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Thread: PDP-11/73 new to me!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Seattle, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyBOFH View Post
    My thought was to 1) upgrade RAM cards to at least 1Meg cards each - preferably 2Mb if they weren't so rare and going for $500 a pop, 2) upgrade RDRX and RD52A to a SCSI controller and drive at minimum - maybe the SD emulated piece I've replied to in another post, 3) add ethernet, and 4) replace floppy with the TK50 tape unit or a DLT/DAT unit if one was made for it. That way I can set it up with Ultrix or another OS and put it online with nightly backups and better reliability than the RD52A. Coming from the military side I know how unreliable and quirky these MFM drives can be... and I don't have their funds to acquire or refurb this drive when it fails...
    Maybe you can find one or two M8637-E MSV11-JE 2MB boards at prices that are not too outrageous. If you install those in a slot before the M8190 KDJ11-B CPU they will operate in PMI mode and be slightly faster than in normal Q-bus memory mode.
    VARx has them listed at $99 each, which might not be all that bad. You would have to send them an email or give them a call to see if they actually have any in stock at that price. I have bought some DEC gear from them in the past and it was an OK transaction.
    http://www.varx.com/CAT/MEMORY-DEC_MSVXX.HTML

    If you don't already have a TK50 tape drive and controller I wouldn't recommend going down that path myself. They can be a lot of hassle to get them to work reliably as far as I know. Other people may have better results using them. If you get a Q-bus SCSI controller get one that is both MSCP and TMSCP capable at the same time, such as a CMD CQD-200/TM or CQD-220/TM. I have used one of those to install RSTS/E 10.1 and 2.11BSD on a SCSI hard drive from an Exabyte EXB-8200 8mm SCSI tape drive and that worked reasonably well.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by gslick View Post
    Maybe you can find one or two M8637-E MSV11-JE 2MB boards at prices that are not too outrageous. If you install those in a slot before the M8190 KDJ11-B CPU they will operate in PMI mode and be slightly faster than in normal Q-bus memory mode.
    VARx has them listed at $99 each, which might not be all that bad. You would have to send them an email or give them a call to see if they actually have any in stock at that price. I have bought some DEC gear from them in the past and it was an OK transaction.
    http://www.varx.com/CAT/MEMORY-DEC_MSVXX.HTML

    If you don't already have a TK50 tape drive and controller I wouldn't recommend going down that path myself. They can be a lot of hassle to get them to work reliably as far as I know. Other people may have better results using them. If you get a Q-bus SCSI controller get one that is both MSCP and TMSCP capable at the same time, such as a CMD CQD-200/TM or CQD-220/TM. I have used one of those to install RSTS/E 10.1 and 2.11BSD on a SCSI hard drive from an Exabyte EXB-8200 8mm SCSI tape drive and that worked reasonably well.
    Thanks for the link! I emailed them for the RAM cards and for the DELQA ethernet kit as well just for curiosity sake. Luckily they are also semi-close to me as well so shipping time should be quick.

    As for the TK50 - thanks for the heads up! I think I will just go with the SCSI route and either and an external DAT drive if I want tape backups. Also gives me a reason to keep the floppy especially since I dug up 82 DEC RX50 formatted floppies still in new condition that were used for log archives.

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