Subject: Re: Bragging Time...
To: J. Buck Caldwell <>
From: Chuck McManis <>
List: port-vax
Date: 02/13/2000 17:16:19
At 04:43 PM 2/13/00 -0600, J. Buck Caldwell wrote:
>OK - you're right. I was thinking that the pedestal-mounted BA213 was the same
>as the BA215. I tried it with a drive on the left-side controller, and the 
>on the right-side; plus, there is a load board in the last slot of the
>backplane. I still don't see any lights, no fans, nothing. The remote 
>plug is empty.

Hmmm, you may have a zorched supply. Does the light in the switch light up? 
IIRC there is a fuse on the switch box as well. I have a flakey one, 
unfortunately they probably weigh more than they are worth. Fortunately 
they are easy to remove, a front plate to get the power harness out, and 
then three screws and the thing plops out. As I recall on my bad one the 
processor would light up but was stuck at 'F' on the display waiting for 
the DCOK signal to come true.

> > Did the 3800 come with the door? That is the only thing mine is missing :-(
> > For now I have a 3400 door on it but I'd like to have the real door on it
> > eventually.
>Damn - if I had known that, I could have gotten you one - the place I got 
>at had two extra. Unfortunately, they're probably dumpster fodder by now.

If you ever get back there please check. I've got $20 + shipping available 
for a door on the North American continent :-) [But it has to say MicroVAX 
3800 and be in good shape!]

> > Also tell use what kind of drive panel was in the top, a DSSI panel, SDI
> > panel, or a SCSI panel?
>Um. I don't know - it has three (roughly) 2x8 headers, with two buttons for
>each drive. Doesn't look like the 3600 I have that had SDI drives in it, so...
>Also - what does the DSSI connector look like? and what is a KQFSA? It's got
>one of those, leading to a three-terminal ribbon cable, ending on a bulkhead
>connector that looks a lot like an external SCSI connector, with a terminator
>plugged into it.

That would be DSSI, it looks like SCSI-2 but it isn't. The really cool 
thing about DSSI systems is that you can use the DSSI bus to cluster VAXen. 
The KFQSA is a DSSI qbus controller, see my messages in the archive about 
programming it.

 From your description I'd say you've got the DSSI panel. on the left hand 
side there should be a DSSI plug (looks like SCSI-2) and if you are very 
lucky there will be a terminator plugged into it. The DSSI bus cannot run 
reliably without a terminator. In the three sets of switches there should 
be plastic ID plugs, they are usually numbered '0', '1', and '2'. The 
critical one is '0' since you can use that to program the drives to operate 
without the plugs.

The CPU btw is a KA655 which is a really nice CPU, later suceeded by the 
KA660 in the VAX 4000/200 and then the KA670 in the VAX 4000/300 its nearly 
four VUPs and can build a NetBSD kernel in under four hours if you've got a 
reasonable disk system (DSSI disks count since they are 4MB drives)

All in all it sounds like a really nice system for NetBSD work. At some 
point I'm going to take pictures of mine (I'm trying to put together the 
complete selection from KA630 (uV-2) to KA670 (4000/300)) So far I"m 
missing the 4000/200 (KA660), which Ideally would be in the baby BA212.

I've got one of those systems running as my main NetBSD/VAX machines until 
I can sort out the issues with the 4000/300. So if you have any questions 
don't hesitate to ask.