Sun external SMD cables

jim stephens jwsmail at
Fri Feb 14 15:36:13 CST 2020

On 2/14/2020 4:17 AM, Liam Proven via cctalk wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Feb 2020 at 00:42, jim stephens via cctalk
> <cctalk at> wrote:
>> Liam, he's looking for SMD, which need a Bus and Radial.  One Bus can
>> daisy chain from drive to drive, and us usually 60 pin.  The radial RF
>> cables are usually 26 pin ribbon.  A separate cable from the controller
>> to each drive is required to hook up the system.
> This term seems impossible to Google, since it normally refers to
> Surface Mount Devices now, but by going via the Wikipedia article on
> SCSI connectors, I think you both mean:
> Is that correct?
Storage module device, Control data's drive interface.
>> You're thinking about the 50 pin D-sub that went to the older deskside
>> bricks for workstations.
> I have quite a wide variety of SCSI cables, including 25-pin, 50-pin,
> 68-pin and more, and covering most of the connectors, both to and
> from. What I don't have any more are hardly any SCSI-equipped
> computers, so I guess that the cables can go.
SMD external cables probably weren't that common.  The systems I saw 
which were of such as 4/280 etc, rack mounted had the cabling internal 
to the bays and were of the ribbon variety.  They used VME bus cards in 
a large size carrier for the controllers in the system frame.  The 
system frame had cards that were about 18" high with an extra bus 
connector.  But if you aligned the VME cars to fit two of them, there 
was apparently a vme bus.

Those systems that i saw had either 68k processors, or early Sparc 
processors.  The sun boards used all three bus connectors and the other 
vendor boards as I sad were usually mounted in a sun dimensioned carrier 

And reason for all this explanation was that they used a third part 
vendor's SMD interface.

As to the connections to go outside the rack, all the systems I saw had 
2 or so smd drives and were racked in a 6' bay with room for a tape 
drive at the top, system in the center, and drives @ the bottom, and so 
no need for external.

I am speculating that the Alan's system may have the system in a low 
bay, and drives in a separate bay or bays.  I never saw any sun systems 
with other than 14" SMD drives, so there were no smaller drive boxes 
than ones that were full 19" rack sized.

Liam, I suspect your cabling might have been for the older workstations, 
which had "bricks" or "cement block" sized boxes with full size 5 1/4" 
drives or in some cases 8" form factor drives.

And of course, the interfaces that Alan needed was were different than 
your cabling.

Add SMD to the list of terms like microprocessor and microprocessing to 
the list of mangled terms with two totally different meanings as well.


More information about the cctalk mailing list