View Full Version : IBM 3179 Terminal to RS232

May 1st, 2013, 06:04 PM
Greetings Folks:

I am not sure if this is in the right section of the forums, but it looked like the place to ask my question. I recently began working as a contractor for IBM in Boulder and always have been fond of PS/2 computers. While walking the halls on campus, it is not uncommon to find cast-off equipment which is normally CRT monitors and software that is no longer favored.

While I was going to get a print out in the next building from the one I work in, I saw this 3179 terminal sitting on the hallway floor and decided to "help" with the recycle effort by giving it a home. I received full permission from management to take it and so I am trying to find out more about it. It is not a G model, but a straight 3179 and it needs a type F keyboard yet ta-boot. Before I invest in said keyboard (connector is DIN and not RJ45) that seems to be at $99 everywhere I can find the right keyboard, I want to make sure that the terminal will do what I envision or perhaps need to trade for a regular VT-100 terminal or sell this guy.

so knowing nothing really about this terminal, I am wondering how to hook it to a regular RS-232 9 pin cable and even if this will work at all? I am told that it may do "block mode" and not standard ASCII. The kicker is that the terminal looks very good and has no yellowing or burn in, though the case does show signs of use such as a few black scuffs, but the key is actually with this unit. I have not yet powered it up, but would love more info on this terminal and again it is perhaps up for sale or trade in the future if it will not do what I would like it do.

Hope someone can help.

May 1st, 2013, 11:41 PM
When it comes to IBM's terminals, if the port doesn't have "RS-232C" or similar it's going to be one of the other proprietary standards they used, plus requires a terminal controller.

May 2nd, 2013, 08:34 AM
Thanks for the info. Looks like this terminal, while it is in great shape and all, will not do what I am seeking. It will remain in my care for the time being.

May 2nd, 2013, 03:02 PM
Assuming it has a BNC connector then its an EBCDIC mainframe terminal. It needs a 3174 controllers (or the equivalent embedded in a mainframe such as a 9370). Given a 3174 and the latest firmware then you can make Telnet sessions to any Unix box. Probably one for the specialist...

May 2nd, 2013, 03:16 PM
g4ugm: Thanks. Really looking to do VT-100 sessions on it and that does not look to be possible, but I do appreciate the information none-the-less. It is indeed the BNC connector. So we have more info now.

May 2nd, 2013, 03:46 PM
It might be possible with a 3174 and the ASCII emulation adaptor but putting that together would likely cost more than a VT102. Some photos of my Nokia 3179 clone connected to MTS on the Hercules emulator.....1310913110

June 3rd, 2013, 12:10 AM
3179 was a (very) dumb 3270 CUT colour terminal which is connected to a mainframe via a 3270 cluster Controller such as a 3274 or 3174. (Or indeed a DPA in an IBM mid-range box.) CUT which used to be called DCA is a proprietary fourteen-bit asynchronous protocol over coax. So unless you have a 3270 Control Unit, I would not splash out on a keyboard.

The box was developed at the IBM Hursley Laboratory in England. Oddly enough, we do not have one in the Museum.