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Re: Consoles old and new

    Date: Wed, 20 Sep 89 08:18:12 edt
    From: Kevin Chieff <chieff@scrc-pegasus>

    It's my understanding that the newer style consoles, (ribbed enclosure
    with the screen tilting within the frame) are a complete redesign, and
    use a 100MHz PE video signal, where all four variations of the older 
    console used an 80MHz PE video.  So... L machines with PE video (that
    is, 364x, 367x, and 3600 with the PE upgrade) will work with all four
    variations of the older console only.  G machines can work with either
    console, but the console electronics inside the G machine (an SLB
    console interface board) is different, dependent on whether you're
    driving an 80MHz or 100MHz console, and the XL400 only drives the new
    100MHz console.  As to the four variations of the older console, I 
    believe they are as follows:  I forget which order, but Phillips and
    Moniterm made the original two consoles, they had slotted top panels,
    and could only be differentiated visually by peering inside at the
    adjustments, or other identifying characteristics.  Smbx then began
    producing much of the console in house, and that console utilized the
    solid top.  The fourth console is the grey solid top console, identical
    to the third Smbx own console, except for the cosmetic change to match
    the color of the 3620's and 3630's that it was shipped with.
    Personal opinion on reliability - the consoles have steadily improved
    in reliability in the order in which Smbx released them, to the point 
    that the solid top consoles and new ribbed consoles generate nowhere
    near the calls that the older consoles did.  That's based on observation
    of the 150 or so consoles in the customer base here in NJ.

Kevin: Thank you for an excellent and perhaps the most useful reply to
my original query. (You are one damn sharp sales rep. Either we should
get this depth of reply from technical folks consistently, or retro-fit
all the sales reps to be more like you.) 
It seems (specifically in my case) that if I had a 3620, I might not be
able to swap an "older" console with a swanky new one. Is there a way to
tell without actually trying it? You seem also to be saying that it
works with one or the other, and switching requires a board swap. I am
trying to build an inventory of spares, and want to be certain of these

Many thanks.