Resurrecting RK05

Rick Bensene rickb at
Tue Jan 6 11:10:05 CST 2015

I have an  RK05J drive that has been sitting around for a long time, and I want to prepare it for going back into service on my PDP 8/e system.

Here's what I've done so far:

- I have replaced the foam that isolates the blower motor  from the housing, as it had started to deteriorate. 
- I vacuumed out the entire drive very carefully
- I removed the head-lock that was put in when the drive was transported from its original location to my location
- I ran the drive without a cartridge (and not connected to a system) for about 6 hours with the old absolute filter in place
- I removed all of the circuit boards and cleaned the edge connectors and sockets
- I tested all of the front panel lamps, and found all to be good
- I replaced the absolute filter and ran the drive for another few hours to circulate air and get any last particles of stuff filtered out.
- I very carefully cleaned the heads... they were extremely clean.  I used a lint-free swap, and a commercial solution that I have that I've used for floppy disk head cleaning that seems to work well.  I used this solution on the first RK05's heads, and it worked with no problems.  However, the first drive was in service on the PDP 8/e when I got it, and was running fine.  This second drive came off a PDP 11 system, and has been sitting for a very long time (years).

I plan on running the drive without a pack in it for about 2 hours before I try loading a pack.

I'm wondering if there is anything else that I should do before add the drive to the chain (this would be the second drive on the system)?

I am also wondering, that since I have very few PDP8-sectored RK05 packs, and a ton of PDP-11 sectored packs, if , when I first power up the drive after it has been connected up to the RK8E , I can put one of my PDP 11 packs in there and spin it up, if the controller will be able to load the heads?    I'd much rather sacrifice one of these packs if there are problems rather than risk one of my precious PDP-8 sectored packs.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/answers.

Rick Bensene

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