VAXstation vs MicroVAX (was Re: dammit...)

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Wed Dec 1 10:42:42 1999

--- Allison J Parent <> wrote:
I wrote:
> > ...a MicroVAX 2000 would have many users, possibly on
> > the rare and optional 8-port serial expansion

> you forgot the 3 port adaptor, maybe you meant that. they are uncommon but
> rare is not quite true. With that adaptor you have 3 MMJ serial ports and
> the already present 25pin comm serial. I have one and it's handy.

I didn't mention it, but yes, there is the three-port MMJ adapter. I have
one or two. The max ports on a MicroVAX 2000 is indeed 12. The DEC hot
sheets specifically mention that if you want more ports, you must go to an
Ethernet-based product. That's how I got my first uVAX-2000 - a local law
firm was looking at expanding their arrangement past ten users and a printer.
I was brought in to spec an upgrade. When they saw the price, they switched
to a Novell network (which is why my friend brought me in; he sold them the
network). I was offered the system and I gave them a salvage price on it and
ten VT-320's. They were horrified at the size of my offer and said that they
could get a better deal somewhere else. A year later they called me back and
asked if I still wanted it. I dropped the offer to lower than half of what it
was previously and they accepted. Upon picking up the system, I drove across
town, sold the terminals to a friend's company for 90% of the price of the
lot and took home the VAX. I got an RD54, a 6Mb MicroVAX, a TK50Z-FA, the
DHT32 serial adapter and an expansion box with RD53 for well under $100 (at
the same time period, a refurbed RD54 was going for $500 from the resellers).

I put Ultrix on it and used it for Unix practice and as a faux-terminal
server. I had this project to mount the guts in a monsterous AT case so that
there was room for both RD drives in the same package (two power supplies),
but I never finished it. I'll probably put all the stuff back in the
original boxes when I work that far down the pile.

One problem I ran across with this particular box - the TK50 drive would
munch tapes - the problem turned out to be the molex connectors on the
drive motor cables. They would intermittently fail and the tape would
spin freely in the drive or wouldn't energize to retract the tape. I lost
more than one tape that way. I never did fix that drive - it's still
awaiting new connectors.


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Received on Wed Dec 01 1999 - 10:42:42 GMT

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