View Full Version : heavy machine

March 31st, 2005, 08:29 AM
I just got a IBM mainframe.
It is so heavy,I had to take it apart to move it.I know it is a 9406 unit.
Has 6 drives.and one tape reel drive,lucked up,still has AS/400 os tape.

Any ideas on this one?Coments welcome on how to get it to run.

Terry Yager
March 31st, 2005, 08:44 AM
First, you call up the power company and have them come out and install 1KW service to your home...
Seriously tho, what are the power requirements? 440 3-phase, or what?


March 31st, 2005, 09:07 AM
No not quite that much.I use 220 single phase,also it will power from 120 but the lights dim.I found some info on it,but it is not very clear.

The rack it is in is a 9309 if that means anything.It has a rack powersupply that I bypassed because it didnt work.

Supply looks to be a proccesor backup,but no battery or info.

I do know it used to be part of the 911 emergency system.

Terry Yager
March 31st, 2005, 09:20 AM
Dim the lights...yeah! Way to go...


March 31st, 2005, 05:58 PM
I've worked on AS/400s for years. I wouldn't call it a mainframe - it is more of a midrange.

If you are not familiar with the AS/400, owning one might be very frustrating. It is unlike any other computer ever made.

What version of OS/400 is on the tape? What's the exact model number? (9406 is a class of machines .. there is a 4 digit subtype somewhere.)


April 1st, 2005, 04:39 PM
Its model looks to be B30.
The tape is version2,but it is tape 5of10.Looks as if I might be out of luck.
What do you think?

April 2nd, 2005, 05:10 AM
For an AS/400, that is an old old machine.

The operating system is called OS/400. The latest version that runs on that machine was V3R1, which was released around 1994 or 1995. Version V2R3 would be a good version to use as well.

I'm not sure how many tapes it takes - dependening on the tape drive, it might be spread over a handful of tapes. Besides the operating system there were licensed program products (compilers, etc.) that would have been on tape as well. Later AS/400s used CD-ROM.

These machines used a CISC processor known as 'IMPI'. Most of the design of the machine (right down the processor) comes from Rochester MN where the machine is designed and built. (There are two other manufacturing facilities in the world for other markets.)

Did you get an operators console for it? It would be a terminal that plugs in using a think 'twin-ax' cable. Twin-ax is a coaxial cable with two conductors. The monitor speaks a protocol to the machine known as 5250. It's similar to the 3270 terminals, but it is AS/400 specific. Oh, and yet another quick - AS/400s use EBCDIC, not ASCII.

So what are you going to do with this thing? Back when it was sold in the late 80s it was a powerful business machine with a great database, COBOL and RPG languages. In 2005 it's too big to be a boat anchor. Unless you have a lot of patience, it's going to take a lot to get it running. You may need to find a suitable console, which isn't too hard - look for AS/400 terminals in eBay. The operating system and software are going to be harder to find.

April 6th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Maybe he's using it as an excuse to expand his house? Nine years ago I found a 5 cabinet Pyramid system which was brought to the computer club. After a while we found that we lacked both the power, room and software to boot and use it, but instead of dumping it on the junkyard, the computer section from another school picked it up, mainly to be used to fill their current room so they would be granted a bigger office. I'm not sure if it worked out for them though...