DEC VRE01 terminal documentation

Tom Uban uban at
Thu Aug 13 16:25:37 CDT 2020

Thanks Paul. Yes, I know the old Plato plasma display terminals well, having grown up with them as
my introduction to computers.

The DEC VR01 is a much newer design, though I'm sure it has some similar properties, including a
high voltage display. Unfortunately, the display itself never lights at this point, just an LED to
indicate power is on. I suspect the low voltage is at least partially working and the high (or
other) is detected to be out and so the whole supply shuts down. This is a typical design for DEC

Thanks for putting me in touch with your expert.


On 8/13/20 3:38 PM, Paul Koning wrote:
> You may want to see if the PLATO terminal documentation is any help, look on Bitsavers under University of Illinois.  Those plasma display power supplies are hairy devices; the panel is actually a memory device and the power supply produces a high voltage AC waveform to make that work.  Those panels normally light up around the rim; the fact you see that briefly but not sustained gives some hope that adjusting may be all that is needed.
> That's quite a display; the usual plasma panels were 8 inches square, 512 by 512 pixels.  I'm guessing this is a 1k by 1k pixel display, which I have seen once or twice, at SAI in San Diego in some military displays.
> I know a plasma terminal expert; I've forwarded your message to him.
> 	paul
>> On Aug 13, 2020, at 3:23 PM, Tom Uban via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
>> I have a DEC VRE01 terminal that I bought NIB years ago. For those who don't know about this model,
>> it has a flat plasma (orange/black) display of about 17". It worked when I bought it, but now, years
>> later, I tried powering it up and the light comes on for a moment and goes out. I suspect a power
>> supply issue, but bitsavers does not seem to have this one.
>> Does anyone have schematic (or other) documentation for it?
>> --tnx
>> --tom

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