monitor that will occasionally alternate with the green power-on light. I am using a 13w3-HD15 adapter also. Where did you get your adapter from? I wonder if we had the same supplier. Mine was supposed to be compatible.
Many thanks to nekonoko for the serial port explanation. I need to grab a Din-8 to DB-9 from work now. Hopefully that will solve my problems of logging in currently.
I too am not looking forward to my wife's reaction when I get a new monitor.


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