Subject: Re: OK.... I got this here VAXen thingie... now what....(:+}}}[L[D[D
To: Robert D. Keys <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-vax
Date: 01/05/1999 12:12:16

> OK, Dummy here stuck his foot in his choppers an' won the bid on that
> VAXen for the grand total of eleven buckeroos de realme.  What can I
> run with it?  It was just too much fun to pass up, and it drew too many
> chuckles from the PC crowd in the surplus warehouse....(:+}}....
> I am assuming I can get the NetBSD VAX port on it somehow.....

yes. it wont be too much trouble actually- esp if you have something that
can write a TK50/TK70 boot tape. 
> Machine:  VAXstation 3500, no consoles or external boxes, only the tower.

An ordinary terminal (or a PeeCee running something like telix or kermit!)
will make a fine console. 
> Tape Drive:  TK70  (how big?)

~200 MB a cart for TK70 - also reads TK50 carts which are 95MB
> Hard Drive:  RA70  (how big?)

about 260 MB. 
> Boards:
> ----     ------------   ----------------------------------------------
> 1        KA650 -BA

microVAX 3 processor

> 2        MS650 -AA
> 3        MS650 -AA

two memory moards- congratulations, your VAX has 16 MB of memory. :)

> 4        DELQA -SA


> 5        VCB02
> 6        VCB02
> 7        VCB02

GPX board set, 8 planes of graphics framebuffer plus master grafix board. 
this drives a 1024x864 display. 
> 8        CXY08

an 8 line async multiplexor- RS232 lines with modem control

> 9        TQK70

TK70 tape controller. 
> 10       KDA50
> 11       KDA50

a Qbus SDI disk controller board set
> 12       (empty)
> What are the above boards, for reference?
> What boards are needed to bring up the machine minimally and test it out?

only the processor really, to get to the console monitor, test the
existence of a working backplane, cabinet, and power supply. 
in reality, the GPX set is not very ueful, id take em out and use a
serial console. the KDA50 is needed to control disks, the TKQ70 controls the
tape, and the CXY08 controls serial lines, with the delqa doing the network. 
for a fully useful system theyre all necessary. 
> How should one fire it up the first time, without blowing it up?

clean it out carefully beofre trying! it is probably full of dust
and crud!

be advised that this beastie will suck down about 450 watts!

> I am working with the original owner of the beast to see if he may have
> a box of odd manuals and hopefully tapes still in storage somewhere.
> If not, I am at ground zero with it.

no problemo, you have everything you need already. :)
> I am assuming it will have to be run headless, via an old VT-52ish
> Zenith terminal I have, or a Kermit with VT-100 emulation.  I don't
> have the main color monitor for it, or the mouse and keyboard.

youll want to remove the VCB02's then, since they probably are being the
console device right now. 

> What is the pinout of the silly MMJ connector on the CPU?

pin 1 - DTR
pin 2 tx +
pin 3 tx - (to ground)
pin 4 rx - (to ground)
pin 5 - rx +
pin 6 DSR
 it is a differential interface, hence + and - , which RS232 doesnt
grok. just connect the - lines to the RS232 ground (pin 7 in a DB25 and the
shell,case,cabinet,or shielding in a pinch)  and the rest to the normal lines
2,3 , you dont really NEED dtr/dsr but itc nice to have. (thats pins 20 and 6
in a DB25)

> Will a plain terminal work OK?


> Someone mentioned modifying RJ11(?) connectors to work?

you coudl do that. 

> What kinds of printer can be hooked up to it, via what protocols?


> What is the best way to network it into my local home ethernet coax?

via the DELQA. there should be a cable from it to a bulkhead panel with an 
AUI port. 

> I have a 10Base2 adapter for AUI to coax, but will need to patch up
> an AUI cable of some sort, maybe.

you can find these in odd places sometimes- often a larger goodwill or surplus
center will ahve these lying around & people dont know what they are. 
making one yourself is not goign to be easy or reliable, as they do carry
very high-freq signals (well, multi-megahertz, not something for using a spare
plug & cable from a joystick or anything hehehe) 
> IFF it will boot via TK50 tapes, is there a spare set of tapes I
> could borrow or purchase from someone with a working NetBSD port?
> I would prefer tape loads, if possible, since I may not have a
> working local net up at any given time, and a tape boot is always
> the minimal standalone boot.

cant help ya! i run ULTRIX on my VAX! i have ultrix and VMS boot tapes!! 

> There seems to be space for one more hard drive in the upper part
> of the tower.  What will work?  I am assuming I would need an RA70
> and cables to match the other one?

any SDI disk will do. In your cabinet, the RA7x series will fit ( 5.25"
SDI disks. they were usually 14 inch (RA8x), or 8 inch (RA9x)
> What are the 4? cable connections on the box to the top right of
> the tower case, near the RA70?  Someone said external drives hook
> up via that?

if they look like they were built to survive a direct nuclear attack,
are small, rectangular, and could be mistaken at a glance for a DB9 or an
8-pin berg connector, then they are probably indeed SDI connectors and
yes external disks connect to them. Most external SDI disks will be
RA8x series disks in their own rack cabinets- heavy, large, power-hungry
disks. also noisy. cool as hell if electricity is cheap and they really are
awesome pieces of machinery.

> Any suggestions are appreciated.... and no, it won't be dropped at
> the Nevada Test Site, for practice...(:+}}....

yeah, give it to me.. heheheh just joking! 
i cant really give you ultrix tapes from the lagl point of view, but someone
can probably help you out with netbsd boot tape(s). 

happy hacking