Rolm Computers: 1602, 1602A, 1602B, 1666, MSExx (was Data General Nova Star Trek)

Erik Baigar erik at
Fri Apr 29 03:06:37 CDT 2016

Many thanks for the explanations, so your SCBX is bigger than
I thought ;-)  You hobby of collecting phones and having the
SCBX perfectly match and keep us up to date if you receive
the first call from an external paricipant.  ;-)

> while designing a media gateway to sit on the ROLMbus would
> be a heck of a project ;)

All the modern single board computers (Rhaspberry, Arduino)
have got plenty of computational power, so after having solved
the voltage-level conversion problem almoust any of the
modern "toys" should be able to handle the interfacing in
software I guess.

After your hint, I found this pretty cool video on YouTube
giving an nicely illustrated decription on how the CBX

Quite clever design...

    Best regards and good luck with your SCBX,


On Thu, 28 Apr 2016, Sean Caron wrote:

> On Thu, 28 Apr 2016, Erik Baigar wrote:
>> On Wed, 27 Apr 2016, Sean Caron wrote:
>>> I don't have any ROLM computers (not that I wouldn't love one) but I am 
>>> proud to say that I have a complete ROLM SCBX 8000. I've tried to take 
>>> some pictures and compile some information on my personal site:
>> Wow, that is a lot of PCBs to handle the telephone stuff!
>> Thanks for sharing the pictures - also interesting to see,
>> that they used a Z80 in there but never used microprocessors
>> in their MIL computers (even the later ones!)...
>> As a project you could design a VoIP PCB for the SCBX  ;-)
>>   Erik.
> You're welcome! Mine is actually a relatively small example. It has 84 PCBs 
> in total across six shelves and two conjoined racks with a little disk and 
> control panel between them.
> If you've seen a picture of a lowboy PDP 11/60 ... I always use that as 
> something to relate the general dimensions. The ROLM is maybe a little 
> taller. I need to post some pictures of the complete system and rack.
> I would love to get the ROLM running someday and get it hooked up to a VoIP 
> network... Another hobby of mine is collecting PBX systems and telephones and 
> I've already done this for a Definity as well as a Nortel M1 and I have no 
> doubt that the same could be done for the CBX [1].
> The CBX (eventually) supported DS1 interfaces ... which would IMO be the 
> coolest way to connect the CBX to a media gateway ... but one day once I get 
> the PBX running, I should be able to get it routing calls again with 
> something like a Cisco box acting as an external media gateway ... while 
> designing a media gateway to sit on the ROLMbus would be a heck of a project 
> ;)
> I find the design of the CBX really interesting. IMO, their appearance belies 
> that ROLM was a computer vendor first a a phone equipment maker second. Not 
> in a perjorative sense, just stylistically. Comparing them against boards 
> from WECo/ATT/Lucent/Avaya, Nortel and Harris.
> Best,
> Sean
> [1]

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