[vcf-midatlantic] replacing mono display DEC Rainbow

Ian Primus ian.primus.ccmp at gmail.com
Wed Apr 19 11:54:00 EDT 2017

The cable to the VR201 is very, very simple. It contains monochrome
composite video, and the direct passthrough for the keyboard lines.

You can make up an adapter to allow you to use a standard monochrome
composite monitor and the LK201 keyboard.

Pin 12 - monochrome composite video signal
Pin 4 - video shield ground

Pin 5 and 6 - ground
Pin 7 and 8 - 12V
Pin 14 - RX data keyboard
Pin 15 - TX data keyboard

See here for the pinout of the LK201 keyboard:

You can rig up this adapter and use any normal monochrome composite
monitor with the Rainbow. Best results on quality monitors with
adjustments for height, it'll overscan on some things like security
monitors. Likewise, it's real easy to rig up the VR201 to work on
anything else, it's a fantastic, sharp, clear little monitor. The
screen rot can be fixed, I've done a few CRTs like this. You basically
need to remove the tube, heat the faceplate very carefully with a heat
gun to get it to delaminate, clean all the gunk out, and stick it back


On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:19 AM, william degnan via vcf-midatlantic
<vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> Anyone replace the mono display of the dec rainbow with a VT220 (or..)?
> The two VR201s I have screen rot.  VR201 is the part number of the display
> that comes with the Rainbow.  I can't be the first person to ask this
> questionj, most VR201's are pretty screen-rotted now.   I am guessing it
> will take some doing to assuming the cable between the display and the
> computer is not a straight serial connection.
> In the meantime I will work on this and let you know what I find.  There is
> a VR201 on Ebay for $100.
> b

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