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DS10 no longer generates beeps

Jimmy Spurgeon
Occasional Visitor

DS10 no longer generates beeps

This DS10 is running VMS. It is installed on a piece of medical equipment and was a replacement for a defective DS10. The new DS10 does not generate beeps as the old one. Is there a setting in Bios or Environment that enables the audible beeps?
7 REPLIES
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

Jimmy,

Is this "the machine that goes 'Ping!'"? ;-)

How do you generate the beeps from the operating system? It's fairly rare to hear of an OpenVMS system that actually needs to make noises. More often than not, they're in a rack in a machine room.

Have you checked inside the box to make sure the speaker is connected? If possible, compare with the old system.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Jimmy Spurgeon
Occasional Visitor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

The speaker connection was checked. The application running also uses the "beeps" to indicate a change of status in the program. I generated an error to see if the "beeps" worked during bootup. They do not, but the error light flashes. Also asked the operator to check speaker with test voltage.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

Jimmy,

Huh? What's an "error light"?

>I generated an error to see if the "beeps"
>worked during bootup.

Huh?? We're talking about a DS10 right?

Can you please describe the exact hardware configuration you're talking about. Does the DS10 have a mouse, display and keyboard attached? If so, are you running DECwindows, or just using the display as a glass teletype?

One alternative is to use a serial terminal, in which case beeps should be generated by the terminal, not the system box.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

I'm confused, too. Are you talking about "beep codes" that occur as the system powers on and detects errors (usually before) self-test finishes or are you talking about sound generated through the speaker AFTER OpenVMS is operational? There have been several issues through the Alpha series of systems, both on "workstations" and on systems that are not really "workstations" about problems with the speakers. So, as John asked, what is your exact configuration?

For instance, was your "defective DS10" equipped with a graphics card? In that mode it's "not really" a server as much as it "sorta kinda" becomes an XP900-ish machine. There may also be jumpers on the motherboard that are configured differently between the two systems. Typically the "speaker beep" you hear from the Alpha is pretty loud and obnoxious while one from a slave console terminal is slightly less annoying and loud. But if there are jumpers to enable or disable speakers and not configured correctly you won't get it to beep at all unless you have a terminal.

Might have to consult the users guide, owners manual or service manual for this one to get it right...

bob
Colin Butcher
Esteemed Contributor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

This reminds me of a problem from several years (probably around 15 years or so) ago with some software that ran on DS10s.

Is the application using the keyboard "bell" to generate the beeps? That seems more likely than using the internal speaker, unless you've got the MMOV layered product installed (and even then I don't remember using it successfully on a DS10).

If the application is sending "bell" characters to the terminal, it's the keyboard that will generate the "beeps".

I remember that some of the LKwhatever keyboards we were using at the time changed the way the "bell" worked and we had to make sure we got keyboards with a revision level that worked properly. Some keyboard firmware gave us a "beep" for every "bell" character sent to the terminal, other firmware seemed to coalesce them into a single "beep", depending how spaced out (a deliberate joke - it was a satellite control centre) the "bell" characters were in time.

I might be able to find out what the firmware versions were, but it's a long time and a couple of companies ago. If you have a few different keyboards lying about, then it's a simple enough thing to try.

Cheers, Colin (http://www.xdelta.co.uk).
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (Occam's razor).
Jimmy Spurgeon
Occasional Visitor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

I appreciate all the replies (first time on this forum). I should clarify a little more about the use of the DS10. It is used to run application for an MRI scanner in a hospital, so it would be like a server. The application loaded on the DS10 controls the scanner, collects the data, reconstructs images, etc. This nsytem is probably over 10 years old. Regarding the error light I mentioned, there is actually an environmental LED on the front of DS10 that flashes when invoked as an alert. You can count flashes, or listen for beeps. The same speaker for the error beeps is used by the application to indicate the completion of an action on the scanner (image transfer, scan complete, etc). We treat the whole DS10 as a black box and I have another coming today. Thanks again.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: DS10 no longer generates beeps

Windows keyboards and the Windows-compatible LK-series keyboards and interfaces don't have integrated audible alert (speaker, annunciator) hardware.

The AlphaServer DS10 box does have a speaker, and the sound requests get sent to that device from the host application software.

And for completeness, there was a change in how audible alert volume was managed within DECwindows, but (if the software versions and ECOs haven't changed) there shouldn't be a difference here.

@decw$utils:decw$define_utils
$ xset b 1 100 100

Given the bell doesn't work (at all), this does appear to be a hardware problem. (The SRM console firmware "knows" how to trigger the speaker to report hardware errors, and the problems reported with that path here would completely exonerate VMS from involvement.)