Looking for VAX FAQs

From: Ethan Dicks <erd_at_infinet.com>
Date: Tue Jul 7 16:53:39 1998

> I'm looking for any info sources to learn more about a VAX 11/730. FAQs are
> what I need. Web searches using Metacrawler and DejaNews yield rather
> meager results. Sites like the excellent PDP site:
> ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/academic/computer-science/history/pdp-11/ are
> what I really would like to find.
> I know I have probably found a good home for the 11/750 but I am
> considering keeping the 730. First I need to do a heap of studying to check
> the completeness of the box and to more fully understand what peripherals
> and accessories I that should keep (which are already setting in the
> garage) or to search for.

I don't know what variety you got, but the R80 (RB80) in the rack with some
VAX-11/730's is a cheap and easy disk to use. Slow, but supported. I
have one in storage. The 11/730 is the slowest UNIBUS machine made (along
with the 11/725, same CPU, different box), .3 to .4 VUPs (the 11/780 and
MicroVAX II are the benchmark, about 1 VUP). You can't officially extend the
UNIBUS, but unofficially, I have attached a BA11 to a 730. It works, but
there are no shielded cables to stay FCC compliant with.

It has a max of 5Mb. It'll run VMS4.x OK, 5.x is *slow*. You *need* a
cassette in the internal (around the side) TU58 slot. There is an 8085
boot processor on a CPU board. It reads the tape and stuffs microcode
onto another CPU board. I have on a disk somewhere, not readily accessible,
a program to optimize that tape (speeds booting from 20 minutes to 5).
It will also run Ultrix (BSD UNIX). I recommend an old version, say, 1.1.

A stock 11/730 should have a DMF32 for serial and parallel. It is possible
to wire up a box to adapt the 37 pin parallel port to a centronics printer,
but you'll need a 7404 inverter to flip some control lines. It's not just

We always used a tu80 on our 11/730. There are other drives you can use,
but that was the cheapest way for us to go.

Good luck. It's a VAX, but the doggiest VAX there is. At least it sucks
less than 15 amps.

Received on Tue Jul 07 1998 - 16:53:39 BST

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