Raspberry Pi for vaxen turbochannel

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Wed May 1 02:03:04 CDT 2019

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org> On Behalf Of John Klos via
> cctalk
> Sent: 30 April 2019 22:55
> To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
> Subject: Re: Raspberry Pi for vaxen turbochannel
> > 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
> 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:
> https://hackaday.io/project/218-speed-up-pkgsrc-on-retrocomputers
> (it does need to be updated a little)
> It's not entirely clear whether you're talking about making a board that a
> (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
> 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:
> https://web.archive.org/web/20170831062121/http://www.flxd.de/tc-usb/
> 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
> machines wireless, but it seems this is hardly trivial:
> https://hackaday.com/2015/06/12/retro-edition-the-lan-before-time/
> 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
> machines.
> 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?

Most machines have AUI and AUI to UTP adaptors are widely available. E.g.


(yes I know that one is from China)

That's what I tend to use on my Vax..

> John

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