VAX 780 on eBay

Guy Dunphy guykd at
Sat Jan 1 14:44:25 CST 2022

At 07:50 PM 1/01/2022 +0000, you wrote:
>True.  But if you're trying to get > $5000 for something, it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that investing a bit in getting an extension cord run to the location of the machine would be a good idea.  The absence of that effort makes me wonder if the owner knows what the outcome of such a test would be and doesn't want to have to report it.
>But what would that accomplish? I think testing something like this requires a lot more effort than plugging it in and hitting the circuit breaker. To test this to see if some ODT comes up probably requires quite a lot of effort (locate a terminal/pc, wire it up, figure out where to plug it into the 780, etc. If this guy is a bulk dealer I would be surprised if he has the knowledge to do anything more than a power test which, again, would not be very useful and could even be detrimental.

Exactly. The machine has a 3-phase 208/240V plug, they don't have such an outlet. Their efforts stop right there.

But you're all focussed on that, and missing another important detail. The machine has a liquid cooling system.
Some of the hoses look like they are Tygon, in the age-decayed brittle stage. Touch them and they crumble away.
Running the machine without cooling would utterly wreck it. Even if they solved the mains power problem,
they would be very unwise to actually power it up.

The 'installation and configuration' manual for this machine would be huge. They don't have it.

Plus, it's a mainframe. Not even any blinkenlights. Without setting it up as a complete system
with everything interconnected properly, how would you even know it was running correctly?
Plus you can safely assume at least some of the system unit interconnect cables are missing.

Potentially weeks, even months of restoration work for a buyer, before even daring to apply power.
Then if there's anything wrong in the electronics, good luck diagnosing and getting spare parts.
Considering the uncertainties plus high transport, restoration, operating and manhour costs, who'd
buy it? A museum perhaps? Or someone wanting a 'static display object' never intending to run it.


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