View Full Version : sun cables/adapters

April 13th, 2006, 03:58 PM
Hi all,

Well I bought an IPX. Got it on ebay australia for $49 plus $21 shipping.

Now I need two things, a din8 to db 9 serial cable and a db25 to rj45 ethernet adapter.

The former is urgent so I probably need to make one. The machine came with a very limited doa warrantee so I'd like to boot and test it asap.


Does anyone know the correct pin connections for a din8 to db9 serial cable for booting a sun IPX headless ?

OR can you point me to one online I can buy that will definitely work ? I've read that some mac cables will work but they apparently vary and I don't know which ones to chase up...

If I try to map pinouts anymore my heads going to explode..Got flu at the moment and can't think...

Much thanks for any help...

Oh another possibility is someone in brisbane willing to loan me either a sun keyboard and monitor (or monitor adapter) or a suitable cable or serial terminal. I'd only need it for a few hours, could bring the machine to your place...

April 14th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Check out:

You really only need a serial "null modem" cable (for console),
and an "AUI adapter" (15-pin ethernet to RJ45).

April 14th, 2006, 02:09 PM
The AUI adapter is also known as a transceiver, and contains a bit more electronics than just wiring cables around. I remember those were a bit valuable in the late 90'ties when we were using Suns and a few other computers with AUI interface. A spare transceiver could be traded for a large (GB++) hard disk, several RAM modules etc.

April 14th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Yeah, normally I'd sit down and work out the pinouts and make the cable. Thing is my brain is so fried right now I can hardly type.

Null modem cables are easy but then I have to map it to the din 8 and the db9 in my pc. So there is some thinking.

Thanks for the heads up on aui. I'd forgotten what they wre called. I remember they were a huge leap forward over BNC networks but they were only around a few years before the RJ45 became pretty much universal.

Sigh. Nothing is ever easy...

I'm thinking maybe I should just buy a keyboard and 13W3 to VGA/15 converter...There is a job lot on ebay, 4 keyboards and a cdrom for $20....

I only need the serial stuff /keyboard and monitor till it's set up, then I should be able to admin it via ssh....

April 15th, 2006, 12:18 AM

I went to jaycar and bought all the bits to make a serial cable and I've sat down with the docs:



and the normal null modem pin mappings. I've figured out most of it but am still somewhat confused, and since mucking it up can toast the serial posts I'd appreciate any thoughts:

If I were wiring a DB9 to DB9 null modem cable I assume I'd do it like this:
3 TD-RD2
4DTR-DSR6 and bridge to CD1
6DSR bridge 1CD- 4DTR

and pin 9 unused.

According to the sun site and the one above the sun doesn't have a DSR.

So the question is shold I just join CD to DSR and vice versa ?

ie will this be ok (DB9PC - Din8 sun):
3 TD-RD5

Din pin 8 on the sun is recieve clock apparently...

Anyway any thoughts...

April 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM
It worked. I went ahead after doing a bit more reading and decided there was no harm in mapping DTR to CD.

terraterm works flawlessly (so far). I assume you can mimmic a serial terminal under linux but I've never tried....anyway..

The nvram is dead as. Shouldn't be surprised. Sigh. The sun is a bit of a hole I'm digging. I suppose I could have just put linux/bsd on the mac and not had any of this trouble...

Anyway now I have to find an aui to rj45 transciever and buy a new nvram chip...than we'll see if the HD is dead....:D

Ain't old computers great...

April 15th, 2006, 09:13 AM
I assume you can mimmic a serial terminal under linux
I like to use "minicom -o".

Anyway now I have to find an aui to rj45 transciever and buy a new nvram chip...than we'll see if the HD is dead....:D
Probably don't need either of those to test the machine.
You could create a boot floppy, like comes with OpenBSD: