VAX 780 on eBay

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Sun Jan 2 17:21:40 CST 2022

The poles supplying my rural property just have one phase of 12kV on them, so even if SCE was willing to provide 3ø service to me, I bet it would be *expensive* to get the whole line upgraded to 3ø service all the way up to the last pole with all three phases present. I think that's probably within a mile or so, but that's still a bunch of poles to be upgraded. I use a rotary phase converter to feed my milling machine and lathe. If all three phases were on the pole already, I probably would have asked about getting 3ø service when I built on my property. But with just one phase on the poles, I didn't bother asking.

They did just replace those overhead wires and some poles for fire prevention, and in the process they put in a whole great big pole-mounted switch that can be flipped from ground level just for my service disconnect, and another one for a neighbor's disconnect. It looks like they installed a regular 3ø disconnect switch, but only two of the wires are present and one switch pole is not connected. My service transitions from overhead to buried at that pole, and is buried for the last 100' or so to my ground-mounted transformer.

Two of the poles they replaced were in the easement just on the other side of my property line. The contractors were happy with my cooperation in giving them access to my property so they could put trucks on both sides of the fence line. I also handed out 15 60mm ammo cans from my stash, since I like contractors on my property to be happy. So, they conveniently forgot to take the two old 45' poles they replaced with them at the end of the day, and I won't have to buy a new ham radio tower after all. ;)

I am seriously lusting after that VAX-11/780 system on eBay, but I just don't have the available indoor space for it, or a big enough pile of cash to buy it and then spend enough to give it a good home. I'm glad that it's not in southern California, because if it was within an hour or two of driving I don't think I'd be able to resist the temptation. I do have my nice little 11/730 already. I'm eying the UNIBUS expansion bus from that seller to add to my 730, but I think should leave it available for the buyer of that 780.

Mark J. Blair <nf6x at>
Twitter: @nf6x

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