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Looking for Jerrold/General Instrument documentation and software

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
Hi all,

I'm looking for any software, manuals, photos of hardware - anything really - that relates to the Jerrold Communications / General Instrument analog cable TV headend equipment. (this is on topic, I promise!)

Many of their headend "addressable controllers" were built around DEC hardware -- the AH series units used a PDP-11, the Terminal Configurator ran on a PC, the ACC-4000 ran on a DEC Prioris server running SCO UNIX.

Things I'm looking for especially --

- The software from the ACC-4000 Addressable Controller (Prioris based), AI-0/AI-O or AH-4/AH-4E (PDP-11/73 based) controllers, or Terminal Configurator (PC based).
- Backup tapes from a running system (may be TK50, or DAT/DDS)
- Terminal Configurator, Message Editor (ME-1000) or "OSD Edit" software
- Any documentation
- Photos, or other details of the I/O cards (either the PC one - which may have been called ANIC - or the SCX11, SCX11E, SCX11M or SRT11 cards used in the PDP systems).

I'm trying to build an analog cable TV headend from scratch, as a bit of a preservation and "to see if I can" project.
So far I've managed to modulate a couple of channels and get a cable box to tune to them, but my two boxes have different frequency maps, and I need some way of sending an "Input Frequency Map" or channel name table to them. I've figured out part of the channel mapping process, but not the frequency mapping.

I'm hoping that someone might have inherited a bunch of backup tapes, hardware or media from a cable TV company who was migrating to digital....

Cheers
Phil
 

Sophia0110

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2023
Messages
7
Since the equipment you are looking for is no longer in production, it may be difficult to find the documentation and software you need. You may want to try searching online forums, websites dedicated to vintage technology, or reaching out to former employees of Jerrold Communications / General Instrument who may have access to these resources.
 

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
Thanks Sophia... that was the point of this post. I'm hoping that someone who worked at Jerrold or with some Jerrold equipment stashed away comes across it and gets in contact with me to help fill in the gaps in what I've figured out (which is mostly on my website, https://www.philpem.me.uk )
 

rkrenicki

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
89
This really came out of left field today, but there is an old General Instruments ANIC-A for sale on eBay right now that seems to have some documentation... It is very expensive, but you might be able to haggle with them.

Unfortunately, I cannot help much beyond that.. I do work in cable, and was around during the Analog-Digital transition days, but all of that ACC-3000/4000 stuff was recycled many *many* years ago. Now if you were looking for early DAC related stuff, I have that in spades.
 

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
I've spoken to the seller - they're unwilling to move on price. I asked about getting a Xerox of the manual and they asked for $400.

I'm not surprised the ACC stuff was recycled years ago. I'm really just hoping someone has a software disk lying around somewhere. I found a photo of what looks like the ANIC ISA card on Segaretro the other day, billed as a "universal cable interface".

The early DAC stuff might be helpful for figuring out the older analog stuff - can you please drop me a private message or an email with some info on what you have?

Thanks
 

cchhrriiss11

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
256
Location
Duncan, BC
Hi all,

I'm looking for any software, manuals, photos of hardware - anything really - that relates to the Jerrold Communications / General Instrument analog cable TV headend equipment. (this is on topic, I promise!)

Many of their headend "addressable controllers" were built around DEC hardware -- the AH series units used a PDP-11, the Terminal Configurator ran on a PC, the ACC-4000 ran on a DEC Prioris server running SCO UNIX.

Things I'm looking for especially --

- The software from the ACC-4000 Addressable Controller (Prioris based), AI-0/AI-O or AH-4/AH-4E (PDP-11/73 based) controllers, or Terminal Configurator (PC based).
- Backup tapes from a running system (may be TK50, or DAT/DDS)
- Terminal Configurator, Message Editor (ME-1000) or "OSD Edit" software
- Any documentation
- Photos, or other details of the I/O cards (either the PC one - which may have been called ANIC - or the SCX11, SCX11E, SCX11M or SRT11 cards used in the PDP systems).

I'm trying to build an analog cable TV headend from scratch, as a bit of a preservation and "to see if I can" project.
So far I've managed to modulate a couple of channels and get a cable box to tune to them, but my two boxes have different frequency maps, and I need some way of sending an "Input Frequency Map" or channel name table to them. I've figured out part of the channel mapping process, but not the frequency mapping.

I'm hoping that someone might have inherited a bunch of backup tapes, hardware or media from a cable TV company who was migrating to digital....

Cheers
Phil
Hi Phil,

I came across your post while doing a Google search... I may have something you might be interested in:
I've got an old DEC 486 machine that has some General Instrument hardware in it, specifically this odd controller that was sitting in one of the 5.25" drive bays:

It's labelled "ANIC" by General Instrument.

1692841956863.png 1692841978971.png 1692841995986.png

1692842015222.png

It was connected to the system via a 50-pin SCSI cable to a BusLogic BT-542B SCSI card and it has 2 F-type coax connectors/cables coming out of it and going to one of the rear slot covers of the machine. The system itself (very heavy) is loaded with RAM, 3 SCSI Hard Drives, SCSI Tape drive and 1 out of 2 486-DX50 CPU's.

The machine hasn't been powered-on, so I couldn't tell you what software it's running, etc.

-Chris
 

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
I was never expecting to see that ...! I think you have one of the ACC access controllers - an early one. Possibly an ACC-2000 or 3000, but it's hard to tell without booting it up (and knowing the passwords)

The ANIC is an "Asynchronous Network Interface Controller". It connects the PC to the cable network so it can send commands to the headend equipment (scramblers and modulators) and cable boxes.
I thought it was an ISA card, I never expected it to be a full embedded 286 PC with SCSI. The Xilinx chip isn't too much of a surprise, GI used those in the MVP (video scrambler).

Would you be able to dump the contents of the hard drives, and the ROMs on the ANIC -- and maybe take some photos of the full system?
I can provide a Dropbox upload link if you need it.

If you're willing to part with it, I'd be interested in buying the GI-specific hardware and drives - but I suspect the whole machine might be too expensive to ship from Canada to the UK.

Feel free to drop me a PM or email (my forum username at gmail.com works, or see https://www.philpem.me.uk/contact ) if that's easier for you.
 
Last edited:

cchhrriiss11

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
256
Location
Duncan, BC
I was never expecting to see that ...! I think you have one of the ACC access controllers - an early one. Possibly an ACC-2000 or 3000, but it's hard to tell without booting it up (and knowing the passwords)

The ANIC is an "Asynchronous Network Interface Controller". It connects the PC to the cable network so it can send commands to the headend equipment (scramblers and modulators) and cable boxes.
I thought it was an ISA card, I never expected it to be a full embedded 286 PC with SCSI. The Xilinx chip isn't too much of a surprise, GI used those in the MVP (video scrambler).

Would you be able to dump the contents of the hard drives, and the ROMs on the ANIC -- and maybe take some photos of the full system?
I can provide a Dropbox upload link if you need it.

If you're willing to part with it, I'd be interested in buying the GI-specific hardware and drives - but I suspect the whole machine might be too expensive to ship from Canada to the UK.

Feel free to drop me a PM or email (my forum username at gmail.com works, or see https://www.philpem.me.uk/contact ) if that's easier for you.
Interesting, I had a feeling it was some sort of head-end controller.

Yes, I'm willing to part with it. I can also image the three hard drives for you (not sure how well the hard drives would survive if I attempted to ship them).

The system itself is a DEC 'application DEC 400xp', loaded with RAM and a single 486DX-50 installed (dual-capable machine), Adaptec AHA-1740 SCSI controller and a DEC 4-port multiplex interface board. Unfortunately, the system is extremely heavy and there'd be no way to ship it safely without palletizing it.

-Chris
 

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
Digging deeper, I found a Year 2000 declaration which identifies it. It seems like it's an early ACC-4000 (called an ACC-4000/XP): http://web.archive.org/web/20010108.../year2k/html/product_compliance/ANS_plans.htm

By the software notes, it could have been updated as far as version 7 or 8, which means it can control almost everything except the CFT-2200 "advanced analog" boxes. Those are pretty cool because you could download apps onto their application processor. There was an EPG called Starsight for them, and a version of Prevue Guide.

The Buslogic BT-542B is (according to https://groups.google.com/g/comp.periphs.scsi/c/MXtee95dUzU ) compatible with the Adaptec 1542B. That seems legit, as they both use the same QNX4 driver: https://fsck.technology/software/QNX/QNX 4/QNX4/Soft/Free/os/hardware_support/scsi_support.html

I'm curious what that DEC 4-port multiplex card looks like. I guess it's something like a Rocketport card, four 16550 UARTs and line drivers.
 

philpem

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, England
What an odd thing! Had a dig around and found some old posts on classiccmp about it. Apparently under one of those labels is the text "Corollary Inc".
Digging for more on them turned up a few things:


Seems like it might be a Corollary 8X4AT terminal mux card. That gives 32 ports on a half-slot ISA card; each mini-DIN goes to a Corollary 8/TC terminal concentrator, each of which provides 8 terminal ports. Sounds like there's processing in the terminal concentrators too, so the card's probably kinda useless without one.

No idea where you'd get drivers or a terminal concentrator...
 
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