VT100.net VT100 User Guide

Chapter 2
Installation, Interface Information and Specifications


Site Considerations

The design of the VT100 terminal (Figure 2-1) will normally pose few constraints on selecting a place in which to install the terminal. In most cases, any environment suitable to the terminal operator will be a satisfactory environment in which to operate the terminal. Extremes of temperature and humidity should be avoided. A summary of VT100 guaranteed operating conditions is found at the end of this section.

Figure 2-1 VT100 Terminal Dimensions

Unpacking and Maintenance

The VT100 shipping carton contains the following items:

To install the VT100 perform the following steps:

  1. Remove the VT100 from the shipping carton and place it in the desired work area.
  2. Place the keyboard in front of the terminal and plug the keyboard coiled cord into the keyboard receptacle located on the rear of the terminal (Figure 2-2).
  3. Verify that the power selector switch shows the correct wall outlet voltage (115 V is standard in the U.S.) and the power switch is off.
  4. Connect the power cord to the power cord receptacle on the rear of the terminal and plug the other end of the power cord into a nearby wall outlet.
  5. Connect the communications cable to the appropriate communications receptacle.
  6. Turn the power switch on. The terminal will now automatically perform the power-up self-test and either the ON LINE or LOCAL light located on the keyboard will be turned on. After approximately one minute the cursor will be visible in the upper-left corner of the screen. If any other indication is shown, refer to Part 5 of the operator information chapter.
  7. Set the desired SET-UP features as outlined in the operator’s section of this manual.
  8. Once the installation setup procedure is complete, record the SET-UP features selected on the VT100 SET-UP label and attach the label to the underside of the keyboard.
Figure 2-2 VT100 Rear View

User Maintenance

The keyboard keys are the only moving parts of the terminal and require no preventive maintenance by the owner. The VT100 surfaces may be cleaned with soap and water or any mild detergent. Cleaners with solvents should not be used.

The VT100 packaging is not meant to be weatherproof; there are several openings in the case through which liquids, coins, paper clips, and other objects can fall. Such objects would disturb the electronic operation of the terminal if they came into contact with the circuitry. For this reason, avoid putting drinks and metal objects on the top of the terminal, or using excessive water to clean the terminal. Rubbing the keys with a dry or barely moist cloth should suffice to clean them. Do not remove the keycaps to clean them more thoroughly; damage may result to the switch contacts if they are replaced incorrectly.

Keep the ventilation slots clear. Blocking these slots by placing objects on top of or under the VT100 may cause the terminal to overheat.

Interface Information

EIA Interface

The basic VT100 operates on full duplex, asynchronous communication lines. The terminal interfaces to the line with a 25-pin connector mounted on the back of the terminal which meets the requirements of EIA specification RS-232-C. Table 2-1 summarizes the EIA connector signals; the following paragraphs explain each signal as used in the basic VT100.

Table 2-1 EIA RS-232-C Connector Signals
Pin Number Description Pin Number Description
1 Protective ground 14 (not used)
2 Transmitted data 15 Transmit clock
3 Received data 16 (not used)
4 Request to send 17 Receive clock
5 Clear to send 18 (not used)
6 Data set ready 19 Speed select
(secondary request to send)
7 Signal ground (common return)
8 Carrier detect 20 Data terminal ready
9 (not used) 21 (not used)
10 (not used) 22 Ring indicator
11 Same as pin 19 23 Same as pin 19
12 Speed indicator
(secondary carrier detect)
24 (not used)
25 (not used)
13 (not used)

Protective Ground – Pin 1
This conductor is electrically bonded to the VT100 chassis. Use of this conductor for reference potential purposes is not allowed.

Transmitted Data (from VT100) – Pin 2
The VT100 transmits serially encoded characters and break signals on this circuit, which is held in the mark state when neither characters nor break signals are being transmitted.

Received Data (to VT100) – Pin 3
The VT100 receives serially encoded characters generated by the user’s equipment on this circuit.

Request to Send (from VT100) – Pin 4
Asserted at all times when terminal is powered up.

Clear to Send (to VT100) – Pin 5
Ignored at all times.

Data Set Ready (to VT100) – Pin 6
Ignored at all times.

Signal Ground – Pin 7
This conductor establishes the common ground reference potential for all voltages on the interface. It is permanently connected to the VT100 chassis.

Carrier Detect (to VT100) – Pin 8
Ignored at all times.

Speed Select (from VT100) – Pins 11, 19, and 23
This signal is alternately called Secondary Request to Send. The basic VT100 maintains this line in the asserted state at all times.

Speed Indicator (to VT100) – Pin 12
This signal, alternately called Secondary Carrier Detect, is ignored at all times.

Transmission Clock (to VT100) – Pin 15
Ignored at all times.

Receive Clock (to VT100) – Pin 17
Ignored at all times.

Data Terminal Ready (from VT100) – Pin 20
Data Terminal Ready is asserted at all times except under the following conditions:

  1. Terminal is not powered up
  2. Terminal is in LOCAL mode
  3. The 3.5 second interval following the pressing of SHIFT-BREAK.

Ring Indicator (to VT100) – Pin 22
Ignored at all times.

Electrical Characteristics

VT100 Output Voltages – On signals designated "from VT100", the mark, or unasserted state, is -6.0 V to -12.0 V; the space, or asserted state, is +6.0 V to +12.0 V.

VT100 Input Voltages – On signals designated "to VT100", -25.0 V to +0.75 V or an open circuit is interpreted as a mark or unasserted state, and +25.0 V to +2.25 V is interpreted as a space or asserted state. Voltages greater in magnitude than ±25 V are not allowed. These levels are compatible with EIA STD RS-232-C and CCITT Recommendation V.28.

Optional 20 mA Current Loop Interface

In most current loop applications, the VT100 will be connected in a passive configuration – that is, current is supplied to the VT100. In this mode, the transmitter and receiver are both passive, both optically isolated, and the transmitter goes to the mark state when power is turned off.

Conversion from active to passive (or vice versa) requires moving a slide switch.

In active mode either the transmitter or the receiver or both may be connected so that the VT100 sources the 20 mA of current. In active mode isolation is not present and the transmitter will go to the space state when power to the VT100 is turned off.

Figure 2-3 shows the 20 mA current loop interface connector mounted to the access cover and the individual pin assignment.

Figure 2-3 20 mA Current Loop Interface

Electrical Characteristics
The electrical characteristics of the 20 mA current loop interface are shown below:

Transmitter Receiver
  Min Max   Min Max
Open circuit voltage 5.0 V 50 V Voltage drop marking 2.5 V
Voltage drop marking 4.0 V Spacing current 3.0 mA
Spacing current 2.0 mA Marking current 15 mA 50 mA
Marking current 20 mA 50 mA  

In addition to the above specifications for passive operation, active mode will place the transmitter or receiver in series with a source of 17 V ±5 percent and 660 ohms.

External Video Connections

In addition to the EIA interface, the VT100 is also capable of easily interfacing to external video devices. The video devices may act either as a slave to the VT100 when connected to the composite video output or provide synchronized video to the VT100 video section when connected to the video input. The external video connectors are the two female BNC connectors located on the back of the terminal just below the EIA connector. The upper connector, J8, is the video input while the lower connector, J9, is the video output.

Composite Video Output (J9)
The composite video output provides RS170-like output (see note) generated by combining the video signal with a composite sync signal. This output contains all video data appearing on the VT100 screen except that video which comes from J8. The output has the following nominal characteristics. (Refer to Figure 2-4).

  1. Output impedance = 75 ohms, dc-coupled
  2. Sync level = 0 V
  3. Black level = approximately 0.3 V when loaded with 75 ohms
  4. White level = approximately 1.0 V with a 75 ohm load
  5. The composite sync waveform conforms to EIA RS170 standards. The vertical interval is composed of six equalizing pulses, six vertical sync pulses, and six more equalizing pulses. The timing is as follows:
    Equalizing pulse width = 2.33µs ± 50ns
    Vertical pulse width = 27.28µs ± 200ns
    Horizontal pulse width = 4.71µs ± 50ns
    Horizontal blank width = 11.84µs ± 50ns/80 column mode
    = 12.34µs ± 50ns/132 column mode
    Front porch = 1.54µs ± 50ns

NOTE: The use of dc-coupling is not in strict agreement with RS170. To agree with RS170 the output load requires a 10µF capacitor in series with the output. Failing to do so, the 2 mA dc short circuit current requirement is violated. This presents no problem with most monitors which are in fact ac-coupled.

Figure 2-4 Composite Video Output

Video Input (J8)
An analog signal applied to the video input will be "ORed" with the internal video signal in such a way that the beam intensity at any point on the screen will correspond to the intensity of that signal which would tend to make the beam brighter at that point. A video signal on this input affects only the internal screen and does not appear on the composite video output. This input has the following nominal characteristics.

  1. Input impedance = 75 ohms, dc-coupled
  2. Black level = 0 V
  3. White level = 1.0 V
  4. Maximum continuous input = ±2.0 V

The external video source must be synchronized to the VT100; it may do this by referencing the composite sync on the composite video output. This means that the VT100 video input will not synchronize with any composite video source including the composite video output of another VT100.

VT100 Specifications

Monitor Height: 36.83 cm (14.5 inch)
Width: 45.72 cm (18 inch)
Depth: 36.20 cm (14.25 inch)
Keyboard Height: 8.89 cm (3.5 inch)
Width: 45.72 cm (18 inch)
Depth: 20.32 cm (8 inch)
Minimum table depth: 51.4 cm (20.25 inch)
Monitor 13.6 kg (30 lbs)
Keyboard 2.0 kg (4.5 lbs)
Shipping Weight 18.6 kg (41 lbs)
Operating Temperature: 10° to 40° C (50° to 104° F)
Relative humidity: 10% to 90%
Maximum wet bulb: 28° C (82° F)
Minimum dew point: 2° C (36° F)
Altitude: 2.4 km (8,000 ft)
Non-Operating Temperature: -40° to 66° C (-40° to 151° F)
Relative humidity: 0 to 95%
Altitude: 9.1 km (30,000 ft)
Line Voltage 90-128 V RMS single phase, 2 wire
180-256 V RMS single phase, 2 wire (switch-selectable)
Line Frequency 47-63 Hz
Current 2.2 A RMS maximum at 115 V RMS
1.1 A RMS maximum at 230 V RMS
Input Power 250 VA apparent 150 W maximum
Current limiting 3 A normal blow fuse
Power cord detachable, 3 prong, 1.9 m (6 ft)
CRT 12 inch diagonal measure, P4 phosphor
Format 24 lines × 80 characters or 14 lines × 132 characters (selectable)
Character 7 × 9 dot matrix with descenders
Character size 3.35 mm × 2.0 mm (0.132 inch × 0.078 inch) in 80 column mode
3.35 mm × 1.3 mm (0.132 inch × 0.051 inch) in 132 column mode
Active Display Size 202 mm × 115 mm (8 inch × 4.5 inch)
Character Set 96 character displayable ASCII subset (upper- and lowercase, numeric and punctuation)
Cursor type Keyboard-selectable, blinking block character or blinking underline
General 83-key detachable unit with a 1.9 m (6 ft) coiled cord attached
Key Layout 65-key arrangement and sculpturing similar to standard typewriter keyboard with an 18-key auxiliary keypad.
Auxiliary Keyboard 18-key numeric pad with period, comma, minus, enter, and four general-purpose function keys
Visual Indicators Seven LEDs; three LEDs dedicated to ON LINE, LOCAL and KBD LOCKED, four LEDs user-programmable.
Audible Signals Key-click: sound simulates typewriter.
  1. sounds upon receipt of BEL code;
  2. sounds eight characters from right margin (keyboard-selectable)
Multiple bell: sounds upon detection of error in SET-UP save or recall operation.
Type EIA
Speeds Full duplex: 50, 75, 110 (two stop bits), 134.5, 150, 200, 300, 600, 1200, 1800, 2000, 2400, 3600, 4800, 9600, 19,200
Character Format Asynchronous
Character Size 7 or 8 bits; keyboard-selectable. (Note: if 8-bit character is selected, eighth bits is always space).
Parity Even, odd, or none – keyboard-selectable
Synchronization Keyboard-selectable via automatic generation of XON and XOFF control codes.

How to Order Hardware Documentation

The following VT100 Video Terminal hardware manuals can be purchased from DIGITAL’s Accessory and Supplies Group.

Part No. Title
EK-VT100-UG VT100 User Guide
EK-VT100-J1 VT100 Mini Maintenance Manual
EK-VT100-TM VT100 Technical Manual
EK-VT100-IP VT100 Illustrated Parts Breakdown (IPB)
MP-00633 VT100 Print Set

All purchase orders for hardware manuals should be forwarded to:

Digital Equipment Corporation
Cotton Road
Nashua, N.H. 03060
Supplies and Accessories Group (P086)

Purchase orders must show shipping and billing addresses and state whether a partial shipment will be accepted.

All correspondence and invoicing inquiries should be directed to the above address.