[rescue] Sun 386i

JP Hindin jplist2008 at kiwigeek.com
Mon Feb 11 11:31:33 CST 2019

On Mon, 11 Feb 2019, Mouse wrote:
>> I picked up a Sun 386i recently.  It appears to be a 250 with the 16M
>> caching RAM card.  But it also appears to have the most basic video
>> card with a DB-15 which I assume also carries keyboard (and mouse?).
> (DA-15, most likely.)  I think the 386i dates from the era of Type-1
> through Type-3 keyboards, which all used a DA-15, but I would have to
> check to be sure.  (The only other use for a DA-15 on those machines I
> can think of offhand would be AUI Ethernet; you can tell the difference
> by the slide latch that's present on AUI Ethernet - even if the slider
> itself is missing, the posts for it are generally present, and they are
> distinctive.)

I can't speak for all 386is - however mine has a breakout cable that 
keyboard, mouse and video all ride on. It definitely does not have a 
keyboard port on it (either the earlier DA15 or the later DIN).

On mine the upper-most peripheral slot (I don't know what the type of bus 
it is, but I think it's custom to the 386i - there's actually another 
slot above it that is for the processor/RAM) has a rather curious custom 
connector that looks sort of like a 13W3 but isn't - it's something like a 
20(?)W4, see picture here:


This requires a rather hefty and long break-out cable that goes from this 
connector to a separate video and keyboard cable (I can't remember it's 
specifics right now, but I'm pretty sure it's DIN). I have two of these 
cables, actually, one that goes to BNCs/keyboard and one that goes to 
13W3/keyboard, but the 13W3 cable never worked on any monitor I had, while 
the one with the BNCs worked.

If yours matches this funky whatever-W4-connector let me know and I can 
pull the cable out, take some pictures and use a continuity meter on it 
and map its pin out.

Alas, my 386i stopped working some years ago and I never went back to it 
to diagnose the fault - but it was fully functional at one point.

  - JP

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