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Wang Terminal

CryogenicFreeze

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I recently bought a Wang terminal, I'm new to vintage computing and was hoping someone could help me out. I believe that it is a vs100 terminal.
Does anyone have any advice on how to connect it through serial so i can connect it to my Linux box? I haven't received the terminal yet but I'm trying to get all my information together.
It appears to only have a coaxial and parallel port, how would I go about using the terminal?
Any help is appreciated!
wang.jpgback.jpg
 

Chuck(G)

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If it's the terminal that I think it is, there's very little intelligence in that box--it uses the proprietary Wang interface. You'd see these things on a Wang OIS setup.

Use it as a night light if you don't want to acquire the rest of the system.
 

Christoffer

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Can't find much info about it, and I don't really have any Wang experience, but it looks to me as if the interface's atleast serial, said some emulator manual. If so, you might be able to make an adapter cable of sorts.

It looks to use a centronics like connector but it's not at all a PC-ish parallel port.
 

CryogenicFreeze

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If it's the terminal that I think it is, there's very little intelligence in that box--it uses the proprietary Wang interface. You'd see these things on a Wang OIS setup.

Use it as a night light if you don't want to acquire the rest of the system.

Thanks for they reply -
I'm guessing that the rest of the system is either hard to find or expensive? Is there any wiring diagrams for their proprietary port?
 

Chuck(G)

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Bitsavers has some documentation (schematics) on some of the OIS gear, so you might find something there. Wang OIS was moderately popular in larger firms during the 1980s, so there may be some old systems stashed away out there, but they're probably destined for museums.
 

KC9UDX

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From what I remember, that's not a parallel port.

The amount of hardware needed to get any Wang system running is daunting. Finding the software that will work on a given hardware setup is difficult. What you can do with it all once you get it working is very disappointing.

That's my experience.
 

CryogenicFreeze

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So I got the terminal and have been messing around with it a bit.
It has a video in bnc port and a centronics keyboard out.
I ordered a rf modulator and some adapters to see if that would work but I had a vga to bnc cable laying around and decided to test it out.
20161001_223550[2022366].jpg
It displays this scrolling downwards so i assumed it had something to do with hsync or vsync?
Also does anyone have any ideas for setting up the keyboard in linux? like using inputattach or something?
 

KC9UDX

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The video mode you're trying to use is not compatible. The horizontal frequency is too high, and the vertical may be too. But more likely the sync polarity for vertical is wrong, in which case the horizontal may be wrong, too.

I don't know how an RF modulator can help you.
 

SomeGuy

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I'm surprised that actually does something. Does the image seem to change at all when when the display changes?

Is the "vga to bnc" a composite video converter? Or is this a cable that connects to seperate BNC red, blue, green, Hsync, Vsync ports?

Since there is only the one BNC port, and if that is really video, then it is probably expecting some kind of composite signal. If that is the case, you might try something like a VCR, or CGA card with a composite video out. Although, I would sort of expect it would use a frequency or signal different from standard NTSC composite.

If that really is a video in, then I would expect the keyboard to be equally brain-dead. That "parallel port" may be the keyboard output and may contain an undecoded keyboard connector - or if you are lucky perhaps 8-bit parallel character output (like an Apple II keyboard). But probably not serial. But that is just a wild guess, you would need schematics to be sure or know what the pinout is.
 

CryogenicFreeze

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The cable is the separate RGB, hsync and vsync, I doubted it would work but I wanted to see if I could get some sort of signal.
I'm going to try a RF modulator to output through coaxial and use a bnc adapter, not sure if it will work, but I might as well try.
I'll have to do some digging to find some useful schematics.
Thanks everyone for all the help!
 

Al Kossow

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I'm surprised that actually does something. Does the image seem to change at all when when the display changes?

The connectors on the back are for their office network. If you open it up, you should see a microprocessor, video controller, memory and their
office network interface. I just bought a knockoff terminal in a Qume case that has the same connectors. http://www.ebay.com/itm/222251438403
The company lost in a patent infrigment case with Wang and had to take it off the market. I'll have to see if I can find the relevant patent numbers.

The patent is 4145739 mentioned in
https://news.google.com/newspapers?...ZwrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F_wFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4277,2343641


Pulled a copy down through patent2pdf, the exact terminal is show in the patent.
 
Last edited:

KC9UDX

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You know you have success when you get it to display this:
wang.jpg

Some of the terminals display that whilst waiting for a network connection. Either way, once connection is achieved, that's what it will display.
 

Al Kossow

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You know you have success when you get it to display this:
View attachment 33582

Some of the terminals display that whilst waiting for a network connection. Either way, once connection is achieved, that's what it will display.

Which connector is which on the back? Were they daisy-chained with a different style connector on each end?
 

KC9UDX

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My memory is very fuzzy on this. It seems to me that there were two BNC connectors, one "IN" and one "OUT". Perhaps it's just Ethernet with a built in tee, but it sure seems to me like it wasn't, and the connectors were unique.

It may be a daisy chain, but for some reason I seem to remember using tees to connect multiple machines in parallel. I think I had a server, terminal, and disk array connected this way. The "out"on the server went to the "IN"s on the terminal and disk array, and the "in"on the server to both "out"s.

What I do recall for certain is being able to connect two devices together with two cables, one in to out and the other one out to in. That, and one Wang anything make a great paperweight. They just only talk to other Wangs.

I clearly recall frying a printer by plugging it into a Wang. It seems to me it was because the Centronics connector on the Wang was not a parallel Centronics printer port. But maybe it was some other reason.
 

KC9UDX

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The connectors on the back are for their office network. If you open it up, you should see a microprocessor, video controller, memory and their
office network interface. I just bought a knockoff terminal in a Qume case that has the same connectors. http://www.ebay.com/itm/222251438403
The company lost in a patent infrigment case with Wang and had to take it off the market. I'll have to see if I can find the relevant patent numbers.

The patent is 4145739 mentioned in
https://news.google.com/newspapers?...ZwrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F_wFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4277,2343641


Pulled a copy down through patent2pdf, the exact terminal is show in the patent.

Do you have possession of the terminal in that auction? I wonder if the BNC terminals are labelled, and if a look inside gives an indication of what that DIN connector could be.
 

CryogenicFreeze

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Sep 22, 2016
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Here's the connections on the back
View attachment 33591

I opened it up and the keyboard is connected directly to the keyboard port board via ribbon cable.
The bnc port is wired through the contrast and brightness control then to the main board and the crt.
With all this I would assume that the bnc port is video in and the keyboard port sends keystrokes to the cpu somehow.
 

Chuck(G)

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Your attached photo gets an "invalid attachment" message from the forum software.

But it sounds as if it's what others have suspected--basically a gutless terminal--no smarts, just a display and keyboard.
 
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