Vax 6000-430 upgrade to 6000-620

From: Antonio Carlini <>
Date: Wed May 7 15:46:00 2003

> Can Antonio or one of the other DEC experts confirm that
> there are no other hardware mods required to the Vax
> 6000-200/300/400 series cabinets (this particular machine was
> originally a 6000-310 IIRC) to support the 500 & 600 series
> cpu boards other than the insertion of the T2019 3.3v
> regulator board? ie no re-cabling etc? AFAIK this is a plug
> it in and go field upgrade but would like to confirm it
> before committing irreplaceable hardware to possible
> destruction. Can't seem to find much on the web about the
> process itself.

The specific manual you want is:

EK-650EB-UP-002 VAX 6000 XMI Conversion Manual

which is online according to

If that turns out to be wrong (i.e. not online) let me
know and I'll dig out my copy and send it along. I
can provide pointers to the unclear bits, but you'll
definitely want the manual - it will speed things
up immensely.

There are (at least) two ways of converting from
pre-6500 to 6500/6600. One involves the full
upgrade that swaps PSU blocks and so on. The
other (which seems to be what you have) is
to add a T2019 to provide an additional voltage
on previously unused XMI connections. This latter
route does not (AFAICR) involve replacing
the backplane.

The manual lists which options don't mind the
extra voltage and which probably would prefer
to live in a different cabinet - you're safer
reading the details in the manual than relying
on my memory at this point!

I think that you just add the T2019, swap in
KA66A and MS65A, remove the modules that won't
work in the new config (nothing significant
IIRC, probably the older style CPUs) and
off you go.

There may be a restriction on the number of
I/O modules you can use if you have a T2019
and obviously you lose an XMI slot!

The KA66 supports large amounts of physical
memory, possibly up to 3.5GB. If you choose
to do this, something else needs to be changed
to work properly (just SW, no HW smokes IIRC).
It's probably the XMI-BI adapter that needs to
be upgraded to the + version. If you don't do
this, the OS refuses to use the extra memory.

I'm reasonably sure the KA65 could also do this
(although for smaller amounts of memory, probably
1GB). I'm reasonably sure that this was never
supported in the field. If you happen to have one,
the VAX 9000 was also capable of going beyond
512MB, but again it may never have been supported
(in fact, the entire system should probably never
have been built :-)).


Antonio Carlini   
Received on Wed May 07 2003 - 15:46:00 BST

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