Tektronix TekXPress XP338

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System Specifications & Linux Support

Note: Many of the errata docs for the listed chips are in PDF format.

The "ERGO" Port

This port combines the keyboard, mouse and monitor into one single port. The "ERGO Cable" that plugs into this port, provides 3 BNC connectors for the video (this box uses Sync-on-Green like SGI boxes do), and two PS2 sockets for the keyboard and mouse.

Parts Required:

  • 2x PS/2 Sockets: You may be able to purchase these -- I grabbed a dead ATX motherboard and took to it with a hacksaw.
  • 1x DB15 female plug.
  • 1x VGA 15pin female plug.
  • About 30cm of cable (I used some headphone wire for the video signal wires, and a bit of CAT5e for the keyboard & mouse)

The wiring looks like this:

Ergo cable.png

Notes:

  • If you hacked the PS/2 sockets off a motherboard like I did, you might find that the sockets share common Ground and +5V rails. (that is, a tracks connect pin 5 and pin 2 of both sockets together) This is okay.
  • If you'd prefer to use BNC connections, then do so. It should be possible to substitute a BNC socket for each pair of connections on the VGA plug.

Boot Monitor

The Boot Monitor is a built-in command line utility that provedes easy way to input boot commans. When the Boot Monitos is running and avaiting commands, the BOOT> prompt is displayed on the screen.

The NCD NCBridge Software Reference Manual is available at NCD's documentation store. Chapter 4 describes how to use Boot Monitor.

After initialization, Boot Monitor trying to get an IP address via BOOTP/DHCP and load OS (/xp330/os.330, an X-terminal software) via TFTP.

The OS is a Wind River VxWorks v5.0.4 real-time OS. File format is big endian MIPS ECOFF, ECOFF magic 0x160, load address is 0x80010000.

The API for Boot Monitor is unknown at present moment. Hardware addresses are unknown too...

Boot Monitor has a version signature at 0xBFC00004.

Links

NCD have some software in the form of patches, accessible by anonymous ftp. There aren't any complete releases, but there are archives which contains much that is useful to be found in the ftp://ftp.ncd.com/pub/nwd/XpressWare/ directory.

News

Went digging, it seems the AMD AM79C98 LAN controller is a cousin of the AM79C90 LAN controller which is supported by the DEPCA driver. I don't know if this will work or not... but it's a hunch. :-)