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Re: [midatlanticretro] Can anyone read a CDC 9877 disk pack?

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  • c f
    Oh, possibly! Any idea if it s 1) in working condition, and 2) comes with any removable disk drives? -Chris
    Message 1 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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      Oh, possibly! Any idea if it's 1) in working condition, and 2) comes with any removable disk drives?

      -Chris

      On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 7:56 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
       


      Hi Everyone!

      My name is Chris, and I've been working on a Cray-1 re-creation project (http://chrisfenton.com/homebrew-cray-1a/) for fun in my free time. I recently came into possession of an 80 Megabyte CDC 9877 disk pack (14-inch disk pack with 5 spindles). I believe the disk drive to read it is a CDC 9672, and for this specific pack, it was attached to a data general Eclipse running RDOS. I'm looking for a way to recover the data from this, since I believe it may contain a complete Cray-1 system image (of which no copies are currently known to exist). I'm currently located in NYC. Anyone have any suggestions/thoughts/ideas/old-disk-drives? I located a guy in the Dallas area that had 4-5 of the disk drives, but no computers that could hook up to them. Ideally I can find someone in the new england-ish area that might be able to help me recover the data from it.

      -Chris

      Chris, I'm glad you finally joined our group, it's about time.   :)

      We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week.  Would that fit your needs?


    • Evan Koblentz
      ... No clue. Justin? PS - We encourage bottom-posting here. :)
      Message 2 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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        Oh, possibly! Any idea if it's 1) in working condition, and 2) comes with any removable disk drives?

        No clue.  Justin?

        PS - We encourage bottom-posting here.   :)
      • Evan Koblentz
        ... PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we re getting it.
        Message 3 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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          > We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week. Would that fit your needs?

          PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we're getting it.
        • Justin Jernigan
          Dunno, might have a better clue on Wednesday. Top posters unite! J/K Sent from my iPhone
          Message 4 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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            Dunno, might have a better clue on Wednesday.  Top posters unite! J/K

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Jan 3, 2011, at 8:02 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

             


            Oh, possibly! Any idea if it's 1) in working condition, and 2) comes with any removable disk drives?

            No clue.  Justin?

            PS - We encourage bottom-posting here.   :)

          • Dan Roganti
            ... I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive,. But it ll only help if there s disk controller card in the
            Message 5 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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              On Monday, January 3, 2011, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
              >
              >> We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week.  Would that fit your needs?
              >
              > PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we're getting it.
              >
              >

              I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very
              well be a 80Mb drive,. But it'll only help if there's disk controller
              card in the Eclipse

              --
              --http://www.vintagecomputer.net/ragooman/
            • Evan Koblentz
              ... Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can t identify. What does it look like?
              Message 6 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                >>> We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week. Would that fit your needs?
                >> PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we're getting it.
                > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                identify. What does it look like?
              • c f
                ... http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html I wonder how hard it would be to just build a controller for it? It can t be that
                Message 7 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                  On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                   


                  >>> We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week. Would that fit your needs?
                  >> PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we're getting it.
                  > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                  Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                  identify. What does it look like?

                  http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html

                  I wonder how hard it would be to just build a controller for it? It can't be that complicated.
                • Evan Koblentz
                  ... Oh, that. One of several big heavy things we need to move upstairs and then into the new museum area.
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                    > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                    Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                    identify. What does it look like?
                    http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html

                    Oh, that.

                    One of several big heavy things we need to move upstairs and then into the new museum area.
                  • c f
                    ... Hmm, would someone be able to check on wednesday if you all actually have one of those drives?
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                      On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                       


                      > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                      Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                      identify. What does it look like?
                      http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html

                      Oh, that.

                      One of several big heavy things we need to move upstairs and then into the new museum area.


                      Hmm, would someone be able to check on wednesday if you all actually have one of those drives?
                    • Dan Roganti
                      ... yep, thats the one in the basement - I just cant remember the model# - it could be a 40MB, but maybe you re lucky. ... It wasn t that hard, we built them
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                        On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:14 PM, c f <christopher.h.fenton@...> wrote:




                        On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                         


                        >>> We might acquire an Eclipse S/140 this week. Would that fit your needs?
                        >> PS - I will know by Wednesday afternoon if we're getting it.
                        > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                        Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                        identify. What does it look like?

                        http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html

                        yep, thats the one in the basement - I just cant remember the model# - it could be a 40MB, but maybe you're lucky.
                         

                        I wonder how hard it would be to just build a controller for it? It can't be that complicated.


                        It wasn't that hard, we built them using very simple bit-slice processors, and later with Z80's, when these were still popular. But it helps to have the manual :)




                      • Evan Koblentz
                        ... Yes. I m going there in the late afternoon / early evening after Justin and I participate in a local rescue (where we might get the Eclipse.)
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                          > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might very well be a 80Mb drive

                          Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                          identify. What does it look like?
                          http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html

                          Oh, that.

                          One of several big heavy things we need to move upstairs and then into the new museum area.

                          Hmm, would someone be able to check on wednesday if you all actually have one of those drives?

                          Yes.  I'm going there in the late afternoon / early evening after Justin and I participate in a local rescue (where we might get the Eclipse.)
                        • Evan Koblentz
                          ... Anything here help you? http://bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                            I wonder how hard it would be to just build a controller for it? It can't be that complicated.


                            It wasn't that hard, we built them using very simple bit-slice processors, and later with Z80's, when these were still popular. But it helps to have the manual :)

                            Anything here help you?
                            http://bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/

                          • Dan Roganti
                            --http://www.vintagecomputer.net/ragooman/ ... yep, these are in /smd This one is the maintenance manual, with test procedures, handy for getting this cleaned
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                              --http://www.vintagecomputer.net/ragooman/


                              On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:28 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:




                              I wonder how hard it would be to just build a controller for it? It can't be that complicated.


                              It wasn't that hard, we built them using very simple bit-slice processors, and later with Z80's, when these were still popular. But it helps to have the manual :)

                              Anything here help you?
                              http://bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/


                              yep,
                              these are in /smd

                              This one is the maintenance manual, with test procedures, handy for getting this cleaned up and running properly
                              http://bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/smd/83322150AR_BK4xx_BK5xx_9760_9762_Vo1_Jan85.pdf

                              this one has schematics, interface.
                              http://bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/smd/83322240AA_BK4xx_BK5xx_9760_9762_Vo2_85.pdf

                              But the important one, 83322240, with Theory of Operation, is not in there

                              The other issue about building a controller is that you need to make it software compatible with the Eclipse IO protocol - described in their manuals. I'm sure they are using a I/O command list for all DMA transfers. It's not a trivial step as you need to be acquainted with the details the Eclipse system bus operation also - but it can be done. Although you might find a disk controller in a shorter amount of time. Even if it doesn't work, they are usually easy to fix.


                            • Dan Roganti
                              ... ... =Dan
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                                On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Dan Roganti <ragooman@...> wrote:

                                But the important one, 83322240, with Theory of Operation, is not in there


                                <EDIT>

                                ---> 83322200


                                =Dan
                                 

                              • Bill Degnan
                                It s not. Bill Degnan ... very ... the ... have
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                                  It's not.
                                  Bill Degnan

                                  -------- Original Message --------
                                  > From: "c f" <christopher.h.fenton@...>
                                  > Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 9:23 PM
                                  > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Can anyone read a CDC 9877 disk pack?
                                  >
                                  > On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > > I remember seeing a CDC drive in the Hotel basement - it might
                                  very
                                  > >> well be a 80Mb drive
                                  > >>
                                  > >> Oh? It must be one of the (many) items down there that I can't
                                  > >> identify. What does it look like?
                                  > >>
                                  > > http://decpicted.blogspot.com/2010/05/cdc-9762-disk-drive.html
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Oh, that.
                                  > >
                                  > > One of several big heavy things we need to move upstairs and then into
                                  the
                                  > > new museum area.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > Hmm, would someone be able to check on wednesday if you all actually
                                  have
                                  > one of those drives?
                                • Evan Koblentz
                                  ... Please elaborate.
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                                    > It's not.
                                    > Bill Degnan

                                    Please elaborate.
                                  • B Degnan
                                    ... Please resend the list of items so I can confirm, but from my recollection of the list most of the items for sale we re talking newer Digital stuff -
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                                      At 11:18 PM 1/3/2011, you wrote:

                                      > > It's not.
                                      > > Bill Degnan
                                      >
                                      >Please elaborate.


                                      Please resend the list of items so I can confirm, but from my
                                      recollection of the list most of the items for sale we're talking
                                      newer Digital stuff - Rainbow/VAX era of Digital. The CDC 9877 disk
                                      pack and associated system would have been from the 70's.

                                      http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/brochures/ProductLine_May73.pdf

                                      bd
                                    • Evan Koblentz
                                      ... DEC? No, we re talking about a Data General Eclipse S/130, circa 1977: http://tinyurl.com/25fzljv
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jan 3, 2011
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                                        >>> It's not.
                                        >>> Bill Degnan
                                        >> Please elaborate.
                                        > Please resend the list of items so I can confirm, but from my recollection of the list most of the items for sale we're talking newer Digital stuff - Rainbow/VAX era of Digital. The CDC 9877 disk pack and associated system would have been from the 70's.
                                        >
                                        > http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/brochures/ProductLine_May73.pdf
                                        DEC? No, we're talking about a Data General Eclipse S/130, circa 1977:
                                        http://tinyurl.com/25fzljv
                                      • Mr Ian Primus
                                        ... The host computer is irrelevant. What you *need* is the disk drive. These CDC drives have a standard SMD interface (usually). You d probably want to be
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                          --- On Tue, 1/4/11, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                                          > > http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/brochures/ProductLine_May73.pdf
                                          > DEC? No, we're talking about a Data General Eclipse
                                          > S/130, circa 1977:
                                          > http://tinyurl.com/25fzljv

                                          The host computer is irrelevant. What you *need* is the disk drive. These CDC drives have a standard SMD interface (usually). You'd probably want to be using a machine that'll have some other means of communication with the outside world, like a Vax or something, so you can get the data off the pack and onto other media. And if you're trying to archive data from an important pack, you don't want to go tossing it into an unknown drive. These disk drives are fragile, and require a lot of service.

                                          I have a few 300mb CDC drives - let me tell you, there is no way a drive that's just been sitting for 20 years is going to fire up and read a pack without crashing. This is a hard drive we're talking about - the inside of the drive where the pack goes needs to be immaculate - no dust, hairs or particles. Any junk in there will surely cause a head crash.

                                          To make matters worse, in the their infinite wisdom, Control Data used that sound-deadening foam, you know, the stuff that turns to crumbly crud? It's lining the entire inside of the cabinet - but even worse, it's inside the cover that goes over the head stack. The entire drive will need to be cleaned, and all that foam removed, before it's going to operate reliably.

                                          Granted, my experience is with the 300mb drives - the 80 meg drives might be different, I don't have one to compare. But the general procedure for resurrecting one is:

                                          -Clean drive, remove foam, clean, clean, clean.
                                          -Replace filters - while you've got them out, clean all the air circulation ducting.
                                          -Power up the drive and let it run for 24 hours to "purge" - the air circulation runs, and any loose stuff gets caught by the filters.
                                          -Put a scratch pack in, start it spinning, and let it spin for a good long while - hours - you want to purge the crud off the pack too
                                          -cross your fingers and hit the head load switch.

                                          And, powering the drive is going to be a problem too - the 300mb drives at least require 220v.

                                          -Ian
                                        • Evan Koblentz
                                          ... It s a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He turned old yesterday. Happy b-day, Mike! :-)
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                            > The host computer is irrelevant. What you *need* is the disk drive. These CDC drives have a standard SMD interface (usually). You'd probably want to be using a machine that'll have some other means of communication with the outside world, like a Vax or something, so you can get the data off the pack and onto other media. And if you're trying to archive data from an important pack, you don't want to go tossing it into an unknown drive. These disk drives are fragile, and require a lot of service.
                                            >
                                            > I have a few 300mb CDC drives - let me tell you, there is no way a drive that's just been sitting for 20 years is going to fire up and read a pack without crashing. This is a hard drive we're talking about - the inside of the drive where the pack goes needs to be immaculate - no dust, hairs or particles. Any junk in there will surely cause a head crash.
                                            >
                                            > To make matters worse, in the their infinite wisdom, Control Data used that sound-deadening foam, you know, the stuff that turns to crumbly crud? It's lining the entire inside of the cabinet - but even worse, it's inside the cover that goes over the head stack. The entire drive will need to be cleaned, and all that foam removed, before it's going to operate reliably.
                                            >
                                            > Granted, my experience is with the 300mb drives - the 80 meg drives might be different, I don't have one to compare. But the general procedure for resurrecting one is:
                                            >
                                            > -Clean drive, remove foam, clean, clean, clean.
                                            > -Replace filters - while you've got them out, clean all the air circulation ducting.
                                            > -Power up the drive and let it run for 24 hours to "purge" - the air circulation runs, and any loose stuff gets caught by the filters.
                                            > -Put a scratch pack in, start it spinning, and let it spin for a good long while - hours - you want to purge the crud off the pack too
                                            > -cross your fingers and hit the head load switch.

                                            It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He turned
                                            "old" yesterday.

                                            Happy b-day, Mike! :-)
                                          • Mike Loewen
                                            ... Eh? Speak up!! Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic.scol.pa.us Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                              On Tue, 4 Jan 2011, Evan Koblentz wrote:

                                              > It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He turned
                                              > "old" yesterday.
                                              >
                                              > Happy b-day, Mike! :-)

                                              Eh? Speak up!!


                                              Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                              Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                            • Mr Ian Primus
                                              ... Does that mean he s on-topic? -Ian
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                --- On Tue, 1/4/11, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                                                > > -Clean drive, remove foam, clean, clean, clean.
                                                > > -Replace filters - while you've got them out, clean
                                                > all the air circulation ducting.
                                                > > -Power up the drive and let it run for 24 hours to
                                                > "purge" - the air circulation runs, and any loose stuff gets
                                                > caught by the filters.
                                                > > -Put a scratch pack in, start it spinning, and let it
                                                > spin for a good long while - hours - you want to purge the
                                                > crud off the pack too
                                                > > -cross your fingers and hit the head load switch.
                                                >
                                                > It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to
                                                > function. He turned
                                                > "old" yesterday.
                                                >
                                                > Happy b-day, Mike! :-)

                                                Does that mean he's on-topic?

                                                -Ian
                                              • Evan Koblentz
                                                ... I SAID YOU RE YOUNG AND HANDSOME. (now go back to drooling in your rocking chair)
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                  >> It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He turned "old" yesterday.
                                                  >>
                                                  >> Happy b-day, Mike! :-)
                                                  > Eh? Speak up!!

                                                  I SAID YOU'RE YOUNG AND HANDSOME.

                                                  (now go back to drooling in your rocking chair)
                                                • B Degnan
                                                  ... Happy birthday Mike. Bill (and Joey)
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                    At 08:52 AM 1/4/2011, you wrote:

                                                    > >> It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He
                                                    > turned "old" yesterday.
                                                    > >>
                                                    > >> Happy b-day, Mike! :-)
                                                    > > Eh? Speak up!!
                                                    >
                                                    >I SAID YOU'RE YOUNG AND HANDSOME.
                                                    >
                                                    >(now go back to drooling in your rocking chair)


                                                    Happy birthday Mike.

                                                    Bill (and Joey)
                                                  • Gene Buckle
                                                    ... Press the head load switch Mike. That should help. :D g. -- Proud owner of F-15C 80-0007 http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                      On Tue, 4 Jan 2011, Mike Loewen wrote:

                                                      > On Tue, 4 Jan 2011, Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >> It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function. He turned
                                                      >> "old" yesterday.
                                                      >>
                                                      >> Happy b-day, Mike! :-)
                                                      >
                                                      > Eh? Speak up!!

                                                      Press the "head load" switch Mike. That should help. :D

                                                      g.

                                                      --
                                                      Proud owner of F-15C 80-0007
                                                      http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
                                                      http://www.simpits.org/geneb - The Me-109F/X Project

                                                      ScarletDME - The red hot Data Management Environment
                                                      A Multi-Value database for the masses, not the classes.
                                                      http://www.scarletdme.org - Get it _today_!

                                                      Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
                                                      minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
                                                      holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
                                                      by the clean end.
                                                    • Dan Roganti
                                                      ... And he would rather be pushing a cardpunch than a walking stroller any day of the week :) Happy Birthday Mike ! =Dan --
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                        On Tuesday, January 4, 2011, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
                                                        > At 08:52 AM 1/4/2011, you wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >> >> It's a similar process for getting Mike Loewen to function.  He
                                                        >> turned "old" yesterday.
                                                        >> >>
                                                        >> >> Happy b-day, Mike!   :-)
                                                        >> >      Eh?  Speak up!!
                                                        >>
                                                        >>I SAID YOU'RE YOUNG AND HANDSOME.
                                                        >>
                                                        >>(now go back to drooling in your rocking chair)
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Happy birthday Mike.
                                                        >
                                                        >

                                                        And he would rather be pushing a cardpunch than a walking stroller any
                                                        day of the week :)

                                                        Happy Birthday Mike !

                                                        =Dan


                                                        --
                                                        --http://www.vintagecomputer.net/ragooman/
                                                      • Barry L. Kline
                                                        ... Well, he s classic anyway. Barry
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Jan 4, 2011
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                                                          On 01/04/2011 08:51 AM, Mr Ian Primus wrote:

                                                          > Does that mean he's on-topic?

                                                          Well, he's classic anyway.

                                                          Barry
                                                        • c f
                                                          Hi all, This is primarily directed at Ian, but just in case anyone else can help to: So I actually acquired a 9762 disk drive (one of the super early models
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Aug 8, 2011
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                                                            Hi all,
                                                             This is primarily directed at Ian, but just in case anyone else can help to:

                                                                   So I actually acquired a 9762 disk drive (one of the super early models apparently - the install date on it is 6/7/1976!). I cleaned up all of the foam stuff (you were right, that stuff is a mess!) and pretty thoroughly cleaned out the drive. I also cleaned the filters and things, and then let it run for a while, just to make sure that no dust or anything was getting into the drive cavity.

                                                            My drive unfortunately had a short on one of the logic cards on the +20V rail, but I was able to swap it out for another identical card, and then the fault light went away.

                                                            I also have a TB-216 tester, which I'm attempting to use to test the drive with (the actual drive only has two buttons on the front of it - 'start' and 'fault clear', as well as corresponding LEDs for those two, and then a third 'ready' LED). I have the tester cabled to the drive, as well as a terminator plug thing on the empty port on the drive, but I can't actually get the tester to recognize the drive. So, a few questions:

                                                            1. Any reasonable strategies for debugging what appears to be a problem with the unit-select hardware? Also, there are some options for selecting different 'flavors' of the 9762 (NRZ or MFM, standard or 'mux' cables, index/sector on A or B cables) . . . any idea how I can tell which drive I have?


                                                            2. Do you happen to know of any sources of documentation for these types of drives other than bitsavers.org? The documentation up on there is actually for later models of the 9762 which has completely different electronics.

                                                            Any advice/help would be welcome.

                                                            -Chris





                                                            On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 8:39 AM, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...> wrote:
                                                             

                                                            --- On Tue, 1/4/11, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                                                            > > http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/cdc/discs/brochures/ProductLine_May73.pdf
                                                            > DEC? No, we're talking about a Data General Eclipse
                                                            > S/130, circa 1977:
                                                            > http://tinyurl.com/25fzljv

                                                            The host computer is irrelevant. What you *need* is the disk drive. These CDC drives have a standard SMD interface (usually). You'd probably want to be using a machine that'll have some other means of communication with the outside world, like a Vax or something, so you can get the data off the pack and onto other media. And if you're trying to archive data from an important pack, you don't want to go tossing it into an unknown drive. These disk drives are fragile, and require a lot of service.

                                                            I have a few 300mb CDC drives - let me tell you, there is no way a drive that's just been sitting for 20 years is going to fire up and read a pack without crashing. This is a hard drive we're talking about - the inside of the drive where the pack goes needs to be immaculate - no dust, hairs or particles. Any junk in there will surely cause a head crash.

                                                            To make matters worse, in the their infinite wisdom, Control Data used that sound-deadening foam, you know, the stuff that turns to crumbly crud? It's lining the entire inside of the cabinet - but even worse, it's inside the cover that goes over the head stack. The entire drive will need to be cleaned, and all that foam removed, before it's going to operate reliably.

                                                            Granted, my experience is with the 300mb drives - the 80 meg drives might be different, I don't have one to compare. But the general procedure for resurrecting one is:

                                                            -Clean drive, remove foam, clean, clean, clean.
                                                            -Replace filters - while you've got them out, clean all the air circulation ducting.
                                                            -Power up the drive and let it run for 24 hours to "purge" - the air circulation runs, and any loose stuff gets caught by the filters.
                                                            -Put a scratch pack in, start it spinning, and let it spin for a good long while - hours - you want to purge the crud off the pack too
                                                            -cross your fingers and hit the head load switch.

                                                            And, powering the drive is going to be a problem too - the 300mb drives at least require 220v.

                                                            -Ian


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