When I was talking about VMS 5.x I meant that cluster to net boot from. I would suggest
MicroVMS for the machine itself.
From: wlosh at bsdimp.com
[mailto:wlosh at bsdimp.com
] On Behalf Of Warner Losh
Sent: 21 January 2018 22:52
To: rob at jarratt.me.uk; Rob Jarratt <robert.jarratt at ntlworld.com>; General
Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Cc: Jules Richardson <jules.richardson99 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Microvax II 'primer'?
On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 3:50 PM, Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com
bsdimp.com> > wrote:
On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 3:04 PM, Rob Jarratt via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org
<mailto:cctalk at classiccmp.org> > wrote:
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org
classiccmp.org> ] On Behalf Of Jules
Richardson via cctalk
Sent: 21 January 2018 19:26
To: xx Classiccmp mailing list <cctalk at classiccmp.org
Subject: Microvax II 'primer'?
So, I picked up (and I did just carry it into the house, and now I hurt) a
II from another list member yesterday. Cosmetically
it's a disaster (BA123
cracked top panel, broken wheels, missing front door,
but internally it appears to be complete; board wise
M7606 - CPU
M7608 - 4MB ram
M9047 - grant continuity
M7504 - DEQNA ethernet
M3104 - DHV11 8-port serial
M7555 - RQDX3 disk controller
M7546 - TX50 controller
... it's got a TK50 and hard drive (no idea of capacity).
Operational status is a complete unknown, and I have absolutely zero
knowledge about these systems - so my question at this stage is what
background reading I need to be doing in terms of pre-powerup* checks,
actually hooking a console, if there's a suggested minimal config I can
diag the CPU, and then (assuming it gets to that
point) how to actually
thing (I'm assuming it was running VMS rather than
Ultrix, but I don't
sure). I'm wondering there aren't any handy
tutorials out there, alongside
whatever DEC docs are recommended.
* e.g. for most machines I'd be thinking in terms of pulling all
hooking up a dummy load to whatever PSU rails required
it, and then at
running the PSU up in isolation first, but I don't
know to what extent
machine requires some logic in place for the PSU to
You might find that the filter capacitor goes up in smoke soon after you
connect the PSU to the mains, even without powering it on. It doesn't
actually do any damage and the PSU will continue to work (assuming it is
just the filter capacitor). Check it, it is likely cracked and will soon go.
If I remember correctly there are actually two of three of these (marked
"RIFA"), it is probably a good idea just to replace them before they go.
Otherwise it is certainly wise to check the PSU visually for any obviously
failed electrolytics. If you have one of the DEC load boards you could
connect the PSU to that as a dummy load. I don't think there is much in the
way of dependency on the CPU to run the PSU.
Once you have the machine up and running the easiest thing to do is to boot
it over the DEQNA by setting up a cluster on SIMH and making your MicroVAX
II a satellite. I am not sure if 4MB is enough to do that though. Go with a
5.x version of VMS as I believe later versions may not support the DEQNA.
Doh! Hit send too soon:
The website http://antinode.info/dec/deqna_settings.html
The DEQNA is obsolete (even by Q-bus standards), troublesome
<http://antinode.info/dec/deqna_settings.html#Troubles> , and not supported by VMS
<http://antinode.info/dec/deqna_settings.html#VMS_Support> since about V5.4. A
compatible card, the DELQA <http://antinode.info/dec/delqa_settings.html> , replaces
the rest is me
I was going to say VMS 4 is a better bet since 5 removed support, but looks like 5.4 is
the last version with support. Though the MicroVAX is UP, so you might be better off with
VMS 4 instead of VMS 5.