DEC part number system

Antonio Carlini a.carlini at
Thu Dec 31 16:58:24 CST 2020

On 31/12/2020 20:48, Noel Chiappa via cctalk wrote:
> So, DEC part numbers (xx-yyyyy-zz) have a system where the 'xx' says what
> _kind_ of part it is; e.g. bootstrap PROMs are all 23-xxxxx-yy. I seem to
> recall reading at some point something which listed all the xx- codes, and
> what they meant - but now I can't find it. A Web search didn't turn it up, and
> it's not in the 1974 'engineering handbook'?
> Does anyone recall seeing it, and if so, where?
> Obviously, I could look through a bunch of print sets, and reconstruct it
> (e.g. 90- seems to mean mounting hardware - nuts and bolts, etc) but I'd
> rather not put the time and energy into reconstructing the wheel, unless
> there's no other way.
> 	Noel

I thought that there was something at the beginning of the Options and 
Modules List (aka the "Dick best List") but seemingly not.

It was (iirc) described in DEC STD 012 (the part numbering standard) but 
I don't seem to have that one handy. If you can find it it should 
contain everything you want. I do have (or did have) a DEC STDs CD at 
one point, but my copy of that seems to be missing DEC STD 012. There 
are plenty of DEC STD docs that would rate considerably higher on the 
"confidential" scale than this one and they are freely available, so 
I've no idea why this one might be missing.


Antonio Carlini
antonio at

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