Ridge 32/330 up and running!

Josh Dersch derschjo at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 00:32:21 CDT 2015

And, of course, right after I send this out, after having run flawlessly 
all day, one of the +12V rails has gone poof.  Looks like I have some 
more debugging on my hands :)

- Josh

On 3/28/15 10:16 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
> Hey all --
> Last summer I picked up a Ridge 32/330 that became available locally.  
> This is a fairly obscure early RISC machine intended to be a 
> competitor to the VAX, it uses a 32-bit CPU at 12.5Mhz built from 
> discrete components (spanning three large PCBs).  Mine's outfitted 
> with 8mb of ECC memory, Pertec, SMD and SCSI QIC controllers, and 
> Ethernet.
> You can see some pictures of this beast at:
> https://plus.google.com/117997069161125071032/posts/JtsR3BokUxp?pid=6063976811386454738&oid=117997069161125071032 
> I got it running late last year after rebuilding the QIC tape drive 
> and dealing with some intermittent failures due to a couple of 
> low-quality DIP sockets.  I now have a set of dedicated 20A circuits 
> installed in my basement so I can run it for longer periods of time 
> without worrying about burning my house down, so I'll be running it 
> for the next couple of weeks just for fun to keep the basement warm 
> and run up my electrical bill :).
> It's currently running RX/V 1.1 (Ridge's UNIX variant) and it's on the 
> Internet (indirectly, since exposing a 25-year old UNIX directly to 
> the 'net seems like a bad idea).  I thought maybe some people here 
> might be interested in checking it out since it's pretty obscure, if 
> you want an account to play around, drop me a line and I can hook you 
> up.  I don't know of any other Ridge machines out there (running or 
> not) -- if you have one let me know, there's very little information 
> out there on these things.
> I'll add that I'm looking for an external SMD cabinet and cabling so 
> that I can image the original SMD disk that was in the Ridge when I 
> got it; it looks like it contains a valid partition table, but it will 
> not boot.  I didn't want to wipe it so the Ridge is currently running 
> off of a spare drive -- I'd like to hook it up externally to dump an 
> image from the running RX/V system.  If anyone has one to loan 
> (preferably within driving distance of Seattle) let me know.
> Once that's done, it's time to figure out how to get the Eagle that 
> came with it running again...
> And a huge thanks to Al Kossow for archiving the OS media that's on 
> Bitsavers, without which this machine would be a very large boat 
> anchor taking up many cubic feet in my basement.  (If anyone has any 
> media or docs for this that aren't on Bitsavers, let me know -- I'm in 
> particular looking for an ROS distribution on QIC media...)
> - Josh

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