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View Full Version : Is this a RX01 ?



leaknoil
September 19th, 2009, 12:43 PM
What's the "Classic" thing about ? I don't have physical access to it so, I can't check the label.

2027

tradde
September 19th, 2009, 01:04 PM
What's the "Classic" thing about ? I don't have physical access to it so, I can't check the label.

2027

Hard to say for sure. One of mine says "Digital RX01". The other has not badge at all.
Most likely it's still an RX01. Even if it's an RX02 I think they can be switched to an
RX01 mode.

leaknoil
September 19th, 2009, 03:38 PM
I actually went and picked it up and the tag does say RX01BA so, I guess it is. I'm still curious about the "Classic" thing. I can't find any pictures of RX01 online that don't say RX01.

Lou - N2MIY
September 20th, 2009, 12:55 AM
What is the story behind this RX01? What kind of system did this come out of? The "classic" logo sticker is curious. If this unit is offered to you, you should take it (I sure would.)

Lou

leaknoil
September 20th, 2009, 02:33 AM
It was from a ecycle place and its in my living room now. It just got dropped off and nobody knows anything about it. As far as anyone knows it came alone. That's always the answer though. Nobody actually keeps track of stuff like that.

I should add this may be the only upside of this recession. Before scrap metal prices bottomed out these guys wouldn't even talk to people that wanted to buy computers. The recyclers just moved it in the front door and 20 minutes later out the back. Now they can't sell it. Call your local county electronic recyclers and say you are looking for old computers. You will get a much warmer welcome then a year ago.

Of course, they aren't going to ship or warranty anything but, show up with cash and now they will let you dig around.

jackrubin
September 20th, 2009, 05:56 AM
Your drives are from a DEC Classic "personal computer" system - it was built into a desk with a PDP-8/A hidden behind the footwell on the right. This setup is currently wedged into a corner in my basement and I can't show the back where the 8/A was installed. The user had no direct access to the computer - there is a remote power-on and reset button just to the left of the console keyboard. Normally, the VT-52 sits in a slight recess and the drives sat next to the user with open deskspace above. The 8/E is sitting there for lack of space but has nothing to do with this system.

There's room for a second set of drives (4 drives total) below the existing set. I'd love to give your drives a home if you wish - or, a lot easier, maybe we could just swap faceplates - your "Classic" for a standard RX01-02 version.

Jack

tradde
September 20th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Your drives are from a DEC Classic "personal computer" system - it was built into a desk with a PDP-8/A hidden behind the footwell on the right. This setup is currently wedged into a corner in my basement and I can't show the back where the 8/A was installed. The user had no direct access to the computer - there is a remote power-on and reset button just to the left of the console keyboard. Normally, the VT-52 sits in a slight recess and the drives sat next to the user with open deskspace above. The 8/E is sitting there for lack of space but has nothing to do with this system.

There's room for a second set of drives (4 drives total) below the existing set. I'd love to give your drives a home if you wish - or, a lot easier, maybe we could just swap faceplates - your "Classic" for a standard RX01-02 version.

Jack

That looks alot like my Dec Datasystem 310. And sure enough on the front of the
manual is a Dec Classic, and shows that logo. Never noticed that before. Mine do
not have Classic on it, since I guess these were for business. It ran COS and used
Cobol. Did the Classic come with the optional user panel, or just the basic? I was
finally able to locate the optional panel and added it to the 8a. But I prefer real
blinkenlights. :)

jackrubin
September 20th, 2009, 07:01 AM
Tim,

My system came from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was clearly an "educational" system. It ended up with the Carleton Radio Club and the patch panel in the second drive bay was part of a RTTY interface. I think I got some related software with the system but I can't remember if it was just code practice or an actual RTTY transmit/receive program.

The panel was just the minimal "operator's panel" and in normal use is completely hidden inside and behind the machine. I also snagged a "programmer's panel" but it doesn't get much use.

"Someday" the 8/E will be listening to through an R-390A and talking to an M28 teletype.

Jack
KC9HVE

tradde
September 20th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Tim,

My system came from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was clearly an "educational" system. It ended up with the Carleton Radio Club and the patch panel in the second drive bay was part of a RTTY interface. I think I got some related software with the system but I can't remember if it was just code practice or an actual RTTY transmit/receive program.

The panel was just the minimal "operator's panel" and in normal use is completely hidden inside and behind the machine. I also snagged a "programmer's panel" but it doesn't get much use.

"Someday" the 8/E will be listening to through an R-390A and talking to an M28 teletype.

Jack
KC9HVE

Someday? What does it need? I see what looks like an RK05 disk pack sitting on top
of the RTTY interface.

jackrubin
September 20th, 2009, 01:11 PM
"It" needs a metric buttload of round tuits. The disk pack is indeed for an RKO5 but the platter is ruined and due for replacement.

tradde
September 20th, 2009, 01:53 PM
"It" needs a metric buttload of round tuits. The disk pack is indeed for an RKO5 but the platter is ruined and due for replacement.

Those "round tuits" will get you every time. :) What does the 8e have in it? How much
memory? Is is core? So you have an RK05 for it? You say replacement for the disk pack?
I am guessing you really mean a different pack? Or do you know some place that can
resurface a pack?

jackrubin
September 20th, 2009, 04:19 PM
I have an RK05, though at the moment it is 550 miles away. The pack is a 16 sector pack and I figure to replace the platter with one from a PDP-11 if I can't come up with another one for my 8. I've got a few cartons of boards for the 8, so the actual configuration is "fluid" while I try to figure things out. Time will tell.

pontus
September 20th, 2009, 10:50 PM
"It" needs a metric buttload of round tuits. The disk pack is indeed for an RKO5 but the platter is ruined and due for replacement.

How would you go about replacing that? And where would you find a replacement?

tradde
September 21st, 2009, 02:32 AM
How would you go about replacing that? And where would you find a replacement?

I have heard some suggest trying to keep the original center section which has the index marks, and use the platter from an 11 pack. They seem to be a bit more common. I don't know if this acutally works, but it makes sense.

jackrubin
September 21st, 2009, 04:41 AM
Yes - that's the plan. I've got nothing to lose and much to gain if I can salvage the 8 hub and housing. I don't know about the rest of the world but among my sources, 11 packs are available while packs for 8s are not. I figure if I'm careful about torquing the platter down and can get run-out within specs, I've got a fair chance of succeeding.

Of course, if anyone has a spare 8 pack available, that would still be the first choice.

pontus
September 21st, 2009, 05:09 AM
So if I get this right, a pack for RK05 was different whether it was made for PDP-8 or for PDP-11 ?

tradde
September 21st, 2009, 06:43 AM
So if I get this right, a pack for RK05 was different whether it was made for PDP-8 or for PDP-11 ?

Yep. pdp-8 packs are 16 sector. pdp-11 packs are 12 sector. Thus there are a different number of index marks on the hub.

tradde
September 21st, 2009, 06:46 AM
Yes - that's the plan. I've got nothing to lose and much to gain if I can salvage the 8 hub and housing. I don't know about the rest of the world but among my sources, 11 packs are available while packs for 8s are not. I figure if I'm careful about torquing the platter down and can get run-out within specs, I've got a fair chance of succeeding.

Of course, if anyone has a spare 8 pack available, that would still be the first choice.

I have a few extra. Since they are so hard to come by I don't let them go easily. I'd be interested to see how the first method works if you try it. I have a few crashed packs to and if that works I might be able to get a few more good packs.

pontus
September 21st, 2009, 11:48 AM
Yep. pdp-8 packs are 16 sector. pdp-11 packs are 12 sector. Thus there are a different number of index marks on the hub.

Are these read optically or magnetically?

I've read about a DF-32 restoration where the index marks are on the outer rim and had to be recreated.

tradde
September 21st, 2009, 12:16 PM
Are these read optically or magnetically?

I've read about a DF-32 restoration where the index marks are on the outer rim and had to be recreated.

I am not sure. I also don't know alot about DF32's. I have two, but have never used them
I do know the heads touch the disk on power on and off. Not a good thing. I have also
read you can flip the disk over, but then need a way to format the disk. There was schematics for the formatter somewhere I am told.

leaknoil
September 21st, 2009, 05:26 PM
Unfortunately, they didn't give it to me so, I can't give it away. If someone here wants it for the $50 I paid for it plus shipping I'll send it to them if they need it. Its not complete though. Looks like pretty much everything is there except the two large caps in the back. Did they get taken because this is broken or did they get taken because they are probably the only parts in there with some resale value ? Who knows. Its should be considered a parts unit in any case.

jackrubin
September 21st, 2009, 05:42 PM
I'm interested - where are you?

Jack
Chicago is home
Visiting Toronto in early October
Driving to New York City late October

leaknoil
September 21st, 2009, 10:55 PM
I'm in California unfortunately. Its not actually all the heavy in the scheme of things. Maybe 35 lbs ? Maybe even less. Its not very deep. I can take pictures of it if people want to see what I mean about the caps.

I just bought it because it was going to be turned into a toaster if I didn't. Seemed kind of sad. I probably paid too much for it but, its actually the first piece of pdp gear I've seen in years of surplus shopping. Its not very common in California. I can't throw a rock without hitting a vintage pc of some sort but, the bigger iron seemed to live back east. We also probably have more "ecyclers" and high tech salvage operations per capita then anywhere else as well. If something with a plug is unused for more then 30 minutes someone will be pulling up in a truck and ask if they can take it.

tradde
September 22nd, 2009, 02:31 AM
Unfortunately, they didn't give it to me so, I can't give it away. If someone here wants it for the $50 I paid for it plus shipping I'll send it to them if they need it. Its not complete though. Looks like pretty much everything is there except the two large caps in the back. Did they get taken because this is broken or did they get taken because they are probably the only parts in there with some resale value ? Who knows. Its should be considered a parts unit in any case.

If I was guessing I would say someone removed those 2 caps to be used elsewhere most likely to fix a working unit. Caps are not overly valuable. You can usually find direct or
close replacements. I have some really big ones from a pdp-8i power supply. A couple of them are bad as they don't hold a charge for very long. But they look impressive. Thos area not so easy to replace with the exact same specs.

jackrubin
September 22nd, 2009, 07:44 AM
I'd like to see a photo or two - if you can show the top of the unit where there should be a circuit board for the local controller. Even if that's missing, if there is no apparent mechanical damage, it should be useful for spares. Can you guesstimate shipping to 60091? Be sure that purchase price will also include a reasonable beer allowance!

Jack

leaknoil
September 22nd, 2009, 11:26 AM
OK, it was heavier then I thought. It will cost $44 to ship and $5 for the box. Beer money is optional of course. Check it out and see if its worth it to bother.

2040

2041

2042

2043

jackrubin
September 22nd, 2009, 11:45 AM
Looks good, especially on the red concrete :>)
I'm sending shipping and financial info in private msg

tradde
September 22nd, 2009, 11:52 AM
Looks good, especially on the red concrete :>)
I'm sending shipping and financial info in private msg

Comparing to my 2 it does appear that only the two caps are missing. Looks quite
clean otherwise. I'd sure take it for spares too if I was closer.

jackrubin
September 22nd, 2009, 12:38 PM
Looking at the pix of the power input area and noting the vintage RFI filter, it reminds me of the trouble that failed or leaking filters like this can cause. In addition, a "perfectly" functioning old filter can still leak enought current to ground to trip a modern GFI breaker.These are routine replacments in the hollow-state world. Do minicomputer users have the same concerns?

tradde
September 22nd, 2009, 12:48 PM
Looking at the pix of the power input area and noting the vintage RFI filter, it reminds me of the trouble that failed or leaking filters like this can cause. In addition, a "perfectly" functioning old filter can still leak enought current to ground to trip a modern GFI breaker.These are routine replacments in the hollow-state world. Do minicomputer users have the same concerns?

I am sure we do. Luckily I have never had to deal with it. I know someday I will though.

leaknoil
September 22nd, 2009, 02:34 PM
Looks good, especially on the red concrete :>)
I'm sending shipping and financial info in private msg

The red concrete is pretty awesome. The dirt in the background gives it that, "Hey look why I just dug up in the front yard" feel as well.

The connector on top of the transformer was sitting inside with chopped off wires but, I don't actually see where it might have gone. Maybe just fell in there off something else or connected to those missing caps.

Did these originally come with any sort of top cover ? I notice all the pictures online don't have anything on top either.

tradde
September 22nd, 2009, 03:23 PM
The red concrete is pretty awesome. The dirt in the background gives it that, "Hey look why I just dug up in the front yard" feel as well.

The connector on top of the transformer was sitting inside with chopped off wires but, I don't actually see where it might have gone. Maybe just fell in there off something else or connected to those missing caps.

Did these originally come with any sort of top cover ? I notice all the pictures online don't have anything on top either.

That connector looks like those used in a terminal cable so it can be disconnected
in the middle. Neither of mine have any sort of top cover, but were inside of a desk.
Looks like the wires to the caps have been cut as they come off that one board with
the big heat sink. That's a minor issue to fix. If you need specs on the caps themselves
I can get them.

jackrubin
September 22nd, 2009, 05:09 PM
Generally, the drives would have been rack mounted either in a true rack cabinet or a desk but I have one set that is in its own enclosure, slotted beneath a "tea cart" that held a WT78 "Word Terminal" (VT-52 with an SBC "PDP-8/E inside it) rather than the VT05 resting there temporarily. You can see that an entire RX02 unit is enclosed in the RX78 casing. Looks like I've maxed out on pictures for this message - more to follow

jackrubin
September 22nd, 2009, 05:12 PM
more pictures

tradde
September 22nd, 2009, 05:17 PM
Generally, the drives would have been rack mounted either in a true rack cabinet or a desk but I have one set that is in its own enclosure, slotted beneath a "tea cart" that held a WT78 "Word Terminal" (VT-52 with an SBC "PDP-8/E inside it) rather than the VT05 resting there temporarily. You can see that an entire RX02 unit is enclosed in the RX78 casing. Looks like I've maxed out on pictures for this message - more to follow

Nice little set up there.

pontus
September 23rd, 2009, 08:18 AM
Indeed, nice table :) But the vt05 steals the show completely.

tradde
September 23rd, 2009, 09:17 AM
Indeed, nice table :) But the vt05 steals the show completely.

Very true. The oldest I have are a VT50 and VT52.