Suppose you've never done reverse engineering before (apart from taking apart already-broken tape recorders). Also suppose you had a machine as pictured below, with a serial-looking and another multi-pin connector on the back. Thirdly, suppose you wanted to use this console as a computer input, hoping to gain control of more than just the keyboard part (it's got a trackball, a hefty jog/cue wheel, rotary dials, blinkenlights, and a two-line character VFD display).
Lastly, suppose you don't have access to any technical specifications! No user manual, no installation guide, no service manual, not even a crappy nth-generation photocopy of the pin-outs. The company no longer exists, and the archive of their web site is of no help. Pretty much all I have is that this console runs on "90-264V" and draws "<42W".
On the plus side, I (used to) know the operation of this console very well. For instance, I can tell you it's got no real brains -- that is in a separate computer, this is merely the controller for it. The main computer costs thousands, and anyway is purpose-built and not useful as a general computing device (I don't think this runs a regular operating system "behind the scenes", at least I could recognize no tell-tale signs from the boot sequence, file system naming, or something like that).
I am confident that I could surely figure out the main power pins based on the red and black wires going to that Molex connector ... but the rest of those pins? All that functionality? I don't even know where to start.
I am a programmer by trade, I'm pretty good with my hands, including competency with a soldering iron and a multimeter. I don't have (access to) an oscilloscope, signal analyzer, or any such fanciness.
A few hints for me? Is this even doable?
EDIT: By the way, these are the chassis: The Display chassis on top of the Comms chassis (neither of which I have, or plan to acquire).