RPiRoss
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:31 pm

Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:43 pm

Good evening all,

Ever since I saw this photo... Image, I have been enamoured with the DEC VT220.

Given that these are now extremely hard to come by, in even half good condition, I would like to recreate one... Somehow...

My thoughts are to use a PiZero for the internals, some kind of 3D printing job for the casing, and the Raspberry Pi Touchscreen for the display.

Unfortunately, I don't have the faintest idea of where to start with either GPIO or 3D printing, this is simply just how I imagined it could be achieved.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who even has a remote inclination to help me try and achieve this outlandish goal.

Ross

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kusti8
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Location: USA

Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:14 pm

There may be 3D models online. Then you can use that with certain websites to have them print it to you or you could look online for a broken one and gut it. The official screen is easy to connect.
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.

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davidcoton
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Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:18 pm

Memories! VT220 were great terminals to use. I forget the actual screen size, but it was considerably larger than the 7" touchscreen (and quite possibly a different aspect ratio).
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RPiRoss
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Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:37 pm

davidcoton wrote:Memories! VT220 were great terminals to use. I forget the actual screen size, but it was considerably larger than the 7" touchscreen (and quite possibly a different aspect ratio).
I would be happy with a perhaps smaller modern equivalent ;)

Pithagoros
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Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:44 pm

They certainly were bigger than 7", more like 13" and with a 4:3 aspect ratio. They were RS232 too, 25 or 9 pin d connectors.

My first job in the business was development of terminals to emulate DEC terminals. I do miss those simple days. When PCs became ubiquitous on desktops we developed software to emulate the terminals on the PC instead.

There is a good choice of terminal emulators in Linux that will cover your DEC requirements.

RPiRoss
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:31 pm

Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:50 pm

Well you wouldn't be wrong at suggesting that there are plenty of terminal emulators out there, however I'm looking for a PHYSICAL terminal. No emulation.

ejolson
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Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:24 pm

RPiRoss wrote:Well you wouldn't be wrong at suggesting that there are plenty of terminal emulators out there, however I'm looking for a PHYSICAL terminal. No emulation.
I believe the Pi has a serial port that can be converted to use RS232 signal levels easily enough. Once you've turned the Pi into a vt220, what are you going to do with it? While the obvious thing is to connect it to a DEC minicomputer, unless you work in a museum, those are even more difficult to find than working terminals.

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rpdom
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Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Physical Terminal

Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:42 am

I have a Wyse60 terminal that used to be the console terminal on a Unix system in around 1997. It still works and I've used it with a Pi :-)

Pithagoros
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Re: Physical Terminal

Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:38 am

RPiRoss wrote:Well you wouldn't be wrong at suggesting that there are plenty of terminal emulators out there, however I'm looking for a PHYSICAL terminal. No emulation.
Yes, I understand that from your first comment. But if you are going to use a Pi Zero then you will need a software emulation to make it work like a VT220.
Unless you just want a Linux computer that looks like a DEC terminal.

Do remember that the big chunky keyboards with long travel keys are part of the experience.

frednet
Posts: 7
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Re: Physical Terminal

Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:48 pm

I've been hoping to find some info on building a VT220 clone with a Pi Zero and cheap TFT screen and I'm surprised no-one has built one!
I assume you could strip a kernel to the absolute minimum if you know what you're doing, maybe Arch linux would be a good starting place, and as xorg wouldn't be required the footprint would be extremely small.
It appears that someone has done a similar thing on an Arduino, I assume using screen is the best bet on linux, would anyone else be interested with this?

Heater
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Re: Physical Terminal

Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:02 pm

Raspbian would be fine.

Write a VT100/220 terminal emulator using Qt 5. If you can't find such a thing already written.

Run the VT100/220 emulator straight into the frame buffer, no X Windows required.

Sounds like a sweet project.

k-pi
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Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Re: Physical Terminal

Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:47 am

Would it be the same to you if you just used Raspbian-lite, & connected to a small monitor like the Eyoyo 8"?

I like working at the command line at times, the built in VT's of Linux are good, you normally have 6 set up, & can swap between them using Ctrl+F1~6.
There are a couple of multiplexers if you just want to work from one VT, screen being one of them.

RPiRoss
Posts: 12
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Re: Physical Terminal

Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:22 pm

Heater wrote:Raspbian would be fine.

Write a VT100/220 terminal emulator using Qt 5. If you can't find such a thing already written.

Run the VT100/220 emulator straight into the frame buffer, no X Windows required.

Sounds like a sweet project.
Writing a terminal emulator is a bit out of my reach I'm afraid! But yes, it sounds cool right?!
k-pi wrote:Would it be the same to you if you just used Raspbian-lite, & connected to a small monitor like the Eyoyo 8"?

I like working at the command line at times, the built in VT's of Linux are good, you normally have 6 set up, & can swap between them using Ctrl+F1~6.
There are a couple of multiplexers if you just want to work from one VT, screen being one of them.
Unfortunately I'm looking for the look of the VT220. I think it looks awesome. But having a modern equivalent would be dreamy. I've made enquiries and refurbished models are £300+.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Physical Terminal

Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:45 pm

PuTTY does VT220 emulation as I recall, so no need to write the software for that. It will handle serial communications, too. You could even set the color scheme to match the amber display.

Heater
Posts: 12642
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Physical Terminal

Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:38 pm

Well there is the thing.

If you can run a Pi with no X Windows and configure the display to 80 columns by whatever rows you have a VT100 terminal display right there.

derpygeek
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:32 am

Re: Physical Terminal

Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:34 am

well I could not find a physical terminal emulator for vt220 so I installed raspbian lite (raspbian without gui) instead :idea:

meenet
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:26 pm

Re: Physical Terminal

Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:27 pm

Can I use vt220 as a monitor
and run off raspberry pi where keyboard is connected to raspberry pi?

so i can use other keyboard via usb port.

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