VAXBI fun continues - seeking DEBNT installation docs

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Thu Mar 14 13:37:35 2002

Since I have the hood open on my 8200, I thought I'd diagnose the
troubles I've been having with getting a DEBNT working in there.
The 8200 I have came with a KDB50, 4MB RAM and one CPU. Nothing
else (and was $13,000 when my former employer bought it - I just
re-found the receipt). The only serial ports are the four console
ports. No DMB32 or anything like that (not that I would mind locating
one of _those_ either).

Since it first arrived, I put in more RAM, COMBOARDs (that we made)
and a DWBUA (which I'm diagnosing for its own problems). I am now
attempting to use a DEBNT I received some time back. Here's what
it looks like inside...

T1001 KA820 - 8200 CPU
T1010 DWBUA - Unibus adapter
T1001 KA820 - 8200 CPU (not installed at present)
T1002 KDB50 - KDB50 SDI adapter
T1003 KDB50 - KDB50 Processor board
T1019 MS820-BA - 4MB RAM for VAXBI processor
T1019 MS820-BA - 4MB RAM for VAXBI processor
T1019 MS820-BA - 4MB RAM for VAXBI processor
T1008 MS820-AA - 2MB RAM for VAXBI processor
T1008 MS820-AA - 2MB RAM for VAXBI processor
1294 CBSBI - COMBOARD-BI (sync comms front end processor)
T1032 DEBNT - Ethernet and TK50 controller

(I used for reference)

As you can see, it's a full boat - 16MB of RAM in 5 cards. I'd love to
run across an inexpensive MS820-CA or two. I wouldn't mind pulling the
MS820-AAs out, but 16MB is an OK amount of memory for a single user. I'm
also on a long-term quest for free or nearly free KA825 boards - I'd be
nice to bring this up to an 8350.

The disks are 3rd-party ESDI (1.2Gb each) drives on a 3rd-party ESDI-
to-SDI controller. Very nice. Beats an RA81 hands down. At the moment,
I'm running VMS 5.4 and plan to continue for some time (due to
compatibility needs for the COMBOARD stuff I used to write). I do have
a pair of RA70s I was thinking of putting on it as well.

So... the DEBNT itself fails self-test if there is nothing attached
to the AUI connector. If I attach a DEC loopback connector to the
AUI plug, ISTR I get the yellow LED telling me it passed. If I put
a 10BaseT transceiver on there, the TX light stays lit with no networking
drivers/software loaded.

First and foremost, I'm attempting to verify I put the cables on the
right places. I have 30-pin connector off one end of the AUI cable.
I have a 30-pin connector with one wire attached that seems to be a
jumper block of some kind. At the moment, they are attached to the
BI backplane at block "E", I think because that's what seemed to be
right from looking at where the Lance chip is on the DEBNT. If anyone
has installation instructions, particularly cabling instructions,
those would be very helpful.

Once I get the hardware happy, I'll need to move to software. Since
I want to stay at VMS 5.4, what are my TCP/IP options as a hobbyist?
The only other VAX I have set up with Ethernet is also running 5.4 -
a uVAX-II with a DEQNA. I do have VMS 6.1, but I'm not using it
at the moment.

Thanks for any DEBNT and VAXBI tips and hints. I have some docs, but not
everything. Mostly, I'm drawing on general VAX experience combined with
observation and experimentation. I know my way around the VAXBI bus, but
not around some of the peripherals.


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Received on Thu Mar 14 2002 - 13:37:35 GMT

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