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falen5

Got this cool looking, old terminal.

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Picked this up in Dublin.

 

it is a Lear Siegler ADM 3 + terminal.

 

Its is from Trinity college . Was in use up until the late 90's Im told.

 

Have not done anything to it yet. Didnt even try to plug it in.

 

It is a terminal , so even if it works there is not much I can do with it.

 

Clamshell design

 

Am seriously thinking about a major retro fit! , but them I dont like altering old machines. Prefer to just try to restore them. But this machine looks so cool I would just love to have it as a classic games machine.

Color monitor, joystick, usb ports. Would be an amazing retro machine.

 

Not sure what to do. What would be the best hardware for a retro games machine. Mame/Mess system??, PC/apple hardware?

 

Would really appreciate and thoughts on it.

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Personally I'd say it's at least worth a shot trying to offer it to someone who might want to use it with their real classic machine before gutting it. From casual googling it looks like it might be a rare-ish model; the "classic" ADM-3/3A had a different keyboard but the innards and case look the same. (There was an "ADM-5" that has a similar looking keyboard, in addition to an "ADM-31", but their mainboards look substantially different.)

 

Anyway, it would be a good companion for something like an IMSAI, NorthStar or other S-100 box. I wouldn't say it'd be the end of the world if you decided to re-purpose the case (if it were an original 3/3A I'd probably be more strident about it, especially if you had evidence it dated before 1980 or so) but it is... an interesting piece, as is.

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Use a usb to serial adapter and remote in to OSX terminal with it...

 

Super cool looking though.

Edited by sstaylor

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I dont collect these machines to gut them. I can assure you!

 

If it meant cutting chunks from it I wouldnt do it.

 

Will strip it, clean it, clean it some more , try to get it working first. Watched a vid of one being recapped 

If I were to do anything, it would have to be reversible.

 

"offer it to someone who might want to use it with their real classic machine", I just drove 200 miles to rescue this machine from being scrapped. hahah

 

wonder if I can plug into my Lisa        That would be sweet.

 

Oh the smell from this!. I swear, if I could bottle it. The smell of the electronic reveloution's birth !!

Edited by falen5

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sstylor - didnt know I could.

Thought it would only work on an old mainframe

 

 

from what ive read, it has no cpu. Just a rom for the screen characters (upper case only), tiny bit of ram to hold the screen characters , the rest is for the screen and the I/O I think.

 

its nickname was 'the dumb terminal'. This it was the first machine to use a home key on the keyboard, or was it cursor keys.

 

i dont think it can display any kind of graphics. just the screen characters. looking at the screen you can see the screens grid of characters burnt into it.

 

if i get it linked to OSX terminal, what would happen - would the terminal become a remote for the apple machine and issue commands

 

will just strip it, clean , and look for any signs of damage.

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That thing has a toooooonnnnnn of hours on it. It would be surprising if the CRT has any emissions left ;)

 

Otherwise it would have made a good "sleeper mod" ;)

 

Speaking of, I have a TRS-80 model III all in one that I wanted to convert into a modern machine with its original CRT, but I just cant bring myself to do it. So it sits around and collects dust as I have no software or manuals for it. 

 

But I digress. These were basically dumb terminals as you mentioned, and thats what todays "terminal emulator" like putty has replaced. You can probably make some sort of serial cable and figure out what the baud rate is, and then connect it to a modern machine and use it as a command line terminal via the Serial port. 

 

it becomes a TTY terminal essentially, just like they were used back in the day for. You may be able to use a Raspberry Pi, and its TTY Debug serial port with this terminal, and shoehorn it inside the machine. Then it becomes a stand-alone command line linux box ;)

Edited by techknight

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Great info folks

 

techknight , what can I do with a  stand-alone command line linux box

 

I no nothing of linux except its all typing to get anything to work!!

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Absolutely great! What a cool device.

 

I would also try to use it as terminal to a Raspberry Pi or other Linux / UNIX device.

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Great info folks

 

techknight , what can I do with a  stand-alone command line linux box

 

I no nothing of linux except its all typing to get anything to work!!

 

Well then, you may be able to make a wargames/joshua emulator. 

 

Otherwise, if your not a linux/unix person, then.. itll just look pretty on a shelf somewhere, thats it. 

 

However, if the terminal supports ANSI (not sure if it does), you may be able using a raspberry pi as a tCP/IP to serial adapter, get onto BBSes with it. 

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Hi falen5,

 

There is surely someone in Trinity (College Dublin) who remembers this. I didn't go there but we had In my first year in college terminals like that dotted around the college which were available to all. They were useful for checking the availability of books, if I remember correctly. They were truly dumb terminals and were partly the reason I was so excited when first introduced to an SE. Ours had orange text, if I remember correctly. I think that techknight is right in his estimation of its usage. I would expect screen burn-in. Ours already had them in the late 1980s...

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if i get it linked to OSX terminal, what would happen - would the terminal become a remote for the apple machine and issue commands

 

will just strip it, clean , and look for any signs of damage.

 

It would become a piece of hardware that does the same job as OSX's terminal.app

 

This pic is my vt100 hooked up to my 2016 iMac, a dumb terminal too. It's showing irssi (running on the iMac, displaying on the vt100), connected by a Keyspan Twinserial adaptor.

 

digital_2.jpg

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Thanks for all the advice folks - appreciate it 

 

hey armoralley.

the guy i got it from must of been from trinity , as that is the story he gave me.

Down here in waterford i saw similar in WIT in the mid 80's. From what I remember they were terminals plugged into a mainframe called a vax ( memory is not the best)

 

im not in favor if altering vintage machines, but in all fairness , even if i got this working it will be pretty much useless.

 

starting to look at the monitor size, wondering about a color replacement and a power pc upgrade.

 

first biggest problem I see is the keyboard.

The keyboard is part of the main PCB. it is 1 complete pcb with the keys soldered directly into it.

 

Doubt a mac keyboard would be kind enough to just fit right in there

only way to use existing keys ( i would imagine) would be to wire each key to an apple device - that would mean cutting all the traces for the keys on the terminal board - that would leave it useless

 

dont really want to do that

 

 

more thinking required

Edited by falen5

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I have an ADM-3a, and this has a different logic board and keyboard than mine.

 

A little googling finds maintenance and setup manuals out there.

 

Nice find, not your "usual" serial terminal!

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Just looking at the pics scutboy, the serial is 4186 and the motherboard has a assy number 1 , rev B on it

 

looks like one of the early machines. All the more reason not to destroy any part of it

 

just took out the motherboard - no screws- just lifted out

 

these came out in 74 i think . If this is from 74 I rekon it is best to just recap it if needed , clean it up, get it working, and just leave it at that.

 

I dont even like cleaning off all the 'age'. It is covered in dust and the analog board for the monitor is just covered with black dust/grime

 

but for the sake of preserving it Ill have to clean it completely to see if there is any damage / decay. electrolite  etc etc

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Edited by falen5

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I have an ADM-3a, and this has a different logic board and keyboard than mine.

 

Upon squinting a bit  harder at photos of each I definitely misspoke about it having the "same" logic board as the 3A. It's *similar*, but not the same.

 

Do you happen to have links to the manuals for this "plus" model, out of curiosity? I keep failing to say the right thing to google; manuals for the 3/3A are easy to find. Mostly curious if it has more elaborate control capabilities than a plain 3A.

 

these came out in 74 i think . If this is from 74 I rekon it is best to just recap it if needed , clean it up, get it working, and just leave it at that.

 

The original 3 came out in 1975, the 3A a year later. From the previously-mentioned peering at its motherboard it looks like this terminal uses Intel 2114 SRAMs for VRAM instead of 2102's, which would put its minimum age somewhere in the 1977-ish ballpark. But, yes, it's still very old.

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Huh, I had seen that 1983 manual but failed to notice it also mentioned the "+". Scanning the manual it seems like it's pretty much a 3A with the fuller keyboard and, well, that's pretty much it.

 

Sort of wish I could lay my hands on one of these to use with my NorthStar CP/M box, assuming I ever get around to getting that working.

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It looks like it's a macro key for sending a predefined ASCII sequence at the touch of a button. Apparently some paper teletypes had them as well, programmed by physically breaking tabs off a drum. (It looks like on early LSI terminals you could get your custom message burned on a PROM, later ones had nonvolatile memory.) In practice you'd use it to store a station identifier, or possibly an initialization/login sequence to send to the host as needed.

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Huh, I had seen that 1983 manual but failed to notice it also mentioned the "+". Scanning the manual it seems like it's pretty much a 3A with the fuller keyboard and, well, that's pretty much it.

 

Sort of wish I could lay my hands on one of these to use with my NorthStar CP/M box, assuming I ever get around to getting that working.

 

Gorgonops,

 

If you are looking for a serial terminal, I may have a Televideo 925 to part with. Looks very much like a classic VT-100. I also some DEC VT-220s but I'd have to make sure I have a keyboard to send along.

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