IBM channel-attached DASD emulation

Mike Ross tmfdmike at
Fri Dec 25 19:55:17 CST 2015

I've recently been poking about with various bits of emulation with
hardware interfaces... Dave's MFM emulator; various SCSI-to-USB or
SCSI-to-SDcard devices; my Setasi RP12 Massbus disk emulator; the
Sigma Seven Lisa widget/ProFile emulator etc.

What about IBM channel-attached DASD?

There are various CPUs lying around in private collections and museums
- System/360s; System/370s; System/3 Model 15s; all used
channel-attached DASD: and working reliable disks are much rarer than
the damn CPUs!


1. There are or were various 3rd party companies producing rather
obscure emulated DASD replacement subsystems - Virtualblue and Bustech
are two names that come to mind. Has anyone looked into the
possibility of using them to emulate older devices that would be
usable on the above vintage CPUs?

2. To those with hardware design experience: how big a task do you
reckon it would be to do this as a home-brew with modern hardware -
exactly as Dave did with his MFM emulator? Is it feasible? Do the
entire thing in software - Pi or Arduino or FPGA - with appropriate
driver electronics to drive a channel interface?

I've BCC'd some experts with experience - Rich Alderson; William
Donzelli; Henk Stegeman - in the hope that they'll be able to

What do people reckon would be the best target for emulation? 3340
springs to mind initially... would that work on machines as old as
System/360s? It's about the *only* option for 5415 DASD...

(To digress briefly - a modern reimplementation of something like the
Setasi Massbus disk emulator would also be very useful; Rich - weren't
LCM working on something like that?)

'No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother.
Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame.
For one person, in the dark, where no one will ever know or see.'

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