IBM 3164 Terminal



The Color ASCII Display Station series 3164 is a stand-alone, high-quality, 14-inch, 80-column, color display station used for displaying up to 1,920 characters, and for entering data into and retrieving data from a host processor. The IBM 14-inch monitor has an actual viewable screen size of 11.8 inches when measured diagonally. The 3164 provides an asynchronous communication interface using a 7-bit or 8-bit word length, using RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface and RS-422-A (CCITT V.11) interface.

Model Abstract 3164-110

(For IBM US, No Longer Available as of December 21, 1994)

The 3164 Model 110 provides RS-232-C/RS-422-A communication with speeds up to 19.2Kbps Native mode compatible with 3161 and 3163 ASCII Display Stations with or without Additional Read Command optional features of the 3161/3163.

Model Abstract 3164-120

(For IBM US, No Longer Available as of June 4, 1996)

The 3164 Model 120 provides a program-selectable interface of either EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) or EIA RS-422-A (CCITT V.11).


Major characteristics of the 3164 are:

  • RS-232-C communication with speeds up to 19.2K bps
    RS-232-C/RS-422-A communication with speeds up to 19.2K bps
  • Native mode compatible with 3161 and 3163 ASCII Display Stations with or without Additional Read Command optional features of the 3161/3163 US English models
  • 3101 Model 23 (or Model 881) 
  • Color attributes for eight foreground colors (red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, turquoise, black and white) and eight background colors (red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, turquoise, black and white)
  • Concurrent support of character attributes (for normal, blink, non-display, underline, reverse, high intensity, foreground color and background color) and field attributes (for normal, blink, non-display, underline, reverse, high intensity, protected, numeric, modified data tag, right justify with zero or space, must fill, must enter, auto send, foreground color and background color)
  • Windowing (up/down/ left/right)
  • 7680 characters buffer
  • Split screen capability (viewports, paging, partitioning)
  • Vertical smooth scroll
  • Auto skip
  • Divider scan
  • CRT saver with programmable timer
  • Hold screen (stop scrolling temporarily)
  • Block or underlined cursor with blinking option
  • Block LRC (Longitudinal Redundancy Checking)
  • Host access to the indicator row
  • Line attributes for double high/double wide characters
  • Re-definable keyboard layout and customer replaceable keytops
  • 12 Function (F) keys redefinable from the terminal, as well as from the host (12 keys with two shifts each)
  • Three PA (Program Access) keys
  • Host-loadable characters or patterns of up to 94
  • Bidirectional auxiliary port
  • A cartridge 

The 3164 models generate an ISO 646 (ANSI X3.4) datastream. 

IBM 3161 Migration/Coexistence:

The native mode of 3164 is a superset of 3161 and 3163 ASCII Display Stations, and provides a migration path for the 3161/3163 users without any software modifications.

IBM 3101 Compatibility and Migration:

The 3101 emulation mode of the 3164

Provides an enhanced 3101 functions and a migration path for 3101 users without any software modifications. When operating in 3101 emulation mode, the 3164 accepts and generates the 3101 Model 23 and Model 881 datastream. There are some operational differences in terms of the screen management facilities. The 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Description Manual documents these differences.

Emulation Modes in Models:

3101 Mode of the 3164 881 or  23.

Emulation Modes in Features:

The 3163/3164 enhanced emulation of VT100 and System attachment, provided as an optional feature (#8313) provides:

  • The emulation of DEC VT100 and VT52 mode of VT100, enhanced by: 4201/4202 Printer, as well as DEC's LA50 Printer, is supported.

  • Color representation of character attributes (menu setup by keyboard)

  • Enhanced 3708 Attachment mode with: Color character attributes (same as 3164 native)

The 3163/3164 Enhanced Emulation of TeleVideo 950, provided as an optional feature (#8954) provides Emulation of TeleVideo 950, enhanced by:

  • Color representation of field attributes (menu setup by keyboard)

  • Color character attributes (same as 3164 native)

  • Multi-viewport, Multi-page

  • Some functions of TeleVideo 955 (Write Block Graphic area, etc.)
 There are some operational differences such as keyboard layout and how to setup the machine. 

The Models 860 and 861 are special application models. The 860/861 input, display in color, and print (to 4201/4202 Pro-printer) all characters contained in the Extended American Library Association (ALA) character Set. The keyboard and cartridge are unique.


The 3164 displays up to 1,920 characters, 24 rows of 80 characters each. An alphameric character is represented in an 8x16 contiguous box matrix. The data displayed uses the 128 characters of ASCII/ISO codes and an additional character set containing 24 line drawing graphics, 10 superscript characters and 10 subscript characters. A line drawing character is represented in a maximum 8x16 dot matrix to create a contiguous line. The character transmission mode provides the capability to transmit a character over a communication line upon depression of each key. The block transmission mode, selectable at setup time, allows buffered transmission mode of data. The 3164 consists of the three machine elements (Video, Logic, and Keyboard) and cartridge.

Color Capability:

The color presentation in the 3164 (native) mode provides up to 8 color attributes in both the foreground and the background of the characters. In the default color mode if predetermined, the 3164 displays characters in up to 4 default colors depending on the combination of field attribute and character attribute.


The use of ASCII (ISO) codes and the asynchronous communication interface allows the 3164 to attach to a variety of host processors. Various communication options are selectable by the customer on the setup menu such as line speed (50, 75, 110, 134.5, 150, 200, 300, 600, 1200, 1800, 2400, 3600, 4800, 7200, 9600 and 19,200 bps), parity (none, odd, even, mark, space), interface (EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/V.28), EIA RS-422-A (CCITT V.11)), word length (7, 8-bit), operation mode (echo, character, block mode), turn-around character (ETX, EOT, CR, DC3), line control (CRTS, PRTS, IPRTS), stop bit (1, 2), response delay (0, 100ms) and break signal (170, 500ms). The 3164 provides XON/XOFF Control.

Operator Factors:

The 3164 has an etched screen, which minimizes glare and fingerprints. Indicators are displayed under the divider scan on the bottom (25th row) of the screen, and provide useful operator information. An audible alarm is provided to alert the operator, and its volume is adjustable by the operator. The video element can be tilted and swiveled by the pedestal to set the screen angle for the operator. The cable-connected keyboard can be moved and its slope is selectable.

Input Editing Capability:

Cursor move (up, down, right, left, and home), tab (forward, backward, set and clear), erase (end of line, end of page and entire page), clear (entire page and entire buffer), insert (character and line) and delete (character and line) are provided. Tab erase, insert and delete may be manipulated by field attribute. All characters can be rendered by character or field attributes. A 12-key numeric keypad and 12 Function (F) keys are provided on the keyboard.

The Color ASCII Display Station communicates with the 128 7-bit ASCII/ISO character set or 256 8-bit ASCII/ISO character set depending on machine mode and languages.

 A cable-connected keyboard is provided for operator data input. The 3164 provides the advanced editing functions as the 3163 and is upwardly compatible from the 3161/3163 native modes and displays both the foreground and the background in up to 8 colors. The 3164 meets the general and unique ASCII display requirements.

Model Description 3164-110

Provides EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface.

Note: All models provide English (US).

Upon request from the customer, the 3164 special models with a 90-day warranty are provided. The special model numbers correspond to the standard 3-year warranty models as follows:

3-Year Warranty    Corresponding 90-day
     Model            Warranty Model
   3164-11X              3164-16X


 Model 110

Model Summary Matrix

                                     Program       Diacritic/
                          ALA       Selectable       Alpha
Model        Speed      Keyboard    Interface     Combinations
-----       --------    --------    ----------    ------------
 110        19.2Kbps       NO           NO             NO



Customer Setup (CSU)

The 3164 is designated as a customer set up machine. Setup instructions are shipped with each machine, as the "IBM 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Setup Instructions" (GA18-2319).

Customer Responsibilities:

The customer is responsible for:

  1. Preparation of adequate site, system, cables and other vendor.

  2. Receipt at customer's receiving dock, unpacking and placement of unit.

  3. Physical setup, connection of cables in customer access area, setting of setup and select options.

  4. Determination of the required number of spares.

  5. Performing Problem Analysis and Resolution using "IBM 3164 ASCII Display Station Operator Reference and Problem Solving Guide". 

  6. Call an IBM Service/Exchange Communication Center (S/ECC) on a toll-free number for service.


It is recommended that the customer replace a failing element with a spare element and that the customer be advised to purchase sufficient spare 3164 units for such use. The number of spare units is dependent upon the number of 3164 units the customer has installed, the application requirements, physical locations and layout. Determination of the required number of spares is a customer responsibility. However, the minimum number of spare units recommended where one unit consists of a keyboard, a logic, and a video is shown in the following table:

Recommended Minimum Number of Spare 3164s:

Number         Recommended Minimum
Installed      Spare Machines
  1 -   50           1
 51 -  100           2
101 -  300           3
301 -  500           5
501 -  700           6
701 - 1000           7

The customer should be advised to verify units for correct operation before putting them on the shelf. Spares may be ordered as a complete machine or as an individual workstation element where spare elements do not have VPA discount. See "Accessories" for ordering individual elements.

Customer Responsibility for Damaged or Altered Elements:

Determination by IBM that damage to replaced units is due to causes or conditions not covered under the terms and conditions of the Purchase or Maintenance Agreement and repair of that damage or replacement of missing, altered or non-IBM parts is charged at IBM's then current hourly service rates and minimum charge. Altered elements are not eligible for the exchange or replacement services.

Customer Engineer On-Site Assistance:

If the customer desires assistance in performing CPAR, the customer calls the Service/Exchange Communication Center (S/ECC). IBM assists the customer on-site in performing CPAR procedures using the same documentation that is available to the customer. All on-site assistance is available on an hourly service basis at the applicable hourly rates and terms.

Customer-owned spare elements may be installed to replace defective elements by IBM upon customer request. Shipping of defective elements to the Repair Center or Service/Exchange Center is a customer responsibility. On-site assistance is available on an hourly service basis at the applicable hourly rates and terms.

Devices Supported

Communication Interfaces:

The 3164 communicates with a variety of host processors.

When using the EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface, the 3164 can directly attach to a host processor within 12.2m (40.0 ft) at 50 - 19,200 bps or can communicate point-to-point to a remote host processor through an external modem.


5841, 5842 and  PTT mandatory modems complying with CCITT Recommendations (1979), V.24, V.28, ISO standard 2110 and either CCITT Recommendations V.21, V.22, V.22bis or V.23 may be attached. Other non-IBM modems may be attached subject to the Multiple Supplier Systems Bulletin. A modem cable is required for the attachment of a modem. As an alternative to a modem attachment, the 3164 may be directly connected to a ROLM CBX at speeds up to 19.2Kbps through one of the following devices with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface: ROLMphone Datacom Module (DCM), Data Terminal Interface (DTI), rack-mounted version of the DCM or DTI.

The types and speeds of currently available modems with which the 3164 operates include:

  • On non-switched facilities

    Full-duplex and half-duplex modes at transmission speeds of 50 to 300, 600, 1200/600, 1800 (half-duplex), and 2400 (full-duplex) bps. See Facility codes D1M, D2M, M1M and M2M in M2700 pages.

  • On switched facilities 

    Full-duplex and half-duplex modes:

    CF1, CF1M, C1M and C2M  in M2700 pages.
For communication capabilities, product utilization and special features, see M2700 pages.

The 3164 may be attached to packet switched networks through the PAD complying with the CCITT recommendation X.28 via DCEs with CCITT X.20bis interface.

Auxiliary Port:

An auxiliary interface is provided for attachment of an input or output device with EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28). The 4201/4202 Proprinter may be attached at the Auxiliary Port.


The customer is responsible to prepare cables. Many IBM systems require unique cables for 3164 attachment and those systems should be referenced for detail information. A 3m (10 ft.) modem cable is provided as an IBM accessory for use in attaching the 3164 to certain devices (specifically modems). A 1.5m (5 ft.)  I/O cable is provided as an IBM accessory for attaching 4201 or 4202 Proprinter.

System Support and Programming Support:

The 3164 support is provided by the current version of the following systems and licensed programs. Contact each system for availability and details of system support.

Systems and                   3164
Licensed      Support     Native   3101
Program       System      Mode     Mode
 -EDX                      X        X
 -TPS                      X        X
 -CF                       -        X
  environment              X        -
System/88 with
 OS, TP                    X        -
5170 with
 XENIX                     X        X
9370 with
 ASCII subsystem
 controller and
 or IX/370                 X        X
9370 with

ASCII subsystem X X 3174 Asynch S/370,300XX Emulation (*4),43XX, Adapter 9370 with feature MVS/SP,MVS/XA, VSE/SP,VM/SP, VM/SP HPO X X 270X,370X, S/370,30XX, 372X with 43XX,9370 NTO with MVS/SP, MVS/XA,VSE/SP, VM/SP,VM/SP HPO X X (*3) (*3) IX/370 ASCII S/370,30XX, Control 43XX, 9370 Feature on with IX/370 Series/1 - X YALE IUP S/370,30XX, on Series/1 43XX,9370 or with MVS/SP, HYAC on 4994 MVS/XA,VSE/SP, or on VM/SP,VM/SP Series/1 HPO - X 7426 S/370,30XX, 43XX,8100 - X
AS/400 ASCII Workstation Controller X -
5208 System 36/38 AS/400 X -

h Multi-function attachment feature (#1310), with Feature-programmable 4-Line Adapter feature (#2096), or with Asynchronous Terminal 8-Line Adapter (RPQ D02350).

Note *3 = CPT-TWX 33/35 (TTC2) protocol only.

Note *4 - The channel attachment model of the 3174 is supported by 308X and 3090 only.

System Attachment:

Series/1, System/88, 9370 and Non-IBM Mini Computers attach the 3164 with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface, or RS-422-A (CCITT V.11) interface both in 50 to 19.2Kbps line speed, and via a modem with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface. S/370 Processors attach the 3164, via 270X, 370X, or 3725/6 with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface in 50 to 1200 bps line speed, via 370X-8100, 3725/8100 or 3726-8100 with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface in 50 to 9600 bps without modem and in the modem speeds (but not exceeding 9600 bps) with modem, and via a protocol converter with RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface in 50 to 19.2Kbps line speed. The S/36, S/38, and AS/400 attach to the 3164 with EIA-232 (CCITT V.24/28) interface or EIA-422-A (CCITT V.11) interface. The S/36, S/38, and AS/400 attachment via the 5208 ASCII-5250 Link Protocol Converter or ROLMbridge 5250 Link Protocol Converter provides up to a 19.2Kbps line speed. The AS/400 ASCII Workstation Controller also provides the 3164 up to a 19.Kbps line speed. The 3164 may be attached to a 4361 Processor via the 4361 feature "EIA/CCITT Interface" (#3701) with the 4361 feature "Line Attachment Base for Non-clocked Modems" (#4696). It may operate at speed up to 2400 bps, in 3101 mode and 3164 native mode. The attachment must be via the EIA RS-232-C (CCITT V.24/28) interface, either via asynchronous modem with switched or non-switched telephone line, or via direct attachment at distance 50 to 12m (40 ft.) For direct connection to the 8100 system a modem cable must be used, with extension to the 8100 direct connect cable not exceeding 9.1m (30.0 ft.). The total maximum cable length from the 8100 system to the 3164 may not exceed 12.2m (40.0 ft.)


The 3164 has an auxiliary port that can connect an ASCII printer over an RS-232-C direct connection. A print key allows local printing of the screen, while the software commands allow remote printing from a host. For example, the 4201/4202 Proprinter may attach via its serial 2RS-232-C) interface to the 3164 for direct printing of text-oriented screens (or graphics and text via host programming).

Model Conversions


National Language Support

See Major Characteristics of 3164 - Cartridge

Technical Description

Electrical Characteristics:

  • Low-voltage machine: 100-127V; 0.23k VA; 50/60 Hz; 341 BTU/hr; 1-phase

Security Facilities:

A special non-displayed input mode provides for fields of data to be program-defined so that they accept data entered from the keyboard without displaying the data on the screen.

Customer Problem Analysis and Resolution (CPAR):

Functions have been designed into the 3164 to enhance the availability to the customer. This has been done through the use of Problem Analysis and Solving routines and procedures that are used by the customer.

Physical Specifications

Logic Element:

  • Width: 345mm (13.6 in.)
  • Depth: 315mm (12.4 in.)
  • Height: 70mm (2.8 in.)
  • Weight: 2.2kg (4.9 lbs.)

Video Element:

  • Width: 380mm (15.0 in.)
  • Depth: 405mm (15.9 in.)
  • Height: 390mm (15.4 in.)
  • Weight: 14.0kg (30.9 lbs.)

Keyboard Element:

  • Width: 492mm (19.4 in.)
  • Depth: 210mm (8.3 in.)
  • Height: 40mm (1.6 in.)
  • Weight: 2.5kg (5.5 lbs.)


  • Width: 70mm (2.8 in.)
  • Depth: 112mm (4.4 in.)
  • Height: 22mm (0.9 in.)
  • Weight: 0.2kg (0.4 lbs.)

Operating Environment


  • Temperature: 10 to 40.6C
  • Relative Humidity: 8 to 80 percent
  • Wet Buld: 26.7 degrees maximum


  • Temperature: 10 to 51.7C
  • Relative Humidity: 8 to 80 percent
  • Wet Bulb: 26.7 degrees maximum


  • Temperature: 0.6 to 60C
  • Relative Humidity: 5 to 80 percent
  • Wet Bulb: 29.4 degrees maximum


  • Temperature: -20 to 60C
  • Relative Humidity: 5 to 100 percent
  • Wet Bulb: 29.4 degrees maximum



Hardware Requirements


Software Requirements


Electronic Customer Support



  • "IBM 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Description" (GA18-2317)
  • "IBM 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Operator Reference and Problem Solving Guide" (GA18-2318)
  • "IBM 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Setup Instructions" (GA18-2319)
  • "IBM 3164 ASCII Color Display Station Repair Center Maintenance Information" (SY18-2118) 
  • Keyboard Overlay (GA18-2143)
  • "ALA User's Guide for IBM 3163/3164" (GA18-2563)
  • "IBM 3164 ASCII Display Station Repair Center Maintenance Information" (SY18-2120)

For others, see "KWIC Index" (G320-1621) or specific system bibliography.

Features -- Specify/Special/Exchange

No Charge Specify Codes

  • Power: 

    120V AC, 1-phase, 3-wire, 60 Hz.

  • Power Cord: 2.8m (9 ft) cord is provided for all models.

Note: If 1.8m (6 ft.) power cord is required, order it by P/N 6952298.

Special Feature Codes -- Chargeable

  • IBM 3163 and 3164 Emulating IBM Terminals and DEC VT100/52 Terminals (#8313) (GA18-2720)

  • IBM 3163/3164 Enhanced Emulation of TeleVideo 950 (#8954) (GA18-2736)

Field Installation: All special features are field installable.

Customer Setup: All special features are designed for customer setup.

Feature Exchanges



The following accessories may be ordered:

Customers may order accessories through IBM Direct 1-800-IBM-2468.

Description                   P/N
25-pin gender change
 connector                    81X5516
Blank keycaps - light
  (60 caps) and a keycap
  removal tool                1351710
Blank keycaps - dark (60 caps)1351728
  and a keycap removal tool
Clear lens cap - with paper   6341707
  inserts (60 light and 60 dark)
  and a keycap removal tool
Keycap removal tool (6 tools) 1351717
Paper Inserts for clear lens  6341704
  keycaps (150 light and 150
  dark) and keycap removal tool

Modem Cable - inch screws 6343332 I/O Cable 6343373 Multi-function attachment cable 8310553

For connection to 5841 modem or PTT modem the above IBM cable or equivalent must be used.

Customer Replacement Parts

The following parts are not covered by the IBM maintenance agreement and must be purchased by the customer when a replacement is needed.

Description                   P/N
Field Packing Material:
 Video                      6317356
 Logic                      6165946
 Keyboard                   7342889

Machine Elements

Machine elements may be ordered to provide individual elements as needed by the customer in the use of the 3164.

Order Entry:

For shipment, specify Machine Element Number (P/N) at the time of order entry.


  1. Marketing representative should complete AAS Order Guide.

  2. Account Administrator should order via AAS MSORDER Transaction.

  3. FE Distribution Center ships to Customer.

The 3164 elements can be ordered as follows:

To Fit    Machine
Model     Element                P/N

All Video 6405301 All Video Cable 6405213 110 Logic 6113004 110 Keyboard - English US 1386304 110 Cartrdige-Enhanced Emulation of VT100 and System Attachment (#8313) 65X3393 110 Cartridge-Enhanced Emulation of TeleVideo 950 (#8954) 65X3344 All Stand 9tilt/swivel) 6165550 All Power Code 2.8m (9 ft) 6952297 All Power Cord 1.8m (6 ft) 6952298 Maintenance for individual workstation element is available at IBM Repair Centers or through an IBM Service/Exchange Center at the applicable IBM Hourly Service rates and minimum charges.






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File Last Updated on 11/14/96