The Compatibility Box (TCB) is a
very extensive range of protocol converters which have been specially developed to connect
all possible types of peripheral equipment to computer systems and even to connect
computer systems to each other.
The connection to the central computer facility can be either via a serial
synchronous/asynchronous attachment, via IBM 3270 Coax or IBM 5250 Twinax cabling. This
host connection determines which TCB series type should be used; for serial
asynchronous/synchronous connections there is the TCB PIT series,
for IBM 3270 coax connection there is the TCB CAT series and
finally for IBM 5250 twinax connections there is the TCB TWX series.
The peripheral connection can be made via asynchronous/synchronous RS232/V.24
interfaces, with optional V.11 or V.35 alternatives, while for printers there are versions
available with parallel Centronics interfaces.
To handle protocol conversion, there are both menu selection and enhanced modes
to assist with configuration. The TCB is configured with the help of a temporarily
connected PC and a standard communication program. The "enhanced programming
mode" offers a wealth of function modules, such as string and code conversions,
fifo's, counters, timers, checksum generators, bypasses etc. These provide solutions to
diverse connectivity problems, particularly in cases of divergence from a standard