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

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  • David Riley
    ... I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880) which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project. It works most
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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      On Apr 26, 2013, at 11:22 AM, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:

      > Does anybody wish my assistance with component level troubleshooting
      > during this event? My area is PDP-8's though that carries over reasonably
      > well to other machines that are mostly standard chips. For the machines
      > using custom chips other people have more knowledge of them and things
      > like special test cartridges. Either reply to the list to see who can
      > help or me if you know you wish my help.

      I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880)
      which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project.
      It works most of the way, but there are a few things that are probably
      power-supply related (and probably fixable with new filter caps) that
      bear looking into, but I'm not super-experienced with fixing tape
      drives. Is that within the range of what we were thinking, or is it
      more fixing MARCH stuff? I'm fine with whatever.

      Fixing the power supply would, of course, require someone to have the
      proper spare caps, but a proper collaborative diagnosis would help.

      For all relevant projects, I can bring a scope, a 10A power supply,
      a 20 MHz waveform generator and a decent meter (Fluke 87-V). The
      scope is 4 channels, 100 MHz bandwidth. Would that be helpful?
      They'd be there for anyone to use, though I think I might only be
      able to be there one day (I'll have to see).


      - Dave
    • Evan Koblentz
      ... more fixing MARCH stuff? Yes, it s fine to bring that. Our workshops are a combination of members fixing their own equipment and working on MARCH stuff.
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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        >> I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880) which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project. ... Is that within the range of what we were thinking, or is it
        more fixing MARCH stuff?

        Yes, it's fine to bring that. Our workshops are a combination of members fixing their own equipment and working on MARCH stuff.
      • B. Degnan
        get the model numbers so you can start researching how to interface and use the punch. The punches I donated to MARCH are all from late 60 s early 70 s
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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          get the model numbers so you can start researching how to interface and use
          the punch. The punches I donated to MARCH are all from late 60's early
          70's Burroughs mini computers.
          http://vintagecomputer.net/burroughs/
          Bill

          -------- Original Message --------
          > From: "corey986" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:59 PM
          > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: May 18th-19th event
          >
          > I know I plan on spending saturday afternoon trying to get one of the
          MARCH paper tape punches working. I may need help if the serial IO is
          messed up.
          >
          > Actually I may need anyone who has a clue's help as I have never repaired
          one.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Corey
          >
          > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Does anybody wish my assistance with component level
          troubleshooting
          > > during this event? My area is PDP-8's though that carries over
          reasonably
          > > well to other machines that are mostly standard chips. For the
          machines
          > > using custom chips other people have more knowledge of them and things
          > > like special test cartridges. Either reply to the list to see who can
          > > help or me if you know you wish my help.
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • David Gesswein
          ... The teletype punch is one of the things I was planning to look at. I m not sure what other punches they have.
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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            On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 05:32:20PM -0000, corey986 wrote:
            > I know I plan on spending saturday afternoon trying to get one of the
            > MARCH paper tape punches working. I may need help if the serial IO
            > is messed up.
            >
            The teletype punch is one of the things I was planning to look at. I'm not
            sure what other punches they have.
          • David Gesswein
            ... I had at least one hopefully quick MARCH repair but otherwise the plan was if people wanted my help to help them otherwise work on a MARCH computer. I like
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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              On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 02:01:57PM -0400, David Riley wrote:
              > I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880)
              > which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project.
              > It works most of the way, but there are a few things that are probably
              > power-supply related (and probably fixable with new filter caps) that
              > bear looking into, but I'm not super-experienced with fixing tape
              > drives. Is that within the range of what we were thinking, or is it
              > more fixing MARCH stuff? I'm fine with whatever.
              >
              I had at least one hopefully quick MARCH repair but otherwise the
              plan was if people wanted my help to help them otherwise work on a MARCH
              computer. I like to have a plan though it doesn't all have to be resolved
              now.

              I have repaired an earlier model.
              http://www.pdp8online.com/tu10/tu10-repair.shtml


              > Fixing the power supply would, of course, require someone to have the
              > proper spare caps, but a proper collaborative diagnosis would help.
              >
              > For all relevant projects, I can bring a scope, a 10A power supply,
              > a 20 MHz waveform generator and a decent meter (Fluke 87-V). The
              > scope is 4 channels, 100 MHz bandwidth. Would that be helpful?
              > They'd be there for anyone to use, though I think I might only be
              > able to be there one day (I'll have to see).
              >
              It sound like you have the tools to verify the power supply. The two
              failure modes I see are wrong voltage or too much ripple. We could
              help you test if your not familiar how or you could test and get the parts
              ahead of time.

              Proper prep will make it more productive. Rounding up the service manuals etc
              would be good. What is the problem you are seeing and do you need a
              computer or does it happen in offline mode?

              I'll be their Saturday around lunch and leave whenever Sunday.
            • David Riley
              ... The F880 is a considerably different beast from the TU10. No vacuum columns, etc; it s a pretty basic streamer. DEC sold it as the TS05 but didn t change
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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                On Apr 26, 2013, at 4:03 PM, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:

                > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 02:01:57PM -0400, David Riley wrote:
                > > I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880)
                > > which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project.
                > > It works most of the way, but there are a few things that are probably
                > > power-supply related (and probably fixable with new filter caps) that
                > > bear looking into, but I'm not super-experienced with fixing tape
                > > drives. Is that within the range of what we were thinking, or is it
                > > more fixing MARCH stuff? I'm fine with whatever.
                > >
                > I had at least one hopefully quick MARCH repair but otherwise the
                > plan was if people wanted my help to help them otherwise work on a MARCH
                > computer. I like to have a plan though it doesn't all have to be resolved
                > now.
                >
                > I have repaired an earlier model.
                > http://www.pdp8online.com/tu10/tu10-repair.shtml

                The F880 is a considerably different beast from the TU10. No vacuum
                columns, etc; it's a pretty basic streamer. DEC sold it as the TS05
                but didn't change much except the color of the faceplate and removing
                some options in the Z80 firmware (sigh). The PCB, fortunately, is
                identical to the real thing.

                > > Fixing the power supply would, of course, require someone to have the
                > > proper spare caps, but a proper collaborative diagnosis would help.
                > >
                > > For all relevant projects, I can bring a scope, a 10A power supply,
                > > a 20 MHz waveform generator and a decent meter (Fluke 87-V). The
                > > scope is 4 channels, 100 MHz bandwidth. Would that be helpful?
                > > They'd be there for anyone to use, though I think I might only be
                > > able to be there one day (I'll have to see).
                > >
                > It sound like you have the tools to verify the power supply. The two
                > failure modes I see are wrong voltage or too much ripple. We could
                > help you test if your not familiar how or you could test and get the parts
                > ahead of time.

                I'm familiar with how to debug power supplies, I just haven't had the
                time. I figured having other people around who were more familiar
                with 9-tracks might help, especially since the F880 and cousins were
                pretty popular models. I can bring my PDP-11 in a small, portable
                backplane with a PC power supply and the TSV05 controller card so that
                we can test it out as well; 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.
                Ideally not something too precious, because I can't guarantee that the
                head doesn't have problems, either. I can bring a blank or otherwise
                reusable tape in case I destroy someone else's; they're some of the
                last Graham magnetics ones that I bought new about 4 years ago and
                didn't realize they were shutting down, or I'd have bought a whole lot
                more of them.

                > Proper prep will make it more productive. Rounding up the service manuals etc
                > would be good. What is the problem you are seeing and do you need a
                > computer or does it happen in offline mode?

                Well, it's a few things.

                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.
                When I run the tachometer test, though, everything looks within
                normal operating parameters, so either I'm reading the service
                manual wrong or something's wrong with part of the tachometer
                circuit that isn't revealed by the tachometer test.

                2) It's started randomly resetting in the past two years or so,
                usually more once it's warmed up some. That's what makes me
                think it's a power supply problem.

                3) Rather recently (the past year or so), it stopped booting
                from tapes which I knew were good on the few occasions I got it
                to behave long enough to try. When I looked at the boot block
                it read in with the "startup" command, it was always either
                zeros or garbage. So either something went off with the heads,
                or it's something to do with the power supply (or the ADCs,
                perhaps).


                I have the operation/maintenance manual which includes the full
                schematic of the drive. I'm printing up a copy of that right
                now to stick in a binder; I'm also printing up a copy of the
                TSV05 controller card manual so we can test with that.

                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 can bring my soldering iron if it's necessary, but I figured
                there would be a lot of folks bringing theirs. It's a decent
                Hakko FX-888.


                I can't yet guarantee whether I'll be there on Sunday or not, but
                I'm definitely planning to come up earlyish Saturday. I'll have
                a whole bunch of books and magazines for the library as well. If
                someone wants to help with those (or the 80+ pound tape drive),
                I'd welcome it.


                - Dave
              • Dave McGuire
                ... Earlier is quite the understatement there, Dave. ;) -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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                  On 04/26/2013 04:03 PM, David Gesswein wrote:
                  > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 02:01:57PM -0400, David Riley wrote:
                  >> I was considering bringing my TS05 tape drive (re-badged Cipher F880)
                  >> which is misbehaving, since it seemed like it would be a fun project.
                  >> It works most of the way, but there are a few things that are probably
                  >> power-supply related (and probably fixable with new filter caps) that
                  >> bear looking into, but I'm not super-experienced with fixing tape
                  >> drives. Is that within the range of what we were thinking, or is it
                  >> more fixing MARCH stuff? I'm fine with whatever.
                  >>
                  > I had at least one hopefully quick MARCH repair but otherwise the
                  > plan was if people wanted my help to help them otherwise work on a MARCH
                  > computer. I like to have a plan though it doesn't all have to be resolved
                  > now.
                  >
                  > I have repaired an earlier model.
                  > http://www.pdp8online.com/tu10/tu10-repair.shtml

                  "Earlier" is quite the understatement there, Dave. ;)

                  -Dave

                  --
                  Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                  New Kensington, PA
                • David Gesswein
                  ... 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
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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                    On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 06:28:52PM -0400, David Riley wrote:
                    >
                    > The F880 is a considerably different beast from the TU10. No vacuum
                    > columns, etc; it's a pretty basic streamer. DEC sold it as the TS05
                    > but didn't change much except the color of the faceplate and removing
                    > some options in the Z80 firmware (sigh). The PCB, fortunately, is
                    > identical to the real thing.
                    >
                    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.

                    > 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 can bring a blank or otherwise
                    > reusable tape in case I destroy someone else's;
                    >
                    That would be good.

                    > 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.

                    > 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.

                    It sounds like a reasonable plan to see if we can at least identify what
                    the drive fault is.
                  • David Riley
                    ... 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
                    Message 9 of 13 , 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
                    • Dave McGuire
                      ... It is indeed a re-badged Dilog board. If I m not mistaken, it s a DQ132. ... I can, and will try to come. Dave G sounds like more of a definite though.
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 26, 2013
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                        On 04/26/2013 09:15 PM, David Riley 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.

                        It is indeed a re-badged Dilog board. If I'm not mistaken, it's a DQ132.

                        > 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.

                        I can, and will try to come. Dave G sounds like more of a definite though.

                        -Dave

                        --
                        Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                        New Kensington, PA
                      • David Riley
                        *sigh* Looks like I forgot a commitment I had on the 18th. So, looks like I ll be there the 19th, then. That might work out a bit better, though, since I can
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 27, 2013
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                          *sigh* Looks like I forgot a commitment I had on the 18th. So, looks like I'll be there the 19th, then. That might work out a bit better, though, since I can be there early-ish (about 9 AM?) on the 19th and it sounds like a lot of folks will already be there.


                          - Dave
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