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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Hardware Forum
Author My Mvax won't listen to me

Posts: 1
Joined: 02.05.11
Posted on July 29 2014 16:04
I decided to refurb a MicroVAX 3100 Model 40. Cleaned it up, found a tape drive, drive and memory. Replaced the Power LED with a Blue one to bring it into this Century smiley

I have a console cable on port 3 and break enabled. Gives human readable dialog on 96,N,8,1 with no errors and tries to Boot from ESA0: ... Fails as expected.

When push the break and get >>> it won't take any input. No characters generated and no response.

I have tried 2 Terminal emulators and no difference.

Any ideas before I have to go dig up a VT?

Thanks, Scott
Author RE: My Mvax won't listen to me
Bruce Claremont

Posts: 623
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on July 30 2014 02:57
Try the other ports.
Author RE: My Mvax won't listen to me

Posts: 108
Joined: 12.03.10
Posted on July 30 2014 03:52
Its been a long time, but I don't believe that port 3 was console enabled. Try port 1.

Author RE: My Mvax won't listen to me

Posts: 32
Location: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Joined: 15.12.05
Posted on July 31 2014 00:01
On the back of my M95 the MMJ jacks are labeled from left to right, Port 0, 1, 3. The OPA0: port is the rightmost port, #3.

A M40 may be different though. If you're getting the init sequence when it's powered up, that should be the right port. It goes through the testing okay?

Something like this:

KA51-A V2.6, VMB 2.15
Performing normal system tests.
Tests completed.

Then you get the "dead sergeants" prompt and it tries to boot from ESA0?

One possibility is that your console cable has the correct pinout for sending but the receive (from the terminal) is wrong or broken. Are you using a DEC cable or a home made one? Do you have anything else to test it with?
Author RE: My Mvax won't listen to me

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on July 31 2014 03:59
I would look at the other serial ports.

Check your wiring. Search http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/ for the openvms faq and serial port information.

Most RJ-45 or home-made Modtap to 25 or 9 pin adapters are wired wrong and are missing a signal return. Usually this is not noticed because the signal returns are usually also connected to the chassis and will happily pass through the safety ground pin between the devices.

There are two signal returns in a mod-tap or RJ-45 and when you terminate them on an 9 or 25 pin connector, they both need to be connected together in the adapter.

Terminals, PCs, and VAXes, etc are DTE devices. When you use RJ-45 or Modtap cables that are commonly wired with only one signal return connected, because of the twist, it results a different wire connected to the signal common on each end.
Surprisingly, this usually mostly works, except when it does not. Then strange things happen. And then people who do not pay attention to how things should be wired spend a lot of time arguing that it works everywhere else, so the incorrect wiring could not be the problem.

If the VAX has 9 pin serial ports instead of 25 pin ones, be aware that the older DEC 9 pin serial ports are wired differently than on PCs.

While many devices, and I think that includes the MicroVAX ignore the special signals on the connector, some actually care about them. A PC may be one of those devices.

On your serial connector, if you are not passing the DSR/DTR and RTS/CTS signals through the cable, they need to be jumpered at the connector.

DTR is asserted by a device when it is able send/receive data. A serial port that does not have a program connected to it or is listening for login should not be asserting DTR. But who cares about standards?

A device should not pay attention to any serial input unless the DSR signal has been asserted from the remote device. So the DSR must be connected to the sending DTR or jumpered to the local DSR. On a properly configured system, dropping DSR on an interactive terminal session should cause the session to disconnect or logout.

CTS is asserted when the program connected a serial port is able to accept data.

A program should not send data out the serial port if RTS is not asserted.

Of course these behaviors are inconsistently implemented. I do recall some PC terminal emulation programs refusing to work properly if the RTS signal is missing.

So I always make sure either the signals are wired or jumpered.
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