Night of the Living Microvaxen - DEC

This is a discussion on Night of the Living Microvaxen - DEC ; Hi to everyone! I recently got hold of a MicroVAX II in very VERY bad conditions: http://hkzlab.spatof.org/ALBUM/uvaxI...m0501.jpg.html I got it from a friend (who got it already in this status, except for disks). The machine is missing the front panel, ...

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Thread: Night of the Living Microvaxen

  1. Night of the Living Microvaxen

    Hi to everyone!
    I recently got hold of a MicroVAX II in very VERY bad conditions:
    http://hkzlab.spatof.org/ALBUM/uvaxI...m0501.jpg.html

    I got it from a friend (who got it already in this status, except for
    disks).

    The machine is missing the front panel, a lateral panel, it was
    missing disks (removed from my friend, to use in his PDP-11) and
    controller, TK50 or RX50 drive.
    Anyway, inside there was still the KA630, a 12mb of RAM in two boards,
    a TSV05 controller and a DEC LESI controller.

    Now i added a DELQA (recovered from the trash by a friend, and gifted
    to me) with a panel built by me and an RF71 (which is also a gift) with
    a KFQSA controller.
    The machine seems to be working ok now, and i'm thinking of rebuilding
    the missing panels.

    Sorry for my english: i'm not a native speaker.

    Only to share the experience :-)
    Bye,
    Fabio

    BTW,
    I also found a "VERSATEC LSI11 DIFF INTFC" inside, anyone knows
    what it is?

    --
    "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    -Bruce Sterling
    HKZlab Network: http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    INTERnet -> nightshade@email.it
    Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ

  2. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 14, 7:34 pm, Hkz wrote:
    > Hi to everyone!
    > I recently got hold of a MicroVAX II in very VERY bad conditions:http://hkzlab.spatof.org/ALBUM/uvaxI...m0501.jpg.html
    >
    > I got it from a friend (who got it already in this status, except for
    > disks).
    >
    > The machine is missing the front panel, a lateral panel, it was
    > missing disks (removed from my friend, to use in his PDP-11) and
    > controller, TK50 or RX50 drive.
    > Anyway, inside there was still the KA630, a 12mb of RAM in two boards,
    > a TSV05 controller and a DEC LESI controller.
    >
    > Now i added a DELQA (recovered from the trash by a friend, and gifted
    > to me) with a panel built by me and an RF71 (which is also a gift) with
    > a KFQSA controller.
    > The machine seems to be working ok now, and i'm thinking of rebuilding
    > the missing panels.
    >
    > Sorry for my english: i'm not a native speaker.
    >
    > Only to share the experience :-)
    > Bye,
    > Fabio
    >
    > BTW,
    > I also found a "VERSATEC LSI11 DIFF INTFC" inside, anyone knows
    > what it is?


    IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer,
    plotter of sorts with a parallel interface. California
    firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used heat sensitive
    type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the interface
    maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you
    mite be able to use any parallel printer ?
    >
    > --
    > "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    > potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    > -Bruce Sterling
    > HKZlab Network:http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    > INTERnet -> nightsh...@email.it
    > Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ



  3. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    In article , Hkz
    wrote:

    > Sorry for my english: i'm not a native speaker.


    You did better than too many native speakers, at least in the USA.

    --
    While its true that "you can't fix stupid", apparently you
    can package it up and sell it. -- fnorgby on TMBO

  4. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    Il Fri, 14 Dec 2007 21:47:39 -0800, bob.birch ha scritto:

    > IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer, plotter of sorts with a
    > parallel interface. California firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used
    > heat sensitive type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the
    > interface maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you mite be able to
    > use any parallel printer ?


    Uhm, maybe... in fact the previous owner babbled something about a plotter.
    But anyway i'll need the pinout for this board to make it useful:
    it has got a female DB37 on it.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the info :-)
    Hkz

    --
    "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    -Bruce Sterling
    HKZlab Network: http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    INTERnet -> nightshade@email.it
    Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ

  5. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen


    Loading system software.

    2..1..0..


    VAX/VMS Version V5.5-2 Major version id = 1 Minor version id = 0


    [...]

    Welcome to VAX/VMS V5.5-2

    Username: SYSTEM
    Password:
    Welcome to VAX/VMS version V5.5-2
    Last interactive login on Sunday, 16-DEC-2007 13:54
    Last non-interactive login on Sunday, 16-DEC-2007 14:06
    $


    It's ALIVE, at last :-)

    PS
    I really love the uninterrupted countdown sequence.

    --
    "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    -Bruce Sterling
    HKZlab Network: http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    INTERnet -> nightshade@email.it
    Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ

  6. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    In article , Hkz wrote:

    > PS
    > I really love the uninterrupted countdown sequence.


    Yes, isn't that the best? What'd you have to do to get to this point?

    --
    While its true that "you can't fix stupid", apparently you
    can package it up and sell it. -- fnorgby on TMBO

  7. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 16, 8:11 am, Hkz wrote:
    > Il Fri, 14 Dec 2007 21:47:39 -0800, bob.birch ha scritto:
    >
    > > IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer, plotter of sorts with a
    > > parallel interface. California firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used
    > > heat sensitive type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the
    > > interface maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you mite be able to
    > > use any parallel printer ?

    >
    > Uhm, maybe... in fact the previous owner babbled something about a plotter.
    > But anyway i'll need the pinout for this board to make it useful:
    > it has got a female DB37 on it.


    Yes that makes it a Centronics parallel .
    You shud be able to find the cable pin out
    on the web or if I can find it I mite have
    a manual.
    >
    > Anyway, thanks a lot for the info :-)
    > Hkz
    >
    > --
    > "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    > potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    > -Bruce Sterling
    > HKZlab Network:http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    > INTERnet -> nightsh...@email.it
    > Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ



  8. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 16, 12:06 pm, bob.bi...@gmail.com wrote:
    > On Dec 16, 8:11 am, Hkz wrote:
    >
    > > Il Fri, 14 Dec 2007 21:47:39 -0800, bob.birch ha scritto:

    >
    > > > IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer, plotter of sorts with a
    > > > parallel interface. California firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used
    > > > heat sensitive type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the
    > > > interface maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you mite be able to
    > > > use any parallel printer ?

    >
    > > Uhm, maybe... in fact the previous owner babbled something about a plotter.
    > > But anyway i'll need the pinout for this board to make it useful:
    > > it has got a female DB37 on it.


    > Yes that makes it a Centronics parallel .
    > You shud be able to find the cable pin out
    > on the web or if I can find it I mite have
    > a manual.


    This web site has the pinout:
    http://www.technick.net/public/code/...par_centronics


    >
    >
    >
    > > Anyway, thanks a lot for the info :-)
    > > Hkz

    >
    > > --
    > > "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    > > potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    > > -Bruce Sterling
    > > HKZlab Network:http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    > > INTERnet -> nightsh...@email.it
    > > Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ


  9. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    Il Sun, 16 Dec 2007 11:40:47 -0500, Howard S Shubs ha scritto:

    > Yes, isn't that the best? What'd you have to do to get to this point?


    For the uninterrupted countdown sequence i really have not done much:
    a bit of cleaning, a reconfiguration (and repositioning) of
    the qbus boards (downloading all those manuals with my dial-up connection
    was REALLY a pain).
    Getting the OS on the machine was the funny part:
    i had to build the delqa cable and panel, install a KFQSA with an RF72,
    build a little adapter for the power connector on the dssi disk...
    and that's it for the hardware.

    Regarding the software part:
    i installed OpenVMS 7.2 on a SIMH-virtual VAX,
    configured it as a boot server in a cluster, booted the uVAX II off the
    network (serving its disk), remotely mounted the RF72 and restored the
    install set of VMS 5.5 on it (and copied the remaining sets on the hd
    of the uVAX).

    From that point onward, it was like a standard VMS installation.

    Bye,
    Hkz

    --
    "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    -Bruce Sterling
    HKZlab Network: http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    INTERnet -> nightshade@email.it
    Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ

  10. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    Il Sun, 16 Dec 2007 09:16:22 -0800, bob.birch ha scritto:


    >> Yes that makes it a Centronics parallel . You shud be able to find the
    >> cable pin out on the web or if I can find it I mite have a manual.

    >
    > This web site has the pinout:
    > http://www.technick.net/public/code/...par_centronics


    Good, so you think i need a straight cable from the DB37 female on the board to the
    37pin Centronics connector on a printer?

    I'll have a look around, maybe i'll be lucky enought to find the connectors on some
    unused cable in my lab.

    Thanks,
    Hkz

    --
    "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    -Bruce Sterling
    HKZlab Network: http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    INTERnet -> nightshade@email.it
    Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ

  11. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 16, 12:42 pm, Hkz wrote:
    > Il Sun, 16 Dec 2007 09:16:22 -0800, bob.birch ha scritto:
    >
    > >> Yes that makes it a Centronics parallel . You shud be able to find the
    > >> cable pin out on the web or if I can find it I mite have a manual.

    >
    > > This web site has the pinout:
    > > http://www.technick.net/public/code/...dp=pinconpar_c...

    >
    > Good, so you think i need a straight cable from the DB37 female on the board to the
    > 37pin Centronics connector on a printer?


    Well maybe, but there mite be one "gotcha" as
    I seem to recall one printer manufacturer slightly
    modifying the 37pin Centronics. They reversed the
    polarity of the signals or changed one of the strobe
    signals. Maybe it was Versatek or maybe it wasn't
    I just can't remember ;-)
    I would try and get the LV11 printer manual/prints
    or the controller prints from CHM or Bitsaver, just
    to be safe. If not available roll the dice, hook up a
    normal 37 pin cable and watch for smoke.
    It'll probably work but I'm just not 100% certain.


    >
    > I'll have a look around, maybe i'll be lucky enought to find the connectors on some
    > unused cable in my lab.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Hkz
    >
    > --
    > "La profonda attrazione esercitata da (...) sentirsi parte di una
    > potente Elite tecnologica non dovrebbe mai essere sottovalutata."
    > -Bruce Sterling
    > HKZlab Network:http://hkzlab.spatof.org
    > INTERnet -> nightsh...@email.it
    > Retro DECnet -> 1126::HKZ



  12. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    In article <4ad3ac15-c611-4188-b1b1-3f0b5bde8716@q77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>, bob.birch@gmail.com writes:
    >
    > IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer,
    > plotter of sorts with a parallel interface. California
    > firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used heat sensitive
    > type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the interface
    > maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you
    > mite be able to use any parallel printer ?


    Possibly not. This looks like a Qbus device, but back when we hooked
    a Versatec printer/plotter to our 11/780 they were using a modified
    LP11 with thier own device driver. I got the impression LP11
    compatable printers wouldn't be happy with the mod.


  13. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 17, 9:23 am, koeh...@eisner.nospam.encompasserve.org (Bob
    Koehler) wrote:
    > In article <4ad3ac15-c611-4188-b1b1-3f0b5bde8...@q77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>, bob.bi...@gmail.com writes:
    >
    >
    >
    > > IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer,
    > > plotter of sorts with a parallel interface. California
    > > firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used heat sensitive
    > > type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the interface
    > > maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you
    > > mite be able to use any parallel printer ?

    >
    > Possibly not. This looks like a Qbus device, but back when we hooked
    > a Versatec printer/plotter to our 11/780 they were using a modified
    > LP11 with thier own device driver. I got the impression LP11
    > compatable printers wouldn't be happy with the mod.


    Googling a bit more reveals a Xerox/Centronics
    Long Lines Differential Interface called:
    Versatek Parallel interface(VPI) + Centronics
    Thats probably what it is. Plugging a straight 37 pin
    cable/printer will smoke the board. I think.

  14. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    Someone wrote:

    >IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer, plotter of sorts with a
    >parallel interface. California firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used
    >heat sensitive type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the
    >interface maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you mite be able to
    >use any parallel printer ?


    Do you mean Versatec? I thought it was electronic of some kind,
    either electrostatic or electrochemical.

    -- glen


  15. Re: Night of the Living Microvaxen

    On Dec 21, 7:59 pm, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
    > Someone wrote:
    > >IIRC an controller for an electrostatic printer, plotter of sorts with a
    > >parallel interface. California firm acquired by Zerox (I think). Used
    > >heat sensitive type paper.I repaired a few of them, think the the
    > >interface maybe Centronics or Data Products type and you mite be able to
    > >use any parallel printer ?

    >
    > Do you mean Versatec? I thought it was electronic of some kind,
    > either electrostatic or electrochemical.
    >
    > -- glen


    His original post identified it:
    "....I also found a "VERSATEC LSI11 DIFF INTFC" inside, anyone knows
    what it is? ....."
    Electrostatic,least the LV01 was, don't know
    about later models...

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