IBM 3101-12 ASCII terminal - need fuse holder

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Fri Jan 29 12:40:15 CST 2016

On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 1:19 PM, Paul Berger <phb.hfx at> wrote:
> On 2016-01-29 12:28 AM, Ethan Dicks wrote:
>> I was just gifted with an IBM 3101-12 ASCII terminal...
> I did a quick google search for 'ibm 3101' and among the hits was a manual
> on, there are two manuals one
> of which is the "Terminal Description" that seems to have plenty of
> information about the data stream.

I quickly found GA18-2015-3 ("An Introduction to the IBM 3101 Display
Terminal") last
night.  The more useful one is GA18-2033-2 ("IBM 3101 Display Terminal
Figure 2-12 on pages 2-20 through 2-23 have the full command set.  It
appears to be
nominally VT52 compatible (ESC-A through ESC-D for cursor movement, ESC-H and
ESC-Y for 'home' and 'set cursor address'...)  The 3101 command set
has plenty of
additional commands, and does not implement a few of the full VT52
command set, but
as soon as I get the terminal all cleaned and checked out, I can
probably tell the
host I have a VT52 and get some useful results from it.

> The protocol is unusual at least the mod 12 is one of the character mode
> terminals supports RS/232 and current loop.

Yep.  Saw that.  I might use the current loop (I have a few devices
that support it), but
at first, RS-232 is quite handy.

> The weak point is the keyboard,
> the key modules have a leaf spring in them that flexes every time you press
> a key and they break.

Good to know.

> The good news is almost every IBM keyboard from that
> time uses exactly the same key module so spares may not be hard to come by.
> When I was servicing machine with this type of keyboard more than 30 years
> ago, I carried a dozen spare key modules in my trunk all the time.

Very good to know.

Thanks for the tips on the keyboard!

Unfortunately for me, my friend who dropped it off couldn't find the
keyboard ("it's
in the basement...") so I won't be able to make much progress until I get that.


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