[rescue] E450 Console puzzler

Peter Stokes peter at ashlyn.co.uk
Fri Jan 12 03:47:36 CST 2018


As mentioned previously I would suspect a fried input port which is not
uncommon, had a few myself over the years. It is usually the voltage
translator which needs replacing. As mentioned try the second serial port on
the 450 as console.


Sent from my iPad

> On 12 Jan 2018, at 03:02, Steve Hatle <shatle at nfldinet.com> wrote:
> All,
> Thanks to Dan Sikorski and Christopher Bachmann, I'm playing with my
new-to-me Sun E450. I'll play with it's little brother E250 later :-)
> I've run into something that has me stumped, however.
> The machine has no framebuffer. If I hook up a serial console that's known
to work on other Suns (VT320), I get output to the screen, but no keystrokes
are recognized.
> Christopher had mentioned that there was "something funny" with the console,
and they had to run it with a Sun keyboard connected along with the serial
terminal. Lo and behold, I plugged in a Sun keyboard, powered up, and I was
getting output on the terminal, and keystrokes on the Sun keyboard were
> I reset all the nvram defaults. With the system working in this mixed mode,
printenv shows input device as "keyboard" and output device as "screen". The
startup banner does say "keyboard detected".
> devaliases shows the device tree I would expect, but there is an alias
"keyboard!" with the same tree as "keyboard", but with ":forcemode" appended.
I have not checked another of my machines (or Google) to see if this is
> If the Sun keyboard is not plugged in, the login banner gives the expected
'no keyboard' message and that input/output is going to ttya. However, as I
said, while I get output, I can't input anything on the terminal keyboard.
> Googling this, I come up with a reference to a similar situation where the
problem was an "incorrectly wired cable". Since my terminal/cables work OK on
a SparcClassic and LX, I would assume it would be OK on the E450, but I've
been wrong before.
> I can certainly work with the machine in this mode to get an OS installed
enough to ssh in, but even if it's only for my education I'd like to figure
this one out. If anyone has any insights, please pass them along.
> Thanks,
> Steve
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