Unusual semi-modern DEC terminal - "MT 505"?
rodsmallwood at btconnect.com
Mon Jun 15 13:37:17 CDT 2009
It would not have been unusual for DEC to have sold terminals to OEM's who
then modified them for their own systems. I did just that whilst working
for DEC. We even sold LA36 print mechanisms to a company who added their own
electronics and tape reader/punches.
From: cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org [mailto:cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org]
On Behalf Of Ethan Dicks
Sent: 15 June 2009 17:34
To: classiccmp at classiccmp.org
Subject: Unusual semi-modern DEC terminal - "MT 505"?
I'm going through piles of stuff at FreeGeek Columbus, identifying odd
stuff (since most of the volunteers are really only trained on
commodity PC hardware). We have a pile of DEC terminals and X Terms
from a local car dealer. The VT220s are, of course, easy to plug in
and test. There is another terminal, though, that's clearly of DEC
origin, but I can't find how to get into 'setup' mode.
The terminals are marked on the front "505 MT", and on the back, the
DEC label says something like "VT-42 - 505 MT". Physically, they look
newer than a VT220 and sort-of resemble a Wyse 50. When powering them
on, they appear to have some sort of graphic video memory test on
startup. The same LK-series keyboard (not an LK-201, but something in
the LK-4xx line) that works find with the VT220s does not give me the
setup menu on the 505 MT from pressing F3.
>From interpreting the 2-3 labels on the top, back and sometimes sides,
it wouldn't surprise me that these are VT-420s with some sort of
custom firmware for an ADP system of some kind. I've done some
googling, but haven't turned up much except for replacement prices.
All of these terminals are dirty and the plastic yellowed with age/UV
exposure, but once I get them all checked out, FreeGeek Columbus is
interested in selling them for a nominal amount (under $50). There
are no keyboards or power cords, and they will all need to be cleaned,
but I can say that each one sold will be tested (by me) to work with
an LK-series keyboard and have stable video (VT220s have a common
fault that takes out horizontal hold) and working serial line drivers
(tested with a loopback plug).
If anyone recognizes a "505 MT" variant of a VT420 and especially
knows how to get into setup, I'd love to hear from you. If anyone is
interested in one of these terminals (sans keyboard), I'd love to hear
from you on that, too. FreeGeek Columbus would like to place these
terminals into loving homes and not have to scrap them.
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