1 Overview

1.1 Introduction

The VT510 is a low-cost, single-session, text video terminal featuring enhanced keyboard and communications flexibility.

Three models of the product are available:

All three versions have a 25-pin stacked male/female RS-232 connector (EIA-232), a 6-pin EIA-423 (MMJ) connector, and a Centronics parallel connector. These ports connect to a host or a printer.

Table 1–1 VT510 Model Differences
Feature North American International Low Emission
FCC class (USA) A B B
CSA class (Canada) A B B
VDE compliant (Germany) - yes (B) yes (B)
VCCI class (Japan) - 1 1
MPR II compliant (Sweden) no no yes
User-adjustable centering yes yes yes
User-adjustable rotation no yes yes
National keyboard languages 5 27 27
Power cord fixed detachable detachable

1.2 Communications Features

The terminal provides:

1.3 Keyboard Features

The VT510 offers a choice of two keyboard layouts—a VT keyboard layout (LK450) or an enhanced PC keyboard layout (PCXAL). The VT keyboard (Figure 1–1) and the PC keyboard (Figure 1–2) differ in the placement of some of the keys, like the arrow keys. A VT keyboard has 20 function keys, F1 through F20, above the main keypad, while a PC keyboard has 12 function keys, F1 through F12.

Figure 1–1 Sample VT Keyboard Layout
Figure 1–2 Sample PC Keyboard Layout

(1) Main keypad, (2) Editing keypad, (3) Numeric keypad,
(4) Function keys, (5) Escape key, (6) Indicator lights.

The keyboard has the following features:

1.4 Printer Port Features

The terminal has the following printer port features:

1.5 Display and Text Capabilities

The terminal has both ANSI and ASCII display and text processing capabilities. The features of each are listed below.

1.5.1 ANSI

1.5.2 ASCII

1.6 Enhanced Set-Up

The terminal provides an enhanced menu-based Set-Up, allowing common features to be accessed easily from a single screen. All Set-Up features are host controllable to allow remote configuration. The terminal also has a means to lock out the local setup.

Set-Up menus are available in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. For details, see Chapter 2, Terminal Set-Up.

1.7 Desktop Productivity Features

The terminal has the following desktop productivity features:

For details, see Chapter 3, Desktop Features.

1.8 Character Set Support

In addition to the traditional Digital graphic character sets (DEC Multinational, NRCS, and so on), the VT510 supports Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, most Eastern European languages, and PC character sets. For details, see Chapter 7, Character Sets.

1.9 Ergonomics (Human Factors) Features

The terminal is designed to provide a high-quality human interface and long-term reliability at low cost. The VT510 offers 72 Hz refresh, full overscan, or both at slightly reduced resolution. The terminal has the following features:

Table 1–2 Configurations vs. Overscan Availability
Refresh Rate Lines per Screen Overscan Available
72 Hz 24/25/26 yes
72 Hz 36/42 or 48/50/53 no
60 Hz all yes
Table 1–3 VT510 Font Sizes
80 Columns 132 Columns Maximum Number of Lines
10 × 16 6 × 16 26 lines + keyboard indicator line
10 × 10 6 × 10 42 lines + keyboard indicator line
10 × 8 6× 8 53 lines + keyboard indicator line
10 × 13 6 × 13 26 lines + keyboard indicator line
(72 Hz with overscan)

1.10 Field-Upgradable Firmware

All VT510 models include support for a 4 Mbit (512 KByte) ROM cartridge option. The base unit comes with a factory-installed ROM. The ROM cartridge connector is protected by a ROM cartridge cover. To install new code, the ROM cartridge cover is removed, and a ROM cartridge with attached cover is plugged into the ROM connector. The new code completely supersedes the factory-installed ROM code. It does not overlay or extend the factory code.


If you service the terminal with a ROM cartridge installed, remove and save the ROM cartridge to put it on the new terminal.

1.11 PCTerm Mode

PCTerm mode is designed to allow the terminal to emulate the console of an industry-standard PC.

A separate character set selection is used for PCTerm mode. This selection is controlled by the PCTerm character set selection in Set-Up and the DECPCTERM control function. Changing this selection does not affect the VT character set selection.

1.12 Comparison with Other ANSI Products

The VT510 is functionally compatible with other ANSI products with the following exceptions: