Which RT-11 for an 11/03

Don North north at alum.mit.edu
Thu Mar 10 22:09:49 CST 2016

On 3/10/2016 7:02 PM, js at cimmeri.com wrote:
> On 3/10/2016 9:36 PM, Richard Cini wrote:
>> Separately… John — the SLUs are at what I think are the standard addresses 
>> and vectors (per the Heathkit and DLV11-J manuals) and the ODT and TU58EM 
>> work. I don’t know what RT-11 is looking for but the console @ 177560/60 and 
>> TU58 @ 176500/300 (Channel 3 and Channel 0 in DLV11-J parlance). I have not 
>> tried booting SIMH with the TU58 image (not sure how to do that; need to work 
>> on it). Regarding getting a real RX01 or RL02, the issue for me is space. 
>> It’s pretty convenient using a laptop and TU58EM (providing I can get 
>> something other than XXDPD2D to work). If someone has already built bootable 
>> TU58 RT-11 images, I haven’t found them yet.
> I have doubts that taking an RK05 image, and copying the DD: bootstrap in like 
> that, and then simply taking that modified RK05 image and attempting to boot 
> it as a TU58... I'm not sure if that could work.  Just seems like there'd been 
> some structural differences.  But I could be wrong.
> I forget if either SIMH or Ersatz emulates a TU58.. but if they do, try making 
> an empty tape container (I think TU58EM can do this) and then build up and 
> RT11 system as outlined in the manual using one of the emulators.  Make sure 
> it can boot in the emulator (if that's possible).
> Do you know for sure if a real TU58 can even run RT-11?   Never tried it.
> p.s.  you could also get yourself a qbus SCSI card, and have a much smaller 
> disk subsystem.
> - J.

Creating/running an RT-11 image on a TU58 tape, and then booting/running it 
under TU58EM has been
discussed in the past. I would suggest reading thru this thread, as it did 
succeed in building a bootable
TU58 RT-11 image:


RT-11 can run from a TU58 disk (tape) as demonstrated above, on real PDP-11 

SIMH has never directly supported mounting/attaching virtual TU58 devices. Altho 
the required serial interface
is emulated (ie, a plain DL11 at 776500/300) the TU58 drive behind the serial 
interface has never been emulated.

Theoretically one could attach the emulated serial port in SIMH to a real serial 
port that TU58EM is connected to
(or use something like comOcom on windows to wire together virtual serial ports) 
and run TU58EM with SIMH,
but I know of noone doing this (I never have, altho I believe it is technically 
possible to do).

I believe that ERSATZ-11 has integrated support for TU58 image support mounting, 
so that might be the way
to go to build a TU58 image under simulation.

I have seen rumblings that someone might be working on a virtual TU58 device for 
SIMH, but maybe it is just
an idea at this point for a rainy day. The code would be pretty straightforward 
I suspect.


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