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

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  • Dave McGuire
    ... Earlier is quite the understatement there, Dave. ;) -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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