View Full Version : IBM PC RT 6150: Hook up to serial terminal possible?

April 1st, 2017, 11:49 AM
I was able to acquire an IBM PC RT 6150 recently and got it yesterday. It was only the tower and the pictures were bad so I wasn't sure what was in it for a graphics card. Turns out that it has the Megapel display adapter for which I do not have an IBM 5081 display (or keyboard/mouse) so does anyone know if I can connect a serial terminal to the onboard PC serial/parallel card and have it show output for initial boot up?

Here's a post of what's inside the unit: http://vintagecomputer.ca/ibm-pc-rt-6150

Any pointers would be much appreciated for a new RT owner.

EDIT: if anyone has a keyboard (with cable) and/or mouse for sale, I'd be very interested.

April 1st, 2017, 04:05 PM
I don't believe it'll work with a serial console. It will definitely work with an ordinary IBM PC-style MDA or EGA card and monitor, though. You may have to remove the Megapel in this case.

Otherwise, you don't need the 5081 monitor specifically. It's a 1024x1024 raster with sync-on-green; I have a 21" Samsung widescreen LCD that works fine with it. I forget the sync frequencies but they're nothing extravagant. The necessary cable and adapters appear on eBay relatively frequently.

RT PC Options Installation guide -> http://typewritten.org/Articles/IBM/sa23-2609-0.pdf

April 1st, 2017, 04:33 PM
Thanks bear. I'll have to watch out for those cable/adapters. Do you recall what it's called? Is RT specifically mentioned?

I think I have an MDA card but I only have a 5153 CGA monitor. I can't recall but does that combination work? I don't think it did. Maybe a Commodore monitor will work (of some type)? I have at least one model with a 9 pin connector. I should check that one.

April 1st, 2017, 11:27 PM
I'll have to watch out for those cable/adapters. Do you recall what it's called? Is RT specifically mentioned?

Unlikely. The connector is 3W3. The cables are usually 3W3 -> 3BNC, and then it's up to you to convert that to whatever your monitor needs.

Here's one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/302260610109

April 2nd, 2017, 03:23 PM
Generally for serial terminals I think it was more normal to add serial cards, my 6150 came with a 16 port board made by Stallion.
A generic COM board may work also, but configuring the OS would be 95% of the learning challenge there, and you'd need the main display to do that.

The MDA card will need an MDA monitor (or something multisync that'll go down to 18kHz HSync).

I've been considering trying one of these: http://www.ebay.ie/itm/GBS-8219-XVGA-Box-Industrial-Monitor-Video-Converter-CGA-EGA-RGB-RGBS-RGBHV-VGA-/272434450570?hash=item3f6e5bd08a:g:zckAAOSwXeJYGM9 b which claims MDA right out of the box but given the cost and it being a bit of a gamble I haven't got around to it yet.

April 2nd, 2017, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys. I did order one of the 3W3 cables and I also fired up the RT. It stops at code 22 and tries to boot from floppy. Looks like my hard drive may not be a boot drive but I/m not so sure it's even spinning up. I would expect an ESDI drive to be louder than a fan so there may be a problem with the drive. Does anyone know if the battery is used to hold boot drive parameters in some sort of nvram? I'll have to make a boot diskette and go from there. I was looking for a diagnostic disk image but have not been able to find one.

For boot up, I was trying to use a serial terminal off of the serial/parallel port (with the megapel card removed). I've seen this in one of the manuals but I don't think I got far enough to see anything on screen yet. What a terrific machine. I'm a little surprised that the A-D cards aren't secured in some way. Everything else is quite modular.

April 3rd, 2017, 04:38 AM
Speaking of Megapel card for IBM RT PC.

It is not so that anyone has one they like to sell? I have a RT PC, keyboard, mouse and 5081 monitor. But no megapel board..

April 5th, 2017, 05:57 AM
I'll be picking up a 6151 this weekend. I'll see if it has a Megapel card.

April 11th, 2017, 08:57 AM
I got the RT 6151 this weekend and it came with two keyboards and a mouse. I'm not sure if it works or what cards it has in it yet though.