VT-320 Hack+Tip for Smokers

From: Loboyko Steve <sloboyko_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Mar 13 14:28:22 2002

I have a lot of respect for hardware that is easily
modified or repaired in a pinch. I got in two VT320's
with only the most vague hint of screen burn in
reverse video (does anyone else think amber is the
worst for screen burn?), with LK201 keyboards and
manuals, $33.00 for both shipped in $20.00 of bagged
foam in place packaging. These are pretty nice units,
one of the best deals I got on eBay. Anyway, I noted
that there is a blanking plate on the back for the
RS-232 port - all you have are the MMJ connectors for
printer and i/o. I found out these connectors and
their crimpers are hard to find/pricey, and I didn't
want to spend a lot of money on these terminals. I
considered removing the blanking plate, putting in the
DB-25 connector (no place on my unit's PCB for one -
odd), and soldering internally to the MMJ's, but I'm
afraid of CRT's, so I found a 6-pin conventional mod
connector, with the tab cut off and sanded and a
little friction tape on the back opposing the actual
gold pins. Works wonders. Wouldn't put it in
production (well, maybe not without some
superglue...), but it works for me.

After thoroughly cleaning the units and washing the
keys, I found a few of the keys didn't work right on
one of them. This is one of those conductive rubber
dome keyboards (and cheap and junky ones at that).
They ask quite a bit for them on the 'net
("refurbished", usually meaning they blow the dirt out
with compressed air). I can find better PC keyboards
new for around $4.99. What to do. Well, I cut off
about 3/16" of a cigarette filter (with the paper on)
and put it in the tube above the torn dome connector.
I trimmed it a bit after testing the feel of the key,
and it works rather well, especially for my typing
style (not particularly speedy and somewhat
ham-fisted). The filters are made of kapok (some kind
of tropical tree fiber, used in, strangely,
lifejackets, as I recall). I wonder how many others
have done this ...

Do You Yahoo!?
Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!
Received on Wed Mar 13 2002 - 14:28:22 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:35:11 BST