[rescue] Cable Balls

Ron Wickersham rjw at alembic.com
Sat Sep 20 17:32:05 CDT 2014

On Sat, 20 Sep 2014, Peter Corlett wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 09:28:41AM -0700, r.stricklin wrote:
>> On Sep 18, 2014, at 9:07 AM, Barry Callahan wrote:
>>> Centronics-50 was, in fact, a standard connector for SCSI cables.
>>> http://www.belkin.com/pyramid/AdvancedInfo/general/SCSI_Connectors.htm
>> Your evidence is not compelling. The Blue Ribbon connector was used on
>> Centronics printers, but that does not make every cable with a Blue Ribbon
>> connector a Centronics one.
> So I went and dug out the official SCSI-2 standards. What non-pedants call a
> "Centronics-50" or similar is described as "[t]he shielded low-density device
> connector" and references a couple of technical drawings that describe this
> quite familiar interface. So at least that much is definitive.
> I'm less able to find an official name for the connector, with Wikipedia being
> sadly the best I can find with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_ribbon. It
> notes (with a "[citation needed]") that it was invented by Amphenol and that it
> is "also known as Telco, 25-pair, Miniature Delta Ribbon, Mini D Ribbon, Delta
> ribbon, MDR, Amphenol, or CHAMP miniature ribbon connector."
> Centronics is the inventor of a different standard (eventually IEEE 1284) for
> driving printers, which uses a 36 pin connector. This connector is far more
> familiar to casual computer users since many more had printers than external
> SCSI devices.
> FWIW, I've *never* heard it called "micro ribbon", but "Centronics" and
> "Amphenol" were quite common in the day and everybody knew what was meant. When
> I think "ribbon", I think of internal ribbon cables.
> However, this is utterly pedantic point-scoring, and given it's a 20 year old
> obsolete standard, call it whatever the hell you like provided people know what
> you mean. Ideally, call it what we used to call it two decades ago when there
> wasn't a vast Web and search infrastructure in which one could easily locate a
> pirate copy of the standard to figure out the official name :)

i was disappointed when i couldn't locate an old enough amphenol catalog
on my shelf but, i did find perhaps more "official" on the Amphenol 
Canada website (which now only manufacturers the filtered connectors) 
the designation Micro-Ribbon Connector.    as i posted before, the 
origianl blue ribbon connectors are much larger, and my memory of mini 
blue ribbon was wrong...

it is a Miniature Micro-Ribbon Connector, and the "blue" ribbon designation
is reserved for the large original size only.  the link to the amphenol
document is:


on page 19 is the 50 contact size.

when i get around to it i'll photograph the original size blue ribbon 
connectors that are still in use here.


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