Options for resurrecting VAX 4000/400 and Vaxstation 3200

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at ntlworld.com
Wed Mar 9 13:29:56 CST 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctech [mailto:cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Dr.
> Roland Schregle
> Sent: 09 March 2016 18:27
> To: ClassicCmp Tech <cctech at classiccmp.org>
> Subject: Options for resurrecting VAX 4000/400 and Vaxstation 3200
> Dear all,
> I have two VAXen that I'd like to resurrect simply for the sake of playing
> around with The Real Thing[tm] running VMS. Note that I'm completely new
> to VMS and DEC hardware -- hence the interest!
> Box #1 is a VAX4000 model 400 with no working CPU (KA-675) and 2x 32Mb
> RAM, an RF72 (wiped), plus a KZQSA QBUS controller. PSU is good, fans
> squeal on startup but run silently once spun up. Have VMS installation media
> in CD.
> I have two KA-675s for this beast: Board #1 (originally installed) has a failed B-
> cache (console reports SUBTEST_35_12, DE_B_Cache_diag_mode.LIS) and
> crashes with an asynchronous write memory failure when booting VMS  from
> CD. Board #2 (DOA from eBay but fully refunded) has a dead DSSI bus 0
> controller and crashes on SHOW DEV; I assume that's a write-off. Any chance
> of identifying the flaky B-cache SRAM on board #1 and replacing it?
> Alternatively, anyone out there have a KA-675 for sale?
> Box #2 is a VAXstation 3200 with TK50, and an RD54. PSU and fans ok (and
> very quiet), ditto CPU. The RD54 is unformatted; I understand this can only
> be formatted in the field with a VS2000 or with some obscure field
> diagnostics. There's no SCSI controller, so I can't install from CD. I haven't
> been able to track down VMS installation media on TK50, and I doubt they'd
> still be readable anyway. On top of that I have no idea what condition the
> drive is in, as I have no blank tapes to test with. I've found tape images online
> but see no way to dump these to TK50 (assuming the drive is ok), unless I get
> a TZ30.
> What are my options and chances of success for getting either of these
> boxes up and running with VMS? A KA-675 and TZ30 can be obtained from
> resellers, but I hesitate to invest several hundred in something this old purely
> for the occasional mucking about. I have also considered selling the units (or
> parts thereof) if nothing gives.
> Any ideas much appreciated,

You could run the 3200 by netbooting it from a SIMH instance of VMS. If the RD54 was formatted (and working!) then you could transfer VMS onto the disk from the boot node. To format the RD54 you would need to find a 2000 though, or at least borrow one. You should tell the list where you live as there might be someone close by who could help out. It might be though that the RD54 is formatted, worth trying once you netboot.

As for the KA675, I don't know really, I suspect you would be into surface mount work, but with two boards you might be able to swap bits around to get a working board. Perhaps if you got a KFQSA or a KZQSA you could get this to work?



More information about the cctech mailing list