Sun external SMD cables

Patrick Finnegan pat at
Fri Feb 14 16:19:21 CST 2020

On Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 4:36 PM jim stephens via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> 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
> frame.
> 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.

For what it's worth, my Sun 3/140 has a Fujitsu 9-track at the top of
the rack, and two Eagles at the bottom of the rack (VME chassis in the
middle), wired to the SMD disk controller with the "external" D-sub
cables, and it's all contained within one rack.

I haven't seen anyone but Sun using this type of cabling.  I have a
few *long* shielded ribbon cables from other SMD drives/machines that
I acquired at some point - I think everyone else probably just ran a
flat cable instead.


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