heavy stuff -- was: Anyone want an RK11-C manual?

Henk Gooijen henk.gooijen at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 16 14:23:14 CST 2016

Van: Tony Duell<mailto:ard.p850ug1 at gmail.com>
Verzonden: vrijdag 16 december 2016 17:54
Aan: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts<mailto:cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Onderwerp: Re: Anyone want an RK11-C manual?

On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 4:31 PM, Henk Gooijen <henk.gooijen at hotmail.com> wrote:
> But I am not giving up hope … I recently acquired something I did not think
> to be possible to happen … I “picked up” an H960 rack with RP11 controller
> and *three* RP03 disk drives aand 6 packs.  The rack is already moved, the
> drives are a separate story. Each drive weighs 415 lbs. “So what” you might
> ask. Well, they are in a cellar and three flights of stairs (10 steps, 6 steps,
> and 4 steps) is too much for 3 strong guys to push one drive up the stairs.
> We are now looking into another option to get the drives (and a DEC
> _line_printer, also very very heavy!) up to the first floor …

Can these units be dismantled without totally losing alignment,etc. At least
remove PSUs, spindle motors, etc. I once moved an RA60 (much lighter,
but still too heavy for one person to carry easily) downstairs by taking it
almost completely apart. Incidentally, it is surprising how much the PCBs
in a full cardcage weight, it is often worth pulling them all out.

I suspect an RP03 dismantled like that would still be too heavy for one person
to move, but with 3 people it might be possible.

I hope your upstairs floor is strong enough for them... You do not want them
coming back downstairs at 9.81m/s^2


Grin … I don’t plan to check whether Mother Earth’s acceleration is still working fine.
Indeed, the RA60 is heavy. Just like RA81’s, the RA60 is not good for your back, but
the RA60 is worse than the RA81. The RA60 is also “longer” compared to the RA81,
and that does not help either when you hav to move an RA60 around.

I really do not want to mess with the mechanical construction of the entire RP03
drive. They are too rare. I want to move them “as is”. The only thing that can be
done easily is removing the side panels.
However, the ceiling in the cellar has an opening although that is currently welded
by a closing lid. The system was installed in the 80ties, and it is not remembered
how the system got into the cellar back then. The system has operated in that cellar
for almost 20 years (PDP-11/40, RP11, Kennedy 9100 – 3 H960 rack system).

I used wooden planks (shelves) laid on the stairs, and then pushed the racks up.
It was heavy, even for 3 strong guys --- OK, 2.5 😊   I removed the Kennedy tape
drive to make the rack less heavy. The rack with the RP11 controller was also
heavy, but I really did not want to pull or dismantle anything of it. We got it out
of the cellar. The 11/40 (the 21” version in BA11-F, IIRC) rack had, to my surprise
an extra BA11-F with its H742 PSU … One H742 PSU is already heavy, so two of
these beast made the rack way too heavy. I ended up with disconnecting the
power harness and move the 11/40 separately. That made it possible to move
the rack upstairs (with sweat and some swearing ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H calling
in the help of some gods 😊

We did try moving one RP03 by pushing it upstairs using the “planks” trick.
Three guys asking “are we pushing”?  Yes, but the drive did not move at all.
The RP03 is by far the most heavy item I encountered in 20 years!
We are now looking into the option to hoist the drives via the hatch in the
Ceiling. Needless to say we take all possible precautions – for people and for

To be continued,

  *   Henk, PA8PDP

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