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Thread: SMS 11X PDP-23 rescue

  1. #1

    Default SMS 11X PDP-23 rescue

    Does anyone have any documentation or disks for an SMS 11X ? PDP-11/23 OEM with 8" flpy and 8" 20m HD made by Scientific Micro Systems around 1986? http://www.rogerarrick.com/sms11x/

  2. #2

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    Is it possible the universe was rigged against me in the 70s-80s to have access to a PDP-11, and that this rigging continues into 2018 and beyond?

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    To bootstrap the box with RT-11 on a floppy (you need to source some scratch media) suggest you look at the PDP11GUI with its disk image features. It should be able to read/write a bootable floppy image over a serial line. You can prep the images in SIMH. See http://www.retrocmp.com/tools/pdp11gui?start=10. While the floppy is double sided, I would start with a single sided image. The standard RT-11 DEC DY handlers won't see the second side. After you get things going, you can replace this with a modified handler.

    As far as the hard disk goes, the brochure says its transparent to the popular operating systems. You just need to determine what the emulated drive is. It is probably a RK05/RK07 type (DM RT11 Handler).

    As far as SMS manuals go, I don't have or see anything that covers this hardware. You may just have to look at the ones that are available and glean what you can from these bits. For example https://ia801005.us.archive.org/32/i...nual_Jun82.pdf.

    As far as rigged universes go, welcome to the club


    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by wa2flq View Post
    As far as the hard disk goes, the brochure says its transparent to the popular operating systems. You just need to determine what the emulated drive is. It is probably a RK05/RK07 type (DM RT11 Handler).
    3000632E_FWT0100_FWT1100_Winchester_Floppy_System_ OEM_Manual_Jul83.pdf
    is the manual you want to look at. In the programming section, you will see that the interface is modeled on an extended RX02 register set
    You should be able to get an RX02 floppy to boot, but hard disks won't work without their "FW" handler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    3000632E_FWT0100_FWT1100_Winchester_Floppy_System_ OEM_Manual_Jul83.pdf
    is the manual you want to look at. In the programming section, you will see that the interface is modeled on an extended RX02 register set
    You should be able to get an RX02 floppy to boot, but hard disks won't work without their "FW" handler.
    I never trusted the advertisements back in those days for important details, but that certainly stretches the term "transparent".

    I do recall reading cases in which DY0: was the floppy and DY1: is the hard disk or similar. So it appears that FW device driver/handler had to handle two completely different types of disk drives and present them as different unit numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wa2flq View Post
    As far as the hard disk goes, the brochure says its transparent to the popular operating systems. You just need to determine what the emulated drive is. It is probably a RK05/RK07 type (DM RT11 Handler).

    Jerry
    Ah but then you are limited to 16-bit isn't it? The RKV11-D did only support 16-bit addresses.

    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbscpe View Post
    Ah but then you are limited to 16-bit isn't it? The RKV11-D did only support 16-bit addresses.

    Peter
    Hi Peter,

    I mistyped - it should have said "RK06/RK07". While DEC never made a Qbus controller for their RK06/RK07 drives, many third party controllers emulated these disk types on other drives with SMD interfaces.
    An Emulex SC02 covered 22/18 bit QBus with either RP02/03, RK06/07, or RL01/02 emulation depending on what proms where installed. The SC03 covered RM02/03/05, RM80 and RP06. I still have many SC02/SC03 proms for the different variants of controllers and drives. Other vendors used SMD or MFM drives for their emulations.

    Even though DEC's RKV11-D was only 16 bit, there was a third party Qbus controller that did 18bit. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the vendor. It worked with RK05 and Diablo 31 drives. I even used this on a 22Bit system using the TSX+ ability to buffer 18bit devices and still have a munged handler for 18bit operation.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by wa2flq View Post
    Even though DEC's RKV11-D was only 16 bit, there was a third party Qbus controller that did 18bit. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the vendor. It worked with RK05 and Diablo 31 drives.
    The only one I know of is Xylogics. I have one, it works, but I don't have a manual. I didn't know it supported 18 bits.
    Thinking about it, the RK11-D was an 18-bit device; the problem was their Unibus to QBus converter was only 16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    The only one I know of is Xylogics. I have one, it works, but I don't have a manual. I didn't know it supported 18 bits.
    Thinking about it, the RK11-D was an 18-bit device; the problem was their Unibus to QBus converter was only 16.
    That sounds familiar. Mine was a single board with provisions for only 1 drive cable if I'm remembering correctly. I'm pretty sure it handled 18bit, as it was one of the first Qbus TSX+ systems we had. We cobbled it together from donated parts.

    The Diablo Drive was small and in a desktop cabinet it made a nice "personal" computer (imagine an Alto but with a VT100 on top. see xerox-alto-zero-day-cracking-disk.html) for software and data acquisition development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wa2flq View Post
    Hi Peter,

    I mistyped - it should have said "RK06/RK07". While DEC never made a Qbus controller for their RK06/RK07 drives, many third party controllers emulated these disk types on other drives with SMD interfaces.
    An Emulex SC02 covered 22/18 bit QBus with either RP02/03, RK06/07, or RL01/02 emulation depending on what proms where installed. The SC03 covered RM02/03/05, RM80 and RP06. I still have many SC02/SC03 proms for the different variants of controllers and drives. Other vendors used SMD or MFM drives for their emulations.

    Even though DEC's RKV11-D was only 16 bit, there was a third party Qbus controller that did 18bit. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the vendor. It worked with RK05 and Diablo 31 drives. I even used this on a 22Bit system using the TSX+ ability to buffer 18bit devices and still have a munged handler for 18bit operation.

    Jerry
    So you say the SC02/033 emulated a RP02/3, RK06/07,... or RM02/03/05... on a Q-Bus and it was software compatible with the original DEC drivers? I must find some more information about this. The RLV12/Hack is really limited with just 4 RL02 drives and I would love to build another Hack that emulates something a little bit larger, say at least 30Mbyte, but still is not as complex as a MSCP emulation.
    Peter

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