New to the list & other Stuff....

From: Chuck McManis <>
Date: Thu Nov 4 12:42:25 1999

Sorry Ben, I lost your original email, but going from this:

On Thursday, November 04, 1999 12:23 AM, Benjamin Gardiner wrote:
> ... I have aquired a number of DEC MicroVAX IIs.

This is goodness, often you will need several to get one. All of my VAXen
live for the One and die for the One :-) Which is a not so clever way of
saying that it is not uncommon to have one machine that is fully restored
and one or more donor machines supporting it. For historical machines I'd
be inclined to keep them original but others differ on that opinion as
well. It sounds like you want something to play with.

> one of which is missing enough cards to render it useless...(oh well
> such is life..

One of the nicest uVAX II cases was the BA123. These cases are really neat
but prone to damage easily. I'm still trying to find a replacement door
panel for mine. So empty card cages can be valuable! Plus the ultimate
donation is a replacement power supply (PSU).

> I am slowly trying to get at least one of these machines working, and I
> hope to have one of them working soon. What I was wondering, is I have a
> lot of cards for these machines, and was wondering if anyone would be
> able to help me identify them and tell me what would be the best way to
> order them in the Q-bus, and help me with setting the adresses on the
> cards which nees such settings.
> I realy want to get one of these old beasts going, and hopefully get
> netBSD running on them.

This we can help with, I've done it on several machines now. There are
several steps to go through though.
        1) You have to determine what "kind" of box your VAXen are
           in. The two I'm most familar with are the BA23 and the BA123.
           BA23 - Is 19" wide and 5" tall when rack mounted and it is
                   about 7" wide and 19" tall when it is in its floor
                 pedestal configuration. It is fairly easily lifted.
                It has space inside for 1 drive + tape.
           BA123 - (aka "World Box") is about 15" wide and 22" high,
                usually has wheels on the bottom and is damn difficult
                to lift. It has space inside for four drives + tape.
        2) The minimum system to netboot NetBSD (reccomended as the first
           step) is :
                CPU + 8MB RAM

The backplane consists of rows of four connectors each, each row
constitutes a "slot" in my mind but in fact some rows are two slots each.
The BA23 has three "special" slots where all four connectors are used and
the BA123 has four special slots. These are where the CPU and memory go
although you can put "dual wide" cards in them if you stick to the top two
connectors. They are known as Q/CD slots because the first two connectors
are Q-bus and the second two are available for boards to use. Then after
the special slots the backplane is Q/Q meaning that two dual wide Q bus
cards go into those slots side by side. Q bus does not tolerate "empty"
slots so you need to have all Q slots from the CPU to the last card in the
system be filled.

Here is a typical layout:

        +--- M7606 (CPU) ------------------------+
        +--- M7608 (memory) ---------------------+
        +--- M7608 (memory) ---------------------+
        +--- M7516 (net)----+ EMPTY on BA123 +
        +--- M7546 (tk50)---+----M9047 (grant)---+
        +--- M7555 (RQDx3)--+ EMPTY +
       + EMPTY + EMPTY +
        + ... + +
Connections go to the CPU (Console port, selector port)
Top connectors across the CPU and memory cards
Ethernet connector to the 7516
TK50 connected to the 7546
Cable from the RQDx3 to the breakout board for the drives.

Received on Thu Nov 04 1999 - 12:42:25 GMT

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