Decmate Owner's Guide (or equivalent experience)

Brent Hilpert hilpert at
Thu Oct 15 14:02:26 CDT 2015

On 2015-Oct-14, at 3:40 PM, Robert Ferguson wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> Does anyone have a electronic copy of the original Decmate Owner’s Guide (AA-K330C-TA) that they could share?
> Alternatively, can anyone describe what can be accomplished (if anything) from the initial “Setup” prompt on a VT278 *without* any disks attached?
> The situation is that Brent and I are trying to resurrect a Decmate — we’ve plugged in a VT100 keyboard (Thanks, Bill!):
> - it boots to the “Setup” prompt with the flashing cursor.  
> - the “Power” light on the rear of the unit is steady and the “CPU OK” light is blinking. 
> - the keyboard lights indicate “online"
> - pressing ‘2’ or ‘PF3’ cause “Setup” to disappear. ‘3’ seems to cause it to perform some self-test like procedure. 
> - most keys cause keyclicks, but ‘space’, ‘M’, and ‘/' don’t. With an oscilloscope, we can see data from the keyboard being sent for the “silent” keys, however.
> Without disks, what else should we able to do?
> Eventually, we’d like to find or construct some solution for mass storage, but we’re still at the point of checking out the VT278 itself. 

Whoops, my mistake, and apology: that should have been Thanks Jack (Rubin).

Found some more info about SETUP mode in the Decmate System Architecture manual. Between the idiosyncrasies, I'm beginning to wonder if there's something funny going on in the keyboard scanning sequence or keyboard management from the 278, we'll have to investigate the keyboard communication in more detail.

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