SUMMARY; 4/690 Mono Problems

From: Sun Mgr (
Date: Tue Apr 07 1992 - 18:53:20 CDT

Well, Thanks to everyone who replied! Below is the original question and then the list of replies I received. I also received a Phone call from Charles Grady@arbor university. Thanks to ALL!

I had a lot of "eeprom wrong setting" answers, but the answer turned out to be...

From: Peter Kaldis <>

Look for a jumper JMP4 and remove the 1-2 pin jumper. This will
allow the card to auto-select the display freq. based on your
monitor. (you want low-res 1152x900)

Thanks again,


Charles Grady@Arbor University
Tim Beyea <>
Donald A. MacLeod" <> (David Kaelbling) (J. Matt Landrum) (Russ Poffenberger)
John Valdes <> (Daryl Crandall) (Mark Edwards)
Mike Raffety <>
Tim Beyea <>
Peter Kaldis <> (David N. Edwards) (Brian Herzog, SMCC System Software)

Subject: Re: Installing Mono on 4/690
Status: RO

>This is an annoying problem that seems like "it should just work"...
>The Task:
> Replace the color monitor and board with a std sun mono
> monitor and board.
>The Configuration:
> Sun 4/690, 4 Processor, 128MB, VME Presto, (2) VME NC400's,
> S-Bus SCSI board (in slot 1), VME IPI cont, S-Bus GX color
> board (in slot 0), std. 19" color monitor. SUN OS 4.1.2
>The Problem:
> With the mono equipment installed we get "NO" picture, zippo,
> nadda, gone... No testing message, nothing. with color it's O.K.
>The Steps Taken:
>0. Kernel rebuilt to include B&W
>1. Server shutdown, powered off, and the color board was removed.
>2. A mono board (Sun #270-1419-06-50) and a mono monitor (Sun
> model M19P114, Part #3651086-01) was attached. The board was
> put in S-Bus slot 0.
>3. Everything hooked up, on boot up, NO Picture, flash, zip...
>4. swapped out the cable... Cable ok
>5. swapped out the monitor... monitor ok
>6. shutdown server, swapped out the mono board for another one
> of the exact same type... same results, no picture.
>7. Doublechecked board seating, normal vs diag switch, cables,
> power cables, misc everything. Still no picture.
>8. moved SCSI board to slot 0, and the mono to slot 1... no
> picture (although our optical had problems with it's SCSI
> board in slot 0 - ???, moved it back to slot 1)
>9. when we put the color board back in, it worked fine.
>NOTE: Even though we had no picture, the machine booted ok. We
> were able to log in from another computer with no problems.
>The Question:
> Has anyone put a Sun mono s-bus board in a 4/690? I would
> think so. Has anyone seen this problem, had this problem,
> or has some words of wisdom "that apply".
> I find it hard to believe the 4/690 won't support mono.
> Help! This is not a critcal problem, but I want to use the
> color unit somewhere else. And I've run out of Ideas.

From: Tim Beyea <>

I have a 690 with a mono swapped for my original cgsix. The FE said that
you best bet was to use the latest rev of the bwtwo that you have lying around.
The one we are using is 501-1455-010516 -04Rev.50

Check your white bar code on the SBUS connector and see if it matches
this number. If not, you might want to check around in your sparcs
and see if you can swap the one you are using for that revision.


From: "Donald A. MacLeod" <>

>From the SunFlash 600MP Upgrade announcement (see the Hardware Considerations

SunFLASH Vol 35 #8 November 1991


- Upgrades to SPARCserver 600MP systems only support included GX or
  optional ECL monochrome frame buffers. Other VME, P4 or SBus graphics
  are not supported.

- Customers with ECL monochrome monitors will need to purchase an SBus
  monochrome frame buffer (UG-MFB-G) to connect them to SPARCserver
  600MP upgrades.

- Enclosure exchange upgrades to the SS690MP do not include a frame
  buffer. Customers requiring ECL monochrome video should order the
  SBus monochrome frame b


SBus ECL Monochrome UG-MFB-G $400 A N/C
Frame Buffer


From: (David Kaelbling)

Just a guess, but there are some eeprom settings to identify the
console device type. You man need to change them when swapping

From: (J. Matt Landrum)

you have to change the eeprom setting

From: (Russ Poffenberger)

It might be possible that you need to change the eeprom setting to use the
mono as the console.

From: John Valdes <>

I'm not familiar with the 4/690, so I can't address your problem directly.
However, assuming that your mono board works with the 4/690, have you tried
changing the eeprom console value? As super-user from any terminal, type

 4/690% eeprom console=b&w [you may have to escape the '&']

From: (Daryl Crandall)

There may be a variable in the PROM that needs to be modified. The unit
was probably shipped with the variable set by default to access the
color framebuffer and may need to be manually changed to use the B/W

If this is indeed the case, then when you boot the system it probably is
trying to read data from a dumb terminal via /dev/ttya or /dev/ttyb because
it thinks you don't have a color monitor anymore and is too dumb to
look for the B/W monitor automatically.

From: (Mark Edwards)

Any boot prom/NVRAM setups that are mono/color specific?
I just sent my batch of Suns to Belgium today, or I would have
checked for you.

From: Mike Raffety <>

Have you tried the same mono board/monitor in another host to verify
that they work (and work together)?


From: Peter Kaldis <>

Rik, I had this very same problem untill I discovered that there
is a jumper on this monochrome Sbus card that needs to be changed
from it's default config.

Look for a jumper JMP4 and remove the 1-2 pin jumper. This will
allow the card to auto-select the display freq. based on your
monitor. (you want low-res 1152x900)


From: (Brian Herzog, SMCC System Software)

Something bizarre is going on - the mono system should work just fine.
No kernel rebuilding should be necessary.  Slot used doesn't matter.

Are you using ECL or analog mono? The ECL will have a DB9 connector; the analgo will have the 13w3 connector.

Have you tried the fb/monitor/cable combo you're using in the 690 in a desktop system (i.e., not a piece-by-piece swap, but swap everything out together)?

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