Omnikey Ultra with just one port?

kelvinhall05

28 Apr 2020, 18:45

Hi guys, I just noticed recently that what I thought was a normal Omnikey Ultra (the model with the SF keys at the top) seems to be fairly uncommon. Mine only has one port at the back, whereas literally every other Omnikey I have seen has had two ports. Is this normal or something? Thanks!

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fohat
Elder Messenger

28 Apr 2020, 22:07

I have had half a dozen Omnikey 101s and they always had a single DIN-6 socket at the back right.

kelvinhall05

28 Apr 2020, 22:16

It's an Ultra, not a 101.

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Polecat

29 Apr 2020, 04:51

It depends on the model and generation.

Gen1 Northgates (102 only) had an attached cable.

Gen2 Plus and Ultra models had a PS/2 connector and 2 ADB connectors. Those are the ones with the dipswitches accessible through a slot on the back edge.

Gen3 Northgates had only a PS/2 connector. Those had the switches under a door under the badge on the top left corner.

Gen4 Northgates were programmable (no switches) and had an attached cable.

On the Gen2 models despite having the ADB connections there's apparently more to making them work on a Mac (ADB) than just flipping switches and plugging in an ADB cable. I've been told a crystal needs to be changed, but I haven't confirmed this. I have two of the factory OmniMac Northgates here, and several of the normal PC ones, and it's on my project list to sort out exactly what's different. And a good excuse to see if my old Mac IIsi still works. Alas, if I wasn't "essential" this would be a really good time to work on such a thing.

kelvinhall05

29 Apr 2020, 14:22

Very weird...my Ultra has just one PS/2 port on the back, and the dipswitches are also on the back, right next to the port. There is also this mysterious button...no idea what it does
Spoiler:
IMG_20200429_082058.jpg
IMG_20200429_082058.jpg (3.67 MiB) Viewed 460 times

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Polecat

29 Apr 2020, 17:27

kelvinhall05 wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 14:22
Very weird...my Ultra has just one PS/2 port on the back, and the dipswitches are also on the back, right next to the port. There is also this mysterious button...no idea what it does
Spoiler:
IMG_20200429_082058.jpg
Can you post a photo of the label? I keep a database of Northgates and I can tell you more from that. There were some oddballs made, mostly from the period when Gen1 and Gen2 apparently overlapped.

edit - the pushbutton is a reset switch, I've seen that before on some Gen2 Northgates.

kelvinhall05

29 Apr 2020, 17:35

Polecat wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:27
kelvinhall05 wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 14:22
Very weird...my Ultra has just one PS/2 port on the back, and the dipswitches are also on the back, right next to the port. There is also this mysterious button...no idea what it does
Spoiler:
IMG_20200429_082058.jpg
Can you post a photo of the label? I keep a database of Northgates and I can tell you more from that. There were some oddballs made, mostly from the period when Gen1 and Gen2 apparently overlapped.

edit - the pushbutton is a reset switch, I've seen that before on some Gen2 Northgates.
Spoiler:
IMG_20200429_113418.jpg
IMG_20200429_113418.jpg (4.42 MiB) Viewed 435 times

kelvinhall05

29 Apr 2020, 17:35

Does this increase the value? lol

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Polecat

29 Apr 2020, 18:07

kelvinhall05 wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:35
Thanks, I believe the "0J" is a date code, probably October 1990. The Model 560,0020 Ultras first appeared around "0H" (August 1990). Those had a version code 6.03 and then 6.04 like yours, so you've got a relatively early one. Later Ultras had a version code of 6.05F and I'm thinking those were the ones with the ADB connectors. I have far more of those on record than I do the early ones. I'll keep gathering numbers and notes with these features in mind. Thanks for sharing this. There were a *lot* more variations on the Northgates than I ever imagined when I started gathering data a few years back. I have almost 400 on the list now and still learning!

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Polecat

29 Apr 2020, 18:09

kelvinhall05 wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:35
Does this increase the value? lol
Of course it does! The very definition of "pornography" is that it makes you want the object being represented.

kelvinhall05

29 Apr 2020, 18:11

Hm, interesting...


Wonder if this would make someone want to buy it :P

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fohat
Elder Messenger

30 Apr 2020, 00:56

Polecat wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:27

the pushbutton is a reset switch,
Does that mean reset the keyboard or reset the computer?

Tangentially off-topic, I have noticed that with some PS/2 keyboards connected to modern motherboards, simply pushing any key turns on the computer even if it is shut down. What is that about?

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Polecat

30 Apr 2020, 03:38

fohat wrote:
30 Apr 2020, 00:56
Polecat wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:27

the pushbutton is a reset switch,
Does that mean reset the keyboard or reset the computer?
It resets the computer. The Northgate User's Manual calls it a "system warm boot" switch. I quote, "The small button on the back of the keyboard can be used to reboot your computer. Depressing the button performs a Ctrl + Alt + Delete keystroke."

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fohat
Elder Messenger

30 Apr 2020, 15:32

Polecat wrote:
30 Apr 2020, 03:38

It resets the computer.
At least it is small and around on the back.

I remember computing 30 years ago, DOS crashed all too often and reboots were pretty common.

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