VT100 keyboard (source?)

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Wed Aug 19 16:48:29 CDT 2015

On 2015-Aug-19, at 2:17 PM, Ethan Dicks wrote:
> 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).

Thanks, that was a question I had been intending to ask, but to confirm:
If one obtained (as appropriate) bare RX01/2 floppy drive(s), it would just be a matter of power supply for the floppies, and passive cabling to interface the drives to the CPU/display?
I actually have the DB25-to-DC37 cable that goes between the disk unit and the DC37 connector on the CPU/display unit.

If we move this along we may be asking for system software in the future, I haven't looked at what may be readily available (i.e. bitsavers) as yet.

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