VAX4000 VLC diagnostics/console

Zane Healy healyzh at
Sat Sep 4 10:32:26 CDT 2021

> On Sep 4, 2021, at 6:34 AM, emanuel stiebler via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> On 2021-09-04 08:30, Antonio Carlini via cctalk wrote:
>> "Digital Diggings" couldn't get BlueSCSI to work on either VAX or Alpha:
>> That's a pity as it's much cheaper than SCSI2SD.
> OK guys, but please compare that to costs for SCSI drives (please 6 of
> them, as you have partitions on the SDCARD), cost of SCSI controllers
> (QBUS/UNIBUS anyone?), or even IDE drives.
> So this is whining on a pretty high level, and there is no noise, so you
> can keep your machines working. (and *** very easy backup too)
> So, yes, there probably could be cheaper, but the guy spent a lot of
> time making it working.
> In my opinion, it is worth every penny.
> Cheers

I agree, it’s worth it.  I ended up buying 6 of them while on my Sabbatical, earlier this year, though I only had time to install two of them.  It means that my VAXstation 4000/VLC which was too noisy to use in the house is usable, and my VAXstation 4000/90 is almost silent.  I put one SCSI2SD in both of those.  I plan to put 2 in my DECnet Area router (a VAXstation 4000/60), and 2 in one of my AlphaStations (probably an AlphaStation 200 4/233, since it only has Narrow SCSI).  

With the Area router, it will be replacing the disks in a BA350 shelf in my main rack, and just one board will offer a lot more space than the 2GB and 4GB drives I’m using.

I wish there was a U2W SCSI option for my Compaq XP1000/667 AlphaStation.  There is a definite need for a replacement for faster drives, and systems that need a drive with an SCA interface (I’d also love one for my SGI O2’s).

Eventually I want to get it so I can run a BA23 or BA123 with a PDP-11, and a SCSI2SD board.  My main PDP-11/73 is a BA123 with removable SCSI HD’s (using the old PC trays from the late 90’s), and that lets me run all the OS’s I have installed.  A SCSI2SD would be a cleaner solution.

Is there any good solution for backing up an SD card from a SCSI2SD board?  I like how my emulated systems are backed up nightly as part of the backups setup for my VMware cluster.

Really I’m a huge fan of replacing floppies or HD’s with SD cards.  I did that YEARS ago with my C-64, and last year with my Amiga HW.  I look at it this way, what’s one of the key points of failure, disks.  This is especially true on floppy based systems.  For HD’s, it doesn’t even matter the age of the system.  That’s why we have backups.


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