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Thread: PDP11 pasts, any fun with it to do?

  1. #1

    Default PDP11 pasts, any fun with it to do?

    Recently I got a box full of PDP11 related cards and a four slot frame...
    I was wondering if I can make a tiny system with it booting from a TU58 emulator or so...
    Since I'm not familiar with this kind of modern PDP11 stuff I thought, lets ask here first

    I thought with a memory card, CPU card and a serial card there should be something possible.
    But I don't know if there is any bootstrap in the CPU card. I don't see anything like an eprom.

    If anyone has ideas please let me know.

    I have the following cards:

    22 x this serial card.
    IMG_20190930_211236.jpg

    6x this memory card
    IMG_20190930_211251.jpg

    2x this memory card
    IMG_20190930_211315.jpg

    1x this jumper card
    IMG_20190930_211334.jpg

    1x this fully populated memory card
    IMG_20190930_211348.jpg

    1x this 11/73 CPU card
    IMG_20190930_211401.jpg

    4x this LSI 11/2 CPU card
    IMG_20190930_211413.jpg

    1x this 11/23 CPU card
    IMG_20190930_211430.jpg

    1x this ADC? card set, both connected to each other with a cable
    IMG_20190930_211446.jpg

    1x this frame
    IMG_20190930_211504.jpg

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  2. #2
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    All of those CPU cards will have ODT in the microcode of the CPU itself, so with a CPU, serial, and console card, you should be able to get to ODT, load in a TU58 bootstrap, and boot from emulated TU58 tape on one of the other SLU channels. The Andromeda Systems boards you have in the first picture are probably a DLV11-J workalike, which would provide console, TU58 port, and two other SLUs.

    Those little four slot, double-height QBus card cages are apparently quite desirable, though you do run out of space pretty fast.

  3. #3

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    Okay great! I love the looks of that 11/73 CPU board so I would give it a go then...

    But since I have one slot left, can I use a M7555 RQDX3 controller and
    boot from a floppy of HD? Or do I need more than that?
    I've seen a nice breakout board from Malcom for that controller.

    If that should work maybe someone has such a M7555 RQDX3 and want
    it to swap for an LSI-11/2 CPU card + serial card + mem card?
    (I prefer to keep at least one of each model board, but the rest can go for a swap)

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  4. #4
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    I think you need separate boot ROMs for the RQDX3, or you'd have to type in a boot loader every time, I don't think it has them on board. Some third party cards do have boot ROMs built in, like the Emulex SCSI controllers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    I think you need separate boot ROMs for the RQDX3, or you'd have to type in a boot loader every time, I don't think it has them on board. Some third party cards do have boot ROMs built in, like the Emulex SCSI controllers.
    If you are using a PC as a terminal you can script the typing in of the boot loader.....
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  6. #6

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    Nice number of CPU's you have got there Roland !
    Shame about missing backplanes though. These dual-widths backplanes/cardcages are very desired. I was thinking about remaking them ( but with 6 instead of 4 slots )

    I have a spare RQDX3, and a lack of memory cards.......

    Jos

  7. #7
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    Oh, and don't forget that forced air cooling is mandatory! Just a few minutes here and there for testing without cooling would be OK, but if you're going to run it for, say, more than 5 minutes, you should have a fan blowing across the cards.

  8. #8
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    Roland, Good find.
    ODT see manual M8186 mode 1 Console (11/23)
    -see attached file.

    Indeed I do not find any Bootloader/Prom based card in your collection.

    Bootstrap than manualy, but beware that your Console terminal is strapped on the serial card.
    Address 177560( Receive Vector 60 and Transmit vector 64
    Sometimes the serial card has a jumper to "automatic" select a port for console and than that address is right away selected.
    Be-aware of the selected 18/22Bit modes on the cards.
    just the M8186, memboard and a serial card will function as a working system.

    There is a EMTU58 emulation program for the PC computer through serial port.
    So you can load as 2x TU58 tapes.
    Tapes are available. RT11, XXDP etc to boot from.
    Or give me an email.

    Have NOT find yet the Boot Loader for the RQDX3.
    Would be great to find, I then can burn a PROM for my 1123.
    -EDIT: The RQDX3 has not a Bootloader on board.

    TU58 can be booted through the bootstrap.
    TU58-Bootstrap.jpg

    TU58-Bootstrap2.jpg

    11/23 Console mode 1
    M8186-Modes.jpg
    Last edited by MauriceH; October 1st, 2019 at 09:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MauriceH View Post
    Have NOT find yet the Boot Loader for the RQDX3.
    Would be great to find, I then can burn a PROM for my 1123.
    Is that for an M8186 KDF11-A 11/23?

    For an M8189 KDF11-B 11/23-PLUS it should be easy to update the EPROMs to a version with MSCP boot support if you have a version without MSCP boot support. From the KDF11-BA CPU Module User's Guide it appears that the early versions of the firmware only supported booting from RK05, RL01, RL02, TU58, RX01, RX02, and sync/async DECnet.

    For an M8186 KDF11-A 11/23 where would you put the boot PROMs / EPROMs? If you have a quad wide backplane you could put EPROMs with MSCP boot support on an M8012 BDV11. If you have a dual wide backplane you would need something like an M7195 MXV11-B, which seem to be more difficult to find. The earlier M8047 MXV11-A might also work with some restrictions, I'm not sure.

  10. #10
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    As I see on pict 8 LSI 11/23 it the same I have M8186 indeed no Eprom on it or to be put on..
    Select mode 2 to bootstrap and then it is looking for some boot code on an other board with loader in the prom.
    2 proms I have on a M8047. So that way auto boot.
    Selectable boot through a jumper to select RX02 or Tu58
    "...The earlier M8047 MXV11-A might also work with some restrictions..."

    Roland has no prom card at the moment as I can see.
    So a serial card to manualy bootstrap TU58 emulation through a PC serial port and a terminal on a console port.
    Then after a TU58 boot he can hot-boot the system through the QDX3 card with a hard disk that contains boot software , f.i. RT11.
    Then the system will work further on that HD and does not have to load every command through the serial TU58 emulation.
    Once per secion you have to manualy type in the TU58 bootstrap loader.

    If can be found a bootloader 11/23 for the RQDX3 and put that fi in a M8047 card things become easier.

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