resurrecting a PDP-11/10

From: Fred Flintstone <>
Date: Thu Feb 27 13:42:00 2003

>From: Ethan Dicks <>
>Subject: Re: resurrecting a PDP-11/10
>Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:20:54 -0800 (PST)
>--- Fred Flintstone <> wrote:
> > Thanks for the assistance to date!
> >
> > Actually, I have a second M7800 card installed on the PDP-11/10 machine.
>That's handy (and it ends the speculation if you have two SLUs or not ;-)

> > As far as memory, there are two 16kw core systems installed on this
> > machine.
>Nice. That should serve nicely. Wish my 11/05 was that well equipped
>(but it's in the short box).

Yes, I guess I should call it a 11/05. despite what is clearly printed on
the console.

> > I am needing to know what I am looking for to get RT-11 running. What
> > did DEC call their install tapes? eg. Is the
> > "RT-11 V03B BIN MT9 1/2" tape the boot/install tape?
>It certainly seems like the distribution tape, but it's not clear to
>me that you have a bootable tape there. If your TS03 is working
>and you enter in the TS bootstrap and you get text, then it is
>bootable. Dunno where you'd find install instructions for v3, though.
>It's *possible* that there is a second tape that you boot first, one
>with either an MS or MT boot block on it. It's also possible that there
>is a boot papertape. Again, that's before my time (I got started with
>RT-11 v4 on floppy).

This tape is actually the first of two tapes. At this point, I don't know
if I have any bootable media.

> > Is RT-11 the easiest O/S to get installed?
> > I want to get to a point where I
> > can verify the hardware is all running.
>RT-11 or XXDP (DEC's low-level diagnostic monitor) are the way to go
>for that. With 28KW of core (not all of the upper card can be used
>due to the I/O page, you don't have a lot of OS options. 2BSD is
>out, as are recent versions of RSTS and RSX-11. Don't remember what
>the requirements for older OSes are off the top of my head.
> > As far as media devices, I have 3 x RK05, 1 x TS03, 2 x RX01, 1 x TU58.
>Nice assortment. Have you checked any of your diskettes or disk packs
>for labels that suggest they might be bootable?

Both systems have RK05J disks in addition to the three RK05 drives. I
presume the disk packs contained within the RK05J drives are most certainly
bootable, but I have no idea how they were generated, etc. The drives and
disk packs are dusty and I am learning what I need to do and at the same
time, not destroy the hardware along the way! I have read the recent thread
on cleaning RK05 and disk packs and I will be attempting this.

If I get the RK05J disk cleaned and ready to go, and toggle in the bootstrap
and the disk loads, do I need to manually start the O/S at some location? I
believe the M873YA Bootstram ROM is capable of booting the RK05, but I don't
know what would need to be done next (I believe 773010 will boot the RK05)

> > I am trying to decide what will be moved to the PDP-11/10 from the
> > The goal is to have the PDP-11/20 up and running. Getting the PDP-11/10
> > is just a step along the way.
>Are you trying to get something historically accurate or just something
>runnning well enough to be interesting? How much core do you have in
>your 11/20? That might help drive the answer. If you want to run RT-11,
>you'll need a storage device on the 11/20. It could be the RX01. If
>you want to toggle in a long bootstrap, it could be the TU-58 (but floppies
>are easier to find than TU-58 cartridges, and can be reformatted for the
>RX01 with an 8" drive and modern to semi-modern computers).

I want the PDP-11/20 to eventually be historically correct but with a full
load of options :-) The ultimate goal is to run adventure and Star Trek on
it using the LA36 terminal. ie. the quintessential time-wasting use of a
mini-computer ;-) Of course the blinkenlights and tape operating has to be
part of it too!

It is interesting that my 10 year-old son asks to play Star Trek on my
MicroPDP-11 rather than the full-motion flight simulator on the PC.

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Received on Thu Feb 27 2003 - 13:42:00 GMT

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