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Thread: I found a Qume qvt101 plus

  1. #1

    Default I found a Qume qvt101 plus

    Hi all. Bought my Qume at Goodwill for $5. No keyboard was mostly curious about its intended function. Can it word process and print via an IBM personal wheelwriter2? (My wheelwriter has a parallel port).

    In noticed the Qume also has two parallel ports. One says Aux, the other says EIA.

    Is that an eia multiport? Can I somehow plug a game console into that port? Although it's an all green display, it has very distinct scan lines

    Whatcha think?

  2. #2


    IIRC the QVT101 is a clone of a DEC VT101

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Silicon Valley


    Quote Originally Posted by Izlude View Post
    Whatcha think?
    It is a serial ASCII terminal. Pretty useless without the keyboard. Qume keyboards are almost impossible to find.
    It is one of the models that I haven't found yet to dump the firmware out of.
    If you decide you don't have a use for it, please keep me in mind.

  4. #4


    Hi all thanks for the input. I located a few keyboards, but they all say Qume qvt103, is it backwards compatible with the 101? They have the phone jack connector.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA


    Chances are the keyboard interface is simply a serial protocol. Power will be supplied by the terminal, probably +12V. If you trace the connector inside the terminal you should be able to deduce which pins of the connector are power (+12V or whatever) and ground. Then there will be a transmit and receive pins on the connector. It is very likely the keyboard transmits key codes (some subset of which may be ASCII for the plain keys) so it would be difficult, but not impossible, to reverse engineer the chatter between the terminal and the keyboard. The terminal will also likely transmit things to the keyboard like LED status indicators and configuration commands and so-on.

    The maintenance manual, linked from the terminals wiki, includes schematics, so you could reverse engineer the chatter between keyboard and terminal, including keycodes. Pg. 76 shows the keyboard schematic. It is really simple and looks like the CPU in the terminal initiates a key matrix scan via the 8748 processor driven by an 8048 ROM. The 8748 most likely handles switch deboucing and key rollover in software along with auto repeat functionality. The connector appears to be +5V, gnd, and bidirectional serial signalling. Reverse engineering this would be doable, but probably non-trivial.
    Last edited by legalize; August 30th, 2018 at 02:48 PM.


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