[vcf-midatlantic] help with sun 3/50 video

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 23:13:37 EDT 2019

On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 10:31 PM Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic
<vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> On 6/26/19 6:40 PM, Andrew Diller via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > I picked up a Sun 3/50 that works fine but I need a mono crt for it. I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with them and remembers if other monitors work or what the specs are with them. I have a keyboard and am getting a mouse.
>   The resolution is 1152x900.  I think the sync rates are H=61.8kHz and
> V=66Hz but I may not be remembering that correctly.  The 3/50's onboard
> framebuffer is monochrome, 1-bit deep.  The interface is TTL, if memory
> serves, but it has been awhile.  There are earlier Sun monitors which
> look identical but use an ECL interface, which are typically used with
> Sun-2 systems.

That's the part I was less clear on - when Sun did ECL and when they did TTL.

My workstation experience, outside of NeXT (which is also fixed
frequency and proprietary) is all color.  I know a tiny bit about mono
workstations.  I think most of it is already contained in this

> These do not interoperate.

Very much true.

>   I've never seen a non-Sun monitor in use on a Sun monochrome
> framebuffer at the traditional hardware-imposed 1152x900 resolution.
> But then again, in my world, Sun monitors were always a whole lot more
> common than those weird ones that PCs use. ;)

Yes.  Same.

>   Also, along those lines, just in case you aren't aware, Suns of this
> variety implement fixed-frequency video subsystems.  No changing the
> display resolution to change font size or any such foolishness...the
> workstation world knew about scalable fonts decades ago.

I think with the 3/60 you have a choice of two fixed frequencies,
changed by jumper when the board is powered off and removed from the
box, but _nothing_ like what microcomputers did in terms of different


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