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dollysmama
June 11th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Hi, I was hoping you could tell me how much you think a VAX 11/750 might be worth. My dad was given 6 of these about 20 years ago, they have been sitting in storage ever since. (Supposedly a guy who worked for Boeing, bought them at a surplus auction, so we think they are from Boeing) He asked me to look them up, and I have done some google searching, I know about them , but no clue if they work or have all the parts, I am going over to look at them in person tomorrow, What should I be looking for?

Thank you in Advance
Crystal

Lou - N2MIY
June 11th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Crystal,

It really depends if the machines are working, what disk/tape drives are present, if any console terminals will be included, and to help the buyer get the machine going, if there is any bootable media included.

The other folks can correct me, but a working system with some disk drives with bootable media might be worth $500-700 to someone who really wanted one.

The nice thing about the 11/750 is that it's small (as mainframes go). However, it's not very powerful. It came out in 1980, but only five years later you could have an even more powerful VAX in a compact box next to your desk.

In addition to the processor cabinet (about the size of a washing machine for an 11/750), look for other washing machine or refrigerator sized cabinets. Disk drives will have model numbers that start with R, like RP06 (uses removable disk packs). Tape drives will use big reels of 1/2" tape and have model numbers that start with TU, like TU45. These disk and tape units are important to have. Video terminals will start with VT, like VT100. Printing terminals will start with LA, like LA36.

If you make a list of all the things you come across by their dec model numbers, we can provide more help. Even better, bring your camera and take pictures for us!

Lou

pontus
June 12th, 2009, 01:29 AM
A Vax 11/750 is interesting as it is one of the first VAX machines built, it is quite smallish and has compatibility features with the pdp-11. One was offered on the cc mailing list and it was claimed almost instantly.

You could open the front door and take note of the cards mounted in the card cage. Don't remove the cards though.

Here is a picture of the card cage:

http://www.ctrl-c.liu.se/cc/pictures/vax11-750.gif

Chuck(G)
June 12th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Backspace to ca. 1983. I was setting up a venture with some friends and we were looking at minis. We looked at the 780 and the 750 and decided that the 750 had a better bang-for-the-buck. We put in a setup with a Fuji Eagle and a CDC Hawk and a Cipher 1/2" streamer and 2 CDC line printers. We ran 4.1BSD and by an large, had no complaints. We later added a 730 after having miserable problems with a Plexus 68K box.

We never did manage to get HASP/bisync working on BSD, however.

Lou - N2MIY
June 23rd, 2009, 03:06 PM
It appears that the OP has put the machines up on craigslist in Seattle WA :

http://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/sys/1231299617.html

Lou

NeXT
June 23rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
It appears that the OP has put the machines up on craigslist in Seattle WA :

http://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/sys/1231299617.html

Lou

Wow, and at a steep price at that.

dollysmama
June 23rd, 2009, 08:23 PM
Yes, i got a lot of interest so far, might have them sold, thank you, i have this other machine, i don't know what it is, TU80-CA? Looks like some type of recorder?
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b248/centralgurl18/comp109.jpg

leaknoil
June 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM
Wow, and at a steep price at that.

There is a bit of an unreasonable frenzy over DEC stuff atm. Personally I suspect its because owning one gives you a certain amount of street cred in the vintage collecting world even if you weren't even born yet when you might have had actually had reason to use one. "Oh, you have a Apple II ? How very cute. Let me show you my PDP 11/78. If you behave I'll let you flip one of the switches."

A Vax? No thanks. I'd certainly have a PDP 8 though. Beautiful. I see why those go for what they do.

leaknoil
June 23rd, 2009, 09:12 PM
Yes, i got a lot of interest so far, might have them sold, thank you, i have this other machine, i don't know what it is, TU80-CA? Looks like some type of recorder?


Its a tape drive. Used 1/2" tape.

Lou - N2MIY
June 24th, 2009, 03:00 AM
Leaknoil,

Owning a dec machine to earn "street cred" is a waste of a good machine.

I think you will find that dec owners enjoy working on and with their machines for their own personal satisfaction - not to impress others. By "working on" I mean the hardware. With bitsavers, manx, and other useful sources, much of the maintenance documentation needed for the owner (resident field service engineer) to do board level troubleshooting (not just card swapping) is available. I enjoy them because they sharpen my skills as a technician (and that is not my day job!)

Lou

pontus
June 24th, 2009, 04:30 AM
Yes, i got a lot of interest so far, might have them sold, thank you, i have this other machine, i don't know what it is, TU80-CA? Looks like some type of recorder?


Its a tape reader/writer. It doesn't read all densities and it doesn't have the vacuum columns that tend to break. I would want one :)

leaknoil
June 24th, 2009, 08:35 AM
Leaknoil,

Owning a dec machine to earn "street cred" is a waste of a good machine.

Lou

Certainly not saying everyone with a PDP in the garage is but, I think its the reason many go for the prices they do on ebay. Most of the hard core DEC crew seem to already have ton and tons of the things along with every spare known to man. Most have been collecting the stuff for years.

They usually just give things away to people that need 'em. There was just a guy on one of the mailing lists giving away 11/03's. Seems like someone is always giving away something or offering parts to others. Digital stuff is neat but, I just question some of the prices it sells for these days.

Lou - N2MIY
June 24th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Yeah, no doubt, some prices do seem crazy, but they seem to be what the market will bear. I'm not part of that market though (mortgage to pay, kids college to save for....)

I believe what you're saying also about many folks having a lot of iron - there seems to be a bimodal distribution. You've either got tons (literally) or some bits. I gather it was a matter of being willing to fill your garage when all that gear was being scrapped (like whoever got these six 11/750s from Boeing). I think I'm barely old enough to be on the tail end of that, and by then, it didn't weigh tons anymore. I was near the dumpsters as micro PDP-11s were being trashed. The bits from the 70's (8s and Unibus 11s) seem to go for big bucks.

Fortunately, I think q-bus 11s are still within reach. Even more so if you want to put a system together one $10 board at a time. A few of the guys on here have done that. It feels good to put together a machine from parts for a lot less than a whole machine costs, and you learn a heck of a lot.... It does make me think though if I should be putting together machines and reselling them (my wife certainly thinks that!) But, it would only feed the lack of appreciation that exists for working on hardware....

Lou

scotto
May 9th, 2017, 08:25 AM
VAX 11/750 available. Make an offer. Have a VAX 11/750, with TU-80 tape drive, and three RA-81 disk drives in cabinet. Booted VMS 5.2 from one disk, and VMS 4.7 from another disk. Many TU-58 tapes with various VAX programs. Obtained from Indiana University back in the early 90's. Was working last time powered on, but that was some years ago. Located in suburban Detroit area. Anyone interested in this vintage gem? IF not, this vintage beast will be going to the scrap yard. Will need lift gate truck. All cabinets on wheels, but all very heavy.

salmburg@gmail.com

scotto
August 16th, 2017, 08:48 AM
The VAX(en) are gone. Picked up by a guy from Penn.