TU-58 dumps (was Re: VAX 11/730 Problem)

From: Ethan Dicks <erd_6502_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Jan 15 17:22:12 2002

--- "Clint Wolff (VAX collector)" <vaxman_at_qwest.net> wrote:
> PS If you do get a dump, I'd appreciate a copy. I'm archiving all the
> TU58s I can find to CD-Rs...

I'm doing the same thing. So far, I have about 20 tapes read in. :-(
The ones that have no read errors are fine. Most of the tapes take a
bit of work (lots of head cleaning and retrying). I have a quantity of
11/750 diagnostic tapes as well as boot tapes/standalone backup tapes.
Probably nothing horribly rare (except for partial VMS 3.x upgrade sets),
but you never know. We should trade tape titles sometime.
> On Sun, 21 Oct 2001, Michael Schneider wrote:
> > Hello to all VAXenfolks,
> >
> > i do have a problem with a VAX-11/730...
> > It is now willing to boot and tries to load it's microcode tape from
> > the TU-58 drives...
> > But the TU-58's are so battered that i have not been able to read the
> > tape.
> >
> > I have repaced the rubber rollers, but the read/write-heads look, ummm,
> > bad!
> >
> > I have found somewhere some TU-58 simulator software for DOS which
> > looks like a promising alternative; i would place a mini-DOS-computer
> > inside a VT-102 and route some additional cables to the VAX and be

That's one way to do it. You could also mount the "mini-DOS" computer in
the 11/730 where you extracted the TU-58 from (depending on which style
of VAX you have, it might or might not be easy. If I were going to do
this (and I just might someday), I'd consider a Linux-based TU-58
emulator, and stick a tiny 486 in the base of the rack with a serial
cable going into the VAX (11/730 or 11/750), a spare serial cable
going to either a port on the VAX or a terminal server or the like, as
well as an ethernet connection to my LAN, so I could run a shell to
monitor the TU-58 tape images - manipulate file names, create "blanks"
for writing, that sort of thing. I'd also consider attaching a 4x20 LCD
display to the parallel port or a spare serial port, a-la LCDproc, with
a menu and a switch or two for easy "tape swapping". An old and slow
laptop might also be a good option. Don't need much horsepower to
flood a 38400 bps cable with bytes.

> > BUT: How do i get the contents of the microcode tape of the tape, into
> > a DOS file without access to a working TU-58?

As you say... either someone reads it for you or you get an image from
someone else of something that's close.

> > Is someone on this list able to read the tape?


> > Has someone already made a tape image i could just use?

No. I could make one, but I don't have one at present, just real
11/730 console tapes.

> > I mean, i have
> > a original DEC tape, with serial number and all. I might even come up
> > with a license document, if i search long enough...

Do you have access to another VAX? I used to cut console tapes all the
time for our 11/730 (k-panda when it was in the UUCP maps) - I still
have it (and the tapes).

The tape from DEC was sub-optimized. I wrote a quick DCL script to
write the files in optimal order and sped up boot time to under 3
minutes. It was not an original idea, but it did work *great* (the
microprocessor in the TU-58 caches the directory AFAIK, so if you ask
for the next sequential file on the tape, it doesn't have to seek back
to the front to locate it - you just spin the tape to read it).
> > Any help would be greatly welcomed. This old lady is just to beautifull
> > to use it as an electric heater only...

Did you ever get a tape for your machine (this is an old message, after
all)? If not, this past weekend, I happened to run across the box with
my old console tapes (which is why I'm writing now). Let me know the
numbers off of your tape (since there are different revs of the stuff
on the tape, and something on there might or might not be VMS-version

If you ever did get things running, I know it's possible to build new
tapes from a running machine. I'd have to find my program on a backup
tape; I know I don't have it handy, and that 11/730 is in storage.


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Received on Tue Jan 15 2002 - 17:22:12 GMT

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