Resurrecting RK05

Paul Anderson useddec at
Tue Jan 6 12:30:57 CST 2015

Hi Rick,

That's a good idea. It should load heads with no problem, but should not be
able to read or write. I would suggest going through all of the servo
adjustments in the PM procedure but would advise you NOT do a head


On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 11:10 AM, Rick Bensene <rickb at> wrote:

> 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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