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Thread: Sparcstation 5 on a VME card

  1. #1
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    Default Sparcstation 5 on a VME card

    So this is the first time I've seen one of these - it's a Force SPARC-CPU-5V; according to the manual it's essentially a SS5 on a 1 to 2 slot 6U VME card.

    I managed to pick it up cheap from a recent Ebay auction and hit lucky - it came with the optional SBUS frame, which stacks it from a single VME slot to twin, but also adding 2 SBUS slots, both of which where populated; one with a Sun HME fast ethernet/fast-wide SCSI2 card, as well as a TGX framebuffer.

    Specs are a 110MHz Microsparc 2, 16MB onboard RAM + 64MB expansion. For all intents and purposes it's a Sparcstation 5.

    I intend on bringing it back to life on a NOS Schroff 12 slot backplane I've also just sourced, then using it to drive and control a Transtech Transputer VME card that I've had sitting on my shelf for some 3-4 years. I may even add a 68060 Motorola MVME (running up to date NetBSD) as a slave to the same enclosure at some point.

    OS will be Solaris 2.6, since it's the only one with a device driver for the Transputer VME board.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron-uk View Post
    Attachments don't work.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  4. #4
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    Default

    Try again, this time resized down to 1024x768...

    IMG_20181123_122011.jpg

    IMG_20181123_122027.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default

    I need to find a serial adapter to fit with the micro DB26 connector on the front panel. Anyone seen anything like it before? I don't fancy sourcing an ancient Sun keyboard, sync-on-green monitor and cable just to power it up.

    I can't even find a shell of the right type with which I could wire a simple 3 wire RS232 port.

  6. #6

    Default

    I don't think you should need a SOG monitor, looks like you have what is probably a color framebuffer card in there, which should get along with modern displays with a 13W3-to-VGA adapter (note that you'll need a Sun-specific one; SGI used the same connector with a different wiring. But Sun adapters are cheaper and more common anyway.) You can also get PS/2-to-Sun keyboard/mouse adapters for fairly cheap.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
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  7. #7
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    Default

    It is indeed a colour framebuffer - in Sun world it's a cgsix adaptor (8bit, accelerated 2d drawing, up to 1280x1024):

    IMG_20181125_165537.jpg

    IMG_20181125_165625.jpg

    I was hoping to be able to do the setup of both this and a MVME-177 sbc using a serial interface rather than have yet another monitor and keyboard hooked up... but that very high density serial port is proving to be a pain to track down... it actually be easier to use the pin headers on the board itself and build a short breakout cable myself.

  8. #8
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    Default

    So I tracked down the part number of the plug that connects to the weird VHDC serial port, it's an expensive TE/AMP part (because of course it would have to be), here are the numbers:

    749608-2 - 26 pin shell housing
    5750913-2 - 26 pin IO plug

    At least with the shell and plug parts I can then connect them to a relatively standard 9 or 25 way RS232 on the other side and then use my standard USB/Serial dongle that I use for everything else.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Nice backplane, I helped design it.

    The newest ones have switches in the connectors to take care of the IACK and BG daisy-chain signals.
    The older ones have gates on the backplane to take care of the IACK and BG daisy-chain signals.
    The oldest ones have jumper pins to take care of the IACK and BG daisy-chain signals.
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

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