hi everyone and welcome to another edition of legacy information technology
Here at sudoroom, we are having trouble getting on the internet because our
VT-320 terminal's keyboard cord is missing the RJ-9 end that connects it to the
rest of the terminal. Thus our internet experience is read-only and in that
sense, much like television.
this is what our terminal looks like, except that the connector on the end of
the keyboard cord is missing:
I know we're all very familiar with the RJ45 connector, the venerable
transparent acrylic connector on the end of all of our ethernet cables, and the
aged among you also know the RJ11 connector, which joined our telephones to the
POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) but even most hackers are only slightly aware
of a third, smaller variant: RJ9
our terminal uses RJ11 for its serial ports, and we have no shortage of such
cords for that. But it uses an RJ9 connector for the keyboard, and while we
might be able to find a cord on an old telephone, it will not easily uncrimp,
and splicing and soldering those wires to the keyboard would result in oxidized
connections and slow switching transition waveforms and "third state" bits
between the keyboard and terminal. So what we really need is a brand new,
uncrimped RJ9 plug that we can put onto the keyboard cord (after figuring out
which way it goes on there) so that our terminal can function at full power.
yes i know, the internet allows for remote shopping experiences and i could
simply order a connector to be mailed to me, but I know at least ten of you
nerds out there have an uncrimped RJ9 plug or two in your electronics bins and
I want to reward your thoughtful preservation of materials by giving you a
chance to donate that connector to sudoroom (tax deductable of course)
bonus points if you have a crimper that works with RJ9 plugs.
We are having Hardware Hacking Tuesdays again every week (for now) but I am
available if you want a special access tour at a different time! Lets get this
terminal back in working order.