IBM Series/1, PDP-11/84 potentially available in Oregon

John Rollins kd7bcy at
Mon Dec 1 11:47:20 CST 2014

I'm looking at clearing out my basement a little as my old computer interests and space requirements change and am considering getting rid of part or all of my Series/1 system. It has never been operational while I have had it, and was originally wired up for 240v operation - although the CPU and small tape drive were re-configurable to 120v by a jumper, and I did power them up together shortly after obtaining the system, but didn't have any OS or software to run on it.
I have one IBM rack, which I am willing to part with if the whole system is going, otherwise all my network gear and newer servers are going into it(it's only 6' tall so it fits well in my basement. I have a 4967-K00 CPU, a 4968 tape drive, an unknown model Cipher tape drive(very large), one or two 4959 expansion units, maybe a broken 8" floppy drive if I still have it. I also have two terminals and a lot of cabling for them in unknown but presumably poor condition, currently coiled up in the back of the basement on the floor. I should also still have a decent pile of expansion cards, most of them communications, some of them disk controllers. And hopefully enough interconnect cabling to be useful.
Now for the really ugly part - I do indeed have some binders with information on some of the units, and probably some stuff that isn't there, but we had a water leak a while back and some of it was water damaged. I put them aside but never had time to attempt anything with them.

I do have a picture of part of the system and the rack... The Cipher is sitting under the 1U server at the bottom of the pic. And one of the terminals with keyboard is visible sitting on top of the PDP-11/84. They've both been buried in the basement behind storage boxes for a while.

On a side note, the PDP-11/84 may also be available soon. It's pretty bare bones and will likely need at a minimum a disk drive and controller. I used to have a list of the cards that were installed but I can't find it right now. I have a disk drive of some kind in the garage currently, I think it's an 8" floppy drive but I haven't looked at it closely, and it is in poor shape. The CPU rack in the basement is decent, just a broken spot weld on the door hinge which makes it hang loosely. Similar story to the Series/1 - never got it operational, but it was powered on long ago when I obtained them during initial investigations and testing. Other than the drive that I picked up at a local surplus store I have nothing that goes with this, maybe an old DEC paperback book of some kind if I can find it. I'm tempted to put it on eBay after seeing the price the last one sold for, but would be happy to entertain offers from this group first(interesting trades are always welcome). I should have some random DEC boards of some kind laying around as well. I know I've posted about both of these systems in the past on this list, over a decade ago. I was hoping to get this one up and running in a meaningful way but just never had the time or money to put into it.

The IBM is pretty much free to anyone who wants it, picked up at my house in Portland, Oregon, USA. Time frame is pretty loose, it's not like I need these out immediately, and it will probably take a couple of weeks to round everything up on weekends and get the cobwebs cleaned up, but I won't be sitting on these a terribly long time either. I imagine I will probably start dumping unwanted stuff by other means by late February.
Parts are spread all over the place, so it may take a weekend or two to get everything together and moved up to the garage for pickup. I kinda like the rack, so if you don't need it I can keep it, or if you have a spare rack 38U or shorter to swap that would be great. If no one wants it, I will likely keep the CPU and tape drive in the rack and scrap the rest of it. The Cipher looked pretty generic, it may be able to hook up to other systems. If no interest in the whole package or it is unwanted I will make it available separately.

If there is interest in one or more systems I will begin moving things to the garage and making a more accurate catalog of what is actually present and a better idea of the current condition of individual pieces.

A bit of a wall of randomly wandering text, but there it is. Cleaning out the basement can be such a tedious job! tl;dr - PDP-11/84 and IBM Series/1 available in Portland, Oregon, local pickup required.

John Rollins  |  KD7BCY  |
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