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ultra enterprise 450 server - keyboard

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Ken, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

    I collected a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 server from the garbage at a
    public storage unit. It powers up,
    and sends data effectively to a monitor I connected to it. But
    there's no keyboard or mouse--and the only message you get on screen
    is that there's no input device. So, I can't really tell whether it
    works.

    So my question is what my options are for a keyboard (and mouse).
    There's one input that appears
    to be a 8-pin din connection. That appears to rule out ibm-style
    keyboards. And I assume the mouse
    will connect via the keyboard.

    *what type of unix keyboard works? (type 5 is my best guest)

    *are there solutions for non-sun keyboards like adapters and such?

    *is there any other quick way to evaluate the health of the machine
    without an
    "input device"?

    Thanks

    Ken
    Ken, Sep 28, 2009
    #1
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  2. Ken <> writes:
    >I collected a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 server from the garbage at a
    >public storage unit. It powers up,
    >and sends data effectively to a monitor I connected to it. But
    >there's no keyboard or mouse--and the only message you get on screen
    >is that there's no input device. So, I can't really tell whether it
    >works.


    Old Sun machines fall back to using TTYA as the console if there's no
    keyboard hooked up, if you connect up over serial you'll be into the machine..

    >So my question is what my options are for a keyboard (and mouse).
    >There's one input that appears
    >to be a 8-pin din connection. That appears to rule out ibm-style
    >keyboards. And I assume the mouse
    >will connect via the keyboard.


    Yes. A sun Type-5 keyboard interface, using a Sun type-5 keyboard and
    mouse (or Type-6 with the Sun interface). Yes, the mouse connects to
    the keyboard over the same type of interface.

    >*what type of unix keyboard works? (type 5 is my best guest)


    Yes, Sun type-5 keyboard. (or serial console). Many available on eBay.

    >*are there solutions for non-sun keyboards like adapters and such?


    Yes, but they are more expensive than a type-5, and more a problem,
    like any sort of hardware translator would be.

    >*is there any other quick way to evaluate the health of the machine
    >without an
    > "input device"?


    Yes, connect to TTYA with a serial comm program, 8N1, 9600 baud.
    You'll need a null-modem cable to connect your machine to it.
    Doug McIntyre, Sep 28, 2009
    #2
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  3. Ken

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    On 2009-09-28, Ken <> wrote:
    > I collected a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 server from the garbage at a
    > public storage unit. It powers up,
    > and sends data effectively to a monitor I connected to it. But
    > there's no keyboard or mouse--and the only message you get on screen
    > is that there's no input device. So, I can't really tell whether it
    > works.


    Hmm ... usually in the absence of a keyboard, most Suns switch
    to using a serial terminal on the TTYA port on the back. It is too
    late (and I am too tired) to dig into the FEH to make sure that the 450
    has the TTY ports.

    > So my question is what my options are for a keyboard (and mouse).
    > There's one input that appears
    > to be a 8-pin din connection. That appears to rule out ibm-style
    > keyboards.


    Yes -- it is (almost) unique to Suns. (Solbourne made a SPARC
    desktop system with the same connector, but a different pinout,
    resulting in plugging either system's keyboard into the other system
    result in a blown fuse. (At least, back in those days, they used bi-pin
    fuses so they were easy to replace -- not the more recent surface mount
    fuses.

    > And I assume the mouse
    > will connect via the keyboard.


    Yes.

    > *what type of unix keyboard works? (type 5 is my best guest)


    Pretty much any Sun keyboard with the right connector. The ones
    for the Sun-2 machines used a RJ-45 connector IIRC (with a separate one
    for the mouse), and the latest Suns use USB keyboards where anyone's
    keyboard will work, but many don't have the special keys which make some
    things easier.

    There was someone offering a Sun keyboard and mouse on freecycle
    (local free transfer of ownership in place of throwing things away) a
    couple of days ago. Look on Craigs List, and eBay and other such places
    for old Sun keyboards.

    > *are there solutions for non-sun keyboards like adapters and such?


    Probably -- but a *lot* more expensive than finding an old Sun
    keyboard and mouse. (Be careful that a lot of the earlier mice were
    optical, and required a special mouse pad.)

    > *is there any other quick way to evaluate the health of the machine
    > without an
    > "input device"?


    Yes -- the serial port and a serial terminal (or another
    computer running some form of terminal emulator program). Anything
    which pretends to be a VT-100 should work well, though the install
    scripts offer other types of terminals as well.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: <> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
    DoN. Nichols, Sep 28, 2009
    #3
  4. Ken

    Ken Guest

    Many thanks to both of you--I will attempt to connect with my laptop
    into the serial port--assuming there is one
    I'm not with the machine right now. I do have a null modem cable.
    Not sure whether I can do this from my ubuntu
    command line but I'll snoop around.

    Ken

    On Sep 28, 12:43 am, "DoN. Nichols" <> wrote:
    > On 2009-09-28, Ken <> wrote:
    >
    > > I collected a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 server from the garbage at a
    > > public storage unit.  It powers up,
    > > and sends data effectively to a monitor I connected to it.  But
    > > there's no keyboard or mouse--and the only message you get on screen
    > > is that there's no input device.  So, I can't really tell whether it
    > > works.

    >
    >         Hmm ... usually in the absence of a keyboard, most Suns switch
    > to using a serial terminal on the TTYA port on the back.  It is too
    > late (and I am too tired) to dig into the FEH to make sure that the 450
    > has the TTY ports.
    >
    > > So my question is what my options are for a keyboard (and mouse).
    > > There's one input that appears
    > > to be a 8-pin din connection.  That appears to rule out ibm-style
    > > keyboards.

    >
    >         Yes -- it is (almost) unique to Suns.  (Solbourne made a SPARC
    > desktop system with the same connector, but a different pinout,
    > resulting in plugging either system's keyboard into the other system
    > result in a blown fuse.  (At least, back in those days, they used bi-pin
    > fuses so they were easy to replace -- not the more recent surface mount
    > fuses.
    >
    > >             And I assume the mouse
    > > will connect via the keyboard.

    >
    >         Yes.
    >
    > > *what type of unix keyboard works? (type 5 is my best guest)

    >
    >         Pretty much any Sun keyboard with the right connector.  The ones
    > for the Sun-2 machines used a RJ-45 connector IIRC (with a separate one
    > for the mouse), and the latest Suns use USB keyboards where anyone's
    > keyboard will work, but many don't have the special keys which make some
    > things easier.
    >
    >         There was someone offering a Sun keyboard and mouse on freecycle
    > (local free transfer of ownership in place of throwing things away) a
    > couple of days ago. Look on Craigs List, and eBay and other such places
    > for old Sun keyboards.
    >
    > > *are there solutions for non-sun keyboards like adapters and such?

    >
    >         Probably -- but a *lot* more expensive than finding an old Sun
    > keyboard and mouse. (Be careful that a lot of the earlier mice were
    > optical, and required a special mouse pad.)
    >
    > > *is there any other quick way to evaluate the health of the machine
    > > without an
    > >  "input device"?

    >
    >         Yes -- the serial port and a serial terminal (or another
    > computer running some form of terminal emulator program).  Anything
    > which pretends to be a VT-100 should work well, though the install
    > scripts offer other types of terminals as well.
    >
    >         Good Luck,
    >                 DoN.
    >
    > --
    >  Email:   <>   | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    >         (too) near Washington D.C. |http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    >            --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
    Ken, Sep 29, 2009
    #4
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