Trying to get my RLV11 working

Johnny Billquist bqt at
Thu Oct 29 13:26:43 CDT 2015

On 2015-10-29 18:45, Ethan Dicks wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 1:37 PM, Ben Sinclair <ben at> wrote:
>> I only have one RL02, so I think that cable should work. I ordered it anyway!
> That cable (BC80M) will work even if you get a second drive.  No
> matter how the first drive is attached to the controller, to add a
> drive, you remove the terminator from the first drive, add a
> drive-to-drive cable between the two drives, then move the terminator
> to the second drive.
> Can anyone with experience from back in the day comment on why there
> is a BC80M?  Why all the controllers didn't just use the flat cable to
> a cab kit and a drive-to-drive cable?  Cost?  Length?   EMI reduction
> from running the BC80M into a BA23, etc, and only pushing shielded
> cable outside the CPU enclosure?  Is the flat-cable-and-cab-kit
> pre-FCC only?

When you had machines with an RL-drive "internal", you normally did not 
use a cab kit. That was for external drives. The same is true for all 
other DEC drives I know as well. I've certainly seen direct cabling 
internally for SDI drives as well as external cabling for RX50 and TK50.

But the only machine I know have an "internal" RL drive is the VAX-86x0, 
but maybe there were others as well...
And no, the VAX do not have a cab kit for the RL drive. Direct cable 
from the RLV21 to the RL02.


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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