Old Nokia/alfaskop 3270 terminal

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Sat Jan 11 07:03:30 CST 2020



These are VDU472C which were produced with both Nokia and ICL badges. They are very much a straightforward IBM3179 clone and have normal IBM coax ports on the back.

They have 122-key PC style keyboards with a large plug. Not sure if they are AT or XT style. A parallel printer port. Inside there is a M68000P12 CPU.

So an “embedded system” with no floppies. I have it plugged into am IBM 3174 screen controller and can connect out to 


I know Matt Burke (9track.net) has plugged his SDLC 3174 controller into a CISCO router and used CISCO SDLC encapsulation to pass data to a modified Hercules.

This works for MVS but not MTS or VM.





From: Mattis Lind <mattislind at gmail.com> 
Sent: 11 January 2020 12:15
To: Dave Wade <dave.g4ugm at gmail.com>; General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Subject: Re: Old Nokia/alfaskop 3270 terminal




What kind of Alfaskop terminal do you have?


Incidentally, me and a friend has been working quite a lot with Alfaskop terminals lately. I have been refurbishing a complete Alfaskop S41 terminal cluster with terminal , floppy unit and terminal controller. In the process I have dumped all PROMs, PALs and FPLAs so that my friend could create an emulation of the system in MAME.


A bit of the project is described here: 




and here:




This short clip show when we just recently managed to boot the terminal and the communication processor.




Aside from getting emulation of the cluster we are working on building a gateway to bridge IBM BSC to TN3270 so that the system could be used with Hercules. Then also we are looking into creating hardware so that the emulated communication processor could talk over the proprietary interface used by the system with a real Alfaskop terminal. 


So the answer to your question is that to get an Alfaskop running you need the communcation processor and a floppy drive. There are some variants that are more self contained. The older System S37 had a model which included the emulation software in ROM. But I doubt that one had a setup menu. It had very simple 8 bit TTL CPU.


Then the system 41 could run in standalone mode. But it still required a floppy drive to load the software from. 


I don't know much about the later models, but my understanding is that those also booted from the communication processor, the 9101.






Den lör 11 jan. 2020 kl 00:13 skrev Dave Wade via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org <mailto:cctalk at classiccmp.org> >:


Can any one remember how to get an AlfaSkop terminal into local setup mode>

Dave Wade


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