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Thread: VAX 11/785 System haul

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Germany, near Göttingen
    Posts
    25

    Default VAX 11/785 System haul

    Hi, folks!

    A few weeks ago one of my collectors dreams came true - i was able to get an 11/785 System.
    It has been stored since the 1990s in an garage of the last owner and since then not been powered on.

    This will be a huge amount of work to get it up and running again, some kind of long term work for years i think...

    If the people here are interested i will try to post updates and what problems occurred during the repairing.

    The haul config i became is:

    11/785 System
    3 Expansion Racks ( so far i discovered that there are all 4 possible Unibus Channels are used ; also Massbus)
    2 TU78 Drives
    2 Half height Racks with a total of 5 RA81 Drives and one RA60 Drive.
    Some documentation including Engineering Drawings of the system and also some "Red Wall".
    Original DEC 9-Track Tapes with VMS and other Software on it.
    Some removable Media for the RA60 drive with some VMS V4.x Versions on it.

    The System had some inventory stickers from "Siemens AG Munich" and also "Erlangen" on it.

    Best regards,
    Kai


    20180627_204226.jpg20180627_190554.jpg21790_0_20180708_213702.jpg21509_0_20180627_184215.jpg22012_0_20180703_165709.jpg20180702_123937.jpg

    addendum 1:
    The system has the floating point option installed and is equipped with 16 MegaBytes of memory.
    The haul included also some DECwriter III and one DECprinter I and an LP26 printer.
    Last edited by Wildfire; July 12th, 2018 at 05:14 PM. Reason: add further information

  2. #2

    Default

    You have 3-phase power available?

    At least you have the SDI disks and don't need some big Massbus disks.
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

  3. #3

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    What a fantastic acquisition! I'm a little bit jealous. I would love to see details of your progress restoring this magnificent dinosaur to happy and healthy life. I hope that you will blog or video your work. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,093

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
    You have 3-phase power available?
    On a lot of larger DEC systems, it's not really required -- a lot of times the PDUs just break out the phases into 120V single-phase receptacles. If that's the case, you can just change out PDUs, though you will almost certainly need more than a single 120V circuit to do anything meaningful with the machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NorthWest England (East Pondia)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    On a lot of larger DEC systems, it's not really required -- a lot of times the PDUs just break out the phases into 120V single-phase receptacles. If that's the case, you can just change out PDUs, though you will almost certainly need more than a single 120V circuit to do anything meaningful with the machine.
    Its an EU spec machine so won't it have 240V power and so probably doesn't need three-phase, or it is it 415v three
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,093

    Default

    D'oh, sticker says 380-416 VAC 3 phase. Looks like it wants wye connection. I don't know anything about Euro spec DEC stuff, does it typically split into multiple 220/240 VAC on the PDUs?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
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    Default

    Doesn't much of Germany already use 3-phase power for residential distribution?



    3-phase used for large appliances, typically the kitchen stove. Makes a lot of sense.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); July 12th, 2018 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Germany, near Göttingen
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
    You have 3-phase power available?

    At least you have the SDI disks and don't need some big Massbus disks.
    Yes, three phase power is available where the system is stored at the moment and also some work will be done on it there.
    It is good that the 6 RA drives came with the system. A member of my computer club and i have some experience with repairing RA60 and also R80/RA81/RA82.

    Uhmm, last year there has been another big haul with an 11/730 System from an physicist who passed away - and there have been R80/RA60/RA81/RA82 drives - 6 in total.
    2 RA60 and one RA81 have been repaired and are up and running now.

    But i would love to get also some Massbus drives, i do not know if i am able to get them up and running if i had them - but as an collector you want these also to complete the different types of drives DEC sold.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Germany, near Göttingen
    Posts
    25

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    Quote Originally Posted by NF6X View Post
    What a fantastic acquisition! I'm a little bit jealous. I would love to see details of your progress restoring this magnificent dinosaur to happy and healthy life. I hope that you will blog or video your work. Thank you for sharing this with us!
    OK, i will try my best to post updates with some pictures here.
    Isn´t the jealous thing also some kind of drive every collector or enthusiast has about getting some old iron ?
    But you don´t need to be - you live in the US -- THE states where you should be able to get this kind of iron much easier then here in Germany.

    My personal experience from the last 15 years is that you need to establish an network of people or contacts who worked or serviced / sold this kind of systems one wants to have.
    And then the day will come where you get a call or an email with offers.

    But, i did have a look on your homepage - when i see your 5ton military trucks i am getting a little bit jealous, too

    Best regards,
    Kai

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    My personal experience from the last 15 years is that you need to establish an network of people or contacts who worked or serviced / sold this kind of systems one wants to have.
    And then the day will come where you get a call or an email with offers.
    Yes, that's exactly how it works! And I have been at both ends of those "here's a really cool thing for free" transactions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    But, i did have a look on your homepage - when i see your 5ton military trucks i am getting a little bit jealous, too
    I would offer to trade a 5-ton truck for a VAX, but the shipping would be crazy! But I can't complain. I have a nice 11/730 system already, and I don't have room for a bigger VAX at this time, anyway. That's why I'm only a little bit jealous.

    Congratulations on your new VAX!

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