Raspberry Pi for vaxen turbochannel

John Klos john at ziaspace.com
Tue Apr 30 16:55:22 CDT 2019

> It occurs to me that the turbochannel slots have 4A each. It would be 
> entirely possible to print a whole open source board like the raspberry 
> Pi (or banana Pi, etc) on a turbochannel card and kill two birds with 
> one stone.

I'n not quite sure why people are so interested in killing birds with 
stones, but perhaps that's a discussion for another time :)

I've thought about doing something similar. I use my Raspberry Pis / small 
computers to do more than just MOP boot, serve NFS, and perhaps NAT or 
route to the Internet:

(it does need to be updated a little)

It's not entirely clear whether you're talking about making a board that a 
Pi (whether Raspberry, Banana, or other compatible) can just plug in, or 
if you're talking about making a full TURBOchannel board that has a Pi on 
the board itself ("print a whole open source board"). If the full board, 
then it would make a lot more sense if it was interfaced directly to 
TURBOchannel and could present itself as various devices such as mass 
storage, ethernet and GPIO. Otherwise, why bother with the complexity?

My VAXstation 4000/90 has a TURBOchannel adapter. It was not easy to find, 
nor was it cheap. I'm currently using it for a TC-USB card:


So a Pi on a TURBOchannel card wouldn't be useful for any of my other 
VAXstation 4000/60 machines (nor VLC).

Otherwise, it would make a lot more sense to instead mount a Pi in a 3.5" 
drive's space and use a Molex drive power connector to power it. One can 
even get fancy and get a 12 volt to 5 volt regulator to power the Pi.

I looked in to the idea of using an ESP8266 in place of the AUI to give 
older machines wireless, but it seems this is hardly trivial:


That also dissuaded me from imagining something that could plug in to the 
AUI port and interface with a Pi or other SBC. The same goes for a modern, 
inexpenive, small way to interface an SBC with the 10BASE2 ports on older 

So I can't picture any better way to get ethernet from the back of the 
machine to a Pi / SBC, internal or otherwise, without an AUI and ethernet 
cable. How were you thinking of doing that?


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