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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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