Talking to a VAX4000/300

Rod Smallwood rodsmallwood at
Tue Nov 3 00:22:11 CST 2009

The ports can be RS-423 or RS-232.
Use a real DEC terminal.
Try both by changing the set up in your terminal.
Use the correct DEC MMJ cable between the VAX and the terminal.
Connect to the MMJ sockets at both ends. Avoid 25way connectors.

I have a VAX 4000/300 working just fine. (VMS 7.3)

Rod Smallwood
-----Original Message-----
From: cctech-bounces at [mailto:cctech-bounces at]
On Behalf Of JP Hindin
Sent: 02 November 2009 15:39
To: cctalk at
Subject: Talking to a VAX4000/300

Greetings all;

I picked up a VAX4000 last week and have been trying to get talking with
it. I found a general VAX4000 series guide which says the terminal
settings should be 8N1 and I've got the speed right between the dial on
the front of the VAX module and the VT240 I'm using.

I get partial data, with ?s scattered all over the place. Frequently it
loses carriage returns and things get stuck scrolling off the side of the

What am I missing here? Is it not 8N1? I've tried flipping it around to
7N1, 7E1, etc, but usually that just results in absolute gibberish, the
8N1 provides the best signal-to-noise ratio.

I'd appreciate any thoughts given.

Elsewise, I'm pretty pumped. I have another 4000/300, but it has a bad
PSU. I figured I'd put the two together to get the nicest working machine,
store the spare PCBs and dump the chassis (anyone want an empty
4000/300?). The unit is complaining about some memory errors (came with
four memory boards), but with all the crap coming up on the screen, I'm
not entirely positive what it's complaining about since I can only read a
partial output...

Thanks again;

 - JP

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