Stripping an RA80

Ian Finder ian.finder at
Sat Dec 31 12:45:28 CST 2016

You're invariably gonna take up more space with all the removed parts after
you strip it than just keeping the whole unit around to cannibalize as
So I have to ask... WHY?!

On Sat, Dec 31, 2016 at 9:26 AM, Tony Duell <ard.p850ug1 at> wrote:

> I am probably going to be flamed for this....
> My VAX11/730 has an R80 disk drive as you might expect. I dismantled this
> many
> years ago to move it and never reassembled it. Over the years (in
> particular during
> a house move), the smaller parts (screws, the brackets and clevis pins for
> the
> gas struts, and ribbon cables) have got lost.
> A friend of mine (Philip) was having a clearout and gave me an RA80
> (SDI interface,
> of course). I don't run SDI drives anywhere (I think I have a UDA50
> somewhere),
> but a lot of parts are the same as in the R80.
> My first thought is to strip this RA80 (that's why I got it!). This
> will provide me
> with most of the missing parts (all that I would have to make is the
> 26 way ribbon
> to the controller cable -- the 60 way one is still in the R80 chassis). So
> after
> stripping I think I would be left with 4 classes of part :
> 1) Those I need for the R80 -- brackets, screws cables, etc
> 2) Those that could be useful spares for the R80 :
> Spindle Motor
> Belt
> Belt Tensioner
> Servo PCB
> Microprocessor PCB (the ROMs are different, of course, but the the
> PCB is the same and could be a source of components. I don't swap boards
> anyway)
> AC and DC power harnesses
> Fans
> Motor capacitor
> 3) Those that are of no use in the R80, but are not too hard to store
> Personality board
> Control panel
> SDI cabling
> 4) Those that I don't need and which are a pain to store
> Cbassis parts.
> Is there any reason to keep the bare, stripped, chassis, or should I let
> it go
> as scrap metal?
> Does anyone run an RA80 and think any of the bits in list 3 (certainly) or
> 2
> (I may want to keep these, in particular the HDA if it's good) are useful
> to
> them? Of course I don't know if the parts are still good.
> Or should I preserve the RA80 as it is, and just use it as patterns for the
> missing bits. Try to find a source of the UNC screws, make up the cables,
> make up brackets, etc. I would only do that if there is a very good reason.
> -tony

   Ian Finder
   (206) 395-MIPS
   ian.finder at

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