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NeXTstation Turbo Color with ADB - ROM Monitor?
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: NeXTstation Turbo Color with ADB - ROM Monitor? Reply with quote

Hello.

Today I got my third black beauty, a NeXTstation Turbo Color with Sound Box and 21" Color Display - and of course mouse and keyboard, which seem to be ADB (at least the symbol on the sound box and the keyboard cable do tell me so). The keyboard has its "Command" button underneath the space bar and the "Tilde"-button is on the last row, right handed - not at the numeric keypad.

No matter what I do I can't access the ROM monitor on boot up!

The keyboard is connected to the sound box, the box via "Y" cable to station, and the cable connects the display. As log as I didn't find the ADB symbol on the back of the Station I'm pretty sure the keyboard has to be connected to the sound box. True?

Btw.: I won't tell what I "paid" for it all together, it's even "worse" than my cube ;-)

J
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Nitro
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 422
Location: Littleton, Colorado USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jenne,

Using an ADB keyboard you can access the ROM monitor by pressing the Command bar and the ~ key immediately after the "Testing system" message is replaced by the "Loading from disk" message.

http://www.channelu.com/NeXT/NeXTStep/3.3/nsa/09_StartShut.htmld/index.html

If that doesnít work hold down the Command bar, the left ALT key, and
press ~ after the "Testing system" message disappears.

Youíre correct, the keyboard plugs into the soundbox on Colorstations. If it still doesnít work, check that you have a v74 ROM and an ADB Y-cable. NeXT made two different Y-cables, the one you need has a #N4536 part number, IIRC. You can verify that you have the correct cable by looking at the 19 pin connector. If it has all 19 pins, then it will work with ADB. If some of the pins are missing, then itís a non-ADB only cable. Another thing to check is the keyboard cable. Make sure that it is plugged securely into the keyboard, as some non-NeXT cables (S-Video) donít fit in the keyboard plug very well.

Let us know how your new machine runs. Smile
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange...

It's definetly a 19 Pin connector, even an Apple ADB Keyboard seems to work (at least for power up)...

But I still can not access the ROM Monitor. Could it be that the Command button bar might have gone in the meantime? Doesn't look very tough that one.

It keeps me dropping into that "booting from network" thing...

J
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just noticed that the layout of the keyboard is Swiss German - but the "major" keys seem to be at the same places as on the American keyboards...

J
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Nitro
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 422
Location: Littleton, Colorado USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havenít used a Swiss German keyboard, so Iím not sure if the key sequence is different. It may be a bad Command bar key or a broken connection at the plug. Does your keyboard cable have the NeXT logo on both ends?
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does bear the logo...

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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any way to "reset" the ROM? Plugging the battery or the ROM chip itself?

J
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenne wrote:
Is there any way to "reset" the ROM? Plugging the battery or the ROM chip itself?

J


Shure, but after that you MUST go into the ROM Monitor, the station will try from Ethernet per default.
Unfortunatly i have an english keyboard on my next, you could try something like
left alt - big command bar - the key left from cursorblock (on my keyboard tilde)
My station will go without any hassle in the ROM monitor
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh...

Ok, so just to let You know:

in the meantime I dismantled the keyboard to check what ever there might be to check: BIB, BIG MISTAKE! I never dealt with such a complicated keyboard before. It is made of simple components but it is hell to get it back working!

I already thought about the key mapping, maybe this is different. To discribe the settings:

Underneath the space bar is the command key - seems to "click" very soft... Right to the space bar there is a key with an "i" printed on it. Next to this one is an "Alt" key. Next to this one is the "tilde" key, also printed "|" and "\" on it.

Right?

J
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thought...

A hardware password... could this be a possible reason? I never saw one of these but could it be possible that a hardware password blocks any keyboard activity during boot time?

J
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenne wrote:

Underneath the space bar is the command key - seems to "click" very soft... Right to the space bar there is a key with an "i" printed on it. Next to this one is an "Alt" key. Next to this one is the "tilde" key, also printed "|" and "\" on it.

Right?

J


Right, you have to press in the right moment left altern - command and the tilde key. This must work. If the bootprocess to far continued, you get instead the ROM monitor the nmi window, but you will see that your keys are working
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weird... still does not work :(

In the meantime I found out some things. The NeXTstation has a 3.1 ROM (at least this is printed on the label) and it seems to be that someone expanded the RAM before - bt I do not know how much RAM there is in the Station.

After thinking about it for some hours I started to eliminate possible error sources step by step.

I've connected the ADB keyboard to a Macintosh Powerbook just to see if the keys are working. Pressing a key will do something or not, so my conclusion was if there is at least one key that prints something to the Powerbook's screen then ALL keys have to do something at last, otherwise the keyboard is completely broken or simply incompatible to Apple hardware. To my surprise the keyboard works. The command bar on the NeXT keyboard works like the "Apple" key on an Apple keyboard, pressing the tilde key prints the "<" symbol onto the screen. So I verified that the command bar is physically working by doing some well known Apple shortcuts with it. Result: works fine. This is why I do not think that it is a keyboard malfunction or bad wiring or plugging. I will check out the keyboard mapping later on, maybe the tilde key is located somewhere else although its printed on that key...

Conclusion to this up to here:

The error must be somewhere in the sound box or the Y-cable. As long as I never saw a good picture or a exact description of the Y-cable's correct plugging I changed it on my own. Before the plug with the two cables was connected to the station, leading one 19 Pin cable to the sound box and the SUN-like looking monitor cable to the display - the configuration that still does not work but at least fires the boot process.
I changed the plugging because I thought: "on old 17" B/W displays the keyboard is connected to the display, not to the Station, so just give it a try". Plugging the two cable plug to the display with the SUN-cable leading to the Station and the 19 Pin cable to the box leaves the Station absolutely dead, it even does not start on press of the power button.
Although it does not look very logical to me there are for now two possible error sources left over:

1. real key mapping differs from the printing on the keys
2. after system start the sound box seems to cut the connection to the keyboard somehow (although there is that typical deep short sound wenn the speakers of the box recieve power).

I've even been short-circuiting the battery contacts to reset any hardware password but this also keeps me dropping into that non-solvable network boot thing.

Any idea I did not think of until now?

J
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slomacuser



Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 220
Location: Slovenia, EU

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would sound wierd but try this;

connect the macs extended keyboard press I think 3 keys cmd + alt or ctrl + </> try with shift too ...

I do not remember exactly and I am not at home to check, anyway it worked for me when I had the same problem ...
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Jenne



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*sigh* Thanks SloMac, but it still doesn't work. Maybe I didn't try the good combinations so please check it for me.

Looks like I'm stuck once again.

J
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slomacuser



Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 220
Location: Slovenia, EU

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

try the combination of keys in red line ... it is 3 key combination pressd simultanosly

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