Subject: Re: When it rains VAXen it pours VAXen....(:+}}...
To: Chuck McManis <>
From: NetBSD Bob <>
List: port-vax
Date: 10/13/2000 12:04:34
> At 01:03 PM 10/12/00 -0400, NetBSD Bob wrote:
> >1.  Since it has scsi on it, is it logical to merely format/load
> >     a scsi drive from one of my VS3100 crates?  That would seem
> >     the easiest way to get it up, reasonably, since no ethernet
> >     capability is present on it, just tape.
> Not really, it depends on the SCSI controller. If it is a Viking controller 
> you're better off having the Viking do the format. However, its harmless to 
> try formatting on the 3100 and moving it.

It is the dilogic scsi controller.

How is the formatting supposed to be done?  I don't have any of the
diagnostic tapes that I can lay hands on, although somewhere I am
supposed to have one from an MVI.

I added a different cable (4 feet long rather than 12 feet long)
and added in a pair of RZ56's, for some testing.

The original drive is ID0 and Ultix or NetBSD calls that an RA80.
The RZ56's are ID1 and ID2, but, they are not recognized by
Ultrix or by NetBSD.

The drive lights light up on the boot testing, and it seems that
the drives spin up OK.  Any ideas what might be problematic in
not finding the added in drives?  It is close, but no ringers, yet.
Should I try non-DEC drives, such as Fujis or Maxtors instead?

> >2.  What is the largest drive size the hardware will handle?
> Do you mean the SCSI controller? If so we'd have to know the model. Most 
> will handle up to 8G drives (SCSI-2). No limits like there are on the 3100. 
> My MVII box has a Emulex UC07 in it that will handle 8G drives.

OK, I have a boatload of 1 gig and 2 gig RZ drives, so I was hoping to
put up 3 of them into the box, if I can get them to work.

> >3.  How many scsi drives will the thing actually handle?
> All SCSI interfaces can handle 7 drives on one string. Some SCSI 
> controllers that do both TMSCP and MSCP will "reserve" some targets to be 
> tapes. You have to talk to the SCSI controller firmware to figure that out.

I was worried more about power requirements that SCSI ID's.
It can handle 3 bays worth and maybe a 4th, although I will probably
only put 3 in and a second TKZ50 tape drive for tape duping.

Are there any problems with heating when full up with older 5-1/4 inch

> >4.  The original 12 foot twisted pair scsi cable only had one connector
> >     on it, and when I took it by the local cable monger's shoppe to get
> >     extra connectors added, they could not get the wires to line up
> >     into the modern 50 pin connectors.  I picked up a modern 4 header
> >     scsi cable, and I am assuming that would work correctly at the slow
> >     speeds on the MVII bus?
> Yes, it will work fine. Are you saying there was 12' of scsi cable wrapped 
> up inside the box? Wow.

Yes.  I yanked that and put in a modern 4 footer with 5 connectors.

> >5.  What is needed to hook up a second tape drive into the thing?
> A controller and a drive. If you're lucky the SCSI controller will control 
> a tape drive as well, if you aren't lucky then you could use a second TQK50 
> or TQK70 with the appropriate drive at the other end.

Are there any addressing problems in adding the second tape?
The first one is a TK70 and my spare is a TK50.  Are there any
addressing switches to set, or is it plug and pray?

> >6.  On a lark, what would be needed to hook up a floppy of some sort
> >     into the old dual floppy bay?
> An RQDX3 + the breakout card + cables + RX50 dual floppy.
> >   Would something like that boot the
> >     old Ultix-32M boot floppies?
> Probably.

I may see about dredging this up, for writing some floppies.
It could be a fun diversion.  IFF I run Ultrix32M, I would
expect to have to round up traditional mfm HD's and controller?


> >8.  Anyone got any spare DELQA ethernet cards with the cable and back
> >     interconnect panel?
> Yes.

Hey, if you are willing to part with it, holler, I will need it if I
want to do anything other than tape loading.

> >9.  What is needed to hook up external 9 track reel-reel drives on this
> >     critter?  One of my goals is to write some ancient UNIX 9 track boot
> >     tapes, if possible.
> A interface and a drive. If it is a TMSCP interface it will work with 
> NetBSD, if it is a TE16 type then it won't.

Which particular interface cards, and which particular tape drives
work best?

> >10. I need to make up a regular MMJ to DB9 console cable.  Can someone
> >     point me to the pinouts for that?  I thought it went by on the list
> >     a few weeks back, but am unable to backtrack to it.  A url is fine,
> >     or if it is handy just tack it onto a reply to me.
> Go to and type "mmj db9" (no quotes) into the box. That's 
> how I always find it.

Great!  I will bookmark that for sure.

> >11. Since I am short on ram, will a DEC 8 meg ram board from my MV3300
> >     work in the MVII?
> No. The MV3300 uses MS650 memory and the MVII uses MS630 memory. I've got 
> an extra 4MB board you can have if you want.

OK, I am glad I did not inadvertently try that.  Yeah, if you can spare
the 4M ram board, I could use it.  9 meg is good enough for playing,
although someday I will try to find 16M for it.


> The interesting thing about your box is the rarest thing it could have is 
> the rectangular door that covers the left front buttons. Does it have that 
> door?

Yes!  I have that funky plastic cover door.....(:+}}...  My grandson
thinks it is most fascinating to open it up and push the buttons....(:+{{...
I have to watch him like a hawk around those.  At the age of 1, he is
becoming a real computer freak, with a liking for things VAXen.