UniBone: Linux-to-DEC-UNIBUS-bridge, year #1

Jörg Hoppe j_hoppe at t-online.de
Fri Nov 15 07:07:55 CST 2019

Its been a long time since last public post about UniBone, time for a 
bragging broadcast.

*What it is:*
In case you forgot: UniBone is a plugin board to DEC PDP-11 UNIBUS 
systems containing a BeagleBone Black.

See http://retrocmp.com/projects/unibone.

This combo can simulate PDP-11 devices embedded in a physical machine.
So you can operate and repair incomplete UNIBUS PDP-11s and even VAXes, 
just by emulating the missing parts.
Disk drive emulators accept SimH image files, which can be ftp'd to the 
emulator (no SDcard changing!).

As UniBone can acquire bus mastership, its also UNIBUS diagnostic 
console, as well as stimulate individual UNIBUS lines.

Realtime stuff is implemented on BBB's PRU coprocessors.
All programming is done in plain C/C++ under mainstream Debian Linux.

*Whats new in 2019:*

UniBone started with memory and RL11/RL02 emulation.
In 2019 we did a lot of programming and debugging (suppressing endless 
techno-babble here).

Thanks to some gifted supporters, we have now these devices:
- DL11 serial port (first concept by David Richards)
- 11/20 CPU (Angelo Papenhoff)
- RK06 and MSCP disk drives (Josh Dersch)

In fact UniBone implements now a complete PDP-11 system... a bit like a 
SimH with UNIBUS interface.

UniBone was tested (at least) against PDP-11/05, '34, '44, '84 and VAX 
Verified OSses include XXDP, Unix V6, 2.11BSD, RT11, RSX11M/M+, VAX 
4.3BSD and Ultrixes.
Special thanks to Mark Matlock for endless testing.

Soon. About 25 complete systems were distributed, and the same amount in 
kits. Not much complaints.
User group at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/unibone
Just now I'm planing for a 2nd lot.
And it will be shown on http://vcfe.ch/doku.php in Zurich on Nov 
30th/Dec 1st, probably plugged into a PDP-11/05.

best regards,

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