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Larger Disks

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  • tedheadster
    Has anybody noticed any larger (for their era) DEC disks in our possession? David and I did an inventory and they re mostly small ones. The largest I think we
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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      Has anybody noticed any larger (for their era) DEC disks in our possession? David and I did an inventory and they're mostly small ones. The largest I think we found were:

      RA60 : 205 MiB (no known disk pack)
      RA80 : 120 MiB
      RA81 : 456 MiB (made a bad noise when powered on I think?)

      Everything else we noted (RK05/RL01/RL02) were 10 MiB or smaller. Does anybody know if we missed something (maybe Fujitsu Eagles?) or can donate something largish?

      - Matthew W

    • Dave McGuire
      ... Umm...Those ARE large disks for PDP-11s and (earlier) VAXen. ... Why? Nearly all DEC OSs can be installed on a single RL02 pack. Eagles will need a
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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        On 08/05/2013 12:04 PM, tedheadster wrote:
        > Has anybody noticed any larger (for their era) DEC disks in our
        > possession? David and I did an inventory and they're mostly small ones.
        > The largest I think we found were:
        >
        > RA60 : 205 MiB (no known disk pack)
        > RA80 : 120 MiB
        > RA81 : 456 MiB (made a bad noise when powered on I think?)

        Umm...Those ARE large disks for PDP-11s and (earlier) VAXen.

        > Everything else we noted (RK05/RL01/RL02) were 10 MiB or smaller. Does
        > anybody know if we missed something (maybe Fujitsu Eagles?) or can
        > donate something largish?

        Why? Nearly all DEC OSs can be installed on a single RL02 pack.

        Eagles will need a controller; there was never a DEC-built controller
        that would talk to them, FYI. (not that there's anything wrong with
        third-party controllers..)

        -Dave

        --
        Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
        New Kensington, PA
      • tedheadster
        You re right those are decent sized disks in theory. We just need to 1) find the RA60 disk pack or 2) fix the evil sounding noise in the second drive. I don t
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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          You're right those are decent sized disks in theory. We just need to 1) find the RA60 disk pack or 2) fix the evil sounding noise in the second drive. I don't quite recall if the third drive seemed basically okay until it popped the breaker on our generator. David R: do you recall which disk seemed the 'best' of the three?

          - Matthew W

        • Dave McGuire
          ... I believe I can spare an RA60 pack for MARCH. Did you find SDI cables of sufficient quantity and length? -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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            On 08/05/2013 12:13 PM, tedheadster wrote:
            > You're right those are decent sized disks in theory. We just need to 1)
            > find the RA60 disk pack or 2) fix the evil sounding noise in the second
            > drive. I don't quite recall if the third drive seemed basically okay
            > until it popped the breaker on our generator. David R: do you recall
            > which disk seemed the 'best' of the three?

            I believe I can spare an RA60 pack for MARCH.

            Did you find SDI cables of sufficient quantity and length?

            -Dave

            --
            Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
            New Kensington, PA
          • tedheadster
            David M, The RA60 is already plumbed up to the other disks and their UDA50. Just the disk pack had been removed. - Matthew W
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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              David M,
                The RA60 is already plumbed up to the other disks and their UDA50. Just the disk pack had been removed.

              - Matthew W

            • David Riley
              ... The system is already assembled in the rack. The RA60 appeared to be working as best we could tell without actually spinning it up, which would have been
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                On Aug 5, 2013, at 12:15 PM, Dave McGuire <Mcguire@...> wrote:

                > On 08/05/2013 12:13 PM, tedheadster wrote:
                > > You're right those are decent sized disks in theory. We just need to 1)
                > > find the RA60 disk pack or 2) fix the evil sounding noise in the second
                > > drive. I don't quite recall if the third drive seemed basically okay
                > > until it popped the breaker on our generator. David R: do you recall
                > > which disk seemed the 'best' of the three?
                >
                > I believe I can spare an RA60 pack for MARCH.
                >
                > Did you find SDI cables of sufficient quantity and length?

                The system is already assembled in the rack. The RA60 appeared to be working as best we could tell without actually spinning it up, which would have been hard without a pack. The RA80 and RA81 tripped the 14A breaker on the generator whenever we tried to spin them up, even with the CPU off. We could talk to the UDA50 when the second backplane was behaving, at least, but we never had the chance to try to boot from it.

                We could get a lot done with RL02s, which is handy because they're easily swappable. It would actually make a great demo, and the rack that the 11/44 is in already has the RL01/02 cable "plumbed"; we'd probably just need to replace one of the drives with it or put a side rack full of drives like it was presumably already set up before it came to MARCH. MARCH has lots of RL02 media, we'd just need someone to image a few.


                - Dave
              • Evan Koblentz
                ... I d love for us to do that, mainly because general museum visitors identify multi-rack systems as being those big old computers... However we d have to
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                  >> or put a side rack full of drives

                  I'd love for us to do that, mainly because general museum visitors identify multi-rack systems as being those big old computers... However we'd have to acquire a rack that matches the current one in color and height. Also we'd have to do some rearranging in the exhibit room. We will probably need to remove the Burroughs B-80. That's okay because it is the least interesting thing in the room, and I'll gladly make that compromise for an awesome demo.

                  Does anyone have a matching rack that we'll need? I'm sure Dave/Matt/Bill/etc. can say exactly what it is beyond my description of "off-white and tallish".)

                  Whoever has one to spare should email me.
                • tedheadster
                  Here is a variation on my earlier theme. Does anybody have an RA7X series disk they could provide to the organization? They re _much_ more reliable than the
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                    Here is a variation on my earlier theme. Does anybody have an RA7X series disk they could provide to the organization? They're _much_ more reliable than the 19" rack mount stuff, because they're _just_ 5.25" full height SDI disks. In software they look the similar to the 'big iron' disks but they're sooooo much more reliable and use a fraction of the power.

                    - Matthew

                  • Evan Koblentz
                    ... That s a big plus. Normally MARCH only accepts donations, but for something like this we could work out a trade or buy one if it s reasonable.
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                      >> sooooo much more reliable and use a fraction of the power.

                      That's a big plus.

                      Normally MARCH only accepts donations, but for something like this we could work out a trade or buy one if it's reasonable.
                    • David Riley
                      ... There are actually a few DEC half-racks in the warehouse (shorter than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style), some of which aren t even
                      Message 10 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                        On Aug 5, 2013, at 1:06 PM, "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:

                        > >> or put a side rack full of drives
                        >
                        > I'd love for us to do that, mainly because general museum visitors identify multi-rack systems as being those big old computers... However we'd have to acquire a rack that matches the current one in color and height. Also we'd have to do some rearranging in the exhibit room. We will probably need to remove the Burroughs B-80. That's okay because it is the least interesting thing in the room, and I'll gladly make that compromise for an awesome demo.
                        >
                        > Does anyone have a matching rack that we'll need? I'm sure Dave/Matt/Bill/etc. can say exactly what it is beyond my description of "off-white and tallish".)
                        >
                        > Whoever has one to spare should email me.

                        There are actually a few DEC half-racks in the warehouse (shorter than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style), some of which aren't even particularly loaded or already have several RL01/02 drives in addition to a PDP-11 of some sort. We could certainly repurpose at least one of those as an RL02 companion rack if we shuffled some things around.

                        The racks aren't specifically marked on the inventory we did, but they're certainly not hard to find in the warehouse.


                        - Dave
                      • Evan Koblentz
                        ... than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style) True -- I d prefer using one of equal height if we can get it. Also, beside a drive or two, what else
                        Message 11 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                          >> There are actually a few DEC half-racks in the warehouse (shorter
                          than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style)

                          True -- I'd prefer using one of equal height if we can get it. Also,
                          beside a drive or two, what else would be appropriate to put * in * the
                          rack -- I suppose a tape drive too?
                        • Mike Loewen
                          ... I always wanted to drive a half-(t)rack. Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic.scol.pa.us Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                            > >> There are actually a few DEC half-racks in the warehouse (shorter
                            > than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style)

                            I always wanted to drive a half-(t)rack.


                            Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                            Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                          • David Riley
                            ... Agreed on the height. If we can find a rack of equal height, it would be great; other list members would know the rack part numbers better than I do. The
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                              On Aug 5, 2013, at 4:34 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:

                              > >> There are actually a few DEC half-racks in the warehouse (shorter
                              > than the rack the 11/44 is in, but the same style)
                              >
                              > True -- I'd prefer using one of equal height if we can get it. Also,
                              > beside a drive or two, what else would be appropriate to put * in * the
                              > rack -- I suppose a tape drive too?

                              Agreed on the height. If we can find a rack of equal height, it would be great; other list members would know the rack part numbers better than I do. The 11/44 is in a rack that I recall being about my height (5'6" or so).

                              As far as what else to put in the rack, RL02 drives take up 6U of rack space each, if I remember correctly. Nothing to sneeze at. There are a few rackmount tape drives in the warehouse, though I didn't see any DEC ones (not that third-party tape drives would have been at all uncommon in the real world). Most 9-track tape drives are 4-5U; I know my DEC TSV05 (rebadged Cipher F880) is 5U, and 4U would be remarkably compact for all the machinery that goes into one.

                              We even found a Unibus Pertec controller (popular interface for tape drives), though we don't know much about the specifics; anyone know anything about the AVIV TFC-825? My assumption is that it probably emulates a popular DEC Pertec controller, or TMSCP, but beyond that I can't seem to find any specifics.


                              - Dave
                            • Dave McGuire
                              ... 3U 9-track drives do exist; I have one here. (just sayin ) ... Companies building controllers that didn t emulate DEC boards didn t sell any controllers.
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                                On 08/05/2013 06:16 PM, David Riley wrote:
                                > As far as what else to put in the rack, RL02 drives take up 6U of
                                > rack space each, if I remember correctly. Nothing to sneeze at.
                                > There are a few rackmount tape drives in the warehouse, though I
                                > didn't see any DEC ones (not that third-party tape drives would have
                                > been at all uncommon in the real world). Most 9-track tape drives
                                > are 4-5U; I know my DEC TSV05 (rebadged Cipher F880) is 5U, and 4U
                                > would be remarkably compact for all the machinery that goes into
                                > one.

                                3U 9-track drives do exist; I have one here. (just sayin')

                                > We even found a Unibus Pertec controller (popular interface for tape
                                > drives), though we don't know much about the specifics; anyone know
                                > anything about the AVIV TFC-825? My assumption is that it probably
                                > emulates a popular DEC Pertec controller, or TMSCP, but beyond that I
                                > can't seem to find any specifics.

                                Companies building controllers that didn't emulate DEC boards didn't
                                sell any controllers. It's sure to emulate something standard. The
                                quickest way to find out what it is is to boot RT11, type "show dev",
                                and look for devices tagged as "installed". This of course assumes that
                                you have a "full" RT11 distribution on your boot media, which does come
                                in handy for stuff like this. (in fact that's about all I use RT11 for ;))

                                -Dave

                                --
                                Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                                New Kensington, PA
                              • Dave McGuire
                                ... I can help with that. I keep an 11/83 system set up with 2.11BSD and an RL02 drive. I FTP images over to it, and write them with dd. -Dave -- Dave
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 5, 2013
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                                  On 08/05/2013 12:54 PM, David Riley wrote:
                                  > We could get a lot done with RL02s, which is handy because they're
                                  > easily swappable. It would actually make a great demo, and the rack
                                  > that the 11/44 is in already has the RL01/02 cable "plumbed"; we'd
                                  > probably just need to replace one of the drives with it or put a side
                                  > rack full of drives like it was presumably already set up before it
                                  > came to MARCH. MARCH has lots of RL02 media, we'd just need someone
                                  > to image a few.

                                  I can help with that. I keep an 11/83 system set up with 2.11BSD and
                                  an RL02 drive. I FTP images over to it, and write them with dd.

                                  -Dave

                                  --
                                  Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                                  New Kensington, PA
                                • s100doctor
                                  ... Did you check the MARCH Infoage basement area? There used to be a lot of stuff there including some DEC boards and I believe some drives (DEC and non-DEC).
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Aug 6, 2013
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                                    --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, tedheadster <whiteheadm@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Has anybody noticed any larger (for their era) DEC disks in our possession?
                                    > David and I did an inventory and they're mostly small ones. The largest I
                                    > think we found were:
                                    >
                                    > RA60 : 205 MiB (no known disk pack)
                                    > RA80 : 120 MiB
                                    > RA81 : 456 MiB (made a bad noise when powered on I think?)
                                    >
                                    > Everything else we noted (RK05/RL01/RL02) were 10 MiB or smaller. Does
                                    > anybody know if we missed something (maybe Fujitsu Eagles?) or can donate
                                    > something largish?
                                    >
                                    > - Matthew W

                                    Did you check the MARCH Infoage basement area? There used to be a lot of stuff there including some DEC boards and I believe some drives (DEC and non-DEC). I seem to recall some non DEC brand drives among MARCH's collection, that may happen to be DEC-usable.

                                    Herb Johnson

                                    >
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