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Thread: DEC Rainbow 100B

  1. #1
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    Default DEC Rainbow 100B

    New acquisition arrived today....
    PC100B, VR201 mono monitor, LK201 keyboard.
    Cost a grand total of about $100, which was just the shipping! computer was fr33!!

    However, PakMail's packing, and FedEx gorillas were not very kind....still working on it.

    Popped it open - has a memory card, hard disk controller, hard disk, (1) RX50 FDD, and <drum roll> Color graphics option.

    40lbs of original manuals and software in their binders+slipcovers are yet to arrive...

    Now....anyone not too far away got the color monitor for this puppy?

    I'll get some pix tomorr on PhotoBucket...

    T

  2. #2
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    Ahh, that's my pride and joy. I have a similar RB 100+. What your looking for is a DEC VR241.
    Don't know if anything else will work with it. Also the cable has the DEC DB15 connector like on a Mac. There's quite a bit of software available for it, both CP/M and DOS, and numerous other OS I can't remember. (CCP/M (Concurrent), CP/M86, CP/M+, ?)

    The Rainbow unofficial home page is still available but the owner hasn't posted all the stuff he has available on CD he got from the owner of a RB BBS. I think he needs encouragement. He has occasionally done displays of some of his hacks with the RB at the VC Festival.

    http://www.classiccmp.org/rainbow/

    The Finnish DEC archive has a multitude of stuff(can't find the URL) and there's a couple of programs allowing you to transfer files. It will also allow you to format disks for other DEC products like the DEC Pro which you used to have to buy from DEC.

    It's lovely in color and well worth the effort to find a color monitor for it since you have the somewhat rare card. A great machine, but DEC entered the home market too late and too timidly.

    PLease let us know what you receive when you get the software package.

    Lawrence
    Last edited by Micom 2000; February 28th, 2008 at 01:28 PM.
    Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

  3. #3
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    I remember in high school, a friend's father worked at Martin-Marietta in Central Florida, and he got a RB 100 brand new. It looked so cool with the smallish monitor on top...

    Mine is giving an error on bootup - 'Message1 - System Board', but when I do 'F3' for setup, and then <Ctrl><F3> for reset, it will boot up.

    Apparently I need the VR241-AA, and the proper cable. Funny thing is, I HAD the special cable, and sent it to the recycler with all the remaining DEC stuff I had about 3 years back. I had:
    (5) Personal DECstation
    (1) DECStation 5000/133
    (2) DECstation 5000/120's
    a box (case of paper sized) absolutely FULL of DEC cables

    and I *KNOW* I had that cable, as I found a description: DB15 on one end, and a box at the other, with the R,G,B BNC connectors, and a jack for the keyboard.

    I even had the special SCSI cable for Microvaxen!

    I had (2) ea DECStation 5000/200 and /240, and (2) /260 all of which I sold.
    the /260 went for like $300 about 5-6 years ago on eBay. Those are kind of rare, and it was LOADED with RAM!

    I had Ultrix on all of them, and still have a copy of the media somewhere...


    Only DECitem I have left, other than the RB, is an AT case, and an AXPpci motherboard, set up with OpenVMS/Alpha, 128MB RAM, proper video card for DECWindows, and proper DEC ISA card for networking.

    Here's a pic the seller took:


    There's more in that album. Haven;t received the binders yet, but they are enroute. I figure, for free+shipping (about $100 or so) it was well worth it, considering the docs+software!

    T

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micom 2000 View Post
    Ahh, that's my pride and joy. I have a similar RB 100+. What your looking for is a DEC VR241.
    Don't know if anything else will work with it. Also the cable has the DEC DB15 connector like on a Mac. There's quite a bit of software available for it, both CP/M and DOS, and numerous other OS I can't remember. (CCP/M (Concurrent), CP/M86, CP/M+, ?)

    The Rainbow unofficial home page is still available but the owner hasn't posted all the stuff he has available on CD he got from the owner of a RB BBS. I think he needs encouragement. He has occasionally done displays of some of his hacks with the RB at the VC Festival.

    http://www.classiccmp.org/rainbow/

    The Finnish DEC archive has a multitude of stuff(can't find the URL) and there's a couple of programs allowing you to transfer files. It will also allow you to format disks for other DEC products like the DEC Pro which you used to have to buy from DEC.

    It's lovely in color and well worth the effort to find a color monitor for it since you have the somewhat rare card. A great machine, but DEC entered the home market too late and too timidly.

    PLease let us know what you receive when you get the software package.

    Lawrence
    Oh, hey, do you have one of the memory cards with sockets? the one that goes to 768kb on the card? Can you provide me the part number? All I can find in the docs is the ordering number, like PC1XX-AC, and stuff like that.

    Mine has the 192kb, non-socketed card.

    Also, any idea where to get the CPU adapter cable for the 8087 card? I found the 8087 cards, but it needs the cable going from the systemboard 8088 socket, to the board.

    T

  5. #5
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    I'll have to open it up (easy-with the "bow") and reacquaint myself with it's innards. ISTR in looking at the memory card that they were quite common chips. Never did expand it I think.
    Or else some catch 22. I also have a VR201 hooked into my DEC Pro with the funny little extensible pole and a DEC printer. I do have some extra DEC external cables IIRC but no other internal ones. I would think they would be computer standard. Altho little of DEC wasn't proprietary.

    I would suggest contacting the owner of the Rainbow site who still dabbles with it and must occasionally run across stuff in his displays of what he has done with the RB. I do have his email address in all of my mess but can't recall his name (early Altheimers ?) even tho I helped arrange and encourage him to put the site up again, but I believe his address on the site is still valid. If not I'm sure the host of classiccmp would put you in touch with him.
    There's also a regular on classiccmp, Mark Hatfield (?) who is very much an enthusiast of the Rainbow, and a really nice guy from San Antonio, the Chile capital of North America.

    Once I open up my "bow" I'll give you what info I can.

    Lawrence
    Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Micom 2000 View Post
    I'll have to open it up (easy-with the "bow") and reacquaint myself with it's innards. ISTR in looking at the memory card that they were quite common chips. Never did expand it I think.
    Or else some catch 22. I also have a VR201 hooked into my DEC Pro with the funny little extensible pole and a DEC printer. I do have some extra DEC external cables IIRC but no other internal ones. I would think they would be computer standard. Altho little of DEC wasn't proprietary.

    I would suggest contacting the owner of the Rainbow site who still dabbles with it and must occasionally run across stuff in his displays of what he has done with the RB. I do have his email address in all of my mess but can't recall his name (early Altheimers ?) even tho I helped arrange and encourage him to put the site up again, but I believe his address on the site is still valid. If not I'm sure the host of classiccmp would put you in touch with him.
    There's also a regular on classiccmp, Mark Hatfield (?) who is very much an enthusiast of the Rainbow, and a really nice guy from San Antonio, the Chile capital of North America.

    Once I open up my "bow" I'll give you what info I can.

    Lawrence
    -----
    Any of you guys want an LJ500 printer before I put it by the curb?

    mike

  7. #7
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    Fairly easy to open...
    The 2 levers flip forward and out, lift the top off...
    Unplug the power cable from the mainboard...
    remove HD cable if'n ya got it...
    Remove the floppy cable from the RX50 controller...
    4 thumbwheels to turn...
    tray with mainboard slides out...
    memboard is second from rear, if ya have the HD controller, or something else in the very back...

    Been writing a bunch of disks on the Teac FD55GFR I rigged with a 300rpm switch... easy as pie! Installed RAINDOS.SYS from Sydex, and it creates a drive D:, which talks to the 1.2 B: drive as SS/DD 80T 400kb 'bow format....

    Nice!


    T

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    -----
    Any of you guys want an LJ500 printer before I put it by the curb?

    mike
    Mike how can you be so cruel and callous. A Commodore, Atari. or DOS printer can be put on the curb, no blame, but never a DEC. I have a LA50 and don't need it but there must be many DEC-centric people that thirst for it. This forum is of course short on DECCERS but their must be a DEC venue where it would be snapped up. The gods of classiccmp will punish you for this transgression.

    Lawrence.
    Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

  9. #9
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    Yep. The Rainbow was a model of easy accessability. I have a binder for a DECMate. It doesn't have the OS, only the Wordprocessing program. It does have a disk showing the features and how to set it up. It must have been the same one included with the Rainbow.
    Except for the processors and OS. It ran perfectly on my Rainbow. If you don't receive it with your "stuff-to-come" I'll send it to you. Reminded me of the promo I have for the IBM PS/2 8580. The graphics are amazingly good for the time.

    I know I sent it to Mark Hatfield and had never had used IIRC an imageing program at that time, I've forgotten too much.
    I don't think I used Teledisk(or whatever). Possibly I sent a copy by snail-mail.

    Lawrence
    Last edited by Micom 2000; February 28th, 2008 at 07:25 PM.
    Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micom 2000 View Post
    Mike how can you be so cruel and callous. A Commodore, Atari. or DOS printer can be put on the curb, no blame, but never a DEC. I have a LA50 and don't need it but there must be many DEC-centric people that thirst for it. This forum is of course short on DECCERS but their must be a DEC venue where it would be snapped up. The gods of classiccmp will punish you for this transgression.

    Lawrence.
    --------
    Well, I also have several LA-100s heading for the same spot at the end of my driveway; I've offered them a couple of times on CCtalk (A DEC venue if ever there was one) and no takers, although there was some interest in the service manual.

    I think I used the LJ500 twice after I bought it new; probably fatally clogged and dried up by now anyway. Weren't they actually made by Olivetti?

    Maybe I should keep them for that day when everyone realizes that they've just been collecting boxes, and printers become *RaRE!!* and worth big $$$s; my executors would be pleased...

    You didn't mention Radio Shack; can I put that DMPmumble out?

    BTW, I used to have some Rainbow memory cards but I think they got tossed long ago; If I do run across them by some chance I'll let you guys know.

    mike
    Last edited by MikeS; February 28th, 2008 at 09:01 PM.

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