View Full Version : IBM 5394 info needed

November 22nd, 2012, 01:24 PM
I have one of these twinax controllers and I'm trying to figure out:

1) Where to locate the system diskette for it

2) What the system interface is. It's got a DB25 port for connecting to the computer however I can find no real documentation on the controller and I doubt it's either parallel or serial. Only thing I can find about it is that you can talk to it over SNA.

November 25th, 2012, 05:11 AM
From what I can find, the info on that controller is a tad cryptic. What I can say though is that of the Twinax 5250 cards I've seen, most seem to have a 15-pin connector, not a 25. But I bet you are right, it's probably not serial or parallel but some other special/proprietary connection type.

Not sure if you have seen this page, but there seems to be some info down at the bottom:

I certainly didn't find much on the IBM website!

Good luck,

November 25th, 2012, 06:33 PM
That leads me to believe that it's an EIA-232 port, which is essentially a serial port. At worst case it's an X.21 interface.
question is, if it's just serial, how is the controller making the computer handle multiple terminals at once over one serial port? I'll figure that out later. Still can't find the diskette though.

November 26th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Long ago, we had a remote site that connected thru a remote controller (to our system 36, I think) and recall that the protocol was SDLC over a leased line. So, the DB25 connects to a modem.
Here a few links that might help: (one talks about the diskettes being available for free):
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=nas1dda59e4b56d5d6b9862566d500619d 14

Good luck!

November 26th, 2012, 12:28 PM
15-pins are often AUI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_Unit_Interface) (in case somebody didn't know already). SDLC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronous_Data_Link_Control) / HDLC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Level_Data_Link_Control) often used serial connections for transfer medium, so V.24 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V.24) / RS-232 / EIA-232 very often.

November 26th, 2012, 02:53 PM
SNA is a layered architecture like TCP/IP. Remember not so long ago you could use dial-up networking and a modem and a serial port which would allow multiple Telnet sessions to connect over one serial connection. In fact if you could get dial-up routers, so my CISCO 2600 router will allow my network to connect over ADSL or a PPP Dial-UP link and still connect the whole network.

However although the port on the the 5394 is serial it is asynchronous port and it runs SDLC or X.25 protocols. This also allow multiple terminals to connect over the same serial link. There is some info here:-


You may be able to connect it directly to a S/34, S/36 , S/38 or "AS/400 Family" box, but you would need a cross over cable. You may also need a modem eliminator as asynchronous connection usually uses the modem clocks to sync the data, e.f.g.:-


but it may be the AS/400 or the 5394 can generate the necessary signals.

You probably can't connect it to a PC as normal PC ports won't talk HDLC. You can get cards that will talk HDLC but these were most often used to with with IBM or Microsoft SNA Server (later Host Integration Server) whoch allowed a network of PCs to appear to a Mid-range box as a ermote 3270/3174 or 5250/5394 controller.

November 27th, 2012, 06:37 AM
The idea was that since SNA is supported under AIX I would attach it through my RS/6000 as I'll never own a System /3x or AS/400 simply because I would never know how to run the thing. I know that X.25/HDLC microchannel interfaes are also available and they're cheap to get. (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/IBM-X-25-Interface-Co-Processor-2-16F1858-/330629327477?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item4cfb0b2a75)

Again though, I'm wandering into territory I have never been in so I have no clue if I can make all the connections and it still would not work.

November 27th, 2012, 12:11 PM
So does AIX have any applications that support 5250 terminals? Again AIX has SNA support so it can act as a node so or as a peer2peer applicatiosn server, not so you can connect 5250 terminals to it.

November 27th, 2012, 12:43 PM
That's the thing. I don't know if it does. I was kind of hoping for a "why the hell not?" from IBM.

November 28th, 2012, 12:39 PM
There is always tn5250 (http://tn5250.sourceforge.net/), I guess you can compile it under AIX.

November 28th, 2012, 03:16 PM
Like I said TN5250 is a client. He has 5250 terminal he wants to connect to something! AIX is basically one of the UNIX distros (I forget which) hacked to include some support code. It still needs VT100 or X displays...

November 28th, 2012, 07:02 PM
AIX was IBM's flavor of Unix so there's a lot of hooks to make a lot of IBM software and hardware work with it.

December 3rd, 2012, 12:57 AM
I have one of these twinax controllers and I'm trying to figure out:
Its the 5250 equivalent of a 3174.