View Full Version : Sun Server Video (lack of)

May 3rd, 2012, 05:21 PM
I just got my sun to VGA adapter today. So I plugged it in, no keyboard yet, and no video is displayed. Tried both machines. Is this because the keyboard is not plugged in? I've heard about things like this.


May 4th, 2012, 05:12 AM
Nevermind, keyboard has to be plugged in even if the monitor is. I thought it was one or the other. But keyboard comes today, crosses fingers.

May 4th, 2012, 08:51 AM
Exactly. No keyboard = server assumes it's headless and defaults to serial port a.

May 4th, 2012, 04:38 PM
Grr, still no signal on both servers. Looks like I'll have to try a new monitor.

May 5th, 2012, 12:42 AM
Does the monitor do sync on green? IIRC, the sun 13W3 connector outputs the sync signal that way, same as SGI (though on a different pinout).

May 5th, 2012, 04:33 AM
Yeah the light turns green, on the monitor. Then starts to blink.

May 5th, 2012, 06:44 AM
No, I meant does you monitor support sync-on-green signal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sync_on_green

VGA uses seperate horizontal and vertical sync lines - a lot of workstations (eg SGI and Sun) use a single, combined sync signal embedded in the green video line, and this is quite common on the 13w3 video connector - Not all monitors support this.

Some Sun video options have horizontal and vertical sync lines (meaning they're compatible with VGA displays), but I don't know if all of them do.

May 5th, 2012, 02:13 PM
I think my problem is that its an old vga monitor. The resolution is pretty high for sun servers I have heard. I also tried to run the servers via serial cable. But all I have is a 25 pin to 9 pin modem cable. I think I may need a null modem cable. Sigh* This is my first time trying to use sun hardware or server stuff.

May 5th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Some higher-end VGA monitors support SOG and usually can be recognized by the 5 BNC connectors on the unit.

e.g. NEC AccuSync (http://www.nec.com.au/products/desktop-monitors/accusync-19-value-widescreen-lcd-desktop-monitor.html)

The PS2 community generally knows about SOG monitors, so it's worth asking over there.

May 6th, 2012, 07:08 AM
Haven't you a modern SVGA mon itor to try? When you get the serial port working you can wind the display size back on the SUN. Intel servers are OK. Whenever I need to get the Console on one of the SUN servers at work I end up pathcing it to the serial port on the Windows/2003 server above or below it in the rack and using Hyperterm. Sadly the new Intel boxes don't have seial ports so I am going to need a USB to Serial adaptor...

May 6th, 2012, 07:56 PM
I had a friend try a few of those 13w3 converters although I can't remember.. I think one friend tried it on an SGI Indy and the other on an old Sun sparcstation LX or such but either ended up getting it to work. With that review I blew them off. At the time I had access to monitors at $1/inch so I ended up picking up a sun monitor for an acceptable price. If you search around craigslist I once and a while see a lot of sun servers (little less often but sometimes with keyboard/monitor,etc) for fairly cheap.

May 7th, 2012, 04:47 AM
Well I fixed the problem by getting a null modem adapter. I'm using my 200 MMX as a terminal. So far so good. Now just waiting on my copy of Solaris to come.

May 24th, 2013, 08:54 PM
Are you pretty sure about your vga monitor? If so, try replace it and see the results, it may sort out your issue.
buy sun server (http://www.calhountech.com/sun-servers.html)

May 24th, 2013, 11:53 PM
Now you are in the Open Boot Prom try setting the screen resolution down and seeing if you can get the display to work. It should auto but older displays may not send the proper info. I think the clues here should get you going...


June 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
This can be difficult enough, given all the variables, without spreading misinformation. No Sun framebuffer outputs a sync-on-green video signal. They output composite (H+V) sync, yes, but on its own line... not on green. Newer Suns have separate sync (H and V on individual lines), like VGA does. Monitors may support composite sync on green (3 BNC) without supporting ordinary composite sync (4 BNC), or vice versa.

It is possible that some unknown third-party display adapter for a Sun may output composite sync on green. But then it would not be compatible with a Sun monitor.

The previously mentioned NEC AccuSync will work, not because it has 5 BNC connectors (which means little), but because it shows this in the specs:

Input Signal

Video: Analog RGB 0.7 Vp-p/75 Ohms
Sync Separate Sync: TTL Level (Positive/Negative)
Composite Sync: TTL Level (Positive/Negative)
Composite Sync on Green: (0.3Vp-p negative 0.7Vp-p positive)

Note, separate declarations of separate sync (RGBHV), composite sync (RGB,H+V), and composite sync on green (R,G+H+V,B).