Headless Indy - SGI

This is a discussion on Headless Indy - SGI ; I'm wanting to run my Indy headless until I can source a suitable monitor for the machine. So I'm wanting to use one of my old Macs (Quadra 605) as a terminal for the Indy (serial connection running Zterm on ...

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Thread: Headless Indy

  1. Headless Indy

    I'm wanting to run my Indy headless until I can source a suitable monitor
    for the machine. So I'm wanting to use one of my old Macs (Quadra 605) as
    a terminal for the Indy (serial connection running Zterm on the Mac).

    To do this, I need to make a null-modem cable, correct?

    I have tracked down the pinouts for the Indy's serial ports:

    1 - DTR
    2 - CTS
    3 - TXD
    4 - GND
    5 - RXD
    6 - RTS
    7 - DCD
    8 - GND

    I have tracked down the pinouts for the Mac's serial ports:

    1 HSKo OUT Output Handshake
    2 HSKi/CLK IN Input Handshake or External Clock
    3 TXD- OUT Transmit Data (-)
    4 GND ------ Ground
    5 RXD- IN Receive Data (-)
    6 TXD+ OUT Transmit Data (+)
    7 GPi IN General Purpose Input
    8 RXD+ IN Receive Data (+)

    If I'm not mistaken, to make this cable, I will have to connect Indy Pin-3
    (txd) to Mac Pin-5 (rxd-), Indy Pin-4 (gnd) to Mac Pin-4 (gnd), Indy Pin-5
    (rxd) to Mac Pin-3 (txd-), and Indy Pin-8 (gnd) to Mac Pin-8 (rxd+).

    Is this correct?

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.


  2. Re: Headless Indy

    You wrote:
    > I'm wanting to run my Indy headless until I can source a suitable monitor
    > for the machine. So I'm wanting to use one of my old Macs (Quadra 605) as
    > a terminal for the Indy (serial connection running Zterm on the Mac).
    >
    > To do this, I need to make a null-modem cable, correct?
    >
    > I have tracked down the pinouts for the Indy's serial ports:
    >
    > 1 - DTR
    > 2 - CTS
    > 3 - TXD
    > 4 - GND
    > 5 - RXD
    > 6 - RTS
    > 7 - DCD
    > 8 - GND
    >
    > I have tracked down the pinouts for the Mac's serial ports:
    >
    > 1 HSKo OUT Output Handshake
    > 2 HSKi/CLK IN Input Handshake or External Clock
    > 3 TXD- OUT Transmit Data (-)
    > 4 GND ------ Ground
    > 5 RXD- IN Receive Data (-)
    > 6 TXD+ OUT Transmit Data (+)
    > 7 GPi IN General Purpose Input
    > 8 RXD+ IN Receive Data (+)
    >
    > If I'm not mistaken, to make this cable, I will have to connect Indy Pin-3
    > (txd) to Mac Pin-5 (rxd-), Indy Pin-4 (gnd) to Mac Pin-4 (gnd), Indy Pin-5
    > (rxd) to Mac Pin-3 (txd-), and Indy Pin-8 (gnd) to Mac Pin-8 (rxd+).
    >
    > Is this correct?


    I don't think so. Given that the Mac side has differential signalling
    (TXD+, TXD- and RXD+, RXD-) on an RS-422 interface and the Indy has
    single-ended signalling (TXD and RXD) on an RS-232 interface, I think
    you'll need an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter in the chain. Simply connecting
    the Indy's TXD to the Mac's RXD- and grounding the Mac's RXD+ as you
    describe isn't going to work, AFAICT. (You also seem to have left the
    Mac's TXD+ totally unconnected.)

    My advice: put an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter on the Mac. Then wire up a
    normal RS-232 null-modem between it and the Indy.

  3. Re: Headless Indy

    In article ,
    John-Paul Stewart wrote:

    : > If I'm not mistaken, to make this cable, I will have to connect Indy Pin-3
    : > (txd) to Mac Pin-5 (rxd-), Indy Pin-4 (gnd) to Mac Pin-4 (gnd), Indy Pin-5
    : > (rxd) to Mac Pin-3 (txd-), and Indy Pin-8 (gnd) to Mac Pin-8 (rxd+).
    : >
    : > Is this correct?
    :
    : I don't think so. Given that the Mac side has differential signalling
    : (TXD+, TXD- and RXD+, RXD-) on an RS-422 interface and the Indy has
    : single-ended signalling (TXD and RXD) on an RS-232 interface, I think
    : you'll need an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter in the chain. Simply connecting
    : the Indy's TXD to the Mac's RXD- and grounding the Mac's RXD+ as you
    : describe isn't going to work, AFAICT. (You also seem to have left the
    : Mac's TXD+ totally unconnected.)
    :
    : My advice: put an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter on the Mac. Then wire up a
    : normal RS-232 null-modem between it and the Indy.

    You don't need a special cable, and you don't need an RS422 adapter.

    RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is electrically
    compatible with RS232. On top of that, the mac-style serial ports only have one
    type of pinout, rather than the host/device pinout swap that you see with
    PC-style hardware.

    All you need is a plain old regular mac serial cable with a Mini DIN-8 connector
    on each end. This type of cable will be wired correctly for Mac-Printer,
    Mac-Modem Mac-Mac and, in this case, Mac-SGI communication.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  4. Re: Headless Indy

    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    > In article ,
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >
    > : > If I'm not mistaken, to make this cable, I will have to connect Indy Pin-3
    > : > (txd) to Mac Pin-5 (rxd-), Indy Pin-4 (gnd) to Mac Pin-4 (gnd), Indy Pin-5
    > : > (rxd) to Mac Pin-3 (txd-), and Indy Pin-8 (gnd) to Mac Pin-8 (rxd+).
    > : >
    > : > Is this correct?
    > :
    > : I don't think so. Given that the Mac side has differential signalling
    > : (TXD+, TXD- and RXD+, RXD-) on an RS-422 interface and the Indy has
    > : single-ended signalling (TXD and RXD) on an RS-232 interface, I think
    > : you'll need an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter in the chain. Simply connecting
    > : the Indy's TXD to the Mac's RXD- and grounding the Mac's RXD+ as you
    > : describe isn't going to work, AFAICT. (You also seem to have left the
    > : Mac's TXD+ totally unconnected.)
    > :
    > : My advice: put an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter on the Mac. Then wire up a
    > : normal RS-232 null-modem between it and the Indy.
    >
    > You don't need a special cable, and you don't need an RS422 adapter.
    >
    > RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is electrically
    > compatible with RS232.


    Really? I thought there were different voltages involved. Or am I
    thinking of RS-485? Oh well...in any case, I stand corrected.

  5. Re: Headless Indy

    Maybe not. I tried using a standard Mac serial cable to connect my Indy to
    an old Mac and it didn't work.

    Is this just a software problem? I'm using Zterm on the Mac and it doesn't
    display anything. Silly me, I was entering AT commands in the terminal
    software fully expecting something to happen and forgetting that an Indy is
    not a modem... Doh!

    Anyway, a standard Mac serial cable between a Mac and an Indy produces zero
    results. I think I'm gonna have to reverse the TX and RX lines to create a
    null-modem cable.


    > From: John-Paul Stewart
    > Organization: Bell Sympatico
    > Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc
    > Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2005 14:12:35 -0400
    > Subject: Re: Headless Indy
    >
    > Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    >> In article ,
    >> John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >>
    >> : > If I'm not mistaken, to make this cable, I will have to connect Indy
    >> Pin-3
    >> : > (txd) to Mac Pin-5 (rxd-), Indy Pin-4 (gnd) to Mac Pin-4 (gnd), Indy
    >> Pin-5
    >> : > (rxd) to Mac Pin-3 (txd-), and Indy Pin-8 (gnd) to Mac Pin-8 (rxd+).
    >> : >
    >> : > Is this correct?
    >> :
    >> : I don't think so. Given that the Mac side has differential signalling
    >> : (TXD+, TXD- and RXD+, RXD-) on an RS-422 interface and the Indy has
    >> : single-ended signalling (TXD and RXD) on an RS-232 interface, I think
    >> : you'll need an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter in the chain. Simply connecting
    >> : the Indy's TXD to the Mac's RXD- and grounding the Mac's RXD+ as you
    >> : describe isn't going to work, AFAICT. (You also seem to have left the
    >> : Mac's TXD+ totally unconnected.)
    >> :
    >> : My advice: put an RS-422 to RS-232 adapter on the Mac. Then wire up a
    >> : normal RS-232 null-modem between it and the Indy.
    >>
    >> You don't need a special cable, and you don't need an RS422 adapter.
    >>
    >> RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is
    >> electrically
    >> compatible with RS232.

    >
    > Really? I thought there were different voltages involved. Or am I
    > thinking of RS-485? Oh well...in any case, I stand corrected.



  6. Re: Headless Indy

    In article , You wrote:

    : Maybe not. I tried using a standard Mac serial cable to connect my Indy to
    : an old Mac and it didn't work.
    :
    : Is this just a software problem? I'm using Zterm on the Mac and it doesn't
    : display anything. Silly me, I was entering AT commands in the terminal
    : software fully expecting something to happen and forgetting that an Indy is
    : not a modem... Doh!
    :
    : Anyway, a standard Mac serial cable between a Mac and an Indy produces zero
    : results. I think I'm gonna have to reverse the TX and RX lines to create a
    : null-modem cable.

    Could be a software problem. Make sure that hardware flow control is disabled,
    make sure the serial port is set to 9600/8n1, make sure the keyboard and mouse
    are disconnected from the Indy, make sure the serial cable is in the right ports
    on both ends, make sure that /etc/inittab has getty turned on, make sure the
    PROM variable "console" is set to "d" rather than "g"...

    Lots of stuff to check, but you should be able to at least see the PROM messages
    at bootup if things are configured properly.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  7. Re: Headless Indy

    In article ,
    John-Paul Stewart wrote:

    : >
    : > RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is
    : > electrically compatible with RS232.
    :
    : Really? I thought there were different voltages involved. Or am I
    : thinking of RS-485? Oh well...in any case, I stand corrected.

    They're different voltages, yes, but the acceptable ranges overlap considerably.
    In essentially all real world instances you can use a Mac with any RS232 device.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  8. Re: Headless Indy

    On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 14:12:35 -0400, John-Paul Stewart
    wrote:
    >Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    >>
    >> RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is electrically
    >> compatible with RS232.

    >
    >Really? I thought there were different voltages involved. Or am I
    >thinking of RS-485? Oh well...in any case, I stand corrected.


    Well I can vouch that Mac RS422 is RS232 compatible, I use a Mac SE
    as a terminal to a Linux box, and occasionally a PDP-11, with just
    a null modem.


    (I'm not a SGI user, but I was reading this newsgroup for info because
    I've seen some old-ish (about 200MHz) Octanes for sale and I was wondering
    about buying one, and hoping to pick up tips.)

    --
    Cheers,
    Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)

    The future was never like this!

  9. Re: Headless Indy



    > From: stanb45@dial.pipex.com (Stan Barr)
    > Organization: Metropolis Grafix
    > Reply-To: stanb45@dial.pipex.com
    > Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc
    > Date: 04 Jul 2005 05:06:02 GMT
    > Subject: Re: Headless Indy
    >
    > On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 14:12:35 -0400, John-Paul Stewart
    > wrote:
    >> Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    >>>
    >>> RS422, while it does use a slightly different signalling method, is
    >>> electrically
    >>> compatible with RS232.

    >>
    >> Really? I thought there were different voltages involved. Or am I
    >> thinking of RS-485? Oh well...in any case, I stand corrected.

    >
    > Well I can vouch that Mac RS422 is RS232 compatible, I use a Mac SE
    > as a terminal to a Linux box, and occasionally a PDP-11, with just
    > a null modem.
    >

    Do you use Zterm as your terminal software? I notice that you use the word
    "null modem" implying that the RX and TX lines are crossed and not straight
    through as would be the case with just a standard serial cable.


    >
    > (I'm not a SGI user, but I was reading this newsgroup for info because
    > I've seen some old-ish (about 200MHz) Octanes for sale and I was wondering
    > about buying one, and hoping to pick up tips.)
    >
    > --
    > Cheers,
    > Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    > (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)
    >
    > The future was never like this!



  10. Re: Headless Indy



    > From: Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler
    > Organization: Judean People's Front; Department of Whips, Chains,
    > Thumb-Screws, Six Tons of Whipping Cream, the Entire Soprano Section of the
    > Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Guest Apperances of Eva Peron aka Eric Conspiracy
    > Secret Laboratories
    > Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc
    > Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2005 03:16:00 GMT
    > Subject: Re: Headless Indy
    >
    > In article , You wrote:
    >
    > : Maybe not. I tried using a standard Mac serial cable to connect my Indy to
    > : an old Mac and it didn't work.
    > :
    > : Is this just a software problem? I'm using Zterm on the Mac and it doesn't
    > : display anything. Silly me, I was entering AT commands in the terminal
    > : software fully expecting something to happen and forgetting that an Indy is
    > : not a modem... Doh!
    > :
    > : Anyway, a standard Mac serial cable between a Mac and an Indy produces zero
    > : results. I think I'm gonna have to reverse the TX and RX lines to create a
    > : null-modem cable.
    >
    > Could be a software problem. Make sure that hardware flow control is disabled,
    > make sure the serial port is set to 9600/8n1, make sure the keyboard and mouse
    > are disconnected from the Indy, make sure the serial cable is in the right
    > ports
    > on both ends, make sure that /etc/inittab has getty turned on, make sure the
    > PROM variable "console" is set to "d" rather than "g"...
    >
    > Lots of stuff to check, but you should be able to at least see the PROM
    > messages
    > at bootup if things are configured properly.
    >


    I don't get the PROM messages. This makes me think that the RX and TX
    lines must be crossed. i.e. TX -> RX and RX -> TX


    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler
    >
    > --
    > Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    > -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --



  11. Re: Headless Indy

    In article , You wrote:

    : I don't get the PROM messages. This makes me think that the RX and TX
    : lines must be crossed. i.e. TX -> RX and RX -> TX

    Re-read my posts. All Mac serial cables are "null modem" cables. There is
    essentially only one pinout that's used for both computer ports and device
    ports, thus the cable to go from computer to computer is the same as the cable
    to go from computer to device.

    This is unlike PC style hardware where devices have a swapped pinout, and the
    common cables are wired straight-through.

    You can test the software setup on the Mac side by hooking up the serial cable
    between the two ports and running two copies of the terminal software (Since
    MacOS only allows one running instance of a program, make a copy in the finder
    first).


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  12. Re: Headless Indy

    On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 06:05:54 -0400, You wrote:
    >
    >
    >> From: stanb45@dial.pipex.com (Stan Barr)
    >> Well I can vouch that Mac RS422 is RS232 compatible, I use a Mac SE
    >> as a terminal to a Linux box, and occasionally a PDP-11, with just
    >> a null modem.
    >>

    >Do you use Zterm as your terminal software?


    Yes. Works just fine once you set up the preferences to suit the machine
    at the other end.

    >I notice that you use the word
    >"null modem" implying that the RX and TX lines are crossed and not straight
    >through as would be the case with just a standard serial cable.


    Yes, the RX and TX lines are crossed over as are the RTS and CTS and, I think,
    DSR and DCD are tied together at both input and output. Mine is a factory made
    unit, I just happened to have one in my big box of cables, adapters etc.
    otherwise I would have just wired up a couple of plugs and some cable.

    --
    Cheers,
    Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)

    The future was never like this!

  13. Re: Headless Indy

    Okay, I just want to confirm a couple of things:

    a) Serial port 1 on the Indy is the console port, correct?

    b) A serial cable between the Mac modem port and serial port 1 on the Indy
    should allow me to use the Mac as a terminal, correct?

    c) The terminal should be set to 8n1 with hardware handshaking turned off,
    correct?

    So why isn't it working?

    Hmm...


    > From: stanb45@dial.pipex.com (Stan Barr)
    > Organization: Metropolis Grafix
    > Reply-To: stanb45@dial.pipex.com
    > Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc
    > Date: 04 Jul 2005 20:00:09 GMT
    > Subject: Re: Headless Indy
    >
    > On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 06:05:54 -0400, You wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> From: stanb45@dial.pipex.com (Stan Barr)
    >>> Well I can vouch that Mac RS422 is RS232 compatible, I use a Mac SE
    >>> as a terminal to a Linux box, and occasionally a PDP-11, with just
    >>> a null modem.
    >>>

    >> Do you use Zterm as your terminal software?

    >
    > Yes. Works just fine once you set up the preferences to suit the machine
    > at the other end.
    >
    >> I notice that you use the word
    >> "null modem" implying that the RX and TX lines are crossed and not straight
    >> through as would be the case with just a standard serial cable.

    >
    > Yes, the RX and TX lines are crossed over as are the RTS and CTS and, I think,
    > DSR and DCD are tied together at both input and output. Mine is a factory
    > made
    > unit, I just happened to have one in my big box of cables, adapters etc.
    > otherwise I would have just wired up a couple of plugs and some cable.
    >
    > --
    > Cheers,
    > Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    > (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)
    >
    > The future was never like this!



  14. Re: Headless Indy

    In article , You wrote:

    : a) Serial port 1 on the Indy is the console port, correct?
    :
    : b) A serial cable between the Mac modem port and serial port 1 on the Indy
    : should allow me to use the Mac as a terminal, correct?
    :
    : c) The terminal should be set to 8n1 with hardware handshaking turned off,
    : correct?

    Yes, Yes, 9600/8n1 yes.

    : So why isn't it working?

    No idea.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  15. Re: Headless Indy

    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler writes:
    > This is unlike PC style hardware where devices have a swapped pinout, and the
    > common cables are wired straight-through.


    IIRC the DB25 pinout for DCE vs. DTE is older than IBM PCs?

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  16. Re: Headless Indy

    Okay, I got the thing to work using DataComet and a Quadra 700. Cool!

    Out of curiousity, when you run the diagnostic program, how long does it
    take to complete? Does the little flipping "/" and "\" go on forever?



    > From: Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler
    > Organization: Judean People's Front; Department of Whips, Chains,
    > Thumb-Screws, Six Tons of Whipping Cream, the Entire Soprano Section of the
    > Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Guest Apperances of Eva Peron aka Eric Conspiracy
    > Secret Laboratories
    > Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc
    > Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2005 01:52:59 GMT
    > Subject: Re: Headless Indy
    >
    > In article , You wrote:
    >
    > : a) Serial port 1 on the Indy is the console port, correct?
    > :
    > : b) A serial cable between the Mac modem port and serial port 1 on the Indy
    > : should allow me to use the Mac as a terminal, correct?
    > :
    > : c) The terminal should be set to 8n1 with hardware handshaking turned off,
    > : correct?
    >
    > Yes, Yes, 9600/8n1 yes.
    >
    > : So why isn't it working?
    >
    > No idea.
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler
    >
    > --
    > Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    > -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --



  17. Re: Headless Indy

    In article , You wrote:

    : Out of curiousity, when you run the diagnostic program, how long does it
    : take to complete? Does the little flipping "/" and "\" go on forever?

    It takes quite a while, but it does eventually finish.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  18. Re: Headless Indy

    In article <87mzp2cj2q.fsf@tjahns.news.arcor.de>,
    Thomas Jahns wrote:

    : Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler writes:
    : > This is unlike PC style hardware where devices have a swapped pinout, and
    : > the
    : > common cables are wired straight-through.
    :
    : IIRC the DB25 pinout for DCE vs. DTE is older than IBM PCs?

    Yes, it no doubt dates back to much earlier mainframes and serial terminals.

    Actual physical serial terminals are pretty rare these days, though, so it's
    much easier to just call it "PC style".


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  19. Re: Headless Indy

    You wrote:

    > Out of curiousity, when you run the diagnostic program, how long does it
    > take to complete? Does the little flipping "/" and "\" go on forever?



    No, not forever but it really lasts some time (depending on CPU speed
    and amount of memory). I think it was longer than one hour on one of my
    Indys (150MHz, 256MB, 24bit gfx). My 2x400MHz and 2GB Octane is significant
    faster ;-)

    Toni

  20. Re: Headless Indy

    You writes:
    > Out of curiousity, when you run the diagnostic program, how long does it
    > take to complete? Does the little flipping "/" and "\" go on forever?


    Depends on the amount of RAM installed. IIRC a maxed out Indy (256M)
    takes more than half an hour, or at least it seemed to. :-)

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

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