how to connect a DECprinter I (LA180) ?

Rod Smallwood RodSmallwood at
Sat Dec 29 02:41:52 CST 2007

   If my memory is not totally shot. The basic model was the LA180-PA.
It had a Centronics interface and I think all that was required was a
cable to go from the Berg to a 36way Plug. The various boards in LSI's
PDP's may well have been parallel (Centronics type) interfaces and could
have been pin-to-pin matches requiring only a flat ribbon cable to the

RS232 and EIA (20mA) interfaces were on their own boards and plugged
into the Berg.

Rod Smallwood

DEC Terminals Product Line 1975 - 1979

-----Original Message-----
From: cctech-bounces at
[mailto:cctech-bounces at] On Behalf Of Henk Gooijen
Sent: 28 December 2007 22:00
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: RE: how to connect a DECprinter I (LA180) ?

[Sent again, to get it readable. What can I do to correct this?]
Sorry, I just don't understand why the quoted text is so messed up.
It all looks fine before I click the "Send" button. This time, I changed
the encoding from UTF-8 to Western Europe (Windows) ... I better not put
my answers interspersed.
If somebody knows how to get this stupid quoting corrected: help!
The manual is called "LP11/LS11/LA11 line printer user's manual", but
the etch on the M7258 only says "LS11 interface".
The round cable is not a flat cable, but has separate wires. At least,
that is how it looks to me. The diameter is approx 0.5". I will shoot a
picture of that cable too. I will "announce" the LA180 page when it is
finished ... and hunt down that cat :-)  If somebody has that text
file,I would love to print it!
You got me up the attick for the third time Ethan :-) If you hold the
M7258 with the fingers at the right side and look at the component side
of the module, the BERG header is at the top left side.
The single height module is directly above the M7258, like this ASCII
     | ###############                                    ----
 \\  |                                                       |
  \ \|                             M5973                     |
     |                      component side view              |
  / /|                                                       |
 //  |  BERG (to M7258)                                      |
     | ###############                                    ----
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <--- flat cable
-----------------------------------------------------     |
###############                                    ----     |
M7258                     |
    ===                                                     ===
The module is original DIGITAL, it is in the etch, M5973. It's in the
Field Guide: "M5973 LLD11 U TTL to differential transceiver".
There are only 3 fingers connected at the end, for power supply.
The way it is, this M5973 must have been installed in position B of the
slot, where the M7258 goes into an SPC (position C-F).
The manual indeed is for the major part concerning the LP01/02/04/05.
Wished I could have played with DEC stuff in those days! Cool havingyour
own pdp8 at 16!!
Henk (wondering how this will appear on the list!)

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