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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Hardware Forum
Author Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
TheNeil2001
Member

Posts: 5
Location: Sunny Harrogate, UK
Joined: 14.02.17
Posted on February 14 2017 06:06
Hi Guys,

OK I'll admit that I'm a complete n00b when it comes to Vax hardware (my only experience was from 20+ years ago as a student coding on one during a work placement) but I've landed a MicroVax 3100-30 which I was hoping to hook up to my VT320 terminal (I know, I'm a masochist).

lacking an MMJ cable I ordered one of these http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/telecom-cable-assemblies/0446670/ but...no dice. Terminal comes to life (flashing cursor, setup all accessible etc.), the machine chugs into life (lights flash, drives whirring away etc.) but no signs of life regardless of whichever MMJ socket I use on the back of the machine

Any ideas what (no doubt blatantly obvious) thing I'm doing wrong but am too stupid to work out? My hunch is that the cable is the problem but I'd rather check (and know what to do about it) before asking Mr Scissors for help smiley

Mucho gracias
http://macmania.byethost18.com/?i=1
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 599
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on February 14 2017 09:57
The VT set up as 9600/8/N/1?
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
TheNeil2001
Member

Posts: 5
Location: Sunny Harrogate, UK
Joined: 14.02.17
Posted on February 14 2017 10:21
I reset the terminal's settings to default so I'm assuming so.

The Microvax manual does say about switching the VT320's port to use 'DEC-423' (but I haven't had a chance to try that). Is that a credible possibility?
http://macmania.byethost18.com/?i=1
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 527
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on February 15 2017 03:16
I do not have access to a vt320, so have to go by memory. The instructions you quoted imply that the VT320 has multiple ports on it. The MMJ port is DEC-423.

Testing the VT320 should be easy, if you have it use the 25 pin D connector just short pins 2 and 3 together and anything you type should show up.

http://h41379.www4.hpe.com/faq/vmsfaq_025.html is how a standard MMJ cable should be wired.

This conflicts with the description of the link you posted of what you purchased. A straight through MMJ cable is almost never needed, so it is very odd that they would be selling a non-standard cable, but not offer a standard MMJ cable.

If the cable is indeed a straight through cable, it will not work, and it will be rare to find a configuration where it is needed. You may want to call them and find out if you can exchange it for a standard MMJ cable.
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
TheNeil2001
Member

Posts: 5
Location: Sunny Harrogate, UK
Joined: 14.02.17
Posted on February 15 2017 06:31
Ahh now that explains a lot. The VT320 does have an MMJ connector and a 25 pin D connector so what the manual says about switching it to use 'DEC-423' makes sense (resetting the terminal sets it back to RS-232 which must be the 25 pin connection).

I've had a look at the cable and it looks as though it's the most likely suspect as pin 1 on one end is connected to pin 1 on the other end (rather than pin 6 as the link says). I've checked with the supplier and they've scratched their heads and gone 'Huh?' which makes me think that for what I paid for it (£5.40 adding on the tax) it's easier to simply cut it in half and rewire it myself - it's not like I'm going to lose much smiley
http://macmania.byethost18.com/?i=1
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
TheNeil2001
Member

Posts: 5
Location: Sunny Harrogate, UK
Joined: 14.02.17
Posted on February 15 2017 07:02
Flipped the pins over (after cutting the cable in half), set the terminal to use 'DEC-423, Data Leads Only', 9600/8/N/1 and...


KJA45-A V1.1-313-V4.0
08-00-2B-29-40-07
8MB
?? 001 9 NI 0172
>>>





Of course what I do next I have no idea but looks like there's life left in the old box yet smiley
Edited by TheNeil2001 on February 15 2017 08:12
http://macmania.byethost18.com/?i=1
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 527
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on February 15 2017 14:21
You now have a MicroVAX that probably can only take a 1 GB SCSI boot disk, and is also probably slower than SimH/VAX running on just about anything that is less than 10 years old.

https://sourceforge.net/p/vms-ports/wiki/VMSHardware/

https://sourceforge.net/p/vms-ports/wiki/VMSInstallation/

You can install VMS on a SimH/VAX and use it as a cluster boot node and run your VAX network booted.
Author RE: Microvax 3100-30 vs VT320 - Dead, Alive?
TheNeil2001
Member

Posts: 5
Location: Sunny Harrogate, UK
Joined: 14.02.17
Posted on February 15 2017 20:27
Thanks for the pointers (hopefully it'll get this machine up and running again) and the help with getting everything hooked up - much appreciated smiley
http://macmania.byethost18.com/?i=1
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