SUMMARY: Cable to connect sun-3 shoebox to SPARCstation ELC

From: Simon Hackett (
Date: Wed Oct 30 1991 - 00:58:44 CST

Thanks for the responses regarding the issue of cables between different
styles of SCSI connectors on Sun workstations.

The consistent answer is "Yes, it works just fine". I got several
first-hand confirmations that while Sun don't necessarily support such
configurations, they are common and successful.

Sun supply a cable do to this, commonly called a "SCSI-1 to SCSI-2" cable.
I'm going to have one made up by a friendly local (+cheap) cable company.

There were two warnings I received which bear repeating:

First, I was reminded about something which, while not directly impacting
my situation, is well worth repeating. This is the infamous design
decision(?) by Sun to ground the "termination power" SCSI pin on the 3/60
and 4/110 models, which means that a straight-through cable from either of
these models to a SCSI drive with termination power supplied tends to blow
the drive up! So while it's safe to plug an ex sun-3 drive onto a new
system, plugging a new drive onto a 3/60 is potentially a problem! It's ok
if you disable "termination power" on the drive, or cut the appropriate pin
of the SCSI cable.

Secondly, I was told that some SCSI drives can perform badly on a cable
along with newer synchronous SCSI drives (like my Quantum 207) if they lie
when asked to negotiate Synchronous SCSI. However, this isn't a frequent
problem (particularly with reasonably recent SCSI drives).

Now I'll just use "Lemon Engineering" (i.e. "Suck it and see") to find out
if it works ok for me. I believe that it'll be fine.

Thanks to those who responded, including:

        Simon Hackett

{ Simon Hackett, Internode Systems Pty Ltd }
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{ Phone: +61 8 373 1339 Fax: +61 8 373 4911 }
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