MicroVAX 3100 Questions.

From: Scott Stevens <chenmel_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Sat Dec 4 18:17:31 2004

On Sat, 4 Dec 2004 18:13:07 -0500, you wrote:

>On Saturday 04 December 2004 17:43, Scott Stevens wrote:
>> Today at auction I acquired a MicroVAX 3100 system. It's my first
>> VAX hardware.
>Ahh, you're the guy... I was only interested in making sure it didn't
>get scrapped for parts, really. Anyways, I'm glad it went to someone
>who'll appreciate it. I was afraid it was just a clueless idiot, who'd
>get it home, figure out what it is, and then throw it out, but it seems
>my worries are unfounded. : ) There seemed to be a lot of those there
>after the Cisco gear today.

There are always a lot of choppers/scrappers and Windows-only people
at the IUPUI auction. I spend a good amount of time steering 'regular
folk' types looking for a home computer away from UNIX hardware and
huge SGI/Sun monitors that they'd end up ditching after they gave up
trying to use it.

At one of the earlier sales this year somebody bought a whole skid of
Sun Ultra 5/10/20 boxes (I was carrying some stuff to the car when it
came up unexpectedly and came in just as the bidding closed!) for
$100. I heard later from someone else that "he never figured out what
any of it was" and has probably stripped drives and memory before
pitching most of it. Theres a lot of hardware-death out there
committed by people with a Windows CD, a phillips screwdriver, and
half a clue.

>You should be able to, but you'll need the proper CDROM drive. I've had
>good luck with the 1" tall cdroms in Sparcstation 5's and 10's, which
>is basically the same as an RRD42. If you don't have any let me know,
>I've got some stock of them.

I've had good luck getting plain old Apple CD drives to boot in Sparc
hardware (that can take the normal width CD), and have one or two
drives that I was able to get to boot AIX on an ancient RS/6000 box I
have (got two more huge RS6K boxes today for $5 each- off topic here,
tho, too new). I'll dig around in stuff. Is there such a thing as
bootable CD media for this MicroVAX that I could create? Maybe I need
to dig around at NetBSD/vax for a while to get started... (getting
NetBSD running is always a good way to 'wring out' an unusual system
if it's supported)

>> 4. What is the console on this hardware? It has the three serial
>> ports on RJ-type connectors, and from what I gather this is a
>> TTY-only machine, no framebuffer, etc.
>Should be the MMJ connector labelled "3" IIRC. If want a proper MMJ
>cable, I've made them for people on the list before. If not, a piece
>of 4pr phone cable with the tab filed/cut off should be able to connect
>it to an RJ45->DE9 or DB25 adaptor properly. Xyplex, Sun, and
>Cisco-wired adaptors should all work with it. If you want a pinout,
>search google for "xyplex pinout" and hit I'm Feeling Lucky.

I found the Xyplex info in Google. I probably have one of these
adapters lying around here someplace, but storage/organization here is
kinda in crisis mode, so I'll probably have to make another by
splicing a phone cable.

Received on Sat Dec 04 2004 - 18:17:31 GMT

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