Anyone have docs for a Digital Engineering Retro-Graphics ("VT640") board?

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Wed Oct 6 14:05:17 CDT 2010

Hi, All,

Jack Rubin sent me a Retro-Graphics upgrade board and cage that seem
to have had an unpleasant interaction with mud daubers (I only have
the boards, but the report is that the PSU of its former host did not
survive).  I'd like to clean an resurrect it, and I'd like to find any
tech docs to go with.  The closest I've found so far is a manual on
Bitsavers for a version of the product for an ADM-3A terminal:

I found a query from John Wilson (D-Bit) some months back where he's
seeking a programmers' manual, so it appears there are more questors
than answers.

Does anyone have anything on this device?  It's a
DEC-quad-height-sized card, with connectors appropriate for a VT100
enclosure, a few cables (PSU and data to/from the main VT100 board)
and a metal cage, possibly just the standard DEC cage from a VT100.  I
think I can see how to plug it all in, but beyond cleaning and
checking for dead shorts, I'd like to know something about it before I
apply voltage.  Some very nice photos can be found here:

Googling has so far only returned references to its use with the
Synclavier II synthesizer (and its modern replacement, a "VT640"
emulator for MacOS X) and various science and engineering apps from
the heyday of VMS and dumb terminals.  No technical data beyond a few
control sequences.  I know how to drive a Tektronix 4000-series
graphics terminal (and have some nice Tek files from some recent
research on my Tek 4105), but I'm really looking for hardware docs
more than just lists of command sequences.

Thanks for any assistance


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