Resurrecting RK05

Lyle Bickley lbickley at
Mon Jan 12 00:49:22 CST 2015

On Sun, 11 Jan 2015 18:36:30 -0800
"Rick Bensene" <rickb at> wrote:

> This afternoon I got the drive racked up, got the drive select set to
> drive 1, removed the terminator from drive 0 and plugged in the bus
> extension cable, routed it to drive 1 and plugged it into the drive.  
> The second drive already had the terminator it in (nice, I now have a
> spare). 
>  I finished routing the cabling and power cable for the second drive,
> and then powered up the system.    I left it all sit for about 30
> minutes before I tried anything.
> I noted that there was no LOAD indication showing up on drive 1, so I
> investigated.   There wasn't any bulb there, so I put one in, and it
> lit up.   
> Drive 0 had an OS8 boot pack in it already, and I spun it up, and it
> went ready just fine (a relief).  I started up my SerialDisk server,
> and turned off the HALT switch on the 8/e, hit CLEAR, then raised and
> lowered the SW switch. The machine proceeded to boot using the diode
> ROM bootstrap for the RK8E.  It booted up just fine, and I was able
> to access the SerialDisk drive also.   
> So, I loaded a RK05 pack that I had formatted on drive 0 into drive
> 1, and flicked the LOAD switch.   Things were quiet for a moment,
> then I could hear that the pack was spinning up, and shortly
> thereafter, the drive went ready.   
>  I did a "DIR RKA1:", and got an empty directory with the appropriate
> number of free blocks. I then did a "COPY RKA1:<SD0:*.*" (copying
> everything from the SerialDisk drive 0 to the A side of the new
> drive), and let it run.  It took a while, but the copy succeeded just
> fine.  I could run stuff off the new drive just fine after the copy
> had finished.  Seems all is good.
> I did an RKCOPY command and copied the entirety of Drive 0 to Drive
> 1, with verify turned on, and it copied just fine.
> Spun down both drives, and swapped packs, and tried booting, and it
> succeeded. I was able to read and write files on drive 0 and drive 1
> just fine, so the two drives seem (with only a little testing) seem
> to interchange packs OK.

Nice work, Rick!

Guy helped me with replacing the foam in my RK05. After that I had some
debug work to do on the drive (including alignment). That was several
years ago - and it's been working perfectly ever since.

I've also had good long term success with several RL01s/2s that I have
on a variety of systems.

One thing I'm a fanatic about - whenever I get a new disk pack, I take
it apart and clean all the surfaces of the pack (not just the oxide
surfaces) in as close to a clean room environment as I can achieve.

This also allows me to examine the oxide carefully for any crash marks
or "dings". If I don't like the way a pack looks - I don't use it -

By being careful, I've only had one head crash (RL02) ever in many
years of collecting and restoring. BTW: That crash was not the result
of a bad pack - but "operator" error. I somehow mounted the pack
incorrectly - but good enough for the heads to load :(


Bickley Consulting West Inc.

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

More information about the cctalk mailing list