VT100 keyboard (source?)

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 16:17:36 CDT 2015

On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 5:09 PM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
> Would anyone have a surplus-to-needs, or know of a source for, a VT100 keyboard?

I have terminals and keyboards, but I don't know that I have more
working keyboards than working terminals.

> This would actually be for the DECmateI/VT278 I mentioned on the list a couple weeks ago, Rob and I are looking into doing something with it.

Cool.  I have one of those myself - just the basics - no addon cards,
one set of floppies (room in the pedestal to add more), but I do have
the "desk" upgrade (a metal clip that mounts where the keyboard tray
normally goes, and a desk top and left-side leg so you have a
workspace right in front of you rather than hunching up in front of
the pedestal).

> Alternatively, does anyone know if there is any degree of signalling compatibility between the VT100 and VT220/320 keyboards?

None.  The VT100 keyboard is 3-wire: power, ground, and bidirectional
data with a dumb hardware UART in the keyboard; the VT220/320
keyboards (LK201 et al.) have a 4-wire interface with power, ground,
tx, and rx, and a sophisticated (by comparison) character protocol.

> Those RX floppies in the pedestal on ebay mentioned a week
> or two ago were just what was needed to complete it,
> as they actually looked like they were part of a 278

Yes.  Except for missing the "wood" top, that did look to me like a
VT278 floppy pedestal.  You don't "need" that if you have room for a
side-by-side RX01 or RX02.  That pedestal is just mounting and
packaging (along with a passive DB25<->Berg 40 adapter).  You could
use the same floppy cabinet as a MINC-11 with (AFAIK) the same cables.
I think there is only one DEC standard for running an RX drive over
DB25.  The only part that might matter is RX01 vs RX02 (I _think_
MINCs came with either by the end).  Either way, the floppy drive guts
are all the same across all the lines.  You can just get them in 3
packages (rack-mount, tabletop, or pedestal).  It's only about
mounting (and 40-pin internal vs 25-pin external).


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