PDA

View Full Version : AS/400 Keyboard and Monitor Connections



napergman
December 27th, 2011, 05:51 PM
A friend just gave me an AS/400 (9406-S10) mini-computer for no charge. I love to tinker so I would like to at least get it up and running. He also gave me an IBM 3488-V Info Window II user interface (for lack of a better name). The 3488 has a DB15 VGA connector, DB25 parallel connector and a DB9 serial connector on the back. Connected to the DB25 is what I believe is a Twinax adapter -- it has two round 2 pin female connectors hanging from it. On the side of the 3488 are a single RJ45 and a PS/2 connector.

The AS/400 has an RJ45 connector (which appears to be a NIC) and 3 DB9 serial ports -- two are marked UPS and MI and appear to be integral to the system. The third DB9 is on a card plugged into an expansion slot. The RJ45 is also on a card in an expansion slot. There are no Twinax connectors on the AS/400.

My quandry is then, how do I connect the monitor and keyboard to the machine.

I did connect the monitor and keyboard to the 3488 and powered both the 3488 and AS/400. I immediately got an IBM splash screen on the monitor. It then went to the IBM ready screen -- a line across the bottom and the cursor parked at line 1, column 80. The cursor does not blink.

The AS/400 appears to have booted. Many characters and numbers appeared in the front panel LCD while it booted and it appeared to run a disk check of some sort as there was a great deal of HDD activity for about 10 minutes. Apparently it has been quite some time since the system has been powered. It is now "idling" (minimal HDD activity) and is displaying "01 B N" on the front panel LCD. Fans are running.

I appreciate any help that is provided. Thanks

NeXT
December 27th, 2011, 06:10 PM
The InfoWindow is merely a console for the /400. You will need either a twinax cable to connect to the system OR two Twinax baluns so you can just some other type of cable other than twinax to connect the two.
This all however assumes the /400 has twinax connections installed. Your system apparently does not.

napergman
December 27th, 2011, 07:56 PM
You are correct, there are no Twinax connectors on the AS/400 so how can I connect a monitor and keyboard to it (i.e. what options do I have -- what was probably used considering no Twinax?)

NeXT
December 27th, 2011, 08:05 PM
Technically the AS/400 has no local consle in terms of keyboard and monitor right on the unit. It entirely communicated with the users/administrator by means of terminals.
There has to be a console interface on it. It's possibly one of the serial ports and if not, it's over the RJ45 as that's all you say three is on this unit.

mikerm
December 27th, 2011, 08:15 PM
Most likely your AS/400 has a console card. There will be a weird thin white connector on the back of it, or it will be one of the DB9 ports. Look up the cards in the IBM redbooks and it will tell you what they are. It needs a twinax block to turn it into twinax connections. 0 1 BN is automatic IPL, so yes, it should be up and running. Since it's running, and it sounds like you have an ethernet card, you should be able to sniff out it's IP address, and connect to it with a 5250 emulator.

Here is an example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-9842-8-Port-Twinax-Cable-21f5093-/230672803369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b52ba629

BTW, I don't recommend spending that much money on one, that was just a quick eBay search. You should be able to get one for way less.

The proper term for your as/400 "booting" is actually "IPL" (Initial Program Load). IBM's site is going to be your most valuable friend in this endeavor. You will want to look up redbooks. Your system specs, card compatibility, etc will be in the redbooks. The best ones to look at are arranged by OS/400 versions, like v4r5. I hope you have the passwords!

DO NOT plug in standard PC PCI cards into the system. You WILL fry something (personal experience).

napergman
December 27th, 2011, 09:11 PM
Next and mikerm, thanks for your input. I have been reading and just came across the IPL acronym. Thanks for the correction. I have attached pics of the rear and what I believe is the console card. I think it is a serial DB9 port. Thank you for the eBay reference. Am I correct that I have two options: use a laptop with 5250 emulation over the console serial port OR purchase a DB9 to Twinax adapter and connect to the 3488 Twinax connector. Please confirm this. BTW, I found another Twinax adapter on eBay for only $8. Finally, are the IBM redbooks available on line (i.e. no cost?)

Thanks again.

mikerm
December 28th, 2011, 08:09 AM
Per the pics, you would need a twinax block that fits that white thin connector (I think it's called HD15 or something). The as/400 doesn't have a "serial" port like you are thinking. You can do 5250 emulation over ethernet though, as your last card is ethernet.

Yes, all redbooks are available on ibm.com.

SteveH
December 28th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Yes, all redbooks are available on ibm.com.

Take a look at the following IBM redpaper. In particular, chapter 7.7 details the 9406 Model S10 system unit.

IBM eServer AS/400e RISC System Builder Version 3 Release 6 - Version 5 Release 2 (http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp0342.html?Open)

It may help determine what hardware you have installed and how you can attach a suitable (probably twinax or emulator display station) console.

Steve

napergman
December 29th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Thanks mikerm and steve. I have learned a great deal so far and think that I might even recognize the solution when I find it *smile*.

A couple of things.....
I have searched the AS/400 Redbook doc that you suggested. Based solely on it's physical location in the diagram, I think that I have a 9720 workstation controller. I think that it is a 9720 because it appears to support Twinax workstations connections and has an ECS port. Unfortunately I could not find any mention to the physical interfaces provided. Again, the card in this same slot in my machine has a DB9 and a 36 pin connector.

I also tried to use the Ethernet port with my laptop. Unfortunately, the port appears to be dead. I did not get any link lights when I plugged the cable in. I did have link lights on my laptop so I am assuming that there was no physical layer communications.

If you have any new thoughts, please offer them. You have been very helpful so far.
Thanks

QuantumII
December 30th, 2011, 01:50 PM
Did you connect a switch between your laptop and the AS/400? It may not work with just a cable between them, unless you used a crossover?

SteveH
December 31st, 2011, 04:19 AM
Good point Quantum. When I originally got my model 150 I tried a standard crossover cable - couldn't get it to work at all. A simple hub should suffice, assuming it has a fixed IP address.

mikerm
December 31st, 2011, 06:38 AM
I have searched the AS/400 Redbook doc that you suggested. Based solely on it's physical location in the diagram, I think that I have a 9720 workstation controller. I think that it is a 9720 because it appears to support Twinax workstations connections and has an ECS port. Unfortunately I could not find any mention to the physical interfaces provided. Again, the card in this same slot in my machine has a DB9 and a 36 pin connector.
The card will have the IBM number printed on it, most likely 9720. That is the console card, and you want a twinax block that mates with the white connector. IIRC, The DB9 can be used for smaller twinax blocks, but I haven't seen one in a while.


I also tried to use the Ethernet port with my laptop. Unfortunately, the port appears to be dead. I did not get any link lights when I plugged the cable in. I did have link lights on my laptop so I am assuming that there was no physical layer communications.
As others had stated, you either need a crossover (those network cards can't auto-detect), or a hub/switch in between with 2 normal cables. I believe that card is the older one that's 10baseT only (but it could be the "upgraded" 10/100).

pine-koan
January 8th, 2012, 01:29 PM
That system is similar to the one I have. It's been a year or so since I messed around with mine, but here's what my rusty memory recalls:

The DB-9 connector on the PCI card is for a 4-port twinax brick. You will need to connect the console to this. I connected mine with two twinax baluns and an ethernet patch cable (not a crossover cable). The ethernet port may not be active - if the network isn't set to start automatically when the system IPLs, you won't even get a link light on the NIC. Mine was like this, and it took a bit of reading before I figured out how configure it and get it to start.

The other DB-9 connectors are for diagnostics and possibly a UPS interface. I'd recommend not connecting a serial cable to them.

Jim

pine-koan
January 8th, 2012, 01:33 PM
As for passwords, I didn't have the passwords for mine. BUT I was able to reset the password for the diagnostic tools, then from there reset the QSECOFR password. Once this was done, I could IPL normally, log in w/QSECOFR, and do whatever I needed. I found out how to do this by searching for 'reset DST password'. Perhaps I should go out in the garage and dig out my notes from when I got my AS/400...

napergman
January 30th, 2012, 04:43 PM
Sorry for my delay in getting back to you. I had several other more urgent issues that I had to take care of. I am now ready to attack this issue again.

I will try to connect to the AS400 through a switch. I talked to a friend who had some experience with these devices and he thinks that the Ethernet port may be disabled which would explain why it had no link lights.

Since my last post, I have gotten the Twinax cable and brick for the server. The owner didn't realize that she had not given them to me. I connected 9 pin connector on the end of the 4-port Twinax brick (IBM P/N 72X5645) to the DB9 port on the back on the 400 (see pic). There was no connector for the thin white connector that is there. I connected the twinax male to male cable to port 0 of the Twinax brick and the Twinax connector labelled "OUT" on the 3488-V. Unfortunately this made no difference. Does anyone know if there is anything particular that must be done when connecting the first terminal?

mikerm
January 30th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Sounds good so far. If the terminal isn't auto-terminating, you will need a tinwax terminator on the other side if there is one.

You might have to play with the terminal settings to get the log in. Also, make sure the as/400 is booting with normal IPL.

napergman
January 30th, 2012, 06:14 PM
I believe that the normal IPL is occurring. I do get an error for the missing tape drive after it loads. Would this prevent a login screen? How can I tell if the terminal is auto-terminating? Where would the twinax terminator go? On the "OUT" Twinax connector of the 3488-V?

mikerm
January 30th, 2012, 06:16 PM
It's possible that the missing tape drive could stop the IPL, that one I'm not sure on. I don't think it will, but I don't know for sure.

Whats the terminal make/model? And yes, a terminator would go to the "out" connector. Twinax is a daisy chain.

napergman
January 31st, 2012, 05:20 AM
I have a 3488 Display Station so I am using a straight monitor (took one from one of my pc's). I did get an IBM monitor (CRT, not flat screen) with the 400 (model 6546-4AN) but I ASSUMED that it was just a monitor so I could use any I had.

I'll take a look and see if I can find anything about the tape drive error and IPL loading. Thanks for the lead.

napergman
January 31st, 2012, 01:26 PM
I nosed around a bit and discovered that there is no tape drive in the AS/400. It's just a empty cage with a cover. I called the last owner of the AS/400 and she is going to give it some thought. I am hopeful that she will remember something (like the Twinax terminator or missing tape drive....)

SteveH
January 31st, 2012, 01:35 PM
I believe that the normal IPL is occurring. I do get an error for the missing tape drive after it loads. Would this prevent a login screen?
It's unlikely that the missing tape drive would cause the IPL to fail, unless it has no OS loaded and is trying to IPL from tape! What system reference code (SRC) does the front panel end up with? It may help pinpoint what stage of IPL the system finally reaches. Here's a link that lists the SRC codes at OS400 V5R3 IBM System reference code list (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iseries/v5r3/index.jsp?topic=%2Frzahb%2Fsrclist.htm)

SteveH
January 31st, 2012, 01:51 PM
Another thought. The 3488 display station needs to be configured as address 00 and plugged in (via the twinax cable) into port 0 of the twinax block.

napergman
February 1st, 2012, 01:20 AM
The SRC is: B1014507 which is listed as a Software Installation error category. Here is the description:
These reference codes appear if the tape device for the alternate IPL was not found or was not ready. Make sure the tape device is powered on and the correct tape is loaded and ready. To make tape devices ready, you might need to open and close the tape device door.

The Twinax cable is plugged into port 0 of the twinax 4 port block but I don't know how to configure the address on the 3488 to 00.

SteveH
February 1st, 2012, 02:13 AM
OK, so it's attempting to IPL from tape. Before you start the IPL what does the front panel show? I'm guessing something like "01 D N" or "01 D M". The D indicates IPL from installation media (usually CD or tape), the N means Normal (unattended) IPL and M means Manual IPL - you need the console for the latter. Try changing the IPL mode back to "01 B N" like in your first post then try another IPL.

SteveH
February 1st, 2012, 02:28 AM
I can't remember exactly how you configure the 34xx infowindow terminals, but...

1. Power the workstation off
2. Power it back on whilst holding down the space bar
3. You should now get a menu. Look for an option to set the session address.

napergman
February 1st, 2012, 03:06 AM
I finally took the time to watch all SRC's during the IPL. See below.
C1xx 1006 - Attempting to load RAM from MFIOP directed device
C1xx 1018 - Attempting to load RAM from non-MFIOP directed device
A1xx 19xx - Installation device for an alternate IPL is not ready (steps through a few dozen codes)
C1xx 1007 - Retrying Attempt to load RAM from MFIOP directed device
A1xx 19xx - Installation device for an alternate IPL is not ready (steps through a few dozen codes)
B1014507 - Software installation error - unable to find alternate IPL device

How is the MFIOP directed device configured? Is this hardware? Can I check something? This system supposedly worked when I got it although it hadn't been powered on for months. Does it matter if the IPL is configured for Normal or Manual? Making progress but not feeling too good here.

SteveH
February 1st, 2012, 04:03 AM
The following link may help with some of the IPL SRC codes, plus a simple explanation of the MFIOP.

Secrets of IPLs Exposed (http://www.mcpressonline.com/operating-systems/ibm-i-os400-i5os/secrets-of-ipls-exposed.html)

As to Normal or Manual IPLs...
Normal will usually bring the system up in an unattended manner. i.e. start the IPL and just let it get on with it.
Manual will bring it up to a point where you decide at the console what you want to do next. i.e. start an IPL, work with hardware, etc.