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30344Re: [midatlanticretro] May 18th-19th event

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  • David Riley
    Apr 26, 2013
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      On Apr 26, 2013, at 8:39 PM, David Gesswein wrote:

      > I new the TS were different but haven't actually used one. I am familiar
      > with the nickname TS drives had or was that just for particular models? I
      > have a servo Emerald Systems/Qualstar but I haven't had to do much with it.

      I don't know about any other TS drives (if there were any, even), but
      the TS05 is a straight-up Cipher F880, and the TSV05 controller card
      is a pretty straightforward QBUS Pertec controller (I seem to remember
      hearing it was a rebadged Dilog design, but I wouldn't swear to it).
      It's register-compatible with the TS11 controller, with I think a few
      enhancements to it.

      > > if someone doesn't mind bringing a known
      > > good tape that will boot on an 11/23 with 256K of RAM, that'd be grand.
      > >
      > I can write 800 and 1600 BPI but I don't have any 11 stuff so know good
      > isn't possible.

      I know at least some of the members on this list can write -11
      bootable 9-tracks, but I don't know if they're coming. I forgot to
      specify 1600 BPI; that would be ideal. The drive theoretically
      does 800, but I've never tried it, and it doesn't support the
      non-standard 3200 BPI that some of the real F880s did.

      > > 1) It's done this since I got it about 4 years ago, but I get a
      > > tachometer error 80% of the time I load tape, whether I let it
      > > do the autoload or thread it myself and run the manual override.
      > >
      > I'll be bringing a 2 channel Rigol digital scope with reasonably deep memory
      > which may be useful if your scope is analog.

      Definitely. Mine is a Tek 2246, which is perfectly serviceable
      if you don't need any storage. A decent digital scope would go
      a long way.

      > > I have some programs I've written to let me upload binary
      > > programs to the -11 and SIMH .tap images to the tape drive over
      > > two serial ports (because I didn't want to deal with mode
      > > switching from ODT) which run from any Unix command line.
      > > They've played nicely with my Macbook in the past. The things
      > > you do when you can't load a proper operating system...
      > >
      > I've done similar for my 8's.
      > Did they have diagnostics for the drive and do you have a way to run them?
      > In the 8 world everything had diagnostics that could be run standalone.
      > Not really needed unless the load issue get fixed.

      Well, these are all written by me, so no real diagnostics. In
      theory, I could run XXDP, but it's hard to do when the tape
      drive won't run. I could probably load it on a Zip disk from
      Simh and run it from the SCSI card, but that's adding another
      layer of complexity (and the need for a card to sit next to
      the SCSI card in the 4x4 serpentine backplane, so I'd have to
      pull pretty much all the cards out of my VAX... still, could
      be done). I don't think it would reveal much beyond "doesn't
      work", though, since most of the drive-specific diagnostics
      are built into the drive; it actually has a pretty full set
      of diagnostic tests as well as full diagnostic procedures in
      the service manual (most of which end with "replace this big
      chunk of the drive", which was probably more helpful 25 years
      ago than it is now).

      > It sounds like a reasonable plan to see if we can at least identify what
      > the drive fault is.

      Yup. If we can narrow it down, I can always replace the part
      (or parts) responsible on my own time. It's always just the
      inertia of getting it done, and I figure it could be a fun
      project for a weekend. :-)

      - Dave
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