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FOX3MRD for Windows
An Emulator of the Foxboro MRD 450/460 Video Controller

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The MRD 450/460 Video Controller is a ruggedized terminal built by ADDS Corp. beginning in the late '70s and supplied to Foxboro (as the model F7803A) for use with FOX3 process control computers. The MRD 450/460 is designed to produce either color or monochrome text and graphics displays on a slow-scan CRT monitor. It can be configured either for 50Hz or 60Hz operation. The 50 Hz version provides a display of 32 lines of 80 characters, while the 60Hz version provides 24 lines of 80 characters. Line graphics are built from a set of 64 special "block" characters that give the display area an effective resolution of 160x96 (32 line configuration) or 160x72 (24 line configuration). Optionally, graphics display capabilities can be extended with an additional set of 32 special symbols.

MRD 450/460 front view MRD 450/460 rear view

The MRD 450/460 can be configured either for serial or for parallel communication with the hosting computer. The serial version of the MRD 450/460 provides bi-directional communication at baud rates to 9600 and supports the connection of a keyboard at a TTL parallel interface. Foxboro used this version with its model F7861A keyboard. The parallel version does not support keyboard input. Both versions use a proprietary communications protocol.

Mirador's emulator of the MRD 450/460 is designed to run on a Windows PC and to faithfully replicate the MRD displays on a standard VESA compliant monitor. It supports keyboard input from a standard PC keyboard or from a Foxboro F7861A keyboard connected to the PC's parallel port by a special cable. In addition, it provides support for printing screens using any Windows compatible printer. The emulator has been successfully field tested on a FOX3 system.

If you have a FOX3 system and are experiencing problems maintaining your MRD-based operator interface, Mirador's FOX3MRD emulator for Windows could provide a solution.

Emulator Features

In summary, the standard configuration of the FOX3MRD emulator provides:

  • a replacement for the Foxboro Model F7803A video controller
  • 24 line x 80 character display format
  • serial host commuications
  • support for keyboard input from the F7861A keyboard or a std PC keyboard
  • support for printing screens using any installed Windows printer

If you need emulation support for a 32 line display, parallel host communications, or custom graphics symbols, please consult with Mirador about your requirements.

Hardware and OS Requirements:

  • Windows 98, 2000, XP or later operating system
  • CPU speed and RAM consistent with OS
  • VESA compliant video subsystem
  • one serial port (for connection to the host system)
  • one parallel port (if connection of an F7861A keyboard is desired)
  • one USB port (for Mirador's license key)
  • CD drive (for installing the software)

If you want to use a printer with the FOX3MRD software, you will need an additional USB or parallel port.

Shown below are some typical displays from the Mirador FOX3MRD Video Controller emulator.

MRD Screen 1

FOX3MRD Keyboard Support

The MRD 450/460 keyboards can be emulated with standard 104-key PC keyboards. Key layouts on PC keyboards for ADDS keyboard emulation and Foxboro F7861A keyboard emulation are shown below.

PC keyboard as ADDS

PC keyboard as F7861A

Alternatively, the Foxboro F7861A keyboard, shown below, can be connected directly to the PC's parallel port. (A special cable, available from Mirador is required to make the connection.) The FOX3MRD emulator uses a custom Windows kernel device driver to read keyboard input.

Foxboro F7861A Keyboard

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