Subject: Re: DEC hardware ID request
To: John A. Maier <>
From: Michael Kukat <>
List: port-vax
Date: 02/12/2000 11:41:07
Hi !

On Sat, 12 Feb 2000, John A. Maier wrote:

> I have a piece of DEC hardware that I got years ago at an auction as part of a lot.  It has followed me for 4 years and I JUST fired it works.
> Now I want to find out what it does.  The main box says it is Model: VSXXX-CA, there is no label on the front, just a rocker power switch.  The box is 8cm (3 in) high and each side is about 35cm(13 in).  The box is obviously designed to have a monitor placed on top of it.  It even has foot indentations for the monitor.
> On the back there are two DEC mouse ports, a DIN-5 keyboard connector (LK-401?) and a LK-201 keyboard connector.
> There are two DB25 connectors (serial port?) label J1 and J2.  
> There is a green light with the label D25 above it and 8 red lights (LED) with the numbers 0-7 above them.
> There is a rectangular 4x2-receptacle (J4) of unknown purpose and a rectangular 6x2-receptacle (J3) for a plug that leads to separate box.
> This separate box is a VSXXX-DA, the copyright says 1978.  It has 2 rows with 4 dials on each row.  Above each dial is a 4-digit LED display that counts from 0 to 4096, when the corresponding knob is turned.  I might add, these are some smooth turning dials!
> Since I took my box of RS-232 cables to work, I can't investigate the DB25 ports, so I thought I might turn to you guys.  Any ideas?
> jam

Due to VSXXX-GA is a VAX mouse, and VSXXX-GB is a Personal DECstation mouse, i
would think, this is some kind of "input device". Maybe a Dials-and-buttons-Box
for 3D graphics, SGI has such hardware. The 8 LEDs sound like there is some
kind of VAXstation mainboard inside, the VAXstations usually have this kind of
diagnostic output. But 1978 is a bit very old for hightech graphics hardware.

The 2 mouse ports could be one for a tablet and one for a mouse, DEC has both
classes of "pointer devices" for those ports. The 5pin DIN connector can't be
for the LK401, this is the same connector like the LK201. LK501 uses a
completely different connector (access.BUS), i know newer Keyboards with
PS/2 connectors from the VT510-keyboards. It could be an interface to a VAX,
but this could also be done through the serial ports.


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