VT131 needs keyboard help

From: Ethan Dicks <erd_6502_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Jan 28 12:53:35 2002

--- Christopher Smith <csmith_at_amdocs.com> wrote:
> Another weekend project of mine has been working on a VT131
> terminal. The terminal seems to work fine when receiving data.
> The terminal always powers up with a "4" in the corner
> (keyboard error?).

Keyboard error. It's _possible_ the keyboard error is in the VT131,
but not as likely as in the keyboard. If you have a VT100 or VT101,
VT105, etc., you could test that keyboard in another terminal; but if
you just have the VT131 as your sole example of DEC keyboards, that's
a bit of a problem.

> Having taken apart the keyboard, it does have an empty socket for
> a DIP. Anyone know what this is?

Have no idea. Never disassembled one.
> Is it possible that this is a "lookalike" keyboard? Did DEC make
> different models for different VT100 terminals -- were they
> compatible? If this is an authentic DEC keyboard, will it be
> marked as such somewhere? If so, how?

If the label hasn't fallen off, ISTR that there was a paper sticker
with the Digital logo and some numbers on the bottom.

It's possible, if you can't find a vendor description anywhere, that
you picked up a keyboard for another terminal. Lots of folks used 1/4"
jacks for keyboards in those days, even Apple (on the Lisa).

> The key layout _looks_ like VT100, but...

If it's a DEC keyboard, it should be compatible. I am not aware of
any major changes in keyboards, save VT100 vs LK201 and the like
(different protocol, I presume; different appearance, different connector,
> The reason I'm asking about the brand is that there was another
> terminal at the junk yard, completely trashed, which looked like
> a VT100, but had a completely different branding. I forget the
> brand right off, but I'm afraid I may have picked up the keyboard
> for the dead terminal, and that it may not be compatible at all.

AFAIK, even though the plugs may be the same, they were not
compatible across vendors.
> Failing a way to positively identify the keyboard, are there any
> common modes of failure along these lines?

Dead chip in the keyboard, usually. We never fixed them when I used
VT100s on a daily basis. We threw them into a box in the back room and
grabbed a different (working) one from stock. The fact that we were
shrinking on an annual basis meant that we never had to buy a terminal
again after we hit our peak in 1984.

> Also, I'm guessing at this point that the terminal is in good shape.
> Does anyone know where to get a keyboard?

Off of a good terminal? I presume that you could find a VT100 from a
3rd party vendor. Don't know what they sell for these days.


Do You Yahoo!?
Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!
Received on Mon Jan 28 2002 - 12:53:35 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:34:58 BST